World Stamps

Donna Houseman

Longtime collector’s No. 1 tip to prospective stamp exhibitors: enjoy yourself

February 25, 2017 08:00 AM

  • Steven Zwillinger’s book "The Path to Gold: 175 Proven Stamp Exhibiting Tips" provides useful pointers for beginning and experienced exhibitors. Tip No. 1 is “Enjoy Yourself.”

Editor’s Insights — By Donna Houseman

Have you ever considered exhibiting your collection? 

If so, I have a book for you. The book, titled The Path to Gold: 175 Proven Stamp Exhibiting Tips, is authored by Steven Zwillinger, a longtime exhibitor who has won numerous gold medals for his exhibits of India and Burma. He also is an accomplished writer.

The book was published by the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors in 2016 and is a compilation of his columns published in The American Stamp Dealer & Collector.

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Zwillinger’s No. 1 tip is “Enjoy Yourself.” 

My husband, who spent his career as a teacher and high school baseball umpire and basketball referee, told the children before each game, “Have fun.” It is a wonderful life lesson to be learned. If you don’t enjoy the game, why play?

Stamp collecting is a hobby, and exhibiting is a part of our hobby. Don’t take exhibiting so seriously that you overlook the joy of sharing your collection and your knowledge with fellow collectors.

Zwillinger explains that exhibiting is “telling a story with your philatelic material.” He encourages prospective exhibitors to “pick your topic, read this book and have fun.”

Zwillinger’s main objective in writing the columns and this book is to share useful tips that have resulted in success for other exhibitors. 

In the preface to the book, he states, “Much of the material in this volume shows expert exhibitors’ answers to the question that all exhibitors face sooner or later: ‘How do I show this complicated material so it can be easily understood?’ ”

For example, Tip 106 is “Show your exhibit at a local club.” Zwillinger explains, “Recently I had the opportunity to present one of my exhibits at a local club. It was exhilarating. … I returned home invigorated and began work on updating pages and mounting new material.”

He also includes tips on what not to do. 

Tip 57 says, “Don’t emphasize imperfections.” His point here is that if the item is significant in some way and adds to the exhibit, an exhibitor needn’t point out that the cover or stamp is damaged or is less than perfect. Let the significance of the item speak for itself.

In addition to the 175 “proven” tips on exhibiting, the book also includes an appendix titled, “Exhibit Page Production” by Gordon Eubanks, a two-time winner of the American Philatelic Society Champion of Champions award.

The book is available in softcover format for $34.95 for AAPE members and $39.95 for nonmembers. A hardcover book is available for $54.95 for members and $59.95 for nonmembers. Shipping to addresses in the United States is $5 for the softcover edition and $7 for hardbound.

To order, visit the AAPE website, or email AAPE treasurer Ed Andrews.