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The Arrangement of a Cook Stamp Collection


My stamp collection is arranged as far as possible to tell the story of Cook's life and is split into the following sections: -

1. His birth and early life
2. The three voyages
3. His death

Stamps are given their place in the story by consideration of either the particular place or event on the design, or the event the stamp commemorates. Wherever possible I try to accompany the stamp with a postcard or picture of the original painting used in the stamp design. So far I have only succeeded in about two dozen instances.

Most covers fit in logically according to the event they commemorate and/or the postmark. (Similarly postmarks can be fitted in to correspond to the time Cook visited the particular place, although so far I have not collected straight postmarks from places on route).

This basis leads to a large number of stamps left without an apparent place in the collection. Many of these I have managed to deal with as follows:-

1. a special section containing stamps with a portrait of Cook based on the Dance or Webber paintings, or the Wedgwood medallion, and which do not fit logically into the life scheme outlined above;
2. at the end of each of the three voyages I have a page (or pages) with stamps showing the ship(s) used on that voyage;
3. a "miscellany", containing a few miniature sheets and covers which I cannot fit in anywhere else. Some of these items are eventually transferred to some point in the story when a connection becomes apparent.

I still have a few stamps whose designs are causing me problems, but hopefully these will eventually be sorted out.

As a non-competitive collector I am obviously free to please myself over what I mount and how I mount it, although I know many members do collect in order to enter competitions.

The main draw-back - I'm always having to remount the collection as new items arrive.

David Seymour

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 207, volume 6, number 3 (1983).

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