Singapore Philatelic Museum

Singapore Philatelic Museum


Introduction :

Enjoying a beautiful sunny day, I took my camera to visit a museum (What? Visiting a museum without a camera? No, come on, stop kidding me…). Today, my choice is focused on the Stamp Museum, in other words, the Museum for the philatelists.


Location of the Singapore Philatelic Museum :



Located on Coleman Street, not far from other museums that will be soon part of my visityed places, and so of my articles, the stamp museum is not a museum for old people and is not dusty nor austere. It even has a facebook page!
In other words my impression of the stamp has been completely transformed.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Bâtiment



 History of the Singapore Philatelic Museum :

Initially, the museum was a simple colonial building, attached to the Anglo-Chinese school, built in 1906 and designed by the architects Tomlinson and Lermit.
In 1970, it became “the Methodist Book Room”.
This is only the 19th of August 1995 that the Philatelic Museum opens its doors in order to show the history, the development and the interest of stamp in Singapore.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Couloir



My visit of the Singapore Philatelic Museum :

I will not lie to you, this museum is for only two categories of people. The great fans / collectors and those who are curious about everything. Fortunately, I am part of the second category, because the stamp museum contains mostly … stamps. That is to say, for the uninitiated, small squares or rectangles (sometimes octagons or even triangles!) which stick on envelopes after you have licked them, unless you are like me and you buy stickers stamps (the purists will hate me for this insult).
Even though my curiosity led me to choose this museum, I maintained some reluctance to see entire walls covered with stamps … It’s not really the easiest topic to highlight.
What a surprise! The museum is doing very well by creating rooms with different thematics which ultimately makes the visit very attractive and cultural.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Anniversaire



There are four permanent exhibits can be broken down as follows:
– The Orange Room which retraces the history of the global stamp’s history from its invention (thank you English people) until today. There are also the evolution in its format, its materials and colors. This is both technical and artistic history.
– The purple room which explains the entire process of creating a stamp from its initial design to its final printing. There are also many explanations on the hunt for errors and how a stamp with defects is a significant asset for a true collector who respects himself.
– The rarities room which contains treasures of stamp’s history in Singapore. Some dating back to its introduction in the 1850s. I found it honest that the museum makes the effort to display a copy when the original is kept in conditions most suitable for its preservation.
– The heritage room, for its part, has no connection with the subject except the historical period, as it briefly described the history of the various peoples who immigrated to Singapore in the 19th century. There are many explanations about their traditions, cultural festivals, traditional costumes and musical instruments.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Histoire



In the corridors are also exposed stamps or elements linked to the post, such as mailboxes. But we can also see 3D stamps (on condition you have the red and blue glasses) and even luxury stamps, created by Swarovski with glued crystals on them (for the modest sum of SGD125 the set of two stamps).
There are also old used pieces such as buffers for dating postal mail before the automatic sorting machines take over.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Tampon



Once completed the permanent galleries, let’s climb upstairs to see with child’s eyes the two temporary collections.
When I visited, the first one retraced the entire route of spices and various maritime explorations and discoveries, made ​​by Columbus (discovery of the Americas), Magellan (first complete world tour) and Da Gama (discovery of the India’s maritime road).
The second one was about the year of the Dragon and quite frankly oriented to entertain the children with a playground, and small workshops discoveries.
All, of course, with complete albums of stamps about the exposed themes.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Dragon



There is also a room called “Lee Foundation Atrium” which traces the close relationship in the evolution of stamp between Siam (Thailand) and Singapore.
It is interesting to see how the evolution of stamp is closely linked with the conquests of the British crown. This is somehow the technological footprint left by the English in all counters they had enroute to India.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Atrium



My visit ends after 1:30 walking around and discovering the story of the stamp, its expansion in the world, its manufacturing process, and finally why people collect them, either for their rarity, their defects, or for the witness they bring about the history of the country.
As the exit of all museums around the world, there is a shop with souvenirs. But because here is Singapore, and people still have money there are some collectibles that really stand out. Such as this set of 30 stamps in gold plated solid sterling silver, that clearly target only advised collectors, passionate and wealthy.


Singapore Philatelic Museum - Timbres



My conclusion about the Singapore Philatelic Museum :

That’s it, the visit is over. I came in this museum, thinking “why not?” And I’m not disappointed. Despite the fact that I didn’t suddenly discovered in me the vibrant fibber of a philatelist, I had a great time learning a lot of things from an universe that was completely unknown to me.
You are living in Singapore? I recommend visiting this museum if you are passionate about the subject or if you want to learn about the subject. But if you’re visiting tourists with short schedule, enjoy your time visiting other places much more typical.