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Posted Oct 15, 10 17:09 by Knud-Erik Andersen (knud-erik andersen)

Scarity of items in exhibits

As there now have been talked abot scarity of items in an exhibit, I would like to know the preferred way to descripe an item which is the only known/registered.
As some of you know, i have a gold medal exhibit of Danish Postal wrappers and have been registered wrappers sent abroad for almost 20 years and have in my collection many "one known/registered" but now I have been in dout how to write this best in my exhibit.
I have written "1K(nown"" and added a red dot, to help the judges to find them. :O) Besides this I have made a list in my synopsis of the best items.
The former exhibit can be seen here:
Despice it's in Danish, I think you can see how I treat it regarding scarity.
Now I would like to know - is it Ok or how would you do it?
I know this isn't US material but I think the main question is universial. :O)

Best regards
Knud-Erik Andersen

Posted Oct 15, 10 17:37 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Knud-Erik:  the dots are a common solution.  Others mat significant items on a contrasting color.

Either way, the title page must offer a clear explanation of what those colors or dots mean, and should explain the basis on which you are stating they are the only known (i.e., based on your 20 years of census data, etc.). 

Posted Oct 15, 10 17:43 by Stephen Tedesco (steddy)

SFC to France

Richard Your suspicion is now confirmed. I soaked the stamps and the 15c did not originate. 

The ink on 15c extends to the end of the perf. tips and then was placed underneath the 2c stamp. This shouldn’t be the case because the 2c overlapped that area. The outside edge of the 15c stamp was nibbled away for a better fit around the perf corners.  There was no trace of original gum on either the stamps or sheet. If the 2c stamp originated it was lifted and re-worked to fit. Both stamps show no crease on the back. The lack of re-entry would now confirm my suspicion was correct.  

So how did I end up with this cover? The rate, which I hoped at the least would turn into an over-payment. I’m guilty of what most collectors probably wouldn’t admit too. Buying a rate or fragment and wishfully thinking it could remain anything more then speculative. I wouldn’t have the piece in my exhibit regardless of what the certificate stated. The item is to old to have returned to the auction house.  

Posted Oct 15, 10 18:59 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

David B............

Davids's point about "importance" not having to be solely philatelic importance is well taken.  I believe a thundering, historically important, philatelically used,  item such as a letter discussing something that every school child knows from history class, will gain many "importance points" and favor from the judges.

Including such historically important items in a philatelic exhibit demonstrates, I believe, a level of sophistication well above the norm.  A perfect example is George Kramer's July 4, 1776 letter written by John Hancock  at Philadelphia........ just kind of important.

Posted Oct 15, 10 19:08 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

I wanted to share a point of amazement I had today.  I ordered a new memory card for my camera from at 8:50am this morning.  It was just delivered to my house at 3:50pm today......... seven hours later!!!  The cost....... $5,99 total shipping, no sales tax.

Gone are the days of the Sears catalog!

Posted Oct 15, 10 20:06 by Scott Trepel (strepel)


Bernard B:

You will have to follow the thread for the past two weeks or so to see how people define "important".

My own instinct is that at various times, in various places, there were brief moments of inspiration (Hill's Waterbury's), innovation (1844-45 Independent Mails), desperation (Civil War Special Routes) and facilitation (Provisionals) -- or a combination thereof (Pony Express) -- that created extraordinary and rare postal artifacts.

You asked why I think the Franklin Carrier is important and wrote "I think the 1851 carrier is very nice, wonderful even, but maybe not very important."

You are probably influenced by its place at the back of the Scott Catalogue. Both the Franklin and Eagle Carrier stamps should be listed up at the front, along with the rest of the 1851-56 Issue. They were authorized by the government to pay the carrier fee, which is a government postage charge for letter mail. We don't put the 2c Black Jack in the back of the catalogue, do we?

I consider the Franklin Carrier stamp "important" because:
- It was the first of its kind (a General Issue Carrier stamp, as opposed to a carrier department's homegrown issue)
- It is distinctive (no denomination, just the words "Carrier Stamp")
- And it is extremely rare, which some might argue does not make a stamp or cover "important", but I think it helps, because to own one is to have something very few people can possess.

Posted Oct 15, 10 20:16 by David Benson (dbenson)



I think you may have misunderstood my comment, Importance has nothing to do with items in the collection but the scope of the collection especially relating to the title of the exhibit.
That particular items of George Kramer would have earned him some brownie points in rarity as that " should " include items of philatelic importance as well as social or historical importance,

I have an item in my collection of historical importance but I have never heard a comment from any judge about it even though it is highlighted and in my opinion well annotated,

interestingly it has a 1930's Royal London certificate stating it is genuine and written by the future King George V to himself. KGV never went anywhere near Tonga and it was sent by one of his naval friend most probably enclosing the latest issues.

David B.


Posted Oct 15, 10 20:55 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Henry M,

Actually, almost all the improvements in FIP GREVs and SREVs have worked their way up from United States national initiatives, plus a few from Australia. As critical as I am that our national criteria have grown too lax, I still prefer our process to the FIP's. I have taught both APS and FIP judging seminars. APS criteria have the great advantage of explanatory paper trails (written legislative history), whereas FIP criteria were often adopted under conditions that would cause a Chicago politician to blush.

It's true that the proportion of U.S. exhibits qualified internationally is lower than other countries, which reflects the same democratic proclivity. The great majority of our collectors don't care about FIP, and many of those who do care are opposed to our participation. 

The United States accounts for approximately one third of the global stamp market. All of Europe is another third, and the rest of the world covers the balance. We have nothing to be ashamed of in that regard. 

The problem that concerns me afflicts both ends. For the hobby to thrive, the elite that controls the FIP needs to relax its grip and not just condescend to the larger world of stamp collectors. And APS national exhibitions need a greater appreciation of the importance of hosting the owners of legendary material so those owners will make it available to all of us. As it is, they exhibit only long enough to qualify for the FIP, and then disappear, otherwise making appearances only at Claridge's and Monte Carlo.

Posted Oct 15, 10 21:51 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Quoting Ken Lawrence....."The great majority of our collectors don't care about FIP"

Amen.  I am finally part of the great majority.

Posted Oct 15, 10 22:29 by William Cummings (billcummings)

David Benson

Dave: I assume that a number of us have mentioned that on the list of dates, the date on the Tonga cover for Auckland should be 29th July, not 19th May.

Posted Oct 15, 10 22:57 by David Benson (dbenson)

Tonga cover


That page was rewritten last year when it was reported to me that there were typing errors. The scan was still on my computer and I didn't realise that it was an old one before corrections,

David B.

