By Janet Klug
Those of us who collect what I call "everything that appeals to me" have at least one distinct advantage over specialists. It is pretty easy to find something that qualifies for the collection, and that makes attending a stamp show especially fun. Almost everything in the dealers' stocks has a potential place in the collection.
I acquired the German cover shown in Figure 1 at a recent stamp show. The Art Nouveau design of the March 5, 1920, Mercury machine cancellation appeals to me. Art Nouveau style is instantly recognizable by its fluid, organic lines. It had a relatively short life of about 25 years, from the 1890s to about 1915.
Ironically, by the time this cancellation was used in Leipzig, Germany, Art Nouveau ("new art") was considered old fashioned.
I wondered what the "Leipziger Mustermesse" of the slogan cancellation was.
A search on the Internet brought a quick answer. A mustermesse is a trade fair, and Leipzig has been hosting its fair since 1165. It grew from a simple fair displaying the works of craftsmen to an industrial showcase that attracts business from all over the world.
The fair's logo, a pair of stacked "M"s, have appeared on many postage stamps including the German Democratic Republic 10-pfennig dark blue stamp (Scott 253) from 1955 shown in Figure 2. This stamp shows optical goods: a German-made camera, microscope and lenses. The stacked "M" logo is shown in the lower left corner and also less obviously in the upper right corner on the wall in the background.
Finding this trade fair-related cover made me think of other philatelic material that has been issued over the years to promote trade fairs and world expositions.
My hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, had a series of industrial expositions in the late 19th century. These became more elaborate over time, and many of the city's biggest businesses helped promote the fair by using envelopes with advertising for the expositions printed on the back, such as the one advertising the Cincinnati 11th Industrial Exposition of 1883 shown in Figure 3.
Fairs and expositions have been a popular collecting specialty.
Some collectors concentrate on just one fair, such as the World's Columbian Exposition that took place in Chicago, Ill., in 1893. This world's fair generated a host of collectibles.
One of my favorites is the 1¢ U.S. Grant postal card (Scott UX10) issued by the U.S. Post Office Department in 1891.
The message side of the postal card, shown in Figure 4, offers a view of the Manufacturers and Liberal Arts Pavilion.
The design printed on the message side by the American Lithographic Co. makes this a souvenir of the world's fair. The sender of the card wrote of her fair visit, "it is greater and grander than anything I ever dreampt of."
This postal card is not an expensive item. It is postmarked Chicago, Sept. 27, 1893.
The Pan American Exposition took place in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1901 and used machine slogan cancellations well in advance of the fair to publicize it. An illustrated advertising cover from the huge Larkin Soap factory is shown in Figure 5. It bears a Barry machine cancel applied in 1899 that advertises the upcoming fair.
Of course, in addition to machine slogan cancellations, both the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and the 1901 Pan American Exposition had commemorative stamps, cacheted covers and cards, as well as advertising labels without postal validity (known by collectors as cinderellas.)
All of these are worthy collectibles, but U.S. stamps commemorating the early expositions are expensive. It would be nice if everyone could afford the $5 Columbus stamp (Scott 245) from the Columbian Exposition (shown in Figure 6), a $2 Mississippi River Bridge stamp (293) from the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, or one of the inverted center error stamps from the 1901 Pan American Exposition, but most of us can't.
Isn't it nice that there are covers, postmarks and other collectibles for those of us who want to collect postal souvenirs from fairs and expositions?
July 30, 2015 08:04 PMIn the Editor’s Insights columns in the July 20 Linn’s Stamp News monthly and the Aug. 10 weekly Linn’s, I mentioned Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board without giving too much detail. Linn’s goal is to engage its audience both in print and online and to grow this audience. The role of the newly formed Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board is to assist us achieving these goals by keeping us focused on the needs of our audience and helping us adapt to today’s market. Read More ›
July 30, 2015 09:01 AMAs in previous years, Rarities Week, the series of sales conducted June 22-26 by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York, included several name sales as well as an assortment of notable items from around the world. The week kicked off with something of a do-over: a sizable assortment of better United States stamps and covers that had appeared in four previous sales, but whose winning bidder then failed to pay for them. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 04:35 PMThe Tieton, Wash., post office is a simple 1935 cement block building with a slat wood facade. Townsfolk in the agricultural community of 1,200 in central Washington believe the post office could become a landmark, if only the United States Postal Service would allow them to cover the front with a stamp-like mosaic. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 03:11 PMThe American Philatelic Society will host the nation’s largest annual stamp exhibition Aug. 20-23. The show will take place at the DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz discusses the largest souvenir card produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The card is one of three issued to honor the centenary of San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke discusses Canada’s recently recalled $1.20 Dinosaur Provincial Park stamps featuring inaccurately described Hoodoo rock formations.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the discovery of another pane of the intentionally created upright variety of the $2 Jenny Invert stamp.
Chad Snee discusses the recent sale of the glass locket containing the famed 1918 Jenny Invert airmail error stamp.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.