IBRA News 23.03.2023 – Festive evening / Palmarès

(wm-pcp) One of the biggest problems the IBRA team had to solve was not only the organisation of the festive evening on 27 May, but also the search for a suitable ‘hall’. For IBRA, which was originally scheduled to take place in 2021 but was then postponed, as is well known, the ‘Europa’ hall at Messe Essen had been envisaged, which could have accommodated up to 630 people, depending on the type of tables. In view of the world political situation, however, such a hall seemed far too large until six months ago, so that the decision was made to change to a smaller hall. The advance booking orders received since autumn 2022 also ruined this change of plans, so that in mid-March they were still lucky that the aforementioned ‘Europa’ hall was still free, which is now firmly booked.

Nevertheless, by 10 March more than 500 of the maximum possible 630 tickets for the festival evening had already been allocated. The remaining tickets will be available from April 1st 2023 via the IBRA 2023 website. A rapid sell-out is foreseeable, so all companies represented with a stand at IBRA, but also all other interested parties, are advised to act quickly.

IBRA News 18.03.2023 – Austrian Post presents the IBRA spending programme

The IBRA 2023 Special postmark
Austrian Post will have a stand at IBRA and has planned some special features and surprises for IBRA visitors. Now a surprise is no longer a surprise if you know it in advance. But Martina Prinz, Head of Philately Sales, has given us a little insight into the plans. For example, vending machine stamps with the imprint “IBRA 2023” will be issued for IBRA and a special postmark with the IBRA logo will be used. A highlight is the philatelic souvenir sheet with motifs from Essen. This was also designed by Bernd Röttgers, who also designed the Ruhr special issues of the BDPh. The motifs on the souvenir sheet depict the Philharmonic Hall in Essen, Lake Baldeney, Villa Hügel and the Hundertwasser House in Essen. The choice of motif is intended to express Essen’s close ties with Austria. The souvenir sheet is available for EUR 10 and contains three stamps at EUR 1.20 – ideal for a letter from Austria back to Germany. Austrian Post will gladly take your letters and send them from Vienna.

Philatelic souvenir sheet for IBRA (Image: Austrian Post).
The two vending machine stamps with IBRA overprint (Image: Austrian Post)

IBRA News 15.03.2023 – IBRA countdown launched on social media

(esc-bdph) Offers for philatelists on social media are still rather rare. At the same time, it is precisely “seniors”, who today make up a large part of the collector community and thus also of the members of the BDPh, are considered to be the fastest growing user segment on social media. With IBRA 2023 in Essen, the BDPh, as the organiser, wants to advance digitalisation in philately and set accents in the field of digital philately.
One contribution to this is the “IBRA Countdown”: for the last 70 days until the opening of the World Stamp Exhibition IBRA 2023 on 25 May 2023 in Essen, we will show a selected cover, stamp, book or other philatelic object from one of the many exhibits on display at IBRA every day. The IBRA countdown will take place on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BDPh.e.V/ and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/bdphonline. Just take a look and register as a follower right away.

IBRA News 10.03.2023 – FIP Seminars at IBRA 2023

(wm-pcp) The importance of this major philatelic world exhibition in Essen next May 25-28 is also underlined by the fact that the FIP, the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie, the world federation of national collectors’ associations, uses the opportunity of IBRA for further training of its jurors, but also for discussion among members of the so-called FIP Commissions.

For example, the FIP Literature Commission will already meet on 27 May 2023 (Saturday) from 14.30-16 hrs in Room C following the preceding AIJP Congress of the World Association of Authors and Journalists to present and discuss the new FIP Literature Regulations. Interesting aspects on the qualification of jurors will be offered by key note speaker Ari Muhonen from Finland.

The event is open to everyone.

On Sunday, 28 May 2023, two FIP commissions will meet. The postal stationery commission in room K from 1 to 3 p.m. and the commission for traditional philately from 3 to 5 p.m. in room D/E. Such meetings underline the importance and esteem in which this World Exhibition is held. Others may follow and will be announced on the IBRA Homepage.

IBRA News 09.03.2023 – BDPh presents the special stamp edition “My Ruhr Area” for IBRA 2023

(esc-bdph) The Essen Stamp Fair has been held regularly in Essen since 1976. Essen is thus something like the German “capital of living philately”. Ultimately, this long-standing connection and the experience associated with it is one of the reasons why the International Stamp Exhibition IBRA 2023 will be held in Essen.

Essen, that is philately. Essen is the Ruhr region. It is precisely through philately that many people from outside have travelled to the Ruhr region in recent years and have come to know and love it. Numerous visitors, also from other European and international countries, are expected at IBRA.
Reason enough for the BDPh to focus on the Ruhr area and honour it as a very special place with history, industrial culture, sports activities and nature with its own stamp issue “Individuell”. In cooperation with the Hagen-based photo artist Bernd Röttgers, the BDPh is issuing a special edition sheet with ten stamps at 85 cents each entitled “My Ruhr Area”. The sheet shows motifs from the entire Ruhr area and clearly bears the artist’s special signature. Bernd Röttgers is a well-known figure in the Ruhr area, and his pictures bring the colourfulness and diversity of the Ruhr region into focus. The stamp motifs were worked out individually for IBRA. Eric Scherer, member of the BDPh board and project manager of this special stamp issue, is pleased about the cooperation. He comments: “We have succeeded in creating a really great issue that is unique and interesting especially for the people in the Essen region and the entire Ruhr area – regardless of whether they are stamp collectors or not.” The sheet is meant to give pleasure.