Posted Oct 15, 10 23:33 by David Handelman (davidh)


Knud-Erik: I think that what's most important is to explain (presumably in the synopsis, if the exhibition permits them them, otherwise on the title page) how you derive the claim that the item is unique---e.g., recent, rigourous census, or years of research, and/or carefully looking through auction catalogues (if the item is important enough to be listed as a separate lot), ...

I find the red dots distracting. Also, use of all-caps (ENESTE KENDTE..., which I guess means only known or one known) detracts from the visual impression; instead, why not use lower case roman (upright), since the rest of the text is in italic. (I also find that italic en masse is relatively difficult to read; but maybe that's just me.) The grey album pages make the text less readable as well, so might justify the (very) occasional use of bold.

Posted Oct 15, 10 23:34 by David Benson (dbenson)



re your comment,

" The United States accounts for approximately one third of the global stamp market ".

The market has nothing to do with the number of collectors or exhibitors and to quote figures regarding the market is misleading

I can see many things wrong with the FIP but also many things right, I can also see with the attitude mentioned here why Peter McCann never got elected,

p.s. why is it that the US FIP representatives seem to be noticed by their absence on the various Chat Boards,

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 2:24 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

High lighting


This is something I have agonised over for some time. Like you, in my exhibit, I am fortunate to have much material which is not replicated elsewhere.

For the very first time in Portugal I decided to take this issue by the scruff of the neck, stimulated, I must admit, by Stephen Tedesco. Each of my covers is mounted on a light grey/blue backing. I then additionally mounted the more significant items on RED card. And where possible gave the item room to breathe. I asked Peter McCann what he thought and he agreed it certainly did help to draw the judges attention. But do no more than about 4 per frame or they lose their effectivness. The danger is that when you do have rather special material it can get lost in a whole lot of specialessness and it simply does not get noticed. I regret that I did not earlier learn to either talk up my material or 'show it off'' better. Of course, one has to watch against hyperbole but better items MUST get attention.

Oh, and one other thing. I took advice and I think 'one recorded' is better than 'one known'. Nick

Posted Oct 16, 10 3:52 by Hugh Feldman (feldman)

London 2010

David B.

Tay was the team leader and the other judges in the team were Sato from Japan and Stephen Schumann who I know well, in fact we had a day out in the Livermore Valley with him and his wife in late August this year on our 5 week tour of the USA. 

Posted Oct 16, 10 8:52 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)



One benefit of retirement is it relieves me of the last influence in favor of diplomacy, and I wasn't much for mincing words before. What goes around comes around, they say. Judging by FIP presidential correspondence leaked to the U.S. delegation, Ray Todd was embarrassed by your complaints to FIP against me several years ago, which I'm told reflected badly on Australia, especially after the allegations were deemed groundless. From these shores, those were all reasons in support of disengagement. Linn's used to run editorials opposing our participation. My own efforts sought reform and compromise, though never to the satisfaction of FIP insiders.

Posted Oct 16, 10 9:05 by Stephen T. Taylor (UK) (stevetayloruk)

Robert E Lee letter to England 1864

Exciting discovery on this side of the Pond.  According to the American Civil War Society UK, Ferguson was sent to Manchester in Sept 1862 to procure blankets, uniforms, etc from Yorkshire mills, working with blockade runners in Liverpool to supply the ANV.  Checked Siegel, Virginia Historical Society, and Washington & Lee University websites but couldn't find another example of a letter written by Lee going overseas - is anyone aware of another from this correspondence?  Shame that the cover that carried this letter is missing - that would be great blockade item!

Hdqrs Orange Co (Virginia) 22 Apr ‘64

My Dear Major,

I duly rec(eive)d your letter from England of Nov(ember) last & have often wished  to thank you for your kind sentiments & high appreciation of the Army of N(orthen) Virg(ini)a.  The difficulty of communicating  with you has prevented, but I can no longer resist the desire to express to you my gratitude for your well wishes & prayers for our safety & deliverance.  I heartily unite in your petition to the Giver of all Victory that he may graciously guide & direct us in all our operations & give us peace with our enemies & peace with Him.   That he may bless you in your labours & restore you in safety to your family & friends is my fervent  prayer.  I am very much obliged to you my dear Major for the uniforn & blanket you so kindly sent me.  I beg you will not add to your troubles by administering to my comfort.  We have partly owing to your efforts & partly to the exertions of our people everything we actually want.  All else we can dispense with.

Truly & gratefully yours,  (signed) R E Lee

(Major J B Ferguson C S Army)


Posted Oct 16, 10 10:36 by Stephen T. Taylor (UK) (stevetayloruk)

Robert E Lee letter to England

Following message from John Kimbrough, with his permission:

"That is truly a great find. It is definitely Lee's handwriting and signature. There are no known covers from Lee to an overseas destination in the war years, and there are no other letters that I am aware of.  I do have a Lee cover in his own hand in my own personal collection that goes overseas from Lexington, Va to London, England but it is post war in 1866. John"

Posted Oct 16, 10 10:38 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Historical Importance vs. Philatelic Importance

David B.................

You are correct and I was technically incorrect with my "historically important" example.  Yes, Philatelic Importance emanates from the subject ........... but I feel that, what I define as a thundering historical item, is very different from a "rare item" or an only known example.  I defined a "thundering historical item" as a letter (philatelic item's content) that details a very important event any school child would readily be able to tell the story of and, I will add this, 95% of the people on the floor of a show could also relate that historical event.

An example might be a letter, with the envelope it mas mailed in,  written by a Dallas woman on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 relating in detail what she just witnessed while she was standing in Dealey Plaza.  Or the wonderful letter from the Risvold collection written by Dr. Livingston right after he became the first white man to see Victoria falls (everyone knows "Dr. Livingston, I presume").  This does not include envelopes franked by General Washington but would include a letter, with address panel,  written by Washington from Valley Forge describing the harsh conditions of the winter and the effect it was having on his troops.

It is a personal belief that the inclusion of such material, given the appropriate subject, will become more prevalent in philatelic exhibiting as time progresses.  I believe such material resonates an additional level of sophistication attained by the exhibitor and will enhance how the exhibit is received.  This evolution will occur over quite a few years.

I hope this makes my point clearer, something I failed to do in the previous post.

Posted Oct 16, 10 10:41 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

It Is Out There!!

Steve Taylor...............

What a great item....... I bet you the envelope, though separated, just might be out there somewhere.  There are such cases where the two are found independently...... keep looking!!

Posted Oct 16, 10 11:44 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Posh Hotels

Ken Lawrence.

