The Stamp and Coin Place Blog: connecting the past and present of stamp and coin collecting, and looking to the future.

The Society for the Suppression of Speculative Stamps

A stamp the likes of which the Society would protest.

A curious society arose in the late 19th century that had stamp collectors all in a tizzy. Some collectors were upset that the price of special stamps (namely commemorative stamps) were hiked to high prices and printed only with collectors in mind, rather than the general public.

It was a somewhat ridiculous complaint. This is the notice that the SSSS put out about the reason for its formation: “The Society, in conjunction with the Special Committee appointed by the London Philatelic Society, having taken into consideration the Stamps mentioned below, are of the opinion that they are not worth the attention of Philatelists, and appeal to all Collectors and Dealers to discountenance collecting or dealing in the same.”

The complaint received recognition, but it did not get anything to pass. Most philatelists dismissed it as hogwash. The SSSS was fairly small in number, and therefore did not have the ability to properly assert itself.

The SSSS’s eagerness to stop the issue of unnecessary stamps was perhaps a bit too eager, and as the Postal Service and most collectors did not see the point of the argument against such stamps, the society only lasted from May 1895 to their break up in 1897.

However, during the SSSS’s short lifetime, the Royal Philatelic Society London and the American Philatelic Society did support its cause.

This shortlived, and somewhat hilarious endeavor by a number of stamp zealots ended up with no other purpose than to keep its members occupied for a couple of years.

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