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Where in the world is… Hans-Joachim Schwanke?

(wm) Many philatelists will never forget the sessions of the German auction house of Hans-Joachim Schwanke in Hamburg; the regular auctions, the special ones, his dedication to literature, etc. About half a year ago ‘Hajo’ (as his friends are wont to call him) retired, his auction house got a new name ("Auction Galleries Hamburg") and a new owner (Christoph Gärtner) made his entrance. And now many friends and relations of Hans-Joachim wonder how he spends his days. ‘Retirement’ often means ‘blissful tranquility’, but not in Hajo’s case. You would like to see the evidence of this contention? Just pay a visit to "Eine kleine Geschichte aus MAURITIUS" , and you will see what we mean. It turns out that Hans-Joachim is still active as a philatelic expert, leaning on an professional experience of almost 50 years, forty of which he spent in the world of philatelic auctions. He is still available if you wish to profit from this experience, following the same path that his colleague and friend, the former German top auctioneer Wolfgang Jakubek, chose a number of years ago.

The two things he likes to do the most are perhaps travelling and telling stories. He was able to combine these two things when he travelled to Mauritius a few months ago, in the company of his wife Sabine. His account of this trip is humorous words and sometimes a bit mischievous. He describes his visits to the Mauritian museums (including the Blue Penny Museum where the world-famous ‘Post Office’ stamps are on show), but also his search for the tomb of Joseph Osmond Barnard, the craftsman that engraved the first Mauritius stamps. Jakubek once stated that a search for Barnard's grave on the Mauritian cemetery would prove fruitless ‘because he has been buried on his own sugar cane plantation.’

Although Jakubek’s statement sounded quite certain, it still left Hajo no rest. He wanted to know for sure where the remains of Barnard could be found. We won’t give away the whole story, but Hajo’s account has a happy ending. He also presents a photograph of Barnard’s resting place. Well, look for yourself and use the link presented above.

The rediscovered tomb of Joseph Osmond Barnard, the engraver of the famous Mauritius ‘Post Office’ stamps. Photo: H. Schwanke

Source: AIJP News

Introducing the New IFSDA Board Members

At our recent AGM in London, we were pleased to confirm three new IFSDA Board Members from Netherlands, South Africa and Australia.

Netherlands: Rob Smit: Hans van den Eijnde's choice as successor as NVPH representative to IFSDA. Rob has 4 stamp shops and an internet stamp business under the banner. He is a Board member of the NVPH and has been involved in the production of the Dutch Stamp Catalogue for the past 10 years. He has a varied business and technology background with talents and insight valuable to IFSDA going forward. Hans looks forward to liaising with Rob as he joins our Executive.


Francois Friend, Philatelist: A professional engineer by trade, Francois turned his hand towards philately first on an ad hoc basis in 1994, and thereafter on a more permanent footing since 2013.  Francois has a special interest in Hong Kong and St Helena and has exhibited on both countries, nationally and internationally.  He is president of the Port Elizabeth Philatelic Society, Vice-president of the South African Philatelic Dealers Association, life member and Director-at-large of the St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society, and member of both the Hong Kong Philatelic Society and the Hong Kong Study Circle.


Australia: Torsten Weller: A young, independent philatelist with a successful career as a Postal History dealer. He is internationally active and travels extensively worldwide. He has just been appointed as Philatelic Specialist with Melbourne-based auctioneer Mossgreen. Torsten enjoys a sound reputation and was considered a perfect candidate from APTA.

World’s Oldest Philatelic Association Looking for New Home

(wm) The Royal Philatelic Society of London (RSPL) is finally getting down to brass tacks: in the near future it will leave its London home at Devonshire Place 41, which became operational in 1925. For twenty years the RPSL has been looking for a new and larger home. The present building, which was erected just before the end of the 18th century, had to be renovated. This would have amounted to a cost of millions of pounds and a long closure of the premises. Renovation would not have helped: the current building is too small for housing the museum of the RSPL, its collections and its constantly growing libraries. It offered little technological comfort, although the around 2,500 members from all over the world definitive appreciated the "old-style" charm of the rooms.
The RPSL building has a business value of six to seven million pounds sterling. This is because it is close to Harley Street in Marylebone, a very popular residential area. The RPSL assumes that it can buy a much larger building, elsewhere in London, with the proceeds of the old building.
The president of the association, Frank Walton, commented: ‘Each member will have his or her own tender memories of our Marylebone home. But the amount of support for the request to find a new home was overwhelming.’
And now the search can begin. It will not be easy, because a two-to-three-storey building that is much larger than the previous one is desired. Good traffic connections and in a good condition are also required. Perhaps a property from the Victorian era, with much flair and historical charm, can be purchased, but a solid state of the building will be necessary.