The sheet is strictly limited and has a total edition of 1000 copies. The sheet is now available in advance via IBRA’s webshop at https://ibra2023.de/en/shop/. The sales price is EUR 20 including VAT. A commemorative envelope is also available to go with the sheet. All other BDPh commemorative sheets for IBRA can also be ordered in the IBRA webshop. Delivery will not take place until the beginning of May 2023.

The special post office of Deutsche Post has several matching special postmarks relating to the Ruhr region https://ibra2023.de/en/besuch-en/sonderstempel-en/

The sheet with 10 motifs from the whole Ruhr area.
The corresponding commemorative envelope. Here with one of the stamps from the sheet and the special postmark “My Ruhr Area”. It is also available in the webshop – but without stamp and postmark.

IBRA News 08.03.2023 – White Map of the UN Postal Administration Vienna for IBRA 2023

(esc-bdph) During IBRA, the various postal administrations will issue numerous special stamp issues and special cancellations. The United Nations Postal Administration in Vienna is again issuing a White Map. This time the motif of the cachet is the Gruga Tower and the Gruga Park. However, the wild animals shown on the cachet are not native in the Grugapark Small-animal garden. The White Map can be obtained at the UNPA Vienna stand during IBRA.

IBRA News 06.03.2023 – The European Academy of Philately (AEP) is also on board

(wm-pcp) The idea of founding a European Academy of Postal Historical Studies to bring together philatelic experts, stamp collectors as well as dealers, catalogue authors, editors-in-chief of specialist journals and presidents of associations and federations came from Jean Storch and Robert Françon. Their intention was to create a forum where authors of postal studies could meet and, if possible, make friends by organising regular events where members could meet for a meal together in different cities in Europe. The aim was to produce a variety of different publications that would keep European collectors up to date with the latest developments and provide reference works for study and research purposes.

In 1978 this Academy was founded and today it has several hundred philatelists from many countries around the world. The current President is Jean Voruz from Switzerland, First Vice President Patrick Maselis from Belgium, Second Vice President Rainer von Scharpen from Germany, Secretary General is Serge Kahn from France and Treasurer is Michel Letaillieur from France. Every year, these members, as well as the AEP Board, participate in important international events. One such event is IBRA 2023 in Essen, which will take place from 25-28 May 2023 in exhibition halls 7 + 8.
The AEP invites its members to a meeting on 27 May from 10-11.30 in Room C of the fair.

IBRA News 01.03.2023 – The special postmark programme for IBRA 2023 is now available

(esc-bdph) IBRA is slowly approaching and with it many things are becoming more and more concrete. The special postmark programme of Deutsche Post, which was developed by the Postal Philately Division in cooperation with the BDPh, has just been presented. For IBRA 2023 from 25-28 May 2023 in Essen, there will be a total of nine special postmarks dealing with topics related to IBRA, philately and postal history as well as Essen and the Ruhr region.

In addition to the two IBRA postmarks showing the Messe Essen building and the halved franking of the Stralsund letter, there are a total of four postmarks depicting the diversity of the Ruhr area in the fields of history, culture and nature. These also fit very well with the current stamp “Zeche Zollverein” as well as the special sheet “My Ruhr Area” announced by the BDPh. The programme is rounded off with three special postmarks with philatelic content, namely on the theme “Special Show 100 Years of High Inflation”, “Special Show Germania Stamp and Myth” and on the 13th German-American Salon.

The postmarks will be available on all IBRA event days from the Deutsche Post stamp service and subsequently from the stamp service of the dispatch office in Weiden.

IBRA News 28.02.2023 – QR code brings the story(s) behind the stamp to life – cooperation between Deutsche Post and BDPh

(esc-bdph) On Wednesday, 1 March 2023, this year’s stamp for “Stamp Day” will be issued with an image of the Stralsund letter. The stamp will be supplemented by a philatelic souvenir sheet, which for the first time will bear a reference to IBRA 2023 on the edge of the souvenir sheet.

The stamp for “Stamp Day 2023” (Source: German Federal Ministry of Finance)

The stamp is associated with a cooperation between Deutsche Post as one of the main sponsors and the BDPh. For the first time, the BDPh will provide a “landing page” with information about the Stralsund letter. This information can be accessed via the DHL and Post APP. To do this, you have to scan the QR code on the stamp using the “Track consignment” function and then call it up using the “Information on stamp” button. The display for this is optimised for use on a mobile phone. It is also possible to register for a trial membership with the BDPh via the link.
Access is via the “POST & DHL” app, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. In the POST & DHL app, simply click on “Track” at the bottom. You will then see a window where you can scan the QR code of the stamp. This not only gives you information about the item that was franked with the stamp, but also a link “Information about the stamp”. Simply click on it and you will land on the BDPh info page on the Stralsund letter. Complicated? Just try it. It works.

