World Stamps

Rarities from first stamp to cover flown to the moon displayed at London Europhilex show, May 13-16

May 12, 2015 03:25 PM

The largest philatelic exhibition in Europe since 2010, London 2015 Europhilex, opens Wednesday, May 13, at in the Business Design Center in London’s Islington. Show organizers expect around 20,000 visitors before the show closes on Saturday, May 16.

Admission is free Thursday through Saturday. On Wednesday, the opening day of London 2015 Europhilex, admission is by ticket only (£10). Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 13; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 14-15, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 16. More than 100 dealers and postal administrations, including Great Britain's Royal Mail, are participating.

The show celebrates the 175th anniversary of the world's first postage stamp, issued in May 1840 by Great Britain. Nicknamed the Penny Black, this stamp will be among the 300,000 stamps on display. Another highlight is Europe's most expensive stamp, the 1857 Swedish three skilling banco yellow, valued at £2.5 million.

Presented in the court of honor are an unprecedented collection of documents and philatelic memorabilia that records the development of the postal system and also represents some of the most important events in world history, including Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, the American War of Independence, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s proclamation to the City of Augsburg, and General Gordon’s defense of Khartoum.

A press release from the show says, "The exhibition tells the story of the creation and delivery of written documents, from the clay tablets sent by Mesopotamians in 3000 B.C., to the establishment of the Post Office in 1635 under Charles I, the invention of the postage stamp in 1840, and the delivery of mail from the Moon in 1969. Included is one of the oldest known privately-owned parchment letters, written in 1190."

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Items on display include the tax stamps that led to the American Revolution; the first document to have made the transatlantic crossing, in 1512; letters carried by the first postal service, established in the late 15th century by the Tassis family to aid communication within the Habsburg empire; and the recently discovered printing plate for the first stamps of Mauritius, the first British colony to issue stamps.

In addition, the show includes 1,400 frames of competitive exhibits from 400 exhibitors; numerous seminars on various subjects from stamp production to exhibiting to the American Civil War; society meetings; and international auctions conducted by Heinrich Koehler and Corinphila Auctions, together with their Global Philatelic Network partner companies H.R. Harmer (United States), John Bull (Hong Kong) and Corinphila Veilingen (the Netherlands).

The Business Designer Center is located in the heart of Islington, 10 minutes from Kings Cross St. Pancras International and a short walk from Angel tube station.

London 2015 Europhilex has been granted patronage by the European Federation of Philatelic Associations and recognition by the International Philatelic Federation.