Homemade or Personal Stamps

I first became aware of personal stamps in 2004 when a correspondent in Israel sent me an image of three stamps he had produced. Three homemade Israeli stamps
My response was that they may be valid for postage, but they are unlikely to be catalogued because of the limited number printed. Also, the number of different stamps possible is almost limitless. Others were sent to me by correspondents in Canada and Finland, and I have been sent a link to a page where several of these stamps are displayed.

While it is obvious that these are homemade, it is surprising and, in my opinion, regrettable that some "official" stamps such as the Netherlands' Garden Birds of 2008 seem to have been produced using the same method. Even the "Collector Stamp" series from France have this "homemade" appearance. On Zazzle.com, one can find lots of these personal stamps with photographs of birds.

For now, I shall leave these "official" issues on my site, but continue to ignore the homemade stamps. I understand that if one soaked some the earlier issues to remove them from an envelope, the homemade part of the stamp would wash away from the frame!

Update 21 June 2011: For anyone interested in collecting these items, there is a splendid set from the Netherlands that has appeared on Delcampe. I have grabbed an image of the collection, as I expect it will go quickly. I noticed one error: between the Goldfinch and Nuthatch, the bird is labelled "Zwarte Mees" which is Coal Tit (Parus ater), but it really looks like Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)!

Added 26 February 2011

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