Here are the steps to scan the stamp:

1.: Download the app from the Google Play or Apple Store.

2.: Click on „Verfolgen” (Track) at the bottom.

3.: Scan the QR code and click on „Informationen zur Briefmarke“ (Information about the stamp).

4.: And continue via the button „Infos zum Stralsund-Brief“ (Info on the Stralsund letter).

The stamp, souvenir sheet and first-day postmark can be obtained from the Deutsche Post dispatch office in Weiden.

IBRA News 26.02.2023 – BDPh supports club travel to IBRA

Whether by bus or train … The BDPh supports your club travel to IBRA2023 in Essen. The funding pot is not yet fully exhausted and we can still subsidise clubs. You can find more information at:

Interested clubs should therefore contact Walter Bernatek, w.bernatek[at]bdph.de, as soon as possible so that they can take advantage of their membership of the BDPh. Walter Bernatek will then immediately send them the registration forms and further information.

IBRA News 23.02.2023 – The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists

Signing ceremony during IBRA 2023.
An invitation for everyone to attend.

Jon Aitchison
Keeper of the Roll

The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists is the highest and most prestigious of honours in philately, and is the world’s oldest philatelic honour. It recognises achievement, research, publication and service in many areas of philately. The Roll was instituted in Harrogate, England in May 1921 and the signature of His Majesty King George V appears at its head as the first signatory. The total number of signatories up to and including those selected in 2023 (but excluding H.M. King George V) is 407 from 41 different countries. In its design, it contains the names of 44 so-called “Fathers of Philately”, names of great philatelists who would have been invited to sign had they been alive at the time. At the first ceremony in Harrogate the signatures of the initial 39 names were added to the Roll.

This year’s signing ceremony, on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the first signatories to the Roll, will take place from 5pm on Friday 26 May 2022 at Schlosshotel Hugenpoet, Essen, Germany, during the IBRA 2023 International Philatelic Exhibition. The 2023 signatories will be accompanied by two elected during the last two years who had not yet been able to sign because of the pandemic. The ceremony is followed by a free drinks reception. Attendance at the ceremony is open to all, there is no need to pre-book and attendees should gather for the ceremony from 17.00. Return buses to the ceremony will be provided free, leaving from the Hotel Bredeney at 16.00 and 16.15, and from Messe Essen where the exhibition is being held at 16.15 and 16.30.


The new signatories join 89 other current living RDPs from 27 countries spread over six continents. Biographies of this year’s new RDPs follow. They are:

Pradip Jain, RDP, India
Ms.Patricia “Trish” Kaufmann, RDP, United States of America
Professor Dr. Damian Läge, RDP, Switzerland
Jesús Sitjà-Prats, RDP, Spain
Turhan Turgut, RDP, Turkey


Pradip Jain, RDP, India

In international philatelic circles, the name of Pradip Jain is among the best known philatelists from India, both as an individual and as the head of a family of philatelists. Pradip’s involvement in Indian and global philately stretches over many years. He served three terms as a Governing Council Member of the Philatelic Congress of India and was active in the organisation of three FIP world stamp exhibitions: India 1989, Indipex 97 and Indipex 2011, as well as the FIAP exhibition Indipex Asiana 2000.

Pradip has served three terms as a member of the Philatelic Advisory Committee of the Indian Government, which advises India Post on the formulation of national postal policy. He was also the FIP Aerophilatelic Commission member for India between 2000 and 2004.

As a collector and exhibitor, Pradip has had a major focus on various aspects of Indian philately. His collection of India airmails is well-know and his exhibit “Indian Airmails Development and Operations 1911-1942” has gained international awards, five times FIP Large Gold, Special Prizes, felicitations of the Jury at Pacific 97, and being a Grand Prix National nomination at Indipex 1997. It was awarded Best Aerophilately Award at Italia-98 and was shown in the Championship Class of London 2000. Other major airmail exhibits include “Development of Airmail Route between UK and India 1918-1929”, which was awarded a gold medal and Best in Class at London 2010. Traditional exhibits of the “King George V issues of India” and “India 1948 Mahatma Gandhi Issue” have variously received gold and vermeil medals internationally. Among postal history subjects, Pradip has formed an important collection of British Indian postal history.

The book entitled Indian Airmails Development and Operations 1911-1942, published in 2002, is considered the key reference book in this field and received a gold medal at the Chicagopex Literature Exhibition. Similarly, Pradip’s book on Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Issue of 1948, covering the design, printing, circulation and usages is considered the most important handbook on the issue.

He was honoured in the AAMS (American Airmail Society) Hall of Fame in 2011 in appreciation of his contribution to aerophilately in 2011 and is a Fellow of the Royal philatelic Society London.

Ms. Patricia “Trish” Kaufmann, RDP, United States of America

Patricia Kaufmann (known to all within the world of philately as “Trish”) has been for many years the leading dealer in USA Civil War philatelic material, including the stamps and postal history of the Confederate States, with an encyclopædic knowledge of the stamp production, significance, and use. She generously shares her knowledge freely through many award-winning articles and monographs spanning the last 50 years. Her website is the repository of a wide range of information from her researches. The listing of these issues in the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogues reflect much input and re-writing based on her knowledge and researches. She served as editor-in-chief of the full-colour Confederate States of America Catalog and Handbook of Stamps and Postal History (2012), the major handbook on the subject.

