Earlier this year, I saw an editor for the Guardian Australia musing on Twitter that she was interested in publishing Lists of Things. I suggested that I could nominate Australia’s Best Ever Stamps. The joke was on me. She took me up on it.
I decided early on that this wouldn’t be a dusty list of all the old classics. It would be MY idea of Australia’s Best Ever Stamps, taking into account their story, their significance, or sometimes, just their looks.
The result was published last week and you can read it here!
Edit: now with working link! Apologies if you had to navigate over here from the email. The benefit of reading my blog here instead of in your emails is that here, I can fix my mistakes. THIS WHOLE POST HAD ONE JOB! 😖
Now, here’s my confession. This was HARD! I felt that I had some obligation to try to be objective, and not just pick all of my faves. And it’s very restrictive to think in terms of individual stamps, and not ‘issues’ (though I did cheat with two entries that won’t surprise long-time readers). Then I noticed how often I was hitting on the same themes – lots of art and animals, mainly – so I thought I should mix it up. I wanted to squeeze in a few subtle messages (like how you can actually still use stamps), so it’s feasible that some nominees might have made the list more for propaganda reasons than genuine greatness. And throughout it all, I thought it might be a good idea to try to make the whole thing, you know, readable. Even interesting.
Surprisingly, my article didn’t lead as the main-page headline, which is a shame, because it was clearly vastly more important subject matter than the national election campaign that was underway. Nonetheless, I had lots of lovely feedback from both collectors and non-collectors. I was even invited to chat on a couple of radio shows. I haven’t spoken to any dealers since then, but I can only assume there was a rush on sales afterwards.
Try this yourself! Pick your nation’s Top 10 stamps. (I did 13 because I had some word count to spare.) Can you separate your nation’s best interests from your own? Leave your list in the comments below. I’d love to see them.
In the meantime, I wonder if the Guardian will let me submit my list of the other 13 greatest Australian stamps…