Ken, do not infer so much from the hotels at which folk stay. When a penniless youth I thought I would try to impress a girl friend with my wealth and worldliness. I booked us dinner at the Savoy in London. In fact I was neither rich - working in a brick factory at the time - nor wordly. My rusting Mini Minor was whisked away by a doorman who was better dressed than I. And they wouldn't let me in until they had provided me with a jacket and a tie.

To make matters worse it was all to no avail. She  most sensibly decided I was a bit of a phony and stayed with her then boyfriend. Such is the path of true love. I never got passed pecking her cheek. Nick

Posted Oct 16, 10 11:48 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)



I don't know where they stay. That's where they show their stamps and covers to one another, beyond view and earshot of the rabble. 

Posted Oct 16, 10 11:52 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Video Online

At this year's TPR I experimented with video. I am having some problems with internet viewing by people with real computers - seems to work fine on MAC-based systems.

Anyhow, a link to HTM page with Steve Walske's presentation on Fur Trade Rendezvous mail is here. (link revised to newer page)

Any feedback on how to make this compatable to PC and IE8 would be appreciated. Doesn't seem to work on PC with Firefox browser either.

Posted Oct 16, 10 12:20 by Jim Watson (jimbonita)

Taos Video Experiment

Video works just fine for me on my PC with Apple QuickTime installed.  I have Firefox 3.6.10 working with Windows XP (no Vista or Windows 7 and certainly no IE).

Posted Oct 16, 10 12:24 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Thundering Historical Item

In a dual sense, many consider pony express covers as "thundering" historical items...maybe just galloping.

Posted Oct 16, 10 12:34 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Request for Assistance

Chip spotted this letter, now my earliest New York Crystal Palace artifact. I need some Board expertise, please.


Posted Oct 16, 10 12:36 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Here are the address and postmark panels. I'd like to know how this letter got to Britain, who might have mailed it, where it was postmarked and canceled, and where Col. Aspinwall received it.


Posted Oct 16, 10 12:57 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Crystal Palace

I was wondering if you were going to acquire that.

I don't think it went anywhere but London. The letterhead, though for the NY Exhbitition, has a London address and byline. I think that this might have been a London office for the exhibition organizers.  It appears that the London office received something from the NY office (by steamer "Pacific") and was forwarding it under the cover of this lettersheet.

The red datestamp on the back appears to read March 5, matching the internal date.  The black "76" numeral is a London Distric cancellation (numbers 50-79 were assigned to the London Chief office. <50 were sent to specific stations) and is appropriate for both the dateline and cancellation.

That would be my analysis.  What makes you think that this lettersheet  originated in NY?

Also, does the the red wax seal have traces of the word "Nation" at the right?

PS - if there was an enclosure that took the weight to >1/2 oz, that would explain the 2d to mail

Posted Oct 16, 10 13:23 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Crystal Palace


Thanks. I guess you're right. I thought the secretary had signed it at New York, but I see now it's a name different from the New York secretary.

The seal is [EXH]IBITION [OF THE INDUSTRY OF] ALL N[ATIONS] around the oval, with NE[W-YORK] in large letters across the middle.

The enclosure listing the committee members would have increased the rate over the single letter half-ounce amount. I have examples in other correspondence.

Posted Oct 16, 10 13:29 by William Crowe (wtcrowe)

Taos Video Experiment


I am using a laptop with Windows 7 and IE8. Using Windows Media Player it ran just fine. It starts out in a small window, but shows fine in full screen mode. Incidently, it also worked just as well using AOL 9.5 which is unusual since AOL and your board do not like each other (I can not post while accessing through AOL)

Posted Oct 16, 10 13:42 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Ken - I agree with Chip.  Still a great addition to your collection of CP items.

Posted Oct 16, 10 13:46 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)


Bob Glass (or any other person connected with Chicagopex)

Bob, could you confirm whether my 8 frame exhibit is accepted or not? Back in March you said acceptence letters had yet to go out - I applied in Feb.

My emails to you are now getting bounced. Thanks,

Nick Kirke

Posted Oct 16, 10 13:54 by John Cunningham (panexpoguy)

Exhibiting question

For a marcophily exhibit, would it be appropriate to describe an item as a 'discovery copy' of a marking if that were the case?  If so, what would be the value added to the exhibit?  If it should be mentioned, would you mention it in both the item description and the synopsis, or just one?


John C

Posted Oct 16, 10 13:55 by Hugh Feldman (feldman)

Crystal Palace Item

Ken L.

Their is a portion of a London Letter Receivers office stamp in blue on the back which is unreadable and of course the letter was a double weight one hence the 2d. stamp.

Posted Oct 16, 10 14:26 by Bob Bramwell (rudy2donline)

Crystal Palace item

Ken -
Writer seems to be Wylie Barrow.  Not sure, but google seems to think there is an English/British jurist of that name and same period.  Good hunting.

Posted Oct 16, 10 15:17 by Mike Ludeman (mml1942)

Taos Video Experiment

I am using Vista and Firefox 3.10.6 and Apple QuickTime 7.6.7 (not the most current version).  The video plays fine on this system.

Richard, this is a great idea.  Thank you.

Posted Oct 16, 10 15:46 by David Benson (dbenson)



as usual you did not answer the question so I will repeat it,

re your comment,

" The United States accounts for approximately one third of the global stamp market ".

The market has nothing to do with the number of collectors or exhibitors and to quote figures regarding the market is misleading,

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 15:53 by David Benson (dbenson)



of course, historically important items add points to an entry whether it is in Postal History, Traditional, Thematic, Airmail etc. and would be included in Rarity. The Points do not belong in Importance.

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 15:56 by abraham siegel (curlyy)

#499 AEF booklet pane

Hi,...Can someone provide the exact dimensions or other identification regarding single copies from the pane....thank you...abraham siegel

Posted Oct 16, 10 15:56 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Here's another fact: United States collectors own 10.4 percent of all FIP-qualified exhibits.

Posted Oct 16, 10 16:05 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

AEF booklet stamps

Abe Siegel,

The units of measurement vary. What's important is the paper grain. Booklet stamps are wider and shorter than sheet stamps, because sheet stamps are printed on vertical grain paper (thus shrink horizontally) while booklet stamps are printed on horizontal grain paper (thus shrink vertically).

AEF booklets were assembled from the same prints as ordinary booklets, so stamps from six-subject panes are identical to stamps from 30-subject panes. Thus if you compare an unknown stamp to a 498 or 499 sheet stamp and a 498e or 499e booklet stamp, it should match one or the other.

However, a booklet stamp on cover can only be proven to be from an AEF pane if it is not a position that also exists on a six-subject pane. If in doubt, send your stamp or cover to APEX for certification.

