(pcp-wm) While the south of France, even the Côte d’Azur, experienced floods due to heavy storm rains, the sun shone in Monaco from 28 to 30 November.
Blue sky, sun and palm trees. Worth an experience at this time of year. Photo: Wolfgang Maassen
Many hundreds of philatelists from all over the world followed the call of this year’s MonacoPhil exhibitions. They experienced an extensive programme of events that none of these events had offered before. Of course, traditionally 100 rarities, which members of the Club de Monte-Carlo exhibited in the Monegasque Stamp and Coin Museum, were in the foreground. They presented themselves as “100 Iconic Stamps and Documents”. However this year’s special exhibitions “Egypt” and “Maritime Post”, on display in the princely Top Car Museum, were overwhelming in the truest sense of the word. Even experienced philatelists confirmed that they had never seen such a thing in such concentration and abundance before.
Hany Salam (right) explains an exhibit of the Egypt show to King Fuad II of Egypt (left) and Albert II of Monaco. Photo: Wolfgang Maassen

This year’s official opening was also in keeping with this. Prince Albert II of Monaco took a lot of time to visit the exhibits in detail and had them explained by expert philatelists such as Hany Salam from Egypt or Paul Wijnants from Belgium. This even in royal company, because the ex-king of Egypt, Fuad II, and his daughter Fakhr-Eddin Fuad were honoured guests, even at the evening gala dinner.

This year the abundance of varied lectures, congresses and book presentations was striking. David Feldman S.A. presented new books on Egypt philately, Köhler-Corinphila presented volume 59 of the Edition d’Or series “South America – Maritime Postal History 1606-1886. The Everaldo Santos Collection”. During a Delcampe reception the new comprehensive book by James van der Linden “Mail across the Oceans. From the beginnings to 1875” was presented for the first time.

Many people at the reception of Delcampe. Photo: Wolfgang Maassen
Ten authors presented their new books and journals at the “AIJP-MonacoPhil-Academy” organized by the AIJP (the World Association of Philatelic Authors and Journalists) . At the annual congress of the European Academy of Philately (AEP) the hour struck for Richard J.). M. Garcia and Maurice Hadida to present their work about the Moroccan Post (“Morocco: The history of the Local and Sherifien Posts 1891-1913).
Every seat was taken at the AEP Congress, the European Academy of Philately. Photo: Wolfgang Maassen
This time FEPA, the European Federation of National Collectors, also met in Monte-Carlo and elected a new President, Bill Hedley from Great Britain, to succeed the Spaniard José Ramon Moreno in office. Hedley is well-known to many collectors for his numerous visits to the International Stamp Exchange in Sindelfingen.

Of course the international trade was also involved again. Around 60 dealer stands were represented in the Espace Léo Ferré, from Germany only the auction companies Christoph Gärtner, Harald Rauhut and Heinrich Köhler/Corinphila as well as Franz Fedra (Philasearch). According to reports, operations in the exhibition hall were somewhat quieter than usual, which was mainly attributed to fewer visits by French collectors, who also had other worries in view of the betting conditions in their country.

Of course international trade was also involved again. Around 60 dealer stands were represented in the Espace Léo Ferré. From Germany only the auction companies Christoph Gärtner, Harald Rauhut and Heinrich Köhler/Corinphila as well as Franz Fedra (Philasearch) were present. According to reports, operations in the exhibition hall were somewhat quieter than usual, which was mainly attributed to fewer visits by French collectors, who also had other worries as the bad eather conditions in their country.

Two other facts prove that top philately, but even everyday philately, lives and pulsates in its heart. On the one hand, a new “Prestige Philately Club of Prague” introduced itself on 30 November, and on the other, Sebastien Delcampe mentioned the number of one million monthly visitors to his Internet portal for collectors, which – according to his statement – has thus grown to become the largest collector’s portal ever. Reason enough for an opulent celebration, but also an indication that philately not only takes place simultanously in the hectic experience on the spot, but also in digital worlds.