Picture: the corner building of the Royal Philatelic Society London (entrance left) at Devonshire Place 41 (photo: Philafrenzy)

Source: AIJP News

Attendance at World Stamp Show-NY 2016

by Wade Saadi, President, NY 2016

Attendance at World Stamp Show-NY 2016 was as successful as previous USA Internationals. At all of those shows, attendance was measured by "gate clicks"; a click for every time a person entered the show floor, regardless of how many times a day they traversed the gate throughout the show. This would include reentering the show floor after attending a seminar, an auction, going to get coffee or lunch, visiting the lobby for an event, going out for some fresh air, etc.

If a person who attended the show attended two seminars and went out for any food or drink, they would have 4 gate clicks that day. If they attended the show for all 8 days that would be 32 gate clicks for one person. However, if they came in once and then left, that would be a single click. 

It was felt the most accurate way for us to account for attendance would be by counting those who actually registered; the unique visitors. This was possible for this show with the advent of online registration and today's technology; almost 50% of our registrations were done prior to the show by the show goer, and another 10% by us beforehand (dealers, exhibitors, volunteers, donors, et. al.)

Afterwards, using the actual registration numbers, others could extrapolate whatever hypothetical they need from there. Regardless of different methods of accounting for attendance, there were more important and relevant methods of determining the success of a U.S. International.  

To wit; the vast majority of the dealers who attended had a fantastic show and were delighted at their sales and traffic. The show attendees, from all accounts, were delighted with the event. The press reports and coverage were fantastic and the hobby was well served by the exhibition.

By the numbers:
2,380 – VIP Badges printed in advance
275 – VIP Badges printed on-site
2,530 – School group participants
7,738 – Paper Registrations
10,094 – Online Registrations
23,017 unique visitors by registration

Tony Shields Awarded Honorary FAP

IFSDA wishes to congratulate Tony Shields on his recent award of an Honorary FAP by the Australian Philatelic Federation

Tony Shields together with his wife, Christine and daughter Katherine.

 Tony Shields started collecting stamps at the age of five. Nine years later after moving from the country, he joined the Frankston and District Stamp Club as a junior in 1967 and Brighton Philatelic Society in 1968. He was awarded The Ern Allitt Junior Trophy for his B.C.O.F. Japan exhibit at The Victorian Philatelic Association Congress in 1970, and worked for Tam Mappin of Mappin and Curran in their stamp shop over the university holidays. A year later he joined his friend David Kirby and worked at Max Sterns over the next 6 years on a part time and then full time basis.

 Within a year of finishing his Economics Degree and other studies, he married and together with his wife, Christine started a mail order stamp business, advertising in The Australian Stamp Monthly, and selling on exchange sheets. He helped re-establish the defunct Eltham Stamp Club (now Diamond Valley Stamp Club) and was its foundation Vice President, and in due course its President for over 10 years. He continued as a member for over 20 years.

He opened his first shop on 1st March 1979 in Greensborough and joined the Australasian Stamp Dealers Association. Within a year he was asked by Max Stern to join the committee, and by 1982 was President of the Victorian Chapter of ASDA and already on its National Board. He became a delegate to The Victorian Philatelic Council in the same year.

In 1985 Tony became the youngest ever President of the national trade body ASDA - now called The Australasian Philatelic Traders Association. He has held that position a record number of times, and undertook a massive restructuring of that organisation in the 1990s to turn its fortunes around and establish it as the most successful stamp dealers association in the world. Membership boomed and Tony was actively involved in obtaining most of the new ones through his international contacts. He also established a national circuit of APTA stamp shows, organised dealer bourses which were only open to the trade, proposed and helped to organise National stamp Dealer Conventions to educate the trade in various business matters, and helped to run a significant number of social events including golf days and a car rally. Many of his ideas for promoting shows and the trade are still used today. It was his idea to overprint booklets for 1989 Tram Show in Melbourne, and that idea has been used by virtually every show ever held in Australia since then, to help raise funds to run the show. Subsequently he did the same for exhibition covers and Philatelic Numismatic Covers. The idea has been copied by many other trade bodies around the world and even Australia Post and by now has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for organised philately and the trade.

In 1989 Tony attended his first overseas stamp show, which was in Singapore. Since then he has been a stand holder at hundreds of overseas stamp exhibitions, in 22 different countries, and significantly helped to promote Australian Philately in the process. He has joined trade bodies and collectors clubs in virtually all of them. In Australia Tony was Vice President of Melbourne Stamp Show 1989 and the last 4 world stamp exhibitions held in Australia - Melbourne 1999, Olymphilex 2000, Pacific Explorer 2005 and Australia 2013. He was a very active contributor to all of these and it was his idea at the Victorian Show in Wodonga to hold Australia 2013.

Tony and his business have received many trade awards from the national trade body including Dealer of the Year on numerous occasions. In 2002, he was the first non-British person to be awarded The Roland Hill Philatelic Award in London for "Enterprise and Personal Contribution" to the trade and hobby. The award was given by the British Post Office and Philatelic Traders Society. Later in the same year, he became the first ever recipient of the SPAN award from APF, and in 2007 was awarded life membership of APTA - one of only 7 people to be ever awarded this honour.

Extract from APF News, August 2016, Vol. 30 No.2 by Gary Brown.