Posted Oct 16, 10 16:18 by David Benson (dbenson)



that's better and completely relevant,

10.4% is a huge chunk,

what is the percentage of that 10.4% actually enter FIP Exhibitions,

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 16:25 by Henry Marquez (vepcar)

Audrey Hepburn stamps sold for 606K

Rarity vs. Scarcity endeavors in the “impatient avant-garde modernists of all ages” realm.  

At least the money goes to charity.

Posted Oct 16, 10 16:38 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


I think nearly all enter, but some have difficulty getting accepted, especially with the reduced number of FIP exhibitions. U.S. commissioners are usually strong advocates for new exhibits.

This is a factor that sometimes unduly affects national judging. Some juries are reluctant to award vermeil medals to exhibits that may do poorly at the FIP level, even though they meet the national criteria.

Posted Oct 16, 10 16:50 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Eyewitness to history

That's the term I use for interesting messages contained in covers and on post cards.

A cover and letter from an American student spending the summer of 1936 in Germany.  He attended a rally at which Joseph Goebbels spoke, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

A postcard from the Panama Pacific Expo where the writer describes seeing pioneer aviator Lincoln Beachey crash into SF Bay while stunt flying.

Posted Oct 16, 10 16:58 by David Benson (dbenson)




" I think nearly all enter, but some have difficulty getting accepted, especially with the reduced number of FIP exhibitions. U.S. commissioners are usually strong advocates for new exhibits."

This is a factor that sometimes unduly affects national judging. Some juries are reluctant to award vermeil medals to exhibits that may do poorly at the FIP level, even though they meet the national criteria. ".

It is exactly the same here in both counts as I think it is in all major developed countries, where it differs in some other countries is that Vermeils and above are given away very freely and flop at Internationals. I would not say that the original Jury Teams are the ones that query the initial allocations but the Chair ponders about it and sometimes adjustments are made to alleviate the presumed problem,

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 17:08 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)


John Cunningham

John, Somehow or another one has to sound authorititive. It is handy if you can note in the synopsis that you have authoured articles. Gravitas is what one needs. In my exhibit there are several such discoveries. Really, it is my word against anyone else's. To be truthful one doesn't know WHAT is out there waiting to be discovered. Or what items are held by reclusives alive or dead. However, somebody like you or me has to draw a line in the sand. Just be brave and do it.  It is true until proved otherwise. Nick

Posted Oct 16, 10 17:18 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

FIP Exhibiting

David Benson,

David, I do not think so many exhibitors at US competitions have an inclination to go to FIP level. Many exhibits would be terminally damaged to have to reduce 8 to 5 frames for starters.  I have exhibited with a vengence in the US. I did not feel at any stage the judges were marking with an eye to me perhaps exhibiting at FIP level. In fact at one show I did pay a few extra dollars to have an FIP assessment.

As I mentioned previously what is so exciting to exhibit at somewhere like Portugal is that it gives the lie to the theory that stamp collecting/postal history is on the wain. At Portugal the main attraction was exhibiting full stop. The dealer showing was sparce to say the least. I believe at the banquet there were over 600 people. At my dinner table there were serious exhibitors under FORTY. WoW is all I can say.

Posted Oct 16, 10 17:25 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Describing rarity


It's about more than just sounding authoritative, one must actually be an authority, based on evidence of work  done. One could simply lie and do it with authority of course - which also happens (think politics). The fact that everyone knows there are things still out there to be found is why "recorded" is an apt description - records change.

Posted Oct 16, 10 17:31 by David Benson (dbenson)

Portugal Palmares



" As I mentioned previously what is so exciting to exhibit at somewhere like Portugal is that it gives the lie to the theory that stamp collecting/postal history is on the wain. At Portugal the main attraction was exhibiting full stop "

Welcome to the real world,

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 17:38 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Why show internationally?


After being  awarded best-exhibit honors at Stampex in London (five frames) I showed the same five frames at Belgica 2001 and achieved a gold. Then it was expanded to eight frames and shown at Pacific Explorer in Sydney - same result, which I thought was a fair appraisal in each case.

The material necessary to morph the exhibit to large gold is unavailable. I see no point in showing the exhibit again internationally. I would rather use the frame-fees, airfare and hotel costs as a charitable donation.

Posted Oct 16, 10 18:04 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

John C

You could say that I confirm your cover as the first recorded of that particular combination.

The way that the Pan-Am Barry dials and slogans could be mixed/matched does not preclude others from being found.

There are "one only" slogans from the Panama Pacific that I have seeked for many years without success......but I'm still hunting.

Posted Oct 16, 10 18:31 by David Benson (dbenson)

Why Show Internationally


that is what is termed " A defeatist attitude ".

As rarity is only a fraction of the total marks and even if you are missing a few major items doesn't matter as judges make allowances for ultra scarce material and realise that every rare item cannot be included. Your points for rarity would already be close to the limit. Where you lost points may be attainable but that is something you should know if you were sent your complete points score.

You should contemplate entering in Melbourne 2013, should be a good show and the food is always good in Melbourne (you notice I didn't say the weather)

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 19:22 by Bruce Baryla (bruceb)

Robert E Lee letter to England 1864

I'd like to suggest that "I heartily write in your juliation (sp?) to the Giver of all Victory..." might actually be "I heartily UNITE in your PETITION to the Giver of all Victory..."

Posted Oct 16, 10 19:50 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


Thanks to all for the comments both on the board and by email.

If anybody can not view the video, please let me know.

Posted Oct 16, 10 20:22 by John Barwis (jbarwis)



I am one of the financial supporters of the 2013 show in Melbourne, so will certainly be there. I have many friends there, and know the city well.

But I will not be exhibiting there, a fact which has nothing to do with defeatism. You need to be more careful about evaluating the motivations of people you have never met. I suggest you stick with judging stamps and covers.

Posted Oct 16, 10 20:38 by David Benson (dbenson)




I did not mean to insult you or your intentions,

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 21:03 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


            I think Peter McCann’s friends were probably surprised that he did not win the FIP presidency. I am not surprised. Although FIP insiders made a deal at the time of D.N. Jatia’s first election, which envisioned the presidency going from Europe to Asia to North America, that gentlemen’s agreement was doomed even before the Pacific 97 debacle.

            Since the end of World War II, the United States had dominated international exhibitions, not only by virtue of having the largest number of exhibits, exhibitors, and international judges, but also because of the dominance of the leading U.S. collectors: Caspary, Lichtenstein, and Boker. [Bill Gross is the only comparable collector today, but he hails from the wrong coast and bestows his largesse on the National Postal Museum rather than on organized philately, so the U.S. has no comparable prestige today from that quarter.] Yet the Europeans had retained control of the FIP apparatus by virtue of the United Nations voting system.

