Monday, 23 July 2007

FDC's. Their role in a stamp collection need to well defined. Point of view.

Do you consider FDC’s relevant to a classical stamp collector? No! Unless it is a letter carrying Penny Black sent on the date of issue or a similar item from before the concept of FDC's were invented. Could even very well be of a later date if genuinely a letter reflecting the proper postal rate.

But why are FDC's not terribly popular among advanced traditional collectors? Because their postal purpose is questionable. They are wannabe letters, but never become letters. A letter is basically a message to somebody who is absent. If the receiver replies you even have a correspondence. FDC's do not carry messages, they just mark an event. The stamp on an FDC furthermore often does not reflect a rate for services rendered.

These facts do not mean that FDC's cannot form part of a stamp collection. I am sure thematic collectors wellcome them. I myself include FDC's in my open class collection. They represent my theme and add to the variety of objects. Whether they fall in the category of stamp related material (50%) or non-stamp related material (50%) I do not know. The judges will surely tell me if the balance in my collection is out of order.

FDC's should be accepted for what they are. A collector's item marking an event. Problem is that suffisticated dealers sometimes make unexperienced traditional collectors believe that FDC's belong in a traditional collection and even may gain in value like traditional stamps and covers sometimes do. FDC's, however, very rarely do gain in value to the great disappointment of many a young collector!


maxim kolesnikov said...

I agree with your post but I think some clarification is needed. I don't think any of your comments would apply to "real" FDCs, i.e. regular letters sent on the first day of issue with the stamp paying appropriate rate and postmarked by an ordinary cancel. These "real" FDCs can form an interesting collection of postal history. There are collectors who collect this kind of FDCs. I have heard these covers are not always easy to find, but this makes collecting more interesting. :)

FDCs you describe are, in my opinion, just souvenirs that have no postal meaning. In this regard they are very similar to CTO stamps.

Svend said...

I understand what you mean and I agree with you. The ultimate letter in a collection of classic Denmark would be a letter stamped 1st April 1851 carrying a 4 RBS stamp. Such letters do exist but are very rare and terribly expensive. A full collection of such real FDC's would be very special indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Svend. I collect Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Rainier ephemera along the themes of their courtship and marriage. Lately, I have begun collecting stamps featuring either royal person,and both of them. If I have a chance to acquire an FDC marking the occasion of the royal wedding of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier, is it worth it because such an acquisition fits nicely into my overall collection? Is there no monetary value in such an FDC, or might there be some monetary value in the future? I realize it is not a waste to try to acquire this particular FDC because of my fascination with the story of Prince Rainier's courtship of actress Grace Kelly and their subsequent marriage. Thank you for shedding light on such an FDC for this amateur stamp collector (if I can call myself that at such an early stage).