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Philatelic Dictionary

  • A.C.E. - Art Cover Exchange.
  • A.P.O. - Army Post Office.
  • Above Privilege Number - A handstamp applied to a letter disallowed under the Franking system.
  • Accessories - Full range of stamp collecting tools and aids, e.g. tweezers, hinge mounts, perforation gauges, catalogues, stock books, catalogues and books etc..
  • Additional Halfpenny Tax - The Additional Halfpenny Tax was imposed on 8 June 1813 on all letters from England to or from Scotland to recover a levy paid to the Scottish Turnpike Trusts.
  • Add-on - A cachet design added to a cover which was originally uncacheted.
  • Adhesive - (i) Any postage stamp for attachment to an envelope, as distinct from the stamps impressed directly on to postal stationary. (ii) The gum used to affix a postage stamp.
  • Admirals - Philatelic term for for three British Commonwealth definitive series stamps; Canada 1912-25, New Zealand 1926 and Rhodesia 1913-19. All of which show King George V in his naval uniform.
  • Advertisement pane - A pane of postage stamps from a booklet in which one or more of the stamp-sized areas bears an advertisement or slogan.
  • Advertising Stamp - See Poster Stamp.
  • Aerogram - See Aerogramme.
  • Aerogramme - Printed and gummed writing-sheet designed to be folded and sealed to form a lightweight air-mail letter. Usually made of thin paper and printed with the appropriate postal duty. No enclosures are permitted.
  • Aerophilately - Area of stamp collecting which concentrates on stamps and mail carried by air.
  • Agency - Post Office maintained by one country in another countries territory.
  • Air Label - Small blue labels used by UPU member nations to denote carriage by air mail.
  • Airmail - Carriage of mail by aircraft. The first succesful mail flight was in May 1911 when a Captain Windham organised a flight at the Allahabad Exhibition in India. Special postmarks subsequently came into general use.
  • Albino - White or without colour; a postage stamp or overprint in which absence of ink has resulted in a colourless impression.
  • Album - Books used for mounting and display of stamps or postal history. They come in a great variety of colours, sizes and speciality topics.
  • Allen, Ralph - (b.1694, d.1794) Former postmaster of Bath, England and organiser of the first British provincial cross posts.
  • All Purpose Cachet - A cachet with a general purpose design that can be used for a variety of different stamp subjects.
  • Alphabet - A particularly distinctive set of letters used to print a postage stamp or overprint and which helps a philatelist identify the item precisely.
  • Ambulant - Word meaning 'moving' as used to denote a mobile or Travelling Post Office (TPO) in a cancellation.
  • Aniline - Oily liquid, originally distilled from coal-tar, used as the basis of certain dyes in postage stamps; in particular a bright-red ink, manufactured partly from aniline, which immediately penetrates between the fibres of uncoated paper.
  • Approvals - Stamps or other postal history and philatelic items sent on approval by a dealer to a customer who can study them at leisure whilst knowing the price asked. The customer buys whatever he chooses, returning the remainder with payment.
  • Apres le Depart - Too late.
  • Arrow - Small arrow markers appearing in the selvage as a guide for the cutting of a sheet of stamps into pre-defined blocks. Collectors save these as "arrow blocks".
  • Artistamp - Decorative or promotional stamps depicting artistic images, scenic pictures, portraits, graphic arts, etc., usually denoting the artistic abilities or works of art by a particular artist.  Artistamps are not issued by governmental postal authorities, therefore they do not bear any value for postal services. Usually of interest to topical stamp collectors.
  • Ausstellung - Exhibition.
  • Avion - Fr.; see Par Avion.

There's More To Learn About The Fascinating World of Artistamps!


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