Philatelists’ 174 Trophy night

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A highly specialised and well presented exhibit of american revenue stamps by Victor Lord Denovan was awarded the top mark of 88 points to lift the Stamp Club’s 174 Trophy.

The annual competition calls for an entry of between eight and 12 sheets plus title page of stamps or covers fully displayed and written up.

The winning display covered the years of the American civil war and after, with the stamps showing that the tax introduced on a wide range of goods and services because of the financial demands of the conflict had been paid. Adding to the appeal of the exhibit was many varieties and shades of the issued stamps.

Runner-up on 86 points was George Burney’s covers from the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic of 1917-1923. Tsar Nicholas II had abdicated and a provincial government formed by the Bolshivik Party under Lenin seized power in Petrograd.

All this turmoil affected the postal system due to an ever-changing value of the rouble and postal rates. This resulted in a wealth of covers for collectors and examples formed the informative display with some with 2D or 3D stamps affixed to pay the postage. On a cover to Edinburgh the face value of the stamps required was 2,800,000 roubles.

A display of Western Hungary by Betty Burney was awarded 84 points for third place. These stamps were issued in 1921 for use in areas where the Austrian Republic had demanded the annexation of 5800 sq.kms. During the First World War the area had been occupied by the Austrians but the Hungarians were unwilling to hand over the territory and so delayed the transfer, in the interval issuing these special stamps.

Also on 84 points was a collection of Victorian pictorial envelopes from Jake Coltman issued in 1840 by London stationer Fores. Among the 12 comprising the entry were those hand-coloured in watercolours by the purchaser at the time.

Archie Hunter’s exhibit of the stamps of DDR (East Germany) covering the years 1988-1990, was awarded 82 points. These were issued in se-tenant combinations, that is, when two or more different stamps are arrange in a strip or block adjacent to each other.

Awarded 78 points was Peter Boyd’s 1893 advertisement stamps of New Zealand, where a number of companies used the opportunity to have their details or products printed on the gummed side of the stamps.