If you are interested in the Inverted Jenny stamp, Scott #C3a, then you have probably run across the name of Colonel Green. He is the collector who bought the full sheet of inverted stamps from the discoverer, William Robey. Colonel Green bought the sheet for $15,000, a magnificent sum of money in 1918. Colonel Green used the famous stamp dealer, Eugene Klein, the buy the stamps and Mr. Klein helped break up the sheet of stamps and sell some of the copies that Colonel Green didnít want to keep in his personal collection.
Have you ever read the history about Colonel Green? If not, Iíll share a few items with you to make my point.
Colonel Green inherited a huge sum of money when his miserly mother, Hetty Green died. She was known as the Wicked Witch of Wall Street. A shrewd investor, Hetty Green amassed millions of dollars before she died.
Colonel Green was interested in stamps. When his mother died, what did he do? He bought stamps of course!
Colonel Green went on to build one of the most famous collections ever known. Money wasnít an issue. He could buy almost anything he wanted. And he did. And to a certain extent, I think he enjoyed his collection.
However, if you read the whole story about Colonel Green (too long to print here), then my question is: was Colonel Green a collector or an accumulator? If you look at the facts behind this man and his collection, I say that he was an accumulator.
Whatís the difference between a collector and an accumulator? A collector spends times with his stamps and enjoys the philatelic treasures. An accumulator buys stamps and puts them away, many times never to be seen again.
Colonel Green did not take great care of his stamps. Some of the material he owned became damaged while under his care. To me, a collector would have taken better care of the material and saw to it that nothing ever happened to these wonderful stamps. An accumulator puts the stamps away without further regard for their long term care.
Colonel Green is a very famous philatelist. But when I compare Colonel Green to collectors like Stanley Ashbrook, John Luff, Carroll Chase, and others, those later figures were collectors who really studied their stamps and immensely enjoyed the hobby. I think Colonel Green bought stamps, got some joy out of them, and then tucked them away and went on to buying other stamps that he wanted. Iím not sure he ever went back and enjoyed the material that he bought in the past.
Are you an accumulator or are you a collector?