            The most galling and corrupting aspect was the choice of judges. The U.S. always had by far the largest number. (Nick is dead wrong in what he wrote; I don’t know why he thinks he’s an authority. Nearly all of our qualified exhibits have been entered internationally, and the accepted ones have done well enough to qualify the exhibitors for judging apprenticeships. Washington 2006 accepted 127 competitive multi-frame U.S. entries, and the committee reported that it rejected an equal number for lack of frames. There were also 3 U.S. youth class, 5 U.S. open class, 47 U.S. literature, and 15 U.S. single-frame entries, plus non-competitive and Court of Honor exhibits.) But the majority, after having successfully apprenticed, never got opportunities to judge before their ten-year certification expired.

            [Today the APS corps of qualified international judges counts 21, down from more than four times that number when I was active. So that problem is history.]

            Prior to the most recent cycle that culminated at Washington 2006, the decennial cycle of FIP world exhibitions included three-year runs of Israel-Canada-United States or Israel-United States-Canada, with very close working relationships and personal friendships among philatelic leaders in the three countries. It was easy to get a five-frame exhibit qualified in Israel or Canada so the exhibitor could show eight at his home show.

            But by the mid-nineties, the FIP was imposing increasingly heavy financial burdens on exhibitions, while simultaneously the postal administrations were reducing their financial support. It became obvious that Capex would fail financially, so Ken Rowe announced publicly, in an American Philatelist article, that either the FIP would have to reduce its demands and find other sources of funding, or Canada would drop out as an exhibition host. The FIP ignored him, Harry Sutherland gallantly covered the Capex 96 overrun, and Canada exited. That also broke the circle that had protected our exhibitors.

            It was followed a year later by the Pacific 97 disaster. Not only did Pacific 97 fail to meet its financial obligations; it squandered the heritage fund that had grown with each U.S. international since 1947 as the seed fund for each future U.S. international. Much of this was attributed to the FIP requirements, including a royal hotel suite and 24-hour on-call limousine and driver for Jatia. (I don’t know whether that report was literally true in all particulars, but that’s the story the show organizers offered in their defense, and it was essentially true.)

            With nearly every American Philatelist and Linn’s reader hostile to FIP based on those experiences, it isn’t surprising that the FIP dealmakers broke their agreement and passed over Bud Sellers for the next presidency. At the same time, Israel’s influence waned as FIP increasingly looked to Arabian countries for future growth and money.

Knud Mohr paid a visit to APS headquarters to address our grievances against FIP, and although I believe he was sincere, he did not enjoy sufficient influence to change things. After the death of his most intelligent advisor Ed Neuce, he marked time until his term as FIP president was up, and then it returned to Koh in Asia. Now we have transited yet another Europe-Asia cycle, with the United States growing increasingly effete and out of the running.

Posted Oct 16, 10 21:29 by David Benson (dbenson)



seems like Groundhog Day,

I presume you mean Ed. Druce not Ed Neuce,

One question,

how can any single person or group guarantee who will get elected in a free vote,

David B.

Posted Oct 16, 10 21:57 by David Handelman (davidh)

US exchange registration label---at Chicago?

Shown is a 1915 registered cover from Stettler (AB) to Canton Ohia, with five US registration labels, stamped at Chicago.

registration exchange labels

Nick Lombardi's census does not record their use at Chicago, but there is a simple explanation. The labels ceased to be used for their intended purpose in 1911, so they would have been scrap. Here they are clearly used for PO repair of the cover. (A question arises—how did they get to Chicago, where they presumably were never used.)

This cover should probably not be counted in Nick's census. 

Posted Oct 16, 10 22:10 by Jane Sodero (jmfsodero)

RE: Describing rarity

At several critiques and judging seminars I have heard comments regarding the use of the terms recorded; reported and known. Each time the speaker has stressed the differences which seem to come down to:

recorded = an exhaustive census has been done and is available in a publication which is known/easily available.

reported = a census has been done among a group of interested individuals and is available through a newsletter; journal or paper from that group or a specialist club

known = known to the exhibitor/collector - no formal census has been done

I tend to use the term 'known' in my exhibits since the census of the material in my exhibit was done over 25 years ago (yes, for those who have met me, I was collecting postal history 25 years ago) and as noted earlier there are always new discoveries.

Posted Oct 17, 10 2:50 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Freedom of speech

Ken Lawrence,

Ken, for someone who prides himself on sticking up for the underdog and free speech it seems condtradictory that you should take so many words in trying to belittle others.  Sometimes your high and might pronouncements can be slightly tiresome.

You comment 'Nick is dead wrong - I do not know why he thinks he is an authority'. If you read my posts rather more carefully and less selectively you will note I am the last to maintain I am an authority. My post actually said 'I do not THINK so many exhibitors at US competitions have an INCLINATION to go to FIP level'. You cannot get much more qualified or conditional that that. I in no way said US exhibits were of an inferior quality.

 I have not seen you at one of the competitive exhibitions I have been to over the last 18 months. Neither have I seen not seen one of your exhibits. Are you getting out of touch somewhat? I actually had the unpleasant experience of recently having to reduce my exhibit down to 5 frames. I KNOW how difficult it was. I know other exhibitors, well known in the States, who simply will not do this. Perhaps they will speak on this forum.
You have vast experience but I would like to see you putting it to rather more constructive use than rubbishing others who might have different viewpoints and experiences. Nick

Posted Oct 17, 10 8:01 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Melbourne 2013


No offense taken. I look forward to meeting you in Melbourne.

Posted Oct 17, 10 8:07 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

FIP Judges

Who can authoritatively answer the following questions?
1. What perks are now given to the Chief Judge at FIP shows, and how much do they cost?
2. What perks are given to other FIP jury members, and how much do they cost?
3. What percentage of the total revenue from frame fees at FIP shows is used payments to judges, either in cash or in kind, versus say, hall rentals and all other show costs?

No rumors or guesses please.

Posted Oct 17, 10 8:08 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)



Yes, Ed Dreuce.


Perhaps I responded too strongly. But I have been reporting on FIP for 25 years, have exhibited internationally since 1989, I am a nationally and internationally qualified judge, have served on juries, have taught APS and FIP judging seminars, have attended international stamp exhibitions since 1986, served on the APS Board of directors through the entire Pacific 97 disaster, and was on the APS Board when Washington 2006 was proposed and approved. I served on the FIP Literature Commission, and negotiated many FIP reforms. I am intimately familiar with the scale and scope of United States exhibits and exhibitors, and their involvement internationally.

