Annual Convention Display 2

The Railway Philatelic Group
Page 8 – Collect on a Railway Theme

(We do not know who put together the following delightful thematic collection … but we would like to say thank you to whoever it was!)

Thematic collecting is now one of the most popular ways of collecting stamps. Instead of collecting (say) British stamps or Australian stamps, why not collect stamps with a particular theme of your own choice from anywhere in the world?

And if you are a collector of railway stamps, why not pick some aspect of railways and collect any and all stamps which fit into your theme – wherever they come from?

Rather than go on at length about thematics, the best way to illustrate what thematics is about is to show a real thematic collection (about something to do with railways, of course). And the chosen railway theme here is …

Stamp Collecting on the theme of    “Railway Toys on Stamps”

Everyone must have played with toy trains. You did (didn’t you?). As soon as the railways were invented, toy manufactures began to produce model engines and trains. Parents bought them for their children.

Various countries throughout the world started to issue stamps with pictures of trains … and then even pictures of toy trains! At first, the pictures of toy trains were limited to basic engines:

Tin Train (German)Clockwork Train (Swiss)Tin Train (German)

Then we get stamps with trains as part of a collage. We have here a large Swedish stamp illustrating a toy train, a toy aeroplane and a toy soldier. The toy train is a wooden model.

Here is a sheet of German stamps illustrating various toys. The toy train (top left stamp) is a tin-plate model.

There are further stamps which look at more developed toy trains:


Clockwork Train
(New Zealand)

Electric Train Layout
(Korea)

Electric Train Layout
(Romania)

There are stamps with pictures of toy trains for babies, toy trains for youngsters, and stamps with pictures of modellers playing with toy trains, boats and planes.

Toy Train for Babies
(Czechoslovakia)
Push-toy Train
(Korea)
Modellers' Club
(Russia)

The (unknown) author of this thematic collection included the following item in his/her collection. It is the box lid from a model train set made by MÄRKLIN, the German company (founded in 1859) which was famous for making all kinds of toy and model trains and railway layouts.

This item has nothing to with railway stamps, but it does have a picture of a railway set on it. The collector obviously liked it and made it part of the collection. That’s the beauty of thematic collection – it’s your collection, so you can include what you want in it.

(But note that, if you ever want to enter your own thematic collection into a philatelic competition, there are rules. And one of the rules is that items such as this box lid would not be allowable in a philatelic competition. That doesn’t stop you collecting whatever you want!)

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