The history of organized philately is an interesting one that dates back to the mid-1800’s. As an historian of the philatelic history in America and worldwide, Dr. Herbert A. Trenchard’s interests in this history was also apparent in his collection of international philatelic exhibition cinderella issues and labels. From the very first organized philatelic events, stamps and labels were produced that document the history and mystique of philatelic expositions worldwide.
The first documented philatelic exposition was in Vienna, Austria in 1881. The event was the work of Sigmund Friedl, a prominent Austrian stamp dealer and collector. The Vienna exhibition was the first large-scale public showing in the world of stamps from all countries. The exhibition was held from November 13-20 in the halls of the Horticultural Society in Vienna. The total number of visitors, estimated to be over 8,000, surprised organizers, and on November 15, the crowd was so large that entrance to the show had to be temporarily limited.
Perf and Imperf 1881 Vienna Philatelic Exhibition Issues in the Trenchard Donation
Dr. Trenchard’s collection is a treasure trove of the special issues that were created for many of the earliest international and notable European philatelic exhibitions of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Various Issues from European Philatelic Exhibitions of the 1890s
Many items in the extensive exhibition cinderella and label collection include many, if not all, of the known color and image varieties, perf and imperf.
The collection of international and European philatelic exhibition labels and cinderellas continues into the 1970s, but one curious set in the collection combines a philatelic event in Milan, Italy in 1906 with a September 1941 meeting between Spain's then leader Francisco Franco and Italy's Benito Mussolini in Bordighera, Italy. The 1906 Milan Spanish Philatelic Exhibition issues are overprinted with references to Franco, Mussolini ("Il Duce") and their meeting in Bordighera. Dr. Trenchard notes these as "propoganda stamps."
The challenge of processing and inventorying the Trenchard donation has proven to be a very rewarding as well as this collection of international and European philatelic exhibition material has shown. This collection, like that of the stamp dealer covers previously described, will be a welcome addition to the Archives of the APRL and in time a great resource for researchers and philatelic historians.