Guidelines

Guidelines for judging Traditional Philately Exhibits


Introduction


These Guidelines are issued by the FIP Traditional Philately Commission to give practical advice on how to apply the GREV and the Special Regulations for the Evaluation of Traditional Philately Exhibits (SREV) which were approved in its latest version by the 70th FIP Congress 28th June, 2008 in Bucharest.


Current approved SREV


SPECIAL REGULATIONS FOR THE EVALUATION OF TRADITIONAL PHILATELY AT FIP EXHIBITIONS


Article 1: Competitive Exhibitions.

In accordance with article 1.4. of the General Regulations of the F.I.P. for the Evaluation of Competitive Exhibits at F.I.P. Exhibitions (GREV), these Special Regulations have been developed to supplement those principles with regard to Traditional Philately.

Also refer to “Guidelines for judging Traditional Philately Exhibits”.


Article 2: Competitive exhibits.

Traditional philately embraces all aspects of philately. This includes also those aspects, which may be used in other FIP classes and which are supporting the story the exhibitor is telling by his exhibit. This story must be developed according a logical plan leading through the exhibit. It may include aspects of the story of the stamp such as the way from the essays via proofs to the issued stamp with it’s printing phases and all kinds of varieties. It includes all kinds of appropriate material, even material, which might be used to form an exhibit of one of the special classes. The usage of the stamp must normally be demonstrated throughout the exhibit but this might also be a special section of the plan. Then it must be well balanced with the rest of the exhibit. The usage means here the different ways of cancelling, the postal rates and also routes if needed. The presence of rare postmarks, unusual frankings and postal forms has to be considered in judging.


Exhibits that do not principally follow the special rules of other philatelic classes shall  be considered and judged as traditional philately exhibits. If an exhibit is transferred into another class, the exhibitor has to be informed about the reason.


A transferred exhibit from another FIP class not following the regulations of that class, can be judged as traditional, but will normally receive lesser points for treatment, if not built up traditionally. 


Article 3: Principles of Exhibit Composition.

The Title page must contain an introductory statement, which explains the aim of the exhibit. It must be followed by a logical plan leading like red thread through the exhibit (Ref. GREV 3.3).


3.1 Material appropriate to traditional philately includes, among other things, (Ref.  GREV.  Art. 3.2).

  1. Adopted or rejected essays, die-proofs, plate proofs, colour trials, plate flaws and other errors in stamp production.
  2. Postage stamps, whether unused or used, singles or multiples, and stamps used on cover, postal forms, mixed franking with other countries etc.
  3. The different usages of the stamp including the different cancellations, rates, routes, although an exhibit consisting entirely of this material would be more appropriate under Postal History.
  4. Local stamps, private delivery services, parcel company and carrier stamps, shipping company stamps etc.
  5. Varieties of all kinds, such as those of watermark, gum, perforation, paper, printing and colour as well as specialities of a single country.
  6. Plate reconstructions and studies of printing plates.
  7. Perfins, postally accepted overprints and value surcharges, all kinds of postal labels like registration labels, parcel stickers etc if they are supporting the story to be told.
  8. Postal stationery if they are printed with the same cliché as postage stamps and stationery outcuts, if they are used as postage stamps.
  9. Postally used fiscal stamps and unused fiscals valid for postal use.
  10. Postal forgeries. Other forgeries and reprints only in comparison with the genuine stamp if used in a traditional exhibit presenting for instance one issue, see 3.2.4 below.


3.2 Exhibits will also be considered as traditional philately, if they are made up as following

  1. Collections showing the development of postage stamps.
  2. Special studies of papers used in stamp production, gums, perforations, colour variations, errors or graphic design, perfins.
  3. Collections of borderline postage items such as letter-culture, letter closing, newspaper labels etc.  
  4. Collections of fakes and forgeries, reprints, registration labels etc.
  5. Research collections like plate reconstructions, development of plate flaws.
  6. Comparative collections e.g. issues of several countries including “omnibus” issues or covering the first issues of a certain region.
  7. Other collections with special aspects such as events – “Day of the Stamp, Christmas mail, fairs and other philatelic events.


Article 4: Judging of Exhibits.

4.1 Traditional philately exhibits will be judged in accordance with Article 39  GREX (Ref. GREV, Art. 5.1.).

4.2 For Traditional Philately exhibits the following relative terms are presented to lead the Jury to a balanced evaluation (Ref. GREV, Art. 5.2.).


