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Offbeat: Photoessay

By Divyanshu Dutta Roy

Even though it is one of the most popular as far as pursuits in pastimes go, stamp collection is rarely appreciated truly by people who don’t own a collection.
A visit to one of an auctions of rare stamps not only augers a greater understanding of the world but a deeper sense of respect thanks to stories of people from the land of philately. casual laid back atmosphere and the charm of a bygone era to bring you one of your most memorable experiences.

Stamp Auction Image

Organised by Todywalla Auctions, a well-known auction house in India and The Philatelic Society of Delhi, Delhi played host to a rare stamps auction much to the excitement of collectors in town.

Stamp Auction Image

The auction drew collectors and enthusiasts from all over the town as they gathered expectantly and sat patiently through the event that lasted nearly two hours.

Stamp Auction Image

While some sat down to bid and some others to note the value of stamps and their own collections, there were quite a few who were there just to be part of a world that few outsiders seem to truly appreciate.

Stamp Auction Image

But even as letters and post offices recede from the urban landscape the collectors of stamps certainly don't seem to be letting their passion fade away.

Stamp Auction Image

Mr Beji B Vimadalal, who left a regular job ages ago and today has been playing the auctioneer at almost a thousand of such auctions all over the country and even beyond for 36 years.

Stamp Auction Image

Mr Todywalla, whose company co-organised the auction, represents the new generation in his business that shows no signs of slowing down and has been actively leading the firm's operations.

Stamp Auction Image

The auction, even though dampened by a visit by an visit by an 'observatory visit' by the government tax department, saw quite a bit of buying.

Stamp Auction Image

At the last row sat the person in charge of noting down who the prize went to and for how much.

Stamp Auction Image

Buyers usually wish to remain anonymous and once inside the auction house, the paddles with bold digits on them become their identity.

Stamp Auction Image

Though it went unsold, this stamp commemorating Mahatma Gandhi was the most expensive one to be presented at the event with bidding starting at Rs 9.9 lakh ($15,500).

Stamp Auction Image

For collectors such as 65-year-old Mr Gautam Rohatgi, who has been collecting stamps for 55 years and has a collection so vast he doesn’t even know how many stamps he owns, the event was an interesting evening amidst people who understood why he does, what he does.

Stamp Auction Image

For 14-year-old Mr Chaitanya Bubna, who has just been handed off an extensive collection by his father, this was among his first events, reinforcing his initiation and participation in the fascinating world of philately.





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