By Jesse Robitaille
There was a noticeable Canadian presence at the recent China world stamp exhibition and Stockholmia international exhibition this spring, according to David McLaughlin, chair of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada’s (RPSC) international liaison.
The 2019 Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) general world stamp exhibition known as China 2019 was held June 11-17 in the city of Wuhan, where a record 400,000-plus people are reported to have attended.
“The bourse area here is like a bazaar, with people lined up to purchase stamps, covers and all manner of souvenirs,” said McLaughlin, who served as Canada’s national commissioner for China 2019. “The booths range from jade and silver jewelry sellers, uncut stones, perfumes, postal authorities, major auction houses like Spink, Christoph Gartner, Stanley Gibbons and an assortment of Asian dealers. There was no lack of customers at any booth.”
Altogether, there were nearly 4,700 exhibit frames from 85 exhibitors plus more than 80 international judges. There were 12 Canadian exhibits, including Fred Fawn’s “Canada – The Large Queens 1868-1896 The First Stamps Printed in Canada” and McLaughlin’s “The Maple Leaf Issue of Canada 1897-1898,” both of which earned 93 points and a gold.
Representatives from 22 members of the Universal Postal Union – Canada not among them – also attended the week-long show, with Australia Post and New Zealand Post issuing themed stamps to mark the event.
It was the third time China, which joined the FIP in 1983, has hosted the federation’s world stamp exhibition.
The next FIP annual exhibition is scheduled to be held in London, England, in 2020.
Meanwhile, Stockholmia 2019 was held May 29-June 2 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL).
Held in Sweden, where it was that country’s largest philatelic exhibition since 1986, the exhibition recognized the RPSL’s global membership, more than half of which live outside of the U.K.
The Canadian contingent numbered about 12 philatelists, including Charles Verge, who was a team leader on the jury, and McLaughlin, who was the sole Canadian exhibitor.
McLaughlin’s eight frame exhibit, “The Maple Leaf Issue of Canada 1897-1898,” earned 95 points for a large gold – one of 23 handed out in the traditional philately class. Altogether, there were 70 large gold winners across nine classes and 294 exhibits.
New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions had a booth on the bourse, and dealer Chris Green, of Ottawa, was the Canadian ambassador for the show and also participated with Spink and Son.
With more than 2,000 frames of exhibits, 200 public seminars and meetings and nearly 50 dealers and auction houses from 14 countries on the bourse, Stockholmia was the largest club-run show held anywhere in the world in recent decades, more than doubling the size and attendance of the largest U.S. shows.
A full review of both exhibitions will be published in a future issue of CSN.