Treatment (20) and Philatelic Importance (10) of the Exhibit 30

Philatelic and Related Knowledge, Personal Study and Research 35

Condition (10) and Rarity (20) 30

Presentation 5


Total 100


Exhibits will be evaluated by allocating points for each of the above criteria.


Article 5: Concluding Provisions

5.1 In the event of any discrepancies in the text arising from translation, the English text shall prevail.


Guidelines.


The guidelines have been developed to assist exhibitors in the preparation and judges in the evaluation of traditional philately  exhibits. They are intended to provide guidance regarding:


1. The definition and nature of traditional philately exhibits.

2. The principles of exhibit composition.

3. The judging criteria of exhibits of traditional philately exhibits.

4. Concluding Provisions.


  1. The Definition and Nature of traditional philately exhibits.


The commission define the nature of a traditional exhibit as an exhibit that has its focus on stamps and production of stamps.

But a traditional philately exhibit might also be composed of other aspects of philately as the special regulations for judging traditional philately (SREV) in Art. 2 states: “Exhibits that do not principally follow the special rules of other philatelic classes shall  be considered and judged as traditional philately exhibits.”


1.1 Adopted or rejected essays, die-proofs, plate proofs, colour trials, plate flaws and other errors in stamp production.


Archival material from printers and other officials can be used to show a story about how the stamps were produced.   


1.2. Postage stamps, whether unused or used, singles or multiples, and stamps used on cover, postal forms, mixed franking with other countries etc.


Unused stamps and blocks shows how the stamps were sold from the Post Offices. Used stamps or stamps on covers and documents shows how they were used. A single franking can be used to document the reason for issuing a specific value.


1.3 The different usages of the stamp including the different cancellations, rates, routes, although an exhibit consisting entirely of this material would be more appropriate under Postal History.


Different cancellations, rates and routes should be shown with the background of showing or documenting something about the stamps and can be used to make a variation in what is shown. It will demonstrate that the exhibitor has a deeper knowledge of the usage of the stamps exhibited. 

For exhibited areas where the variation of stamp material is limited, and to avoid too many duplications, these areas can be extended with forerunners, studies of postal routes, rates and cancellations to a limited extent without damaging the balance of the exhibit of the stamps.

1.4 Varieties of all kinds, such as those of watermark, gum, perforation, paper, printing and colour.


It is essential that all areas of the stamp is treated in the exhibit.


1.5 Plate reconstructions and studies of printing plates.


Deeper studies and knowledge about differentiation of printings, the date of issue from the postoffice and the volumes issued as well as documenting the ability to position the stamps in the sheet will be seen as a benefit to the treatment and the knowledge about the material shown. Showing first day of issue or very early usages of the stamps might increase the importance and the rarity of the material.    


1.6 Perfins, postally accepted overprints and value surcharges.


Overprints and value surcharges are to be special studied just like the original stamp with information about why the overprints were needed and how they were produced.


1.7 Postal stationery if they are printed with the same cliché as postage stamps and stationery outcuts, if they are used as postage stamps.


With “same cliché” is meant that the postal stationery value stamp have to have the same design as the postal stamps and has to be issued and sold in the same period as the postal stamps.


1.8 Postally used fiscal stamps and unused fiscals valid for postal use.


Fiscally used postal stamps and fiscal stamps fiscally used is not traditional philately and belong to revenue class exhibits.


1.9. Postal forgeries, other forgeries and reprints can be shown in comparison with the genuine stamp as examples to demonstrate the knowledge of the differences between originals and forgeries/reprints.


Collections only consisting of fakes, forgeries or reprints and their production and differences are considered traditional philately. 


1.10 All kinds of postal labels like registration labels, newspaper labels, parcel stickers, return labels etc used, produced or accepted by the postal services, can be shown in special collections.


1.11 Local stamps, private delivery services stamps, parcel company and carrier stamps, shipping company stamps used, produced or accepted by the postal services, can be shown in special collections.

Also letter culture like embossed ladies covers, valentine covers, illustrated decorative covers, patriotic covers, etc can be included if they are supporting the story.


2. Principles of Exhibit Composition.


2.1 The Exhibit Composition.


An exhibit of traditional philately should comprise a logical and coherent assembly of material (as defined in 1.) to illustrate one or more of the categories set out below.


a) The issues of a particular country or associated group (eg. Omnibus issues).

b) The issues of a particular chronological period.

c) The issues of a particular engraver or stamp producer.

d) The issues of a particular event like “Stamp of the day”, Christmas mail, fairs and other philatelic events.


