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Regular Features

The majority of this sit is given to my fairly random musings about stamps, especially as they pertain to Scandinavia. I cover general news, finds, bits and pieces from collecting and anything else of interest. I don't expect everyone to find everything "interesting," but if you DO... that's cool!

I do have a few "regular features" on this blog. Think of these as "recurring columns" of a kind... where I basically look at similar things... in a serialized fashion. However, I am not a "slave" to keeping any kind of schedule-- I add to these categories as the inspiration strikes me.

"Auction News" is mostly concerned with updates about major auctions that offer Scandinavian stamps for sale-- pretty much worldwide. Here, I'm talking about "brick-and-mortar" type auctioneers as much as anything-- not really eBay or online auctions... although, of course, most major auction houses now allow people to bid online. In general, what I post to this category is going to be a mixture of "reminders" to the world in general that the sales are happening... along with some more personal musings about lots I'm considering, bidding on, or just wish I could bid on.

"Commentary" is the "editorial" department of the blog, where I share news, views and ideas about trends and events across the entire spectrum of philately. Of all the departments of the blog, Commentary is the most "general" and the least concerned with Scandinavian philately, in particular. Here you might find opinions about the latest changes at eBay, or articles about people who have successfully brought new collectors into the hobby.

"Fine and Rare" is a periodic feature where I (confession time) show off some of the "gems" from my own collections. "Why bother?" you might ask. Because I've discovered that most collectors-- myself included-- really enjoy looking at "the rare bits" they don't have in their own collections, but aspire to. Of course, I don't own a lot of amazing rarities... but from time to time I do end up with some really nice items. All items here are from my personal collections.

"Variety Focus" is another regular feature in which I look at various stamps that have more (or less) "famous" varieties of some kind. Sure, you can look them up in a specialist catalogue... but I've always found it more informative to actually SEE the REAL variety in a photograph, than just a line drawing in a catalogue. Thanks to the wonder of high-resolution scanning, these varieties can now be shown online, up close and personal. I'm not necessarily going for great rarity here (as I typically can't afford it!), but just the noteworthy. All items here come from my own collections.

"Sales Chat" is basically me, writing updates about new things I have listed for sale in one of my sales venues online. Call it "shameless self-promotion," if you will... but hey, this is MY blog, right?

Someone once asked why I sell in so many places, and not everything in one. There are a number of reasons-- some to do with the type of market a site reaches, some to do with selling fees-- but the most important reasons is that because I'm a specialist collector, I tend to end up with a LOT of copies of the same stamp. Rather than offer 48 copies of Sweden number 35 in one place, I can offer four copies each, in 12 places... doesn't seem quite as overwhelming.

"Postmarks" is about the cancel collector in me... and in many other people. It's also my corner that's about  research and writing, as much as it is about stamps. The "format" for this column is that choose a cancel from one of my collections, specific to a particular place, and then present a little bit of both philatelic and geographical/historical information. Thanks to the wealth of information now on the www, a series of columns such as this is now possible. Perhaps one day I will have enough for an unsual coffee table book about stamps and places.

To see all the posts from any one of these regular columns, look for the "Regular Features" box in the right hand column, and click on whichever link interests you! This will bring up all the entries to do with that particular feature!

"Specialized Scandinavia" covers pieces I have written about one of my favorite areas of philately-- specialization.

After a while, we tend to run out of (or can no longer afford) the "next main number" to add to our collections-- so what do we do? One obvious answer many collectors choose is to specialize.

There's a misconception that specialization has to be "expensive," but it really doesn't. Many great collections can be formed around the study of single-- but quite common stamps. The neat thing about common stamps is that they often are printed in such HUGE numbers that lots of varieties and errors occur... and this is the domain of the specialized collector.