About Ruskystamps


   David Farndale
  (Philatelist, designer and publisher)

Just a paying hobby

I started collecting stamps when I was 10 - my Dad used to buy me GB First Day Covers and new GB stamp issues. From 1995 to 2014, I was CEO of a children's charity whose projects in Eastern Europe included Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and countries of the FSU.
During my overseas charity project visits, I developed an interest in Russian stamps (1858 to 1991) buying up small collections in the late 90s from street market sellers in Bucharest and Kiev as well as buying and selling through eBay and Delcampe. This soon got me searching for suitable Russia album pages but could find nothing I liked so I designed my own!
My main collecting interest is Russia (to 1991 plus banknotes and social stationery); Romania (to 1959); GB QV (FU); early Canada; Newfoundland; Tannu Tuva and Ottoman Turkey.

 

Background history

"The best printed Russia stamp album pages ever...easily justifies the time in transferring all my collection over!"
J.D. (Australia)

Perfect album search

I started my search in 2011 for an illustrated, one country album to house my Russia collection - one offering quality pages covering Russian Empire to end of USSR 1991.

I wanted an album system with bordered spaces for all numbered stamps in the SG Russia #10 catalogue. This included 'A' and 'B' perf./imperf. types, minisheets etc. The commercial albums (including expensive ones like Lighthouse, Davo) were far too minimal and/or didn't cover the stamp years I wanted. Some were just plain ugly!

I also wanted captions to individual stamps and 'proper size' album pages (i.e. not A4 or Am. Letter). Having researched all the commercial and one privately-produced illustrated album options, I just couldn't find what I was looking for so I decided to produce my own pages using Quark Xpress software from my publishing business days. Page sets are saved to PDF with no image compression (+-400Mb files) to ensure superb print quality.

Ruskystamps pages are 240mm x 282mm, fit many philatelic ring and some springback binders and place more emphasis on aesthetic display and information. Wherever practical, all stamp image borders are spaced well apart.

A few years after producing my own album, some other Russia collectors I knew encouraged me to offer my pages for sale - thus Ruskystamps was born. A very small, 'just paying' hobby business - with prices kept as low as possible.

Stamp Sources

I managed to grab some stamp bargains from street sellers in Eastern Europe.