Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

So long, Jim Czyl—and thanks for all the stamps

Earlier this week, I saw on the Local Post Collectors Society’s Facebook group page that Jim Czyl, a longtime local post stamp collector and producer who had been creating his own labels since before I was even born, died in June. I’ve been told this was also reported in Linns, and although I guess it was fairly well known to those who had any contact with Jim that he had had some health problems, I was still saddened to read about his death.

I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea to make my own “stamps,” but Jim was the first local post collector who ever contacted me and asked for copies of what I’d made. I’m reasonably sure, too, that he was the one who told me about the LPCS; before that, I had no idea such a group even existed.

Jim was kind enough when he first contacted me to send a couple of packets of local post stamps that he had created over the years, and I understand from Scott A., the operator of Purgatory Post, that Jim did the same for him. I never actually met him, and didn’t know much about him, but from what I’ve heard, it sounds like he was generous with his time and stamps.

So long, Jim—and thanks for all the stamps.

Still alive: the latest from Philosateleia

It has been nearly three weeks since I last posted, but I’m still alive. My wife and I have had the opportunity to spend some time with family and friends, and work has been busy. That has left little time for Philosateleia.

There are a few things going on, however. First, I want to thank Jack H. for his recent contribution showing his support for Philosateleia. Jack is the latest addition to a long list of individuals who have helped out, and his gift helps ensure the free stamp album pages and other resources this site has to offer continue to be available.

Second, I recently received a mailing from a longtime collector friend, Demetrios, who used a $4.50 Australian stamp picturing Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. Is this not beautiful?

$4.50 Australian postage stamp picturing Cradle Mountain & Dove Lake in Tasmania
Cradle Mountain stamp

Finally, I’ve been listing a few old covers on eBay. Most sell for only a dollar or two, but occasionally there’s a nice surprise that reaches double digits. I’ll take it!

I hope you’re having a nice summer (or winter, if you’re in the southern hemisphere) and finding a little time for your stamps. Happy collecting!

More support for Philosateleia

This is a quick “thank you” to reader Kenneth F., who recently made a contribution to help pay Philosateleia’s bills.

Kenneth is the 15th different reader to send a gift of some sort since Philosateleia went online over a decade ago. His name is now listed along with other supporters of Philosateleia, and I appreciate his (and their) assistance.

Sawyer’s Crossing bridge featured on Purgatory Post local post stamp

Earlier this month I received a letter from Scott A., the operator of Purgatory Post, who used a copy of his latest local post stamp picturing the Sawyer’s Crossing covered bridge in New Hampshire.

Purgatory Post Sawyer's Crossing cover
Purgatory Post Sawyer’s Crossing cover

The Sawyer’s Crossing bridge is a 158 foot long span built in 1859 to provide a crossing point over the Ashuelot River. The stamp features a view of the bridge inside a frame that bears more than a passing resemblance to the frames used on the United States 1901 Pan-American stamps.

Purgatory Post Sawyer's Crossing stamp
Purgatory Post Sawyer’s Crossing stamp

This is the fourth in a series of stamps picturing New Hampshire’s covered bridges. Although Purgatory Post has issued its share of stamps picturing subjects with broader appeal, a number of its issues do feature subjects that are geographically relevant to its operator, and I’m happy to include some of them in my collection.

British Guiana 1-cent Magenta fetches record price

The famous British Guiana 1-cent Magenta is back on top in the world of philately after selling at auction for nearly $9.5 million.

According to Linn’s Stamp News, the unique stamp was sold to an anonymous buyer during a Sotheby’s auction in New York on Tuesday. Its final sale price, which includes buyer’s fees, is roughly four times that of the previous record holder, Sweden’s Treskilling Yellow.

As you may know, the 1-cent Magenta was produced in 1856 as a temporary measure while authorities in British Guiana awaited the arrival of a fresh shipment of stamps from England. It was first recognized as a rarity in the 1870s.

My personal opinion is that the Inverted Jenny, although roughly 100 times more common, is a far more attractive stamp, but the 1-cent Magenta’s sale is getting a lot of press from mainstream media, which can only be good for our hobby.

What do you think of the record-breaking price? What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a stamp?

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