After starting to collect the Polish Exile stamps I decided I needed stamp album pages for these stamps too. The stamps the Polish exile government in the UK had produced had proper standing amongst collectors and so there are several sources of stamp album pages out there. I used the pages produced by Mr. Steiner.
However, his policy is to only produce pages of stamps that have a listing in the Scott catalogue. Unfortunately, these stamps produced by the Poles in Italy do not have a listing in that particular catalogue, so he had not produced any pages for them. I asked him if it was okay to try myself and he gave permission to do so. You can download my few pages for the most commonly available stamps produced by the Polish forces in Italy here. I have not included all the different variations, as I am not interested in such things. And I wouldn’t know where to find the money for them either! Anyway, the pages are for free, so if you have some need for them: go ahead.
A few years ago I bought the Tuva 2000 Stamp Catalogue, a small but very colorful catalogue full of stamps of Tuva produced by Anders Backman of Sweden.
TuvaW, or Tyva or Tannu Tuva, is not a very well known area of the world, but amongst stamp collectors it enjoys quite some popularity. Why this is so, is not really obvious, but there are some reasons one can think of. The Tuva Republic originally only existed within the Soviet Union between 1921 and 1944. That doesn’t make it one of the most short-lived nations in the world, but it doesn’t make it exactly a longstanding nation either. The nice thing about it from a stamp collector’s point of perspective however is that a collection has a fairly limited scope: the numbering used in the Tuva 2000 Catalogue for the original series of stamps (the part which is usually collected) stops at 136. At first glance that makes it easy to collect these stamps, but they are somewhat pricy however!
Another reason why Tuvan stamps are quite sought after is there looks: they are quite marvelous. The Tuvan stamps came in all sorts of shapes, ranging from the conventional square stamps to triangles, trapezes and “quares on their sides” (in other words: printed at an angle). The stamps are colorful too: they come in a lot of different colors. Also important are the scenes pictured on these stamps: all stamps have a direct link with the Tuva territory and as such don’t feel so “fake” like the stamps of the Pacific Islands these days do, with their endless series of stamps for thematic collectors. No, these stamps were really of local interest. The depictions on the stamps are either wildlife and fauna, local sights, the daily life or Buddhist religious practices (like the Wheel of life in the first series). Okay, some of these stamps are nonsense, like the famous “camel racing a locomotive”, but then again, even such a stamp is not so out of place here.