Trish gave up collecting and exhibiting in order not to conflict with her clients but her exhibit “Evolution of Confederate Postal History” won the National Grand Award in 1972. However, she continued to engage in significant ways within the philatelic fraternity: from 2010 to 2013 she was a Member of the Council of Philatelists of the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum and was a founder donor to the William Gross Gallery at the National Postal Museum. She continues to advise on the evaluation and describing of their holdings. She served for many years as an expertiser on the Confederate Stamp Alliance Authentication Service (renamed the Civil War Philatelic Authentication Service, and now emeritus status) and assists at the major expertising services on many of the most difficult and challenging items.

From 2016 to 2022 Trish served as the chair of the Board of Vice-Presidents of the American Philatelic Society. In this role, she not only contributed to the operation of the Board as the senior alternate to the President, but operated and was responsible for the Society’s disciplinary procedures, which evaluate and rule on complaints made against members. She also served on the board of the APS Philatelic Research Library 1983-1986, as well as in many senior positions on organising committees of numerous exhibitions.

Trish has been instrumental in using her researches and artefacts of the Civil War period to bring alive the history and interest in this important period of American history. As part of this, she endowed the Kaufmann Civil War Room at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. She was named a Distinguished Philatelist by the US Philatelic Classics Society in 2019. As recently as this year, she was honoured with the award of the Collectors Club of New York Lichtenstein Medal for outstanding services to philately.

Professor Dr. Damian Läge, RDP, Switzerland

It is rare to find a single philatelist that is associated with a single philatelic collecting and exhibiting class to the extent that Professor Dr. Damian Läge is to Thematic Philately. Whilst Damian has formed several collections and exhibits of traditional, postal history and postal stationery classes (mostly relating to the German inflation period), it is for his major Thematic exhibits that he is best known. His influence stretches beyond merely the formation of great exhibits but covers the conceptual evolution as to how a top class Thematic exhibit should be constructed. In this he has for many years led the way, achieving international recognition of what is generally considered as being one of the finest thematic exhibits ever formed. His achievements have so many “firsts” that it would be invidious to list them all.

Damian is among the most active of philatelists among international exhibits and exhibiting. He became a member of the FIP Commission for Thematic Philately in 1999 and was elected chairman for the period 2004 to 2012. He was the driving force behind the organisation of the FEPA European Championship for Thematic Philately and has acted as jury president at virtually all events since. He has exerted similar influence and performed similar roles at the German Championships for Thematic Philately since their inception. He is regularly seen on juries at international exhibitions around the world and has taken the important position of Jury secretary on numerous occasions, the most recent being at Helvetia 2022.

As a regular lecturer on Thematic Philately in general and on his own collections and exhibits in particular, Damian received the Lee Medal of the Royal Philatelic Society London for the best 5.00pm paper in 2004 and the Best Presentation Award of the Collectors Club of New York in 2009. He presented the Harry Sutherland lecture in 2009 to the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. His were the keynote lectures at international seminars at numerous international exhibitions stretching over many years. His book Thematic Development; The personal design of a Thematic Exhibit (1996) was described as the guide to the “4th Generation of Thematic exhibiting” and remains today the best guide to concepts and development of a top thematic exhibit.
It is rare to find a Thematic exhibit among the top awards at international exhibitions. However, Damian as achieved numerous top honours, including his “Australasian Birdlife” being the first Thematic exhibit to receive 97 points in an FIP exhibition (China 1999); first Thematic exhibit to be a candidate for a FIP Grand Prix International (Belgica 2001); first Thematic exhibit to be a candidate for a FIP Grand Prix d’Honneur (Washington 2006 and Bucharest 2016); first Thematic exhibit to win the World Stamp Championship (Budapest 2022).

Jesús Sitjà Prats, RDP, Spain

Very active in philately within Spain and in international judging and exhibiting, Jesús Sitjà Prats has been on the board since 2010 and President since 2013 of the Real Academia Hispánica de Filatelia e Historia Postal (Royal Hispanic Academy of Philately), the leading philatelic society in Spain. Actively involved in many aspects of the organisation of seminars and presentations, Jesús researches many aspects of the Spanish postal system, having retired as an engineer and gone back to university to complete a degree in history. At present he continues to pursue a doctorate in history at the University of Barcelona with the thesis The beginning of the Royal Spanish Mail in America, 1764-1780. He has also served on the board of the Spanish Philatelic Federation (FESOFI).

His philatelic interests cover not just Spain but also the Spanish Colonies of South America. Several exhibits have achieved Large Gold medal standards and, in Paris 2012 his “Classic Peru” was awarded the Grand Prix International, while his “Maritime Mail of Spanish Colonies in America” was among the candidates for the Grand Prix International in New York 2016.

