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Approaching Fast: World Stamp Exhibition PRAGA 2018

(wm) Prague traditionally is the venue where the PRAGA world stamp exhibitions take place. The history of this tradition started in 1938, when Czechoslovak collectors organized the first PRAGA exhibition; later there were similar events in 1955, 1962, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2008. The PRAGA exhibitions are always excellent events, thanks not only to the splendid exhibits and the participation of the world’s leading stamp collectors, but also thanks to the large number of visitors that the PRAGA events attract.
The next edition of the event is approaching rapidly. PRAGA 2018 will be conducted under the patronage of the World Philatelic Federation (FIP) and under the auspices of the European Philatelic Federation (FEPA). The main organizer is the Union of Czech Philatelists. The exhibition will be open for qualified exhibits in the following classes: traditional, postal history, philatelic literature, open class, one-frame class and modern philately classes. The main goal of the exhibition is to create an event that will introduce the most outstanding stamp exhibits to visitors from all over the world. The aim is to create an event that is interesting event for both the philatelic and the general public.

There are many reasons to organize the PRAGA event in the year 2018: the 100th anniversary of the creation of Czechoslovakia; the appearance of Czechoslovakia’s first postal stationery in 1918; the establishment of the Prague Postal Museum in the same year and the fact that the first Czechoslovakian postage stamps, designed by the famous painter Alfons Mucha, came out (18 December 1918). The Czech Republic will also be celebrating its 25th anniversary, since it was created on the first of January 1993. Finally, in the year 2018 it will be exactly a century ago that the First World War ended.

PRAGA 2018 will be held from 15 until 18 August 2018, in the Clarion Congress Hotel in Prague (address: Freyova 33, Prague 9; see also

There will be a separate stamp dealer bourse in the Tri Star Hotel (address: U Sluncove 14, Prague 8; see also The exhibition and the bourse are only seven minutes apart; both are accessible by car or by the underground metro line B (Invalidovna Station).

The philatelic literature class will be hosted by the Prague Postal Museum (address: Nove Mlyny 2, Prague 1; see also You can reach the museum by taking the underground metro line B (Namesti Republiky Station).

The latest information about PRAGA 2018 will be available on the website You can also make use of the main social media, like Facebook and Twitter.

The Hradčany Castle, as depicted on the first Czechoslovakian postage stamps. Behind the castle the sun rises; a symbolical interpretation of the birth of a new country.

Where in the world is… Hans-Joachim Schwanke?

(wm) Many philatelists will never forget the sessions of the German auction house of Hans-Joachim Schwanke in Hamburg; the regular auctions, the special ones, his dedication to literature, etc. About half a year ago ‘Hajo’ (as his friends are wont to call him) retired, his auction house got a new name ("Auction Galleries Hamburg") and a new owner (Christoph Gärtner) made his entrance. And now many friends and relations of Hans-Joachim wonder how he spends his days. ‘Retirement’ often means ‘blissful tranquility’, but not in Hajo’s case. You would like to see the evidence of this contention? Just pay a visit to "Eine kleine Geschichte aus MAURITIUS" , and you will see what we mean. It turns out that Hans-Joachim is still active as a philatelic expert, leaning on an professional experience of almost 50 years, forty of which he spent in the world of philatelic auctions. He is still available if you wish to profit from this experience, following the same path that his colleague and friend, the former German top auctioneer Wolfgang Jakubek, chose a number of years ago.

The two things he likes to do the most are perhaps travelling and telling stories. He was able to combine these two things when he travelled to Mauritius a few months ago, in the company of his wife Sabine. His account of this trip is humorous words and sometimes a bit mischievous. He describes his visits to the Mauritian museums (including the Blue Penny Museum where the world-famous ‘Post Office’ stamps are on show), but also his search for the tomb of Joseph Osmond Barnard, the craftsman that engraved the first Mauritius stamps. Jakubek once stated that a search for Barnard's grave on the Mauritian cemetery would prove fruitless ‘because he has been buried on his own sugar cane plantation.’

Although Jakubek’s statement sounded quite certain, it still left Hajo no rest. He wanted to know for sure where the remains of Barnard could be found. We won’t give away the whole story, but Hajo’s account has a happy ending. He also presents a photograph of Barnard’s resting place. Well, look for yourself and use the link presented above.

