Collecting Stamps

Animals on Early Stamps


The animal world has been thoroughly exploited by designers of stamps and many curious products have they shown us. This creature with the fine open countenance hails from North Borneo but it is said that similar creatures have been seen by earnest philatelists after an evening of study in the billiard room of the Collectors Club, followed by a light supper of broiled lobster and welsh rarebit.

Very familiar to collectors are the camel of Obock and the Soudan, the Llama of Peru, the sacred quetzal of Guatemala -the transmigrated form of the god-king of the Aztecs–the lyrebird and Kangaroo of New South Wales.

New Foundland has pictured the seal and cod fish, Western Australia the black swan, Liberia the elephant and rhinocerous, and New Zealand the curious bird called the apterix, which is wingless and clothed in hair instead of feathers.

Tasmania shows us her animal freak, the platypus paradoxus, the beast with a bill, first cousin to our tailors and butchers, all of whom are beasts with bills. One more country has added to the philatelic “zoo” by placing a herd of cattle on one of the Trans-Mississippi issue. That it is a pretty picture cannot be denied but the connection between cows and postage stamps is not obvious.

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Nagaraju Tadakaluri
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