The art of stamp collecting

by PV05 September 2015 Last updated at 18:00 PM

VTV.vn - Stamp collecting is one of the world’s most popular hobbies, thanks to its affordability, educational benefits and historical value. What else can be found behind each stamps?

In order to find out more about stamps, I met Hoang Thuy Lieu. She is a stamp collector and also a stamp designer at Vietnam Postage Stamps. For many years, stamps have been a part of her life.

Hoang Thuy Lieu, Stamp Collector/Designer said: I started collecting stamp when I was a child. Being inspired by my older brother, I collected stamps that I got from my letters or from my friends’ and kept them in an album. As I grew up and started my career as a stamp designer, I had more opportunities to collect and understand more about stamps.

Lieu has designed more than 200 stamps to mark important events, special people, or anniversaries. Her other designs include regular subjects such as architecture, heritage sites, flowers and animals. As an insider, Lieu knows better than anyone how hard it is to draw and design a stamp.

"What makes designing stamps different from other types of art is that the information on a stamp has to be strictly accurate. A stamp set will be cancelled if any of the details are incorrect", Mrs Lieu added.

Once a month, Lieu invites her friends to come to her house. They enjoy tea time together and talk about their favourite topic – stamps. Vu Van Ty is a philatelist. Today, he has brought “Bamboo and Life”, one of his stamp collections that won an international prize.

Vu Van Ty, Stamp Collector/Philatelist, Former Permanent Deputy Chairman, Vietnam Stamp Association said: "A standard stamp collection should have 1 – 2 exhibits. Each stamp exhibit includes 16 stamp sheets that must have a theme which is presented with explanatory narratives."

Painter Pham Hao has another way to show his love for stamps. In 2002, he opened a “stamp market” for fellow enthusiasts in Hanoi. Thanks to meetings held every Sunday, Hao can meet lots of stamp collectors in Hanoi and find out more about stamp collecting trends.

"Stamp collectors used to collect dead stamps, which mean stamps that have been used. However, in order to preserve them more carefully, they are now switching to collecting “live” stamps, which mean stamps that have not been used. Other popular trends include the First Day Cover, Souvenirs Sheet and Maximum Cards.", Mr Hao said.
On May 6, 1840, Brittain issued the first stamp called the “Penny Black”, and since then people have been collecting stamps. Stamp collecting arrived in Vietnam quite late, but the hobby has been popular here for over half a century, drawing people’s interest from all walks of life.


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