In a traditional philately exhibit the exhibitor tells a story with the exhibit. Normally it is the story about the development of the stamps themselves. It can begin with the reason why the stamps was issued following with the possible essays and/or proofs. It can then describe the development of the items, different printings, colours, perforations, papers, errors etc.
The usage of the stamps, the rates, routes, cancellations and other aspects are a secondary part of the story and may not be a dominant part of the exhibit.


The exhibits may be planned chronologically, geographically (e.g. by local/national districts), by mode of transport/service, or by any other way that the exhibitor may feel appropriate to employ.


The subject chosen needs to be appropriate in scope for both the initial and also the potential size of the exhibit.


2.2 One Frame Exhibits.


A One Frame exhibit of traditional philately is intended to be an exhibit within the categories mentioned in 2.1 with a very narrow theme that fits into one frame. If a theme can be shown in more than one frame, it is not suitable as a theme for a one frame exhibit.  


A selection of items from a multi frame exhibit may be suitable only if the selection can completely treat a natural sub-theme of the exhibit within one frame. An extract of a multi frame exhibit showing only the best items ("cherry picking") from a multi frame exhibit is not appropriate as a one frame exhibit.


As with multi-frame exhibits One Frame Exhibits should have primary focus on the stamps itself. Exhibits with a heavy emphasis of usage of the stamps are unlikely to succeed.


2.3 The Introductory Sheet (or the Title Page).


All traditional philately exhibits must include an introductory sheet. This introductory sheet should consist of:


The title of the exhibit.

  • Short, precise and relevant general information on the subject
  • A description of the purpose of the exhibit (What is included in the exhibit and what is omitted)
  • A description of the scope of the exhibit
  • A plan of the structure of the exhibit – chapters or sections etc.– rather than a "frame by frame" or "page by page" description
  • A list of personal research by the exhibitor within the subject (with references to articles or literature)
  • A list of the most important literature references


3. The judging criteria of exhibits of traditional philately exhibits.


In judging a traditional philately exhibit the jury will use the following general criteria (ref. GREV, Article 4.2):


1. Treatment - ref. GREV, Article 4.5

2. Philatelic Importance - ref. GREV, Article 4.6

3. Philatelic and related Knowledge, Personal Study and Research - ref. GREV, Article 4.7

4. Condition - ref. GREV, Article 4.8

5. Rarity - ref. GREV, Article 4.8

6. Presentation - ref. GREV, Article 4.9.


Exhibitors should be aware of the need to consider carefully the various aspects which combine together to maximise the award an exhibit can attract.


Some indications are given below of the basic elements underlying each individual criterion.


3.1 Treatment (20 points).


Treatment of the exhibit reflects the degree to which the exhibitor is able to create a balanced exhibit characteristic of the chosen subject. A logical progression that is easy to follow and a clear concise write up will help the jurors to appreciate the exhibit. In assessing treatment jurors will check that the statements made in the introduction and plan are adequately represented in the display.


The exhibit is evaluated on whether:


  • How well the introduction Sheet (or the Title Page) of the exhibit shows the purpose of the exhibit, define the scope and explain the plan and structure, as well as guide the juror to the most important literature/references for the subject chosen.
  • That the subject has been chosen to enable a properly balanced exhibit to be shown in the space available.
  • That the content reflects the title, purpose, scope and plan.
  • That there is a logical storyline shown created with text and material with a good balance between the different parts of the exhibit.
  • That the primary focus is on the stamps, how and why they were issued and secondly on other things around the stamps like eg. cancellations, routes and rates.
  • How the completeness of material shown is in relation to the scope of the exhibit.
  • That the headlines on each page support the understanding of the treatment.
  • That there is a natural start and ending point of the exhibit.
  • That there is no duplicated material. Text at each item should document the reason for showing it.


The selection of material for a traditional philately exhibit involves a compromise between the many pages of material the exhibitor may wish to show and the number of pages that will fit in the frames allotted by the exhibition management.


This selection is an important factor not only in assessing treatment, but also knowledge. The exhibitor may omit material that is of lesser significance.  In general, the common values of an issue may be represented by a token showing, while the better material of the same issue should be shown in depth.  The judges will appreciate that this treatment shows the exhibitor's knowledge of the material.


