Philately

Philately, the study of postage stamps, stamped envelopes, postmarks, postcards, and other materials relating to postal delivery. The term philately also denotes the collecting of these items. The term was coined in 1864 by a Frenchman, Georges Herpin, who invented it from the Greek philos, “love,” and ateleia, “that which is tax-free”; the postage stamp permitted the letter to come free of charge to the recipient, rendering it untaxed.

In the 1860s a modest collection of 3,000 stamps could contain almost every variety of stamp issued to that time, but a similar collection in the late 20th century would need more than 200,000 stamps. With this in mind, Bamfords can appraise, value and catalogue anything from a single stamp, single issue, country or worldwide collections.

In addition to stamps, we can advise on postal ephemera, memorabilia and anything else connected to this popular hobby and interest.

If you have an item you’d like valued please visit us at one of our many Valuation Days or request an online valuation here.

Department Highlights