3. reference books

History of stamps, the methods of printing and collectors’ stories…  I like to find more about stamps through books.

Although many of English books I have never finished, I would like to introduce you my favourite books in a chronological order.


1980 “Royal Mail Stamps”
– a survey of British stamp design
by Stuart Rose / Phaidon Press, London

A stamp designer, who worked for the Post Office in the direction of stamp design, has written about stamp design in relation to the variety of issuing reasons, including policy pressures by Post Office and governmental guidance, as well as artists effort within printing methods.  It is really interesting to view a lots of sketches and unused proposals.



1987 “紋章の切手”
( Heraldry Stamps )
by Mamoru Mori / Taishukan Shoten, Tokyo

In Japanese language.  This book is introducing a lots of stamps with heraldry.  The author is a researcher in European Heraldry and historian of English Royal Family – and he admits that stamps are accurate historical resources as they are authorised by their governments.  The list of stamps in this book includes all European countries and their colonies, as well as regional heraldry often used even in the countries at the Socialism era.


1999 “Collecting Stamps”
HarperCollins Publishers, Glasgow

The first sentence of the introduction is – Stamp-collecting has been called ‘the king of hobbies and the hobby of kings’ – of course.

This book told me the anatomy of stamp collecting, include specialist terms and name of parts, type of collection, how to float used stamp off the envelope and Cyrillic letters to identify origins.  Very useful in many ways if you are new to this hobby.


2010 “切手が伝える暦と時計の世界史”
( History of Calendars and Clocks on Stamps )
by Hitoshi Kushida / Sairyu-sha, Tokyo

In Japanese language.  This book is based on a collection by the author who had worked for Seiko, one of the largest Japanese clock and watch manufacturers.  The author has a wide range of interests around the theme of Time – from ancient Chinese calendars on stamp to environmental concern issue features clock to warn limited time with us.



2010 “切手帖とピンセット”
( stamp album and tweezers )
by Ikumi Kato / Kokusho Kankokai, Tokyo

In Japanese language.  This book introduces 50s – 80s stamps from all over the world, under unique dimension such as ‘collaborations between artists in Laos and engravers in Paris’ or ‘Albert I’s contribution to Monacan stamps on Oceanography’.  This book contains several experts’ essays, include design critic Hiroshi Kashiwagi’s ‘industrial propaganda and stamps in Soviet Union’.

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