MISCELLANEOUS

dated May 23, 1953: Crash covers

From the Editorials: To the uninitiated, philately is a harmless pastime. If there be some who would pay fantastic sums for the stamps whose rarity value arises from some unusual error in the printing process, or from the fewness of the number of a particular set issued to celebrate special occasions, why, it is their pleasure and nobody is the worse for it. But when a stamp collector turns souvenir-hunter, his innocence departs from him. He becomes no better than peculiar people who derive morbid satisfaction from a contemplation of their own little Chamber of Horrors, where they hoard relics of human tragedies. Under the appropriate heading "Sad Stamp", a London newspaper publishes the facsimile of an envelope which was addressed to a person in London and which was salvaged from the mail carried by the Comet which crashed near Calcutta. It bears the rubber stamped legend "Salvaged Mail" — Comet Crash near Calcutta — 2nd May 1953. Under the picture appears a Letter to the Editor from the recipient, revealing the existence of a lively market for such Air Crash Covers. A stamp-dealer offered ten shillings for the salvaged cover. The dealer said he would probably make a modest cent per cent margin by selling it to a collector of Air Crash Covers, mail recovered from crash sites.

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