The International Philatelic Exhibition will take place from 8 to 12 November. The event will be held at Cape Town International Convention Centre 2 (CTICC 2). It will feature 1 600 frames of stamps from all over the world with a significant amount being proudly South Africa.
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Each frame comprises 16 A4 pages mounted with stamps and are exhibited in different categories such as aerophilately, picture postcards, postal history and social philately that bring along stamps and history. Entry is free to the public.
A highlight of the event will be the award-winning exhibit by Gerhard Kamffer – “The Road to Democracy”. Letters written by Nelson Mandela from Robben Island and other important artefacts of South Africa’s history will be displayed.
Before the internet and instant messaging, stamps carried our messages around the world. Up to a couple of decades ago, stamps were the WhatsApp of communication. Before the invention of stamps, it was difficult and expensive for ordinary people to communicate. The cost of communication fell dramatically when stamps were invented. Organised postal service increased both the speed and reliability of communication. As a result, communication took off -just as it did more than 150 years later when social media was invented.
Many important messages sent by mail and franked with stamps are preserved as a testimony of our shared history and collected since the 19th century by aficionados known as philatelists. ‘The Road to Democracy” is a curated exhibition of some of these important artefacts.
Jannie Hofmeyr, a spokesperson for the Philatelic Federation of South Africa said, “South Africa is a society that needs to reinforce the proud things about the history of its march to democracy – for everybody. The exhibit will help to create a shared sense of history.”
We all know of someone who may have collected stamps. These small, skillfully executed prints are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they additionally can transport a collector to the past. Each stamp illuminates a story – whether it is its designer, printer, edition, or function. It is no surprise that the earliest recorded stamp collection was a Geography instructor’s teaching tool.
Stamp collecting has consistently ranked as one of the world’s most popular hobbies. In the United States, it reached its peak in the mid-20th century; at the time, one in seven families owned a collection.
In some cases more valuable than paintings by the great masters, stamps continue to be a rare commodity. Even today new collectable stamps are produced. In June this year, the United States Postal Service announced that they would release a James Webb Telescope stamp. Yes, there’s a certain irony to celebrating bleeding-edge astronomy using mail stickers invented in the 19th century.
The International Philatelic Exhibition will include an award granted to the best in the show and announced on the 12th of November. This prestigious award will place one winner as the top collector judged by an international panel from diverse cultures.
What else to expect:
- A museum-like rotating exhibition of stamps from all over the World.
- Dealers and collectors from more than 40 countries.
- A curated exhibition by the Post Office Museum.
- A chance to see rare historical documents.
- Many rare and valuable collections for the public to see up close and personal.
- The public is invited to bring along their stamp collections to be evaluated by experts in the field.
Anyone interested in history and the raw documents relating to their history will find something truthful and relevant at the show.