Your post struck me as an insult, as though I don't know what I'm writing about. That is your free speech privilege, of course, but I don't think my response was any sharper. Yours was obviously directed against me, since no one else had answered David's question. How does my retirement from active judging and exhibiting two years ago affect what I know about these things?

As I wrote, the United States currently has 274 FIP qualified exhibits. If 127 were shown at Washington and about an equal number entered but were not accepted, that means nearly all were entered, even conceding that the total was a bit larger four years ago. (19 members of the jury were from the U.S., so their exhibits were automatically excluded. I was offered the choice of serving on the jury or exhibiting; I chose to exhibit.) In fact, the main reason why APS approves those extortionate FIP expenses is because so many of our exhibitors desire the opportunity to show internationally.

Posted Oct 17, 10 8:37 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

FIP Judges


It's in the GREX, which are on-line at the FIP website. Briefly, the exhibition must pay travel (first-class rail or cheapest air fare), lodging with bath and breakfast for two for the duration of the exhibition, and working lunches. Each juror must receive two admission tickets, two catalogs, two palmares, and two banquet tickets.

Commissioners receive the perks but pay their own travel.

The FIP President is automatically the honorary jury president with equal requirements. The Consultant gets all necessary travel and accommodation, usually for multiple trips leading up to the exhibition, plus one extra invitation and extra days before and after the exhibition.

If the FIP holds a Congress during the exhibition, the FIP must also cover these same expenses for all FIP Board members, the Secretary General, Commission chairs, and Consultants.

Exhibition committees never know the costs in advance. In this country they usually use the expertise of the previous international hosts to advise them on projections. The Pacific 97 committee spurned offers of assistance from the Ameripex 86 committee.

Posted Oct 17, 10 8:47 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

FIP Costs

Ridiculous. Seems almost as lucrative as "serving" in the UN.

I wonder how many FIP judges would drop out if spouse/partner costs were excluded...

Posted Oct 17, 10 8:48 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

FIP Voting


FIP members negotiate votes all the time. There are many corrupting influences that give the insiders advantage. Most notorious is that the FIP appoints up to 25 percent of all judges for every exhibition under FIP patronage. The enticement of free travel and lodging to places around the world overcomes many principles.

During my service, APS had a rule that no U.S. international judge could serve more than once in a three-year period, in order to allow new judges to gain opportunities. That never worked because exhibit hosts will only invite judges who have more than one class qualification (or who agree to double as commissioners), which they can only gain by actually judging. Meanwhile, the FIP used its 25 percent to favor those U.S. judges who would go along with the insiders. 

At Capex 96, D.N. Jatia introduced Bud Sellers as his chosen successor. The deal was never a secret. But after Pacific 97, it became impossible.

Posted Oct 17, 10 9:06 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

FIP Politics

It's no secret that the U.S. contingent in FIP regards me as an embarrassment, because I have been publicly critical of their gravy train all these years. But in the day I had friends who agreed with me on the inside. Harry Sutherland demanded that FIP approve my apprenticeship, and Charlie Peterson mentored it. Bud Sellers asked me to postpone the fuss until he was president, with the understanding that he would put an end to the jury appointment corruption. But they never prevailed, and now even the possibility for reform of the worst practices has probably passed.

My personal belief is that a more enlightened leadership could start fresh with a new international philatelic organization. Even the threat might bring positive change, if it were to come from the U.S. and two or three other major countries. (Although the U.S. dominates with 274 qualified exhibits, five other countries have more than 100.)

Posted Oct 17, 10 9:16 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

FIP footnote

Now is a good time for reformers to put heads together. I don't know what the current fee for FIP patronage is, but that's as important as federation dues in keeping the FIP bureaucracy afloat. Looking to the future, there are no more world philatelic exhibitions in 2010, only two in 2011 (New Delhi and Tokyo), none in 2012, and provisionally two in 2013 (Bangkok and Melbourne). It should be a good time to extract concessions if anyone is up to serious negotiations (New York 2016, maybe?).

APS tried this with the scheduled hemispheric international a few years ago, but the foreign judges refused to participate unless they received the full float. World economic conditions are considerably different now.

Posted Oct 17, 10 9:55 by Hugh Feldman (feldman)

FIP Patronage and Consultant

Ken L.

FIP fees for full patronage in 2010 were SFr. 66,000 ($ / SFr. currently at parity). The only other direct FIP costs were about £5,000 for consutancy and other travel/hotel expenses. Obviously that did not include the costs associated with the Jury and Commissioners.

Being on the Finance Team of 2010 the FIP charges for full patronage did not seem to me exhorbitant. The biggest problem with International shows is the now almost universal lack of funding support from postal administrations and the very high costs of both suitable venues and central city accommodation.

One might well ask if, at only one or maybe two Internationals a year, the days of the FIP are numbered anyway.

Posted Oct 17, 10 10:03 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Thanks, Hugh.

World Stamp Expo 89 in Washington proved that the world will come to a U.S. international that excludes FIP, and that invitational exhibits including the greatest legendary treasures will come also.

World Columbian Stamp Expo 92 in Chicago proved not only those aspects, but that it was possible to hold a competitive show in that context also. Invitational exhibits, such as Jack Rosenthal's greatest collections in 20 or more frames, were in some respects more impressive than they would have been if entered under FIP rules.

Posted Oct 17, 10 10:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Does anyone know whether the wealthy Asian collectors host closed invitational exhibitions comparable to Claridge's and Monte Carlo?

Posted Oct 17, 10 10:12 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Crystal Palace

Thanks to everyone who commented on my new acquisition.

Posted Oct 17, 10 11:20 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Reform Proposals


You would scarcely guess how modest were my proposals that incited the Establishment's wrath. I recommended a system comparable to our domestic approach, in which judges would get an honorarium to defray their expenses, but would bear most of the burden themselves. That would have placated Ken Rowe, and Capex would probably still exist.

In reality, Consultants negotiate greater benefits than the GREX require. That was the origin of the Pacific 97 scandal over Jatia's royal treatment. Besides the published requirements, all shows must provide each judge and commissioner with an envelope of "walking around money" in the local currency. I wanted to legislate that amount into the reduced honorarium.

Posted Oct 17, 10 13:10 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)



I do not doubt your vast experience for one moment. But your comments are often rather spoilt in my view by observations of a personal nature or broach an innuendo which is not constructive and distracts from much of the other content. As it happens, I was not even thinking about you when I responded to David.

