|Antiques Digest||Browse Auctions||Appraisal||Home|
Collecting Stamps: Mounting
STAMP MOUNTING, AS A TOPIC, is as tall as it is wide. The only broad rule is to be neat-after that it becomes a matter of personality. Many collectors use printed albums, and wisely so, because of lack of time, desire or funds. Others use blank albums and do no lettering; still others type out the information on their pages, and still another group have their pages beautifully designed , and lettered.
In this matter the author believes stamps are a personal property, and each should be mounted as the owner desires, or as circumstances require. Some of the most valuable collections have been poorly mounted, even to the extent of using adhesive tape instead of hinges. In one instance, a medical man with a real love for stamps, put wonderful specimens in the margins of a printed album, simply because he didn't know what else to do with them. He hadn't thought of an unhinged sheet and typewriter. Another collector-of the true amateur type-had duplicates and triplicates of valuable stamps mounted one under the other in a printed album. A third, apparently unwilling to spend a few dollars on regular blank album pages, used white typewriter paper and damaged all too many of his stamps.
Printed albums are wonderful for the beginner, or true general collector, but it is almost a rule that sooner or later every collector finds his interests going to one country or group of countries. The result is stamps in the margins, or on inserted pages. Blank albums are the answer to the more individualized problems. They lend themselves to normal stamps, blocks, margin copies and stamped envelopes. They can be lettered by hand, typewriter or machine, and can be decorated or not as desired.
The first rule, as noted, is neatness. More stamps are spoiled in mounting than could be imagined. Next comes placement. Hinging must be carefully done lest too much moisture cause the stamp to stick to the page, and therefore result in thinning.
Cellulose acetate mounts, though frowned on by the upper element, are desirable in many instances. The writer has used them, happily, for mint plate blocks and for souvenir sheets and full sheets. Though mounts are naturally more expensive than one or two hinges, they keep the material flat and "unhinged," and that is quite important in resale. Cellulose acetate mounts should always be slightly larger than the stamp, to prevent buckling.
The late Y. Souren, a dealer, practiced an elaborate theory in mounting even the most common stamps. He used black or gray heavy paper and cut it about an eighth of an inch larger than the stamp or enelvope to be mounted. He then carefully hinged the item to this backing paper (which served as an attractive frame) and mounted that to the album. When he transferred his stamps and covers from one book to another he never separated the stamp from the mount-he took the mount (with stamp) from the page, and therefore cut his chances of thinning to a bare minimum.
Other collectors use this mount theory and put a folded piece of cellulose acetate over all, leaving at least one side free to permit air to enter, while others mount an entire page and put that in a cellulose acetate jacket.