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Topical World Stamps - Cycling
Bulletin #: 23
An important peripheral collection venue related to bicycles is the collection of postage stamps featuring or showing bicycles. Through the efforts of the authors and members of the Bicycle Stamps Club, a comprehensive listing of worldwide stamps dealing with bicycles and cycling has been prepared. This list is computer-based and is updated with new issues on an annual basis.
While the master list has been extensively researched by collectors in many countries around the world new finds are occasionally unearthed amongst back issues, although these have become rare events. It is felt that the known list does an excellent job in total coverage of the subject.
The master list is by country or by year of issue. It names each country, the date-of-issue, the Scott and Michel catalog numbers of the issues, the quantity in the set, plus accompanying souvenir sheets. In addition, information is shown as to perforate and imperforate varieties, and contains a brief description of the subject or purpose of the issue. A single line is devoted to each separate officially issued postal item.
For a stamp to be considered bicycle related and to be listed, it must show at least one of the following:
Additionally, exercycles are included, but wheelchair devices and scooters are not. The bicycle subject depiction can be a major portion of the stamp design, but also can be very small. An occasional bike stamp has the bicycle image as such a minor portion of the design that a magnifier may be required to identify it.
The total collecting scope covers a broad range of years and countries. Regular postally valid government issues were prepared as follows:
A total of 206 different countries from around the world, with 72 of these having issued 10 or more bicycle stamps. East Germany was the major source, with 60 different regular issues. The United States has had 16. A number of listed countries have issued only one or two.
Other subjects represented on stamps that include a bicycle are:
Sports, transportation, scouting, safety, animals, circus, manufacturing, export, mail delivery, cartoons, scenery and buildings, military, and bicycle history.
The sporting theme is the largest by far, with bicycles shown in many worldwide events, such as the Tour de France, Balkan Games, Bolivian Games, the Peace Race, SEAP Games, and most important of all, the Olympic Games. The number of bicycle related issues are markedly higher during the years of the Olympic summer games.
Collectors interested in the broader scope of stamp collecting, particularly in reference to future enhanced values, should take the following varieties into account:
Topical Stamp Issues
There are a number of dealers who are devoted to topical stamp issues, and these are the best sources for interested collectors. The average dealer no longer acquires new issues, but many of these are good sources for the older varieties.
For the dedicated collectors, other postally related stamp items include:
Prices of the stamps identified on the computer listing range from a few cents to many dollars, with most single items being only a dollar or two. Most dealers will not break up sets, so the cost of collecting the individual stamps is increased. However, in the event of resale at some future date, the value would be enhanced by having the entire set available.
Scotts Standard Postage Stamp Catalog