FIP, or the perceived politics attached to it, means absolutely nothing to me. I simply said I do not see a rush of US domestic exhibitors rushing to exhibit around the world. That is my experience pure and simple. Nick

Posted Oct 17, 10 13:49 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Americans abroad


I can't speak for anyone else, but I guess the central question for me is: "What is the "draw" for Americans of modest means to exhibit outside the United States?

Let's see, it can't possibly be the extremely low airfare.
How about reasonable frame fees? No, that's probably not it either.
Starved for shows to attend in their own country? Not likely.

On the other hand, how many decent shows can you attend while staying within the border of the Czech Republic? No slight intended against your chosen home; I fell in love with Prague when last we visited, and intend to return some day - but probably not in order  to find Philadelphia foreign mail covers, or Victoria Half-Lengths.

Posted Oct 17, 10 14:08 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

International exhibiting


I think you're missing the point. A majority of qualified U.S. exhibitors want to exhibit internationally (particularly in our own country, Canada, or Israel). That doesn't imply that they aspire to join the international jet set. It means they want to compete and gain recognition at the highest level.

Unfortunately FIP apparatchiks take advantage of those collectors to subsidize their own junkets. If not for so many Americans who do desire to exhibit internationally, those entitlements would have ended long ago.

Incidentally, your five-frame example is no obstacle. AAPE counsels exhibitors who seek assistance on how to trim their exhibits at the entry level. Every FIP judge understands that significant material will be kept out until the exhibit qualifies for eight frames.

The real problem is the opposite. Ted Lockyear showed everything possible in his Justice Department exhibit in five frames, but the FIP required him after qualifying to show eight frames, which he could not do.

Posted Oct 17, 10 14:12 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Cover Question

Can anyone identify the squiggly marking at the bottom of this scan, next to the "36"? The cover has been partly unfolded to show the markings on the back, so the squiggly marking and the "36" were on the back. 
This is a January 29, 1789 letter from Lyon (France) to Philadelphia. It was carried by the 3rd Regie packet "Le Suffren" which left Lorient on July 23 and arrived in NY on September 23, 1789. This was the first French packet to depart after the start of the French Revolution (i.e. July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille), so some have speculated that the squiggle is some sort of censor mark. It looks more like a freemason marking to me, but I don't really know.


Posted Oct 17, 10 14:13 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

I must agree with John Barwis.  As one of the 274, why would I want to exhibit out of this country?

I cannot afford the travel, besides my passport has expired. I don't even like allowing my pages be mounted by a stranger after a bad experience where two pages got stuck back-to-back leaving a hole.

Seems like FIP is a self eating watermelon thats about to consume itself into nothingness.  
Does FIP benefit those of us at the bottom of the heap?  I doubt it.
Exhibiting life will go on in the US with or without FIP.

Posted Oct 17, 10 14:21 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

French marking


Could it be Pd ?

Regardless, I think you should place it in my collection!

Posted Oct 17, 10 14:48 by Alan Campbell (alan campbell)

International Exhibiting

I think I'm probably one of Nick's American friends who told him that I never could figure out how to condense my exhibit down to five frames to get started in international competition. There might have been a small window of time years ago when this was remotely possible, but no longer. Basically, my collection is my exhibit: a dense, thorough, exhaustive study with thousands of stamps and multiples, and hundreds of covers, mounted on over-sized pages, that could fill 20 frames. It's plenty of work to keep revising in order to incorporate new acquisitions. Mounting a collection for competition tends to sharpen one's focus and redirect the aim of future acquisitions. But it is has been my observation over the years that many specialized collectors, after mounting for competition, lose interest in the reference material that doesn't make the cut. It often gets sold off, to raise funds for the purchase of blockbuster key items that will improve the exhibit. In my own mind, there is considerable discipline and methodology in what I buy and how my collection expands. There is also a pyschological factor, in which I prefer to acquire many interesting less expensive items in a consistent flow of regular philatelic fixes, instead of going cold turkey and keeping my powder dry for a whole year for one important auction. Years ago, with the steam coming out of my ears, Ken Lawrence judged my material and patiently explained the difference between a mounted collection and a true exhibit. I only have the patience to mount my collection one way, and I have chosen to keep it as a reference study. The write-ups are correct and authoritative, but it sorely taxes the patience of harried judges. I understand and accept this, and seldom exhibit any more.

Posted Oct 17, 10 14:58 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Walske Video again

Please try the HTML page here. Video should start automatically although might be short delay.

I think this should work on most systems. Advise if problems please (PS - hope you like the content too!)

Next I have to figure out how to add a pay per view control to recoup expense

Posted Oct 17, 10 15:06 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Crystal Palace

Ken L.....might this be of some help?

The text can be zoomed out to enlarge.

Posted Oct 17, 10 15:14 by David Benson (dbenson)



Jatia was an extremely wealthy man and his lifestyle showed that. Not all Juries are made up of wealthy people.

Talking about Jatia, he came to Sydney in 1984 after Melbourne Ausipex to discuss a possible FIP Exhibition in 1987. The only building at that time that had a big enough area was at the Showground. He inspected the building and said it would be approved if the windows were changed which would have cost $100,000's. Of course we never went ahead and held a non FIP Exhibition. The following year there was an Exhibition in his home city and I heard that the building was similar to Sydney with open windows, birds everywhere inside and bird droppings on the frames. Luckily now we have new sites where major Exhibitions can be held but cannot afford them.

No FIP Juror at any Exhibition ever made a profit by being a judge, they may have got their travel paid for (their own, not their partners), their hotel room and a small " per diem " and invitations to various functions but the other expenses were not paid for and it was out of their own pocket. I know the few times I was an International Judge it cost me over $5,000 every time for additional expenses.

I agree that there appears to be now too many judges who are reappointed year after year but that should stop with the new regulations regarding board members automatic appointments to Juries.

Regarding Bud Sellers missing out, It doesn't matter how many members promised him the next Presidentship, that is cancelled out when the voting begins. If he was on the approved list of acceptances for President then anyone could have voted for him or not, He lost fair and square and all the later gripes about it from him & you mean zip.

David B.

Posted Oct 17, 10 15:27 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Steve's Fur Trade Lecture


It works fine on my PC, although I had to download Quicktime 7 first. Not a problem.

The seque from the projected map to an orgthogonally shown one worked well. I think it would be better if, after a visual of the speaker to start it off, you remained with the digital slides and the voice, perhaps returning to the speaker at the end. That might mean a lot of extra work though (adding pointers, etc.) so may well be beyond the point of diminishing returns.

It was good to see the talk again.

Posted Oct 17, 10 15:33 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

FIP Expenses

David, Ken,

You have different recollections of whether judges' partners travelled free.