A prolific writer himself, Jesús has been publications director of the Spanish Academy of Philately since 2017 and is responsible for the publication of Academus (6 issues) and several specialised publications. In the last year he himself was author of the book Barcelona, 1850-1950 – Historia Postal y sus Marcas (2022), covering the postal history and postal marking of Barcelona. Previous books include El Correo Colonial en Virreinato del Peru (2009), Postal Markings of Madrid (2 volumes 1850 to 1872 and 1870 to 1940), as well as pioneering studies of Peruvian maritime mail during colonial times, parcel post in the Spanish American colonies, the use of Spanish revenues and documents, the railway markings of Spain; his last publication is Private Markings in Spanish railway correspondence, 1848-1878 (2023), and many other subjects.

A qualified national judge and FIP accredited international judge on Traditional and Revenues, Jesús is regularly seen on international juries.

Turhan Turgut, RDP, Turkey

Turhan Turgut is a familiar presence at international exhibitions across the globe. He is a sought after member of jury as an FIP qualified postal history judge with a wide-ranging knowledge of postal history generally and of the complex Ottoman area in particular. Recent judging assignments include Notos 2021, London 2022, Hunfilex 2022, Helvetia 2022 and Liberec 2022, where Turhan’s role was often as jury team leader or jury vice-President.

In his home country, Turhan is Honorary President of the Turkish Academy of Philately and was much involved in recent times with the response to the various lock-downs due to the Covid 19 pandemic. A Philatelic exhibition had been planned to celebrate the centenary of the Turkish National Assembly and a decision was made to convert this exhibition to being one of the first e-exhibitions, with all aspects being held virtually, including well-attended workshops on postal history and the future of classical philately.

Turhan was involved on the organising committee of an Ottoman Post workshop in conjunction with the Fatih Sultan Mehmet University of Istanbul which brought together for the first time in Turkey academics and collectors to discuss Ottoman postal services, where he delivered a PowerPoint presentation.
His own collecting interests focus on the postal history of the Ottoman Empire and various of these exhibits have received gold awards at numerous exhibitions from the 1990s. His exhibit of “Ottoman Field Post” received the Grand Award at the World Meeting of Turkish and Ottoman Philately in Washington DC in 1995. In addition to his Ottoman interests, Turhan has collections of modern Great Britain, including booklets and the Machin issues.

Turhan’s study of the postal history of the Ottoman Empire culminated in the 863 page book Postal History of the Ottoman Empire – Rates and Routes 1840-1922, published in dual languages of Turkish and English in 2018. The book was highly acclaimed and received international Large Gold and Gold medals at several exhibitions. The second volume, due for publication during 2023, examines the postal history of modern Turkey up to 1950.

Two additional signatories at IBRA 2023:
Two RDPs elected during the covid pandemic were unable to sign The Roll at the time but will do so in Essen. They are as follows:

Malcolm Groom, RDP, FRPSL – Australia – Elected 2022

Malcolm Groom’s collecting interests have focused on the collecting and study of the stamps and postal history of Australia and his native Tasmania. He has covered most aspects of the subject, including Contract Mails, Free Franks, Commercial Airmails, postal stationery and the pictorial issues of Tasmania 1899 to 1912. His well-received recent book on the postal stationery of Tasmania (Tasmanian Postal Stationery by Malcolm Groom and Allen Shatten) is a first specialist publication on this subject.

Malcolm has been involved in organised philately within Australia, and with most of the national and international exhibitions held within the Australian region since the 1990s. He has held several different posts at the Australian Philatelic Federation from 1986 and is currently the longest serving member of the Australia Post Stamp Advisory Committee. He was Chairman of Pacific Explorer (2005) and President of Australia 2013, both successful international exhibitions, and was awarded a Fellowship of the Australian Philatelic Order in 2014.

However, Malcolm’s involvement in organised philately goes well beyond the local or regional. He was elected chairman of the FIP (Fédération Internationale de Philatélie) Postal History Commission in 2016 and has been very active in that role. As an FIP qualified juror since 1990, he has served on numerous juries throughout the world, including holding the onerous post of jury secretary in China 2009 and London 2010, as well as being involved in numerous seminars and presentations around the world.

Michael M. Y. Ho, RDP – Chinese Taipei – Elected 2021
Michael Ho has been active in Taiwanese and Asian philately for many years. He was an executive member of FIAP (Federation of Inter-Asian Philately) since the mid-1990s, including being secretary general from 2005 to 2009, and today remains an honorary member. He has been a Jury member at many international exhibitions and was FIP co-ordinator for the Bandung 2017 World Stamp Exhibition. He has also participated on the expert teams at several exhibitions.

Michael has formed several significant collections, with his collection of China Small Dragon issues winning the Grand Prix International in Bangkok 2003 and the Grand Prix d-Honneur in St. Petersburg 2007 and his book China: The Small Dragon awarded a large gold medal and special prize in Bandung 2017.

Others of his collections, including the postal stationery of Nicaragua, the American Bank Note issues of Bolivia, and the postal stationery of Honduras received high awards at exhibition.



