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Filatelistische verantwoordelijkheid - Philatelic responsability

15 october 1996

Nicholas Shestople
Hainbrunner Straße 86
D-699434 Hirschborn-Neckar

Dear Nicholas,

Your article about responsibility in AIJP prompted me into a polemical reaction, I hope you won´t mind.

With regards, Rein

The keyword in Shestople´s Responsibility is in my humble opinion the notion completeness. I´m a fervent stamp collector myself, but my main interest is collecting knowledge about stamps, doing research and publishing. I also collect books, gramophone records etc. I do not have the illusion I will ever get all Beatles records let alone the Nepalese editions. Still from a simple collector I may develope into a Beatles expert. No one will look down upon my collection or expertise for me not having that particular Nepalese gem. Philatelists care too much for completeness.

They fool themselves when thinking that Postal Authorities care or rather should care for what philatelists think about their stamp issueing policies. Philatelic sales - I´m talking about countries like Germany, France, United Kingdom and not about Guernsey, San Marino, Pitcairn Island c.s. - are but a small percentage of the stamp revenues.

Postage stamps still fulfill a useful function in their logistical processes and as long as counter sheets, or stamp booklets, or coils or blocks of ten fit into those processes, Postal Authorities shouldn´t care less what stamp collectors think.

Dutch stamp collectors are confronted with quite a lot of blocks of ten recently. It´s my personal choice to collect them or not. No philatelic association or exhibition jury is going to tell me what to collect.

My responsibility as a philatelic writer is to tell my public what has been made available at the post office counters in all varieties possible. I may confide to them what I personally think about it. In doing so myself two years ago, I referred to a double standard concerning the Dutch Fepapost stamps.

Three stamps were issued in february 1994 ahead of the October Philatelic Exhibition in The Hague: 70 + 60c, 80 + 70c, 90 + 80c. All in counter sheets of 100. I mentioned the exorbitant surcharges in favour of the philatelic organisations and wondered why philatelic organisations should at the same time complain about the rising cost of philatelic year sets. Add the fact that the same three stamps were to be issued in miniature sheets on the occasion of the very exhibition in October. The organizing committee immediately reacted furiously in demanding my dismissal as editor of the Nederlands Maandblad voor Philatelie for jeopardizing their exhibition. The Board of Directors of my magazine didn´t give in. The sales of the FEPAPOST stamps were disappointingly low. Some philatelic officials still blame me for that! Did I act responsibly?

Copyright © Printing Matters (Contact Rein Bakhuizen van den Brink)
Last updated on 21 september 2012

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