From Topical Stamp Collecting to Thematic Exhibiting

Tatty Yellow Bear Postman

You’ve got mail!

The Topical Time,  Journal of Thematic Philately, published by the American Topical Association just came in!

 Such a joyful moment. :-)


ATA Topical Time Magazine - January February 2012

The magazine’s front cover features an article by David McNamee, From Topical Collecting to Thematic Exhibiting  which storytells how he went from a “topical collector” to a successful “thematic exhibitor”.

‘ I have collected Pacific island canoes on stamps for more than 35 years. I have a exhibit built from this collection, The Canoe in Pacific Island Culture. I found out quickly that they are fundamental differences between topical collecting and thematic exhibiting. The following steps describes the issues that I faced as a topical collector thinking of thematic exhibiting for the first time. I learned a few lessons along the way that might be helpful to others.’

Source: Topical Time, February 2012

fiji-canoes-scott383-1977-set4-postage stamps

Fiji - 1977 - Canoes - Scott 380-383















Along with sound advice, tips and tricks, David talks about the path he followed to reach successful exhibiting, and his story will help many stamp collectors and philatelists understand why it is important to vary the elements on each page of an exhibit.

As the author points out,  developing “curosity about the “why” and “how” of your subject” brings you to the discovery of related philatelic or non-philatelic material such as artist’s sketches, watercolor essays, postcards, and more.

As an example, this Tonga’s non conventional shaped picturing bananas which were transported aboard canoes.


Tonga Banana Die-Cut Issues on Envelope - Postal History

Airmail cover sent Tonga to Auckland NZ 1977 11s Centenary plus 2s Banana & 4s Banana stamps used, nice commercial usage, 4s Banana has black error, part G & outlined lettering


The Ah-Ah Moment!

‘(…) Take time to find your story. I always had in mind to “do something” with my canoe stamps. I was not sure how I could make an exhibit out of a bunch of mint stamps and a few covers.  (…)

I just could not figure out the framework to develop the canoe exhibit.

After a lot of thought over a period of a couple of years, it finally came to me that the story to be told is the origins and dispersion of the Pacific Island people and their culture over the world’s largest ocean. The canoe was the vital link”! (…)

Source: From Topical Stamp Collecting to Thematic Exhibiting , David McNamee, in Topical Time, February 2012


nauru-canoe-stamps-1975-scott 127a

Nauru - 1975 - Canoes - Scott 127a

Short Bio

David McNamee exhibits Van Diemen’s Land and Tasmania in the United States and Australia. Also an APS-accredited Chief Philatelic Judge, treasurer and board member of American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE) and active locally, nationally and internationally in many other philatelic organizations. He resides in Northern California.

To learn more on how to bring to life all those beautiful topical stamps you’ve collected over the years, visit the  American Topical Association website .

Members at American Topical Association Show Booth

Members at the American Topical Association Show Booth


Topical Time - Jan/Feb 2012

Topical Time - January /February 2012 Vol.63 No 1.

Enjoy and talk soon,


ATA Member #48264


USA Go Green Stamps Inspires Wayne L Youngblood to Produce Amazing FDCs!


Journal of Thematic Philately by ATA - May June 2011 Edition

ATA's Journal of Thematic Philately - May June 2011 Edition - Going Green Topically

In the May-June 2011 Journal of Thematic Philately issued by the American Topical Association (ATA), I read with great pleasure Wayne L. Youngblood’s article titled: “Greenstamps Provide Topical Springboard” in which he relates his challenging experience of creating first day covers with the USA Go Green stamps released last April 14th.



Mr Youngblood’s creativity is amazing! Just to give you an idea, take a look at this wonderful philatelic collectible produced with the first stamp of the pane which descriptive reads: “Buy Local Produce, Reuse Bags”:

USA 2011 Go Green Private FDC  by Wayne L Youngblood

USA 2011 Go Green Private FDC by Wayne L Youngblood | Topical Time

And the above is just one fabulous example!

Get your hands on the May-June 2011 issue of the Topical Time to discover how the other 15 stamps of the series were matched with related documents by Wayne L. Youngblood to create fascinating first day covers.