3.2 Philatelic Importance (10 points).


The "importance" of an exhibit is determined by both the significance of the actual exhibit in relation to the subject chosen and the overall significance of that subject.


In assessing the importance of the exhibit consideration is given to:


  • How difficult is the selected area to collect.
  • What is the significance of the material shown in the exhibit relative to the selected area. 
  • How much of the key material of the chosen subject is present.
  • What is the significance of the selected area relative to the national philately of the country.
  • What is the significance of the selected area relative to the world philately.


3.3 Philatelic and related Knowledge, Personal Study and Research (35 points).


Philatelic and related knowledge is demonstrated by:


  • That the choice of items reflects knowledge of the chosen area.
  • That items are well described.
  • That existing literature within the area has been used.
  • That the exhibit demonstrates a full and accurate understanding of the subject chosen.


Personal studies and research is documented by:


  • That the issuing process of the stamps are demonstrated with essays, die-proofs, plate proofs, color trials, plate flaws etc.
  • Types, printings and plating issues are treated on stamps and overprints with issuing dates and volume printed.
  • That gum, watermark, paper, perforation is treated and described. 
  • That the reason for issuing the stamp is documented with correct usage with explanation of cancellations, routes and rates.


Research and new discoveries should be given full coverage in accordance with their importance.  Major discoveries deserve important coverage and recognition and 

should be identified by the exhibitor, while minor discoveries should not overpower the main exhibit.  It must be remembered that many classic and modern issues have been very heavily researched over a long period and the results of these studies have been published.  To gauge knowledge, the jury will consider how well the exhibitor has made use of these resources.  It is unrealistic to require a collector to develop new findings in a heavily studied and researched area.  For this reason, such exhibits will not be penalised for a lack of personal research, but will be given additional consideration if, in spite of previous research that has taken place, the exhibitor has managed to come up with new findings.


The proper evaluation of philatelic and related knowledge, personal study, and research will be based on the relevant description of each philatelic object shown.


If using rarity statements ("One of X recorded") it is important to mention the source of this recording. Do not use expressions like "Unique" or "Very rare".


Only the knowledge, study and research documented by the items in the exhibit can be judged. Furthermore exhibitors should bear in mind that the information given should not overwhelm the philatelic material shown.


3.4  Condition (10 points).


The material in overall good condition is essential to traditional exhibit. 


Stamps should be in the best possible condition.
Look for:

  • Missing perforations. 
  • Margin on all for sides on unperforated. 
  • Nice and clear cancellations.


If an item has been restored or manipulated it must be described as such.

Modern material should be in perfect quality.


Exhibitors are encouraged to show unique or very rare material that does not occur in fine condition, but are cautioned from including other items in a condition that may reduce the perceived overall condition of  the exhibit. The condition of common material should be impeccable.


3.5 Rarity (20 points).


Rarity is directly related to the philatelic items shown and to the relative scarcity of this material (however, not the value).


The jurors will primarily be looking for:


  • How difficult is it to obtain the relevant and interesting material in the exhibit.
  • How difficult is it to duplicate the exhibit.
  • Essays, proofs (approved and rejected) and specimens.
  • Earliest known usage, largest blocks known, rare usage, minor printing volumes, special varieties in stamp and overprint.
  • Abnormalities in paper, watermarks,  perforations.
  • Scarce postmarks, markings, mixed frankings, rates, routes and destinations.
  • Check for avoidance of philatelic produced material and too much printers waste.


3.6 Presentation (5 points).


The method of presentation should show the material to the best effect and in a balanced way both in the sheet, in the frame and through out the whole exhibit.


The exhibit is evaluated on:


  • Good balance in the frames and the individual pages, with variations in the mounting between the pages.
  • Good use of the page – with not too much white space on the pages.
  • Careful mounting.
  • The write-up is clear, concise and relevant to the material chosen and to the subject of the exhibit.
  • Sufficient write up – but not too much text.
  • Illustrations are not too dominating and photocopies must be a minimum of 25% different in size from the original.


No advantage or disadvantage shall apply as to whether the text is handwritten, typewritten or printed. Brightly coloured inks and coloured album pages should be avoided.


4. Concluding Provisions.


In the event of discrepancies in the text from translation, the English text shall prevail.


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Approved at the Traditional Philately Commission meeting during THAILAND 2018 in Bangkok, Friday November 30, 2018.


Lars Peter Svendsen

Chairman 

© Lars Peter Svendsen 2012-17