IBRA News 01.02.2023 – Special stamp for “Stamp Day 2023” shows philatelic treasures: The Stralsund letter

(rk/esc-bpdh) Bisections are among the great treasures of philately in the old German states. The special issue stamp for Stamp Day 2023 therefore shows the legendary “Stralsund letter” from Prussia, which, in addition to a normal stamp, bears the halving of a 2 Silbergroschen stamp as a substitute for a 1 Groschen stamp on the front of the letter. The letter was addressed to a master mason in Berlin. Since the sender of the letter did not have a suitable stamp at hand, he cut the stamp before affixing it to the letter. Obviously, the fact that the postal regulations did not explicitly allow the halving of postage stamps was overlooked. The post offices did not see any need to regulate this, since all value levels for a complete franking were available at the post offices. Although these cases were not regulated, the known halvings show that for the most part these letters were carried without complaint and the halvings were tolerated and no additional postage was collected.

The Stralsund cover is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful halvings in Old Germany and impresses both with the neat cancellation of the stamps with the two-circle cancel of Stralsund and with the caligraphically impressive address to a master bricklayer in Berlin. The right stamp of a pair of the 2 Silbergroschen value of the second Prussian issue of 1857 was halved on a smooth ground. This was to achieve a franking of three Silbergroschen in accordance with the tariff for a letter up to one Loth for a distance over 20 miles. The exact year of this halving cannot be determined due to the lack of letter contents. The cancellation of the stamps with the postmark, which was customary from 1 April 1859, suggests that the halving can date from 1860 at the earliest. At that time the stamps used had already been replaced by a new issue on a gridded ground.

The bisection shown here is one of four known bisections of the Kingdom of Prussia and the only bisection of the second issue. The letter was originally in the collection of the famous collector Philipp von Ferrari. The next trace is found in 1937, when the Rothschild collection was auctioned off and the Stralsund letter found a new owner. In the past decades, the letter was traceable in the collections of the well-known collectors John R. Boker and Erivan Haub.

This stamp also appears as a “philatelic souvenir sheet” (souvenir sheet 91) and is therefore only available from the Weiden dispatch office and the Deutsche Post exhibition stands at Philatelia in Munich and IBRA in Essen.
At the same time, the philatelic souvenir sheet is Deutsche Post’s first stamp issue with a reference to IBRA in Essen: The block’s edge discreetly bears the reference IBRA 2023. At IBRA, the cover is shown in the original as part of a well-known Prussia exhibit at the competitive exhibition.


First day of issue: 02.03.2023
Design of the postage stamp and first day cancel: Ruven Wiegert, Berlin
Text: Reinhard Küchler/Eric Scherer, Bund deutscher Philatelisten e. V. (BDPh e. V.), Bonn
Value: 85 cents

The stamp, souvenir sheet and first day cancel can be ordered from the Deutsche Post dispatch office at

Deutsche Post AG
Philately Branch
Franz-Zebisch-Str. 15
92626 Weiden

IBRA News 01.02.2023 – The organising team publishes the programme for the World Exhibition in Essen!

(wm-pcp) Almost four months before IBRA 2023, the World Exhibition to be held in Essen on 25-28 May by the Bund Deutscher Philatelisten in cooperation with Jan Billion, organiser of the 33rd International Stamp Fair, the organising team has already announced the overall programme for the event. There has hardly ever been anything like it!

The official programme:
The programme is divided into three overviews. On the one hand, there is the so-called “Official Programme”, which lists not only the opening hours but also numerous highlights. Some receptions or evening dinners are by invitation only, others – for example the festive evening, but also various coach tours – can be booked in a few weeks via the website www.ibra2023.de. Here, too, as always: first come, first served. If there are any remaining tickets, they will be available during IBRA at the Philately Centre in Hall 7.
more at: https://ibra2023.de/en/programm-en/gesamtprogramm-en/

IBRA 2023: The programme of the IBRA stage in the glass foyer:
(wm-pcp) The IBRA stage awaits visitors as early as 11 a.m. on 25 May 2023 for the opening ceremony. Afterwards, it will be the focal point of numerous presentations by renowned experts on various exciting topics. The IBRA stage is located in the so-called glass foyer in front of the entrance to Hall 8 (Trade Fair Hall of Commerce) and up to 100 visitors can be seated there so that they can relax and listen to the speakers. After all, there are 18 lectures on the four exhibition days, as a rule probably digitally illustrated, which also take up the completely unusual.
more at: https://ibra2023.de/en/programm-en/programm-ibra-buehne-en/

IBRA 2023: The technical programme of the CPh Forum Philately:
(wm-pcp) CPh is the acronym of the Consilium Philatelicum, which, in keeping with IBRA 2023, was able to organise a specialist programme of special topics thanks to the support of philatelists from Germany and abroad. A total of 20 lectures / presentations were held. The majority will be held in German, some also in English. The topics are aimed specifically at more advanced philatelists or those who want to enter a new field or deepen their existing knowledge. All these lectures can be heard in room F, which is easily accessible on the ground floor of the event and offers space for about 50 visitors.
more at: https://ibra2023.de/en/programm-en/vortragsprogramm-cph-forum-en/

A recommendation:
Visitors to IBRA 2023 can only be advised to find out about these programmes early on and to make a note of what they want to see and when. The parallelism of different offerings does not make such decisions easy, but not everyone is interested in each.
As far as the IBRA 2023 festive evening, the so-called palmarès, is concerned, the good advice is: only a quick decision will secure you the place you want. This is because there are only about 200 tickets available for open sale due to the limited hall space. Urgent advance orders should be addressed to Reinhard Küchler, info@bdph.de. If there are any tickets left, they will be available from 1 April in the IBRA shop at www.ibra.de.
The general rule for all programmes is: Subject to change.

