Philatelic exhibition

The London Stampex show is held each Spring and Autumn
A souvenir stamp from a 1923 stamp exhibition

A philatelic exhibition is an exhibition of stamps and postal history where stamp collectors (philatelists) compete for medals. The displays are shown in glass frames, and the exhibition is normally accompanied by stamp dealer bourses and post office stands where stamps and other philatelic items may be purchased.

Many philatelic exhibitions are regular events, held annually or at some other frequency and they are important events in the philatelic calendar.[1]

Types of exhibition

Exhibitions are normally of international, national, regional or local scope. They may also be for specific collecting interests, for instance the Eurothema exhibition for thematic collecting.

The most prestigious international exhibitions are those for which Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) patronage is granted, although the increasing cost of complying with FIP requirements has caused concern with some exhibition organisers, particularly in the developing world.[2]

Classes of exhibit

Exhibits are shown in different classes. Normally the classes are similar to those of the FIP Commissions:[3]

Not all classes are shown at every exhibition as exhibits and jurors may not be available. In addition, exhibitions not endorsed by FIP may have different classes.


Philatelic judging is done according to agreed criteria,[4] and in the case of international exhibitions the rules of the FIP are normally used. Judges need to be accredited by the FIP in order to be qualified to judge at FIP endorsed exhibitions.

Judging is a skill in its own right for which training is required.


The judges award a variety of prizes, including gold, silver and vermeil medals and other prizes as determined by the exhibition officials.


It is common for commemorative covers and souvenir sheets to be produced for the larger exhibitions and these are a recognised collecting specialism in themselves.

See also


  1. "National Philatelic Exhibitions of Washington DC". Napex. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  2. "Philately In Transition In India". 2002-10-31. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  3. "F.I.P. - Fédération Internationale de Philatélie". Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  4. Guidelines for the Preparation of Philatelic Displays and Competitive Exhibits by Mark Bailey. Wokingham & District Philatelic Society, 22 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.

Further reading

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