It's always nice to receive unexpected surprises in the post so this morning it was a delight to receive a letter from a good friend in Australia containing, among other things, a selection of stamps which the friend thought might be appropriate for blog illustrations - I think he was right.
I had a slight interest in stamps as a child, my mum and dad, for a while were quite keen collectors. In fact, now I think about it, it's the only thing I've ever known them to collect. These days stamp collecting seems a dying art. Certainly, when I am at postcard and collectibles fares, the, usually sole, stall dealing in stamps seems to be populated by one or two old men who spend hours on small stools with magnifying glasses pouring over the stock books. On the contrary however, I was recently told that the extremely unprepossesing stamp-shop in our road which seems never to be open employs ten people upstairs doing a roaring internet and mail order trade in stamps around the world.
Whilst I am enchanted by these examples, I must try hard not to succumb to that charm!
There is something very appealing about all small forms. I love miniature books for example. Bookplates also have an appeal as tiny examples of engravers' and printer's art. I suppose therefore the stamp has to be the logical extension and smallest example of the charm of the tiny piece of art.
PS. John C, thank you for your kind words about my little photoshop experiment - coming from you, I'm flattered! I have seen the Prague photo you mention on your blog at some point and remember marvelling suitably! Alex, you're a little star, sorry I can't meet up with you this weekend. Thev, its so lovely to see you here occasionally and should you drop by before I am able to send that long promised email, I hope you are enjoying your time at 'The Burrow'. Clixchix, I'm always staggered by the ways connections form between people by accident and your story of having been at a Pat Marriott exhibition - in the same place I believe where you met our mutual friend - is another one of those amazing co-incidences. I owe you many emails, I'm sorry, I will do my best to be in touch properly in the near future.