The rediscovered tomb of Joseph Osmond Barnard, the engraver of the famous Mauritius ‘Post Office’ stamps. Photo: H. Schwanke

Source: AIJP News

Introducing the New IFSDA Board Members

At our recent AGM in London, we were pleased to confirm three new IFSDA Board Members from Netherlands, South Africa and Australia.

Netherlands: Rob Smit: Hans van den Eijnde's choice as successor as NVPH representative to IFSDA. Rob has 4 stamp shops and an internet stamp business under the banner. He is a Board member of the NVPH and has been involved in the production of the Dutch Stamp Catalogue for the past 10 years. He has a varied business and technology background with talents and insight valuable to IFSDA going forward. Hans looks forward to liaising with Rob as he joins our Executive.


Francois Friend, Philatelist: A professional engineer by trade, Francois turned his hand towards philately first on an ad hoc basis in 1994, and thereafter on a more permanent footing since 2013.  Francois has a special interest in Hong Kong and St Helena and has exhibited on both countries, nationally and internationally.  He is president of the Port Elizabeth Philatelic Society, Vice-president of the South African Philatelic Dealers Association, life member and Director-at-large of the St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society, and member of both the Hong Kong Philatelic Society and the Hong Kong Study Circle.


Australia: Torsten Weller: A young, independent philatelist with a successful career as a Postal History dealer. He is internationally active and travels extensively worldwide. He has just been appointed as Philatelic Specialist with Melbourne-based auctioneer Mossgreen. Torsten enjoys a sound reputation and was considered a perfect candidate from APTA.

World’s Oldest Philatelic Association Looking for New Home

(wm) The Royal Philatelic Society of London (RSPL) is finally getting down to brass tacks: in the near future it will leave its London home at Devonshire Place 41, which became operational in 1925. For twenty years the RPSL has been looking for a new and larger home. The present building, which was erected just before the end of the 18th century, had to be renovated. This would have amounted to a cost of millions of pounds and a long closure of the premises. Renovation would not have helped: the current building is too small for housing the museum of the RSPL, its collections and its constantly growing libraries. It offered little technological comfort, although the around 2,500 members from all over the world definitive appreciated the "old-style" charm of the rooms.
The RPSL building has a business value of six to seven million pounds sterling. This is because it is close to Harley Street in Marylebone, a very popular residential area. The RPSL assumes that it can buy a much larger building, elsewhere in London, with the proceeds of the old building.
The president of the association, Frank Walton, commented: ‘Each member will have his or her own tender memories of our Marylebone home. But the amount of support for the request to find a new home was overwhelming.’
And now the search can begin. It will not be easy, because a two-to-three-storey building that is much larger than the previous one is desired. Good traffic connections and in a good condition are also required. Perhaps a property from the Victorian era, with much flair and historical charm, can be purchased, but a solid state of the building will be necessary.

Picture: the corner building of the Royal Philatelic Society London (entrance left) at Devonshire Place 41 (photo: Philafrenzy)

Source: AIJP News

Attendance at World Stamp Show-NY 2016

by Wade Saadi, President, NY 2016

Attendance at World Stamp Show-NY 2016 was as successful as previous USA Internationals. At all of those shows, attendance was measured by "gate clicks"; a click for every time a person entered the show floor, regardless of how many times a day they traversed the gate throughout the show. This would include reentering the show floor after attending a seminar, an auction, going to get coffee or lunch, visiting the lobby for an event, going out for some fresh air, etc.

If a person who attended the show attended two seminars and went out for any food or drink, they would have 4 gate clicks that day. If they attended the show for all 8 days that would be 32 gate clicks for one person. However, if they came in once and then left, that would be a single click. 

It was felt the most accurate way for us to account for attendance would be by counting those who actually registered; the unique visitors. This was possible for this show with the advent of online registration and today's technology; almost 50% of our registrations were done prior to the show by the show goer, and another 10% by us beforehand (dealers, exhibitors, volunteers, donors, et. al.)

Afterwards, using the actual registration numbers, others could extrapolate whatever hypothetical they need from there. Regardless of different methods of accounting for attendance, there were more important and relevant methods of determining the success of a U.S. International.  

To wit; the vast majority of the dealers who attended had a fantastic show and were delighted at their sales and traffic. The show attendees, from all accounts, were delighted with the event. The press reports and coverage were fantastic and the hobby was well served by the exhibition.

By the numbers:
2,380 – VIP Badges printed in advance
275 – VIP Badges printed on-site
2,530 – School group participants
7,738 – Paper Registrations
10,094 – Online Registrations
23,017 unique visitors by registration