Denmark's "Easy" Fifty
By Glenn Hansen
August 1997




At some point in my stamp collecting life I must have come to the realization that the constant reaching for the goal of having the most stamps was totally without meaning and I went in search of an area to specialize in.

First it was US commemorative issues, used, with socked-on-the-nose cancels, and I can vividly remember the joy I had when an understanding dealer allowed me to look through his choice material for cancels that would meet my demanding criteria. He paid me his highest compliment, "I have select copies set aside for my best, most discerning customers and you have an eye both for the best in condition and choicest of cancellations. I don't waste my time, or yours, by showing you anything less than that."

I later turned to Canada when some of the US commemorative issues began to pall on me. Here again I concentrated mainly on used stamps and accepted only the best available, willingly paying a premium for what I wanted. I eventually had a collection virtually complete except for the 12 Penny Black and a few other really choice, and expensive, items. Then, realizing I had reached the limits of my budget, and becoming disenchanted with Canada's modern issues and cancellations, I turned to Canada's Squared Circle Cancellations that were used during most of the 1890's, and in a limited sense, to about the mid 1920s. Here too I reached my budgetary limitation at the time when the collection had grown to nine volumes.

I had written catalogs and handbooks on my specialties by then and felt that the modern issues that appeared after Canada's Centennial Issue were for someone other than myself.

I had always had a second collecting interest: the stamps of Denmark, the homeland of my parents. Here for a while I had an extensive collection of everything in Denmark, with a degree of specialization in the numeral cancels. With H. E. Tester, I wrote a handbook on this interesting field. Then I retired and decided I needed a new challenge to interest me in my later years. This time I wanted something easy and simple, so I looked in my Aarhus Filateli Afdelning (AFA) catalog and found what I thought was the ideal field for me: POSTFÆRGEMÆRKER, a group of fifty stamps overprinted POSTFÆRGE for use on two ferry systems operating within mainland Denmark. In English these stamps are Ferry Post Stamps and are often called parcel post stamps in error.

Figure 2 Enlargement

This was going to be easy, fifty basic stamps, collect them used and mint, a hundred stamps. What could be easier? What a mistake I made! Not in choosing to collect these stamps but in ever thinking collecting them would be easy.




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