April 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Ayn Rand, Stamp Collector

267808-1.jpgIn blue ink on blue paper, author Ayn Rand proclaims her passion for philately. The heavily corrected autograph manuscript of her article,  "Why I Like Stamp Collecting," touts the hobby as "a miraculous brain-restorer." Jacques Minkus' Stamp Journal published Rand's piece in 1971.

Rand began collecting at the age of ten but was forced to give it up when she fled the Russian Revolution. She returned to philately later in life, enjoying the fraternity of collectors, the thrill of the hunt, and the aesthetics of fine stamps. It is, the famous novelist writes, an occupation for "busy, purposeful, ambitious people." No doubt she would have described herself much the same way.    

The 16-page manuscript, along with a copy of the published article, is one of the highlights at this week's New York Antiquarian Book Fair. It will be offered by James Cummins for $7,500. The book fair opens on Thursday evening and runs through the weekend.

Image via James Cummins Bookseller.