My stamp collection is arranged as far as possible to tell the story of Cook's life and is split into the following sections: -
- His birth and early life
- The three voyages
- 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:-
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 207, volume 6, number 3 (1983).