IBRA News 30.01.2023 – Tips for booking a hotel in Essen

(esc) Some of you may already have noticed that it is not easy to book a hotel room in Essen during IBRA. The organising committee keeps receiving emails saying “There are no more hotel rooms in Essen for IBRA”. The good news is that this is not true. Essen has countless hotels and it is easy to find accommodation at reasonable prices during IBRA in Essen. It is more difficult if you want to book a room for the last night before the start of the event – i.e. for the night from Wednesday, 24 May 2023, to Thursday, 25 May 2023. Then, unfortunately, you will not always find what you are looking for or, in individual cases, you will have to pay 300 euros and more for an overnight stay. The same applies to a few days before this date. The reason is another “mega” event, which means that many hotels in Essen are simply fully booked BEFORE IBRA. But as said: not during IBRA.

So what to do? For those who can, we recommend arriving from Thursday, 25 May 2023. Even for stays of several days from 24 May, there are still rooms available in various price ranges and districts of Essen, as you can easily find out via the usual online booking platforms, such as Booking.com and hrs.de.

IBRA News 20.01.2023 – IBRA 2023 with a record number of international trade!

(wm-pcp) What will take place from 25-28 May 2023 in Exhibition Hall 8 in Essen is likely to remind many of earlier times, when the International Stamp Fairs in Essen were downright „bear raging“! At this year’s 33rd fair, which is being organised together with the world exhibition IBRA 2023, this is once again the case. More than 100 dealers and postal administrations will offer their philatelic treasures on almost 4,000 square metres. With stands of 22 postal administrations, the hall offers a worldwide spectrum ranging from the Fiji Islands to numerous European countries. The centrepiece, of course, is Deutsche Post’s large stand, around which are grouped some 20 postal companies representing the most popular European collecting areas.

Equally impressive is the number and range of offerings from the international stamp trade. Of course, there are numerous important auction companies from Europe and overseas, renowned dealers in rarities from Great Britain, Switzerland and Germany, but also many dealers in letters and stamps, who offer a great variety of small-priced sought-after material at reasonable prices. There is something for everyone and it should not be difficult to find long sought-after material.

With this abundance, IBRA 2023 is clearly different from the big exhibitions, even the world exhibitions of the past year. Even in London, Lugano or Cape Town, the trade offer was quite clear. You should plan more than one day for food and prepare well in advance whose stand you want to visit. This is made easier by the early publication of the list of traders, which can be viewed at www.ibra2023.de or at https://www.briefmarkenmesse-essen.de/_messe/messe/aussteller/ already now – more than four months before the event opens. The stand numbers are also already mentioned there, so that one can easily find one’s way around the hall plan that will be published in a few weeks.

IBRA News 09.01.2023 – Essen is always worth a visit – Deutsche Post issues a special stamp on the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen on 05.01.2023

Available from Deutsche Post since 05.01.2023: The special-issue stamp “Zeche Zollverein” in the series “Landmarks in Germany” (Image: Deutsche Post)

The Zollverein colliery is located in Essen, formerly the largest mining city in Europe. Between 1851 and 1986, up to 8,000 miners were employed here, working in shifts above and below ground. When the facilities were shut down, a total of more than 600,000 people had worked there. Shaft 1/2/8, Shaft XII and the coking plant have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. As an industrial monument, it commemorates an important part of German economic history; as an architectural monument, it reflects the unmistakable signature of the Bauhaus, which earned it the reputation as the most beautiful colliery in the world. Every year, some 1.5 million visitors tour the original preserved surface installations of the colliery and the former production facilities of the coking plant. In addition, not only companies have settled on the site, but also cultural institutions such as the Ruhr Museum and the Folkwang University of the Arts. (Text: German Philately Service, Wermsdorf)

Date of issue: 05.01.2023
Value (in euro cents): 110 cents
Design: The colliery’s winding tower in atmospheric evening light
© Jochen Tack
Design of stamp and postage stamp: Jennifer Dengler, Bonn
Printing: Multicolour offset printing by Bagel Security-Print GmbH & Co. KG, Mönchengladbach on coated white and fluorescent postage stamp paper DP 2
Postage stamp size: 55.00 x 30.00 mm

There will be a first-day postmark from Berlin to go with the new postage stamp and a special postmark for the first day of use in Essen.
Requests for postmarks can be sent to the following address:
Deutsche Post AG
Service and Dispatch Centre Weiden
Special postmark office
DE 92627 Weiden

More information on the Zollverein Colliery can be found on the Internet at https://www.zollverein.de/.