The Journal of Thematic Philately is published bi-monthly and mailed out to all their members. Are you currently a member of the American Topical Association?

If not, I recommend you join as soon as possible in order to benefit from all the resources available to members only. Share ideas with worldwide stamps collectors all around the globe. The ATA promotes topical stamp collecting by encouraging the collection, research, and study of topical stamps and their subjects.

You will also get access to ATA published books, checklists and audio-visual programs. The ATA host and participate in many philatelic exhibitions. You can even get assistance to acquire or dispose of collections.

Call them up at 618-985-5100 or simply print the form below and mail out to the adress shown.

Believe me, it’s not an expense. It’s an investment into hours and hours of pleasure inside your hobby :-) .


American Topical Association Membership Application Form

American Topical Association Membership Application Form


Enjoy and until next, happy collecting!


Your Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)


Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Makes Cover of Stamp Collecting Magazine!

The multifaceted life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the creation of his fictional detective character, Sherlock Holmes, catches your fancy?

Sherlockian at heart?

Then you must read Robert A Moss’s article, Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes: A Philatelic celebration, recently published in the American Philatelist, Journal of the American Philatelic Society, August 2011 edition.

Robert A Moss, member of the Baker Street Irregulars, leads us with brio along a philatelic journey in which we discover gorgeous worldwide postage stamps and related philatelic documents honoring the literary works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his popular and beloved fictional detective character, the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

Seven beautiful pages jam-packed with illustrations of postage stamps, booklets, surcharged stamps and first day covers commemorating the fame of Conan Doyle’s creation.

(see postcard below to request a sample of American Philatelist magazine and a descriptive brochure of the membership’s benefits. Just print and mail out!)


Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle on stamps

In 1891, A Scandal In Bohemia , the first story of a series which were destined to become famous all around the world as ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes‘  appeared in the Strand Magazine.

Herbert Greenhough Smith Strand Magazine Editor

Herbert Greenhough Smith|Wikipedia

Herbert Greenhough Smith was one of the founders of the Strand Magazine and it was he who commissioned and edited Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.

“(…) Well I remember how, many years ago when the Strand Magazine was making its start in a tiny room at the top of a building in a street off the Strand – a sanctum approached through a room crammed with typewriters, with machines incessantly clicking – there came to me an envelope containing the first two stories (…)

What a God-send to an editor jaded with wading through reams of impossible stuff! The ingenuity of the plot, the limpid clearness of style, the perfect art of telling a story!”

Source: Conan Doyle by Michael Coren, Stoddart, Toronto Canada, c1995

American Philatelic Society Membership Postcard

Print this image, fill contact info & mail out to ensure you do not miss out!

Other Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Memorabilia


2009 Guernsey Post – Alderney

Sherlock Holmes and The Curious Case of the Alderney Bull.

” In another unusual philatelic development, Guernsey Post has also produced a “mystery pack”, which includes the full written story and special minting of the stamps on which there is an invisible image that can be seen only with the special magnifying glass supplied. It is a quirk which gives attentive collectors the chance to piece together additional parts of the plot of the Curious Case of the Alderney Bull. ”

Sherlock Holmes stamps with added mystery. Source:


sherlock holmes case of the alderney bull mystery packSherlock Holmes stories




sherlock-holmes-alderney-bull-set-six-stamps-marginsMNH set of six margin stamps – Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson


Sherlock Holmes - Case of the Alderney Bull - Presentation Pack - Sheet of 6

Purchase this beautiful set of six margin stamps

+ the mystery pack for only $ 36.95!

                                                       Shipping Woldwide  


Sherlock Holmes Posters & Canvas Prints Strand Magazine

Click on the image to view more attractive Posters available at


Wanting to have a Sherlock Holmes Poster or Canvas Print to adorn your wall? Choose from more than 30 different art print posters at Posters Store. Inspiring!

The Strand  Magazine was a literary sensation, especially with the publication of The Hound of the Baskervilles, one of the most popular of all the Sherlock Holmes stories for which the earliest film adaptation on record is a 1914 German silent production.


Happy collecting!

Talk soon,