The Race for Stamps

Nico Helling is Motorcycle Philatelist, he collects stamps with an image of motorcycles on it

"To have, have, have. To be honest I have a very greedy hobby. But that is just the essence of collecting, my collection of motorcycle stamps must just be complete. Next to that I want to categorize all. Usually people categorize their collection on country or year of issue.
Since my collection is judged on exhibitions, I make 2 main sortings: the general development of motorcycles and the use of them. I completely elaborate such a theme, including accompanying texts. To make them as informative as possible, I gather all background information from the internet. With the remarks of the jury I improve the texts for the next exhibition. That is the competition element of such an event.
As I remember Freek de Jonge ever described the tragedy of the collector: 'When you have a lot, you will find ever less'. I really regret when I return home with empty hands after a stamp fair. But if this is a tragedy? Sometimes I scrutinize 3 identical stamps to see which one has the most beautiful cancellation stamp, while some people in Africa will never see a stamp at all. That's what I call a tragedy. Despite this I can still be as happy as a child with a new stamp, but especially with the idea about what I can do with it. A tiny stamp can complete my thematic collection. When I have to pay 20 euro for it, I will do that. Normally I pay 1 to 3 euro per stamp. That's why I started collecting motorcycle stamps. When you have a country collection you sometimes face stamps of thousand euro. To my opinion that is too much, and as motorcycle enthusiast I already owned a few motorcycle stamps.
A few times per week I scan eBay for stamps. When you use the right keywords that is quite easy to do. Other possibilities are stamp traders or fairs. When I am searching for a certain stamp from let's say Bangladesh, I will browse at a trader through all his books with non-sorted Asian stamps. This easily costs me a Saturday. The beauty of stamps is not the key issue for me.
I have my favourites, but that is not the reason for my collection. The main thing is just to get the collection complete. Or more precisely: to get the story about the motorcycle complete in stamps. Off course stamps with a Brough Superior are nice, and in fact all stamps have something, but for me the most important is to have, have, have."

Source:            Moto73 (Dutch motorcycle magazine)
Sent in by:       Henk Janse


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