IBRA News 09.01.2023 – IBRA 2023: Literature/Reading Area with Special Show “Chronicle of German Philately

(wm-pcp) 20 years ago, the author Wolfgang Maassen published the first volumes of a book series he called “Chronicle of German Philately”. At first, the idea was to publish annual volumes that would only record the relevant events of the last 150 years of philately’s development, but a few years later, “special volumes” emerged that portrayed individual renowned philatelists, professional philatelists, but also companies, clubs and associations in sometimes very extensive volumes. In the meantime, 35 volumes have appeared in this series, including some in both German and English (in total, the author has published over 100 philatelic book publications since 1980). Thus, in the “Chronicle of German Philately” alone, almost 9,500 pages – mostly in DIN A4 format – have been accumulated. If one adds the author’s philatelic historical works published by publishers other than his own, the total number of these works adds up to 43 with about 12,500 pages. Almost all volumes were written by the editor Wolfgang Maassen himself, but some were also written by other authors such as Peter Fischer or, most recently, Hervé Barbelin. Two books have co-authors.

This book series, which is unique worldwide in terms of scope and content, will be on display in its entirety for the first time during IBRA 2023 from 25-28 May in Essen. Selected volumes will be on display in a small showcase, the complete series can be viewed on a book shelf. There will also be the opportunity to purchase titles that are not yet out of print on site in the reading and literature area of IBRA 2023 – and at attractive prices.

The Global Philatelic Network (Köhler/Corinphila) is presenting the Edition d’Or/Edition Special book series in showcases and on another shelf. Approximately 80 volumes (!) have been published so far in this most comprehensive series of unique collection documentations worldwide. Editions that are not yet out of print can also be purchased on site.

IBRA News 09.01.2023 – IBRA 2023: In the “CENTRE PHILATELY” the “History of German Philately” is the ‘centre’!

(wm-pcp) As is well known, the so-called centre of philately at major events, fairs as well as exhibitions is the contact point for all those interested parties who want to be competently informed about the advantages and services of the German philatelic associations. This will also be the case at IBRA, which will take place from 25-28 May 2023 together with the 33rd International Stamp Fair in Essen (exhibition halls 7 + 8). The Bund Deutscher Philatelisten e.V. (BDPh) will present itself there, as will the Deutsche Philatelisten-Jugend (DPhJ), the Bundesverband des Deutschen Briefmarkenhandels (APHV) and the Bund Deutscher Briefmarken-Versteigerer (BDB). An additional BDPh advisory stand in this Philately Centre will offer valuable information on collector protection and counterfeit detection. Last but not least, all commemorative printed matter will be available at an IBRA stand, i.e. philatelic IBRA-related covers and stamps, but also the exhibition catalogue and a selection of books published, among others, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the BDPh, etc.

As the organiser, the BDPh is presenting itself and German philately in its ‘centre’, but also to world philately. Comparable to other world exhibitions, it is presenting an unusual special show entitled “German Philately: Yesterday – Today”, which looks back on the development of philately in Germany since 1858. In ten showcases, the theme “From the first collectors, dealers, clubs and associations to the Federation of German Philatelists” is illuminated using selected philatelic objects, usually letters and postal stationery, in a way that has probably never been seen before. The unusual exhibit – already the format size of 21 x 21 cm of the 80 object sheets, which is necessary for the showcases, indicates this – was specially redesigned for IBRA 2023 by exhibitor Wolfgang Maassen, a well-known philatelic historian from Schwalmtal. For all those who do not have the opportunity to see this exhibit in person, the exhibitor is planning a publication of the exhibit in printed form, signed and numbered, which will be available in small editions at the IBRA stand during IBRA.

IBRA News 09.01.2023 – IBRA 2023 with “Legends of German Philately”

(wm-pcp) Those who visited the website https://ibra2023.de/ibra-schatzkammer/ in the past months already knew that during IBRA (25-28 May 2023 in Essen) a treasure trove will be on display in which the unique “Bordeaux letter” – the only known one with the blue and orange-red Mauritius Post Office stamp from 1847 – will be exhibited. Thanks to the mediation of Briefmarkenhaus Richard Borek GmbH & Co KG, this is once again possible after almost 15 years.

However, the text on the aforementioned website also hints that there will be further top pieces of the exceptional class around this “crown jewel of philately”. The annual preview of the Wiesbaden auction house Heinrich Köhler – the house is the official auctioneer, major sponsor and philatelic partner of IBRA 2023 – already reveals a little of the secret. For in this treasure trove of the IBRA, the three most valuable rarities of German philately will also be on display. These include: the only known first day cover of the “Black One”, the Bavarian 1 Kr. stamp of 1 November 1849, the legendary “Baden misprint” 9 Kr. on cover, which was printed on green instead of pink paper (only one other letter and one piece of cover are known of this one) and last but not least the only complete sheet of the “Saxony Three”, Germany’s second stamp, still in existence.

Never before has this “trio” been admired together, and it was only through the mediation of Dieter Michelson, managing director and co-owner of the Wiesbaden-based company, that Joseph Hackmey (UK), the Museum Foundation Post and Telecommunications and a private collector who has not been named made these rarities available.
More details are expected to emerge in the coming weeks and months about other precious objects that will be on display at the IBRA Treasury in May 2023.