David, if travel, hotel and food (via per diem) are paid for, what "other expenses" are there?

Posted Oct 17, 10 15:43 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Bird excrement


I like the story about Jatia's ornithological contributions to exhibiting.

Here's my favorite FIP story. The late Rod Moreton, FRPSL, showed his Victoria, Australia social philately exhibit at the international in Copenhagen. I cannot rememeber whether it was his goldfield material or his history of transportation of convicts to the Australian colonies.

Rod was awarded a fairly low medal level. When he enquired about it, the Danish judge explained that since the exhibit was about Victoria he should have shown a cover bearing a penny black.

Earth to Denmark, come in please. Victoria is not just a person... next time read the title page...

Posted Oct 17, 10 15:48 by David Benson (dbenson)



In my case $120 travel expenses to the Airport each way. Other eating expenses not covered by the Exhibition. Local travel expenses not covered. My wife (and sometimes my daughters) travel expenses. Various Medical expenses to cover vaccinations, usually about $300 or $400. Our Medical Insurance does not cover that. There would be many others and I could add more if pressed.

(don't want to mention the exhorbitant costs of drinks at the show hotels and treating a couple of people to a round of drinks could cost $50).

John, the " per diem " is about $50 per day.

I remember when my wife lasted judged in Korea the hotel wanted to charge me an extra $100 per night for an extra cot bed for my then 15 year old daughter. The cot bed wouldn't fit it the room and we got a larger room with 2 double beds, I still had to pay an extra $100 a night. A similar situation in Malaga but they only charged me $85 per night.

David B.

Posted Oct 17, 10 15:53 by Steve Pacetti (stevep)

Fur trade lecture video

Richard--thanks for sharing, for those who weren't there. Most interesting. BTW, the video plays well on any Apple device, including my iPad, as well as any browser with the Quicktime pulg-in (a free download).

John B--"orgthogonally"? Remember some of are former HR types, tee hee. Had to look it up;-)

Steve P

Posted Oct 17, 10 16:00 by Steve Pacetti (stevep)


Ken L--in the discussion of FIP, you mentioned the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors in passing. Do you think that organization could/should have some role in FIP "reform"? Or, maybe it is involved already?

I'm not an exhibitor, much less internationally, and have found this thread most interesting.

Steve P

Posted Oct 17, 10 16:01 by David Benson (dbenson)



You have hit the nail on the head with the Victorian exhibit in Denmark. It proves that not one of the jury had read the title page and even checked beforehand anything about Victoria. That type of judging is not uncommon. It reminded me of once when I entered Tonga and I got a poor result. The head of the team said to me (and convinced his team) that early covers were common and were worth only a few dollars each and could be obtained very easily. When he started describing them I realised that he was taling about Samoa which may be commoner but not a few dollars each.

When I walked away from him in disgust (didn't even bother attending the Palmares) I met Rod P. He asked me if I had any extra covers for sale as he had had many enquiries for them and had not seen one for sale for years. A good example why dealers should be judges, they know more than Bull S*** Artists.

David B.

Posted Oct 17, 10 16:04 by David Benson (dbenson)



at that Exhibition I go a Vermeil, when I got home I checked the results and the " clever " jury had made a mathematical error when they added the points and mistakenly given me an extra 10 points. i should have only got a Silver. Luckily at the next outing they had cleverer judges and I got a Gold.

David B.

Posted Oct 17, 10 16:15 by David Benson (dbenson)


Before anyone asks,

Now at all FIP Exhibitions, all the Points allocations are triple checked by the team before being handed in and then checked by the Jury Secretary before being placed on record. This is to ensure that no mistakes are made in additions.

The computer system that is now used also checks it as well and addition mistakes are a thing of the past.

David B.

Posted Oct 17, 10 16:21 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Costs for FIP shows


Add the frame fees to the list of judges' expenses (given in David Benson's post).

Then add the fact that a decent hotel room almost anywhere in the world is two to five times the cost of a similar room at a US regional show.

Then subtract $0.00, which is the amount of subsidy available for an exhibitor.

Then add another line item for arrogance and/or stupidity of some (not the majority) of FIP judges.

The sum explains your observation about the paucity of Americans exhibiting at FIP shows.

Posted Oct 17, 10 16:33 by David Benson (dbenson)


another thing you can add regarding the lack of US exhibiting abroad is that for many it is of no use for those who show US material as they are getting top judges in the US to judge US material. It is only those who exhibit non US material should contemplate the entering in non US exhibitions especially if they are entering national class.

Don't want to mention there is sometimes a bias (in some non English speaking countries) to downgrade a foreigners entry of their material.

(flak jacket on)

David B.

Posted Oct 17, 10 16:40 by John Cunningham (panexpoguy)

Describing rarity

Nick, Dave S, and Jane...

Thanks for your comments and perspectives on using the term 'discovery copy' and also how some judges have expressed how they define recorded-reported-known.  As my reference, I think of Bomar for exposition markings.  If in three editions of Bomar an example of  a marking is still listed as the only one known and I have the piece in question, then I feel it would be legitimate to refer to it as the 'discovery copy' as the circulation of Bomar over three decades has not brought another example to the surface though other examples may exist.  As to scarcity I also feel that using Bomar as a base reference to the number of examples that exist makes it reasonable to use the term 'one of 'x' recorded' as Bomar is based on research from many active expo collectors, it is widely available, and I am a party to the efforts to further refine the data which has already adjusted some of those populations.  Having stated that, I still get a sense that refering to the number of examples recorded seems to be seen regularly in item descriptions within an exhbit, but I cannot recall seeing the use of the term 'discovery item/copy' in the description of a piece.

I ask these things as I consider putting together a one frame exhibit of the postal markings from the 1915 Worlds Fair in San Francisco.  The subject would seem to be a good one for a single frame.  I am also thinking about the exhibit plan and have become comfortable with organizing by hand applied markings first, from most commonly used services to least, and then machine applied markings from the most heavily used machines to the least.  Does that seem logical?  Anyone have other thoughts?

Posted Oct 17, 10 17:04 by John Barwis (jbarwis)


John Cunningham

For the exmple you cite, "discovery copy" does not do sufficient justice to what you own. You should say "only recorded example". This tacitly states that it is the discovery copy, and does not deny that someday others might be found.

Then explain in the synopsis that in 30 years another has not turned up.

Posted Oct 17, 10 17:19 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

John C

Lets talk electronically.  I have updates.

Posted Oct 17, 10 17:24 by David Benson (dbenson)


You forgot about the weak US dollar,

David B.

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