The FIP Postal Note Debate Continues.



'Pushing the Envelope' 

Dave Elsmore





In October 2004 I approached the FIP regarding the use of Postal Notes in Revenue exhibits and whether it was possible to have them included in the GREV. As we know postal notes are accepted in Postal Stationery and Postal History provided the exhibitor develop their own particular approach to the subject. WE CAN NOW ADD POSTAL NOTES TO REVENUES provided the exhibitor develop the correct approach to the subject. I have had this reply from Ron Lesher. Acting Chairman FIP Revenue Commission. It reads in part:

“Dear Dave In further discussions with members of other FIP disciplines. As you have pointed out in your initial email there is a gray area regarding the placement of a Postal Note exhibit. You suggested both Revenues and Postal Stationary. We believe that the choice of disciplines may be broader than that. Postal notes, depending upon the slant of the exhibit, could also fit into Postal History. The key seems to be the interest of the exhibitor and how the exhibit is presented. Because of this we believe that it should be up to the exhibitor to develop their own particular approach, identify the most appropriate discipline in which to place the exhibit, and then to abide by the SREV of that particular FIP discipline.

I do not know the Queensland postal notes nearly as well as the U.S. equivalent. In the U.S. case adhesive stamps were used for the cents, whereas the "stamped paper" specified the dollars. An exhibit could be developed which features these as part of the service of the postal service and viewed over time could show the development of the service in the larger context of the evolution of the postal system, perhaps even showing how they were transported through the postal system. From that perspective I would find the exhibit a perfectly fine entry as postal history. If one wished to focus on the "stamped paper" aspect, ignoring a lot of the larger postal service context I would think that a postal stationary entry might be justified. One can also imagine this as an example of credit stamps, stamps that showed that the purchaser had a credit with the government, which could be claimed by another individual after it had been transported and transferred to that individual. It all depends upon the emphasis and write-up supplied by the exhibitor.

 I understand your desire to make this a black and white issue. Another case that I have examined is the use of revenue stamps on covers to actually paid postal fees. In times of postage stamp shortages these were sometimes authorized and in other times just tolerated. Such an exhibit was judged very favorably in the revenue section in Istanbul. Frankly the treatment of the subject by the exhibitor looked like a postal history exhibit to me. Once again, however, it is the exhibitor's development of the subject that should determine how the exhibit is judged. I would not want to restrict a revenues used as postage to only the postal history section. Hope this helps. Best regards, Ron :  Ron Lesher.”

This timely reply coincides with my recent publication “QUEENSLAND POSTAL NOTES” where I have made mention on the contents page, “The study of Postal Notes has long been neglected. I hope this Qld study spurs on other students to further their knowledge and compile studies from other Australian States. A listing of these fascinating revenue stamped paper issues in revenue catalogues for some reason has never eventuated. It would be a step forward in placing them where they belong”.

This paper was printed in 'Asia Pacific Exhibitor' Vol 17 No62 page236.

© copyright 1997 on

All Graphics. Dave Elsmore

No part of this page may be copied used, saved in electronic form or hard printed.