how many people look at cancelations. well this person obviously did. in the world of stamp collecting the art of cancelation is laboriously followed by some. the world of the philatelist is filled with countless and unusual titles about the subject: the cancellations of waterbury, connecticut from 1865 to 1890, twentieth century united states fancy cancels, the new york foreign mail cancellations 1870-1876, obliterations et marques postales des etats-unis. of this world one of my favorite categories is fancy cancels. before there were cancelation machines, the individual postal clerk or office would often make their own rubber stamp to cancel a stamp. some of these examples are glorious; carved pumpkin heads, skeleton heads, all types of shapes. this particular collection doesn’t have any fancy cancels but i love it nonetheless. believe it or not this is something i don’t collect. there is so much to love about this collection. the simple rows. the beautiful colors. the repetition. the care in which they were cut out. the handwriting at the top. order. simplicity. color. why did someone collect these cities? what was so special about them? it appears they were collected mostly around 1860. i expect a philatelist specializing in england could shed some light on this particular collection. i am only left to speculate and admire. i recall many of my purchases and this one is no different. this was purchased at the annual epherema fair held in greenwich connecticut. it is usually a high priced affair with few bargains. i don’t think i paid much for this piece. thirty five dollars i seem to recall. i didn’t haggle because i bought a few other things from this dealer. beauties in themselves. paul rand book jackets. no books just the jackets. in perfect shape too, but that’s another story. this little collection wasn’t displayed but was found in a portfolio with all kinds of items. i was thrilled to discover it. i have spoken about my desire to collect ‘collections’, this defines my category of ‘collections of collections’. i do not attend these shows with expectatios as i once did. i am no longer the first in line nor eager to make the definitive find. i have now subscribed to the mantra: whatever turns up. my approach to this blog too!