When is a Collection Complete

When is a collection complete? It could be as soon as all catalogue number items have been found or when the collector says it is complete. This became an interesting question for me in regard to my New Jersey 1937 1st Flight exhibit. This is a cachet cover collection/exhibit I started when I lived in New Jersey and within the last several years has become my exhibit project.

I have put together a two frame exhibit which I have shown several times and for which I have received consistent Silver awards. I like to think it is a work in progress as I aim to raise it to the Gold level.

One of the comments I make in the judges synopsis and on the title page is that it is a complete presentation of all the cachets and covers prepared for the one day flight around New Jersey. While this was true when the exhibit was prepared it is no longer true.

Enter e-bay. I check the site daily for covers related to the flight. I do see covers related to the flight, but they are covers I already have. I had just about given up hope of finding any new covers when all of a sudden a series of covers have appeared on e-Bay. Of course, I chase after them and for the most part have been successful. What I find amazing is that there is competition for the covers. For a long time I felt I was the only collector of these covers, but I am no longer alone.

However I can still continue my assertion that I have a complete collection – at least as of today.

PS I am always in need of articles. If you have sent an article and I have not published it, send me an e-mail to remind me: sipeditor@gmail.com.

2 replies
  1. Aaron Huber
    Aaron Huber says:

    Personally, I consider my collection complete when every space is filled on whatever album page I am using. With this in mind I go out of my way to use album pages that show a simplified or representative sample. Otherwise I know I’ll be going after expensive stamps that have a different perforation or watermark from the cheaper variety.

  2. Donald Chafetz
    Donald Chafetz says:

    I agree with the use of simplified album pages if you collect stamps. I happen to focus on covers which may or may not have a catalog listing. For the 1937 New Jersey flight I mentioned above there is no catalog. I tried to have the Air Mail Society list the covers in their catalogs and they indicated they did not merit catalog listing. As a result, I have no idea how many different postmarks/covers exist for this specific flight.
    But to me this is the beauty of collecting. There is always something new around the corner if you keep looking. This is even true for collecting stamps for album pages. You just might stumble upon a variety that is not pictured in the album.
    Thank you for your comments.

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