Favorite Finds: Handmade Stamp Collage

Look at what I found at a yard sale a few weeks ago: someone took the time to carefully cut up postage stamps, most of them cancelled 20 and 22-cent stamps, and arrange them by color to create a collage of a visit to a park, ca. 1910. I made up the circa, but if you look at the clothing of the characters in the picture, the outfits convey an early 20th century feel with inflections of Mary Poppins. While the stamps are United States issue, the composition is certainly filled with British-isms, complete with the figure of a bobby gravely overseeing a little girl free of a parental gaze. The details get better and better the more you look at the picture, from the Chinese lanterns to the ticket seller to the nanny with a pram and a dog. The best part is, the entire collage is composed within the framework of a stamp itself, serrated edges and all — creating a composition worthy of the US Postal System.

This, frankly, is why pawing through other people’s cast off junk is worth it. Because every once in a while you encounter something that links you to the past — even if, as it is in this case, the past is just the mid-1980s when these stamps were issued —  in a way that restores your spirit in the ability of human beings to create the good life, piece by tiny piece.

7 thoughts on “Favorite Finds: Handmade Stamp Collage

  1. This blows my mind, Sarah. Can’t imagine the time and creative mind it took to make this. Curious as to the actual finished size of the composition.

    • I meant to mention the size of the piece in the post, so thanks for pointing that out. It’s 8 x 10″ — a manageable size (thankfully for the artist), not nearly as small as a postage stamp.

  2. “…restores your spirit in the ability of human beings to create the good life, piece by tiny piece.” I’ll say. I’m with the previous commenter: mind blowing. I’m in awe. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Absolutely delightful! The best piece of postage stamp art I think I’ve seen and so much more engaging than the somewhat abstract, pixelated-looking works that are more typical! You really have a wonderful find. I think I’d be returning to that yard sale location to inquire about any other pieces that might be hiding in someone’s basement!

      • It really is a fascinating art, and you’ll see what a treasure you have. My family has a metal wastebasket, covered in stamps and shellacked–made by my brother as a little boy–quite charming.

  4. Check out the stamps collages done by students in grades 5-9 at the Foxborough Regional Charter School, Foxboro, MA. They plan to eventually complete a total of 18 collages, each measuring 18″ x 24″, as part of the Holocaust Stamps Project, a Community Service Learning initiative which has just completed its fourth year. The school community NEEDS YOUR UNWANTED POSTAGE STAMPS as they continue to work towards collecting 11 million stamps, to honor every victim of the Holocaust genocide during World War II. So far, almost 3,000,000 stamps…have been donated, trimmed, and counted! Eight million stamps are still needed- Individuals, organizations, businesses, schools, are all welcome to participate by sending any quantity of postage stamps- new or cancelled, US or foreign.
    Google HOLOCAUST STAMPS PROJECT to most easily access the Project website!

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