Stamp show reveals rare treasures

Armistice Stamp Show chairman Mark Gellet  looks at postcards sent back from Belgium and France....
Armistice Stamp Show chairman Mark Gellet looks at postcards sent back from Belgium and France. Photo: Craig Baxter
From elaborately embroidered French and Belgian postcards to stamps marking the battle of Gallipoli, hundreds of thousands of stamps and postcards were on show ahead of Armistice Day in Dunedin’s Edgar Centre.

Armistice Stamp Show chairman Mark Gellet said 509 boards of stamps and postcards were entered to be judged, arranged by theme.

They included postage stamps from small towns around New Zealand and other stamps ranging from flora and fauna to collections featuring the Royal Family, as well as several boards of elaborately crafted embroidered  postcards sent from troops in Western Europe back to their English-speaking relatives. Mr Gellet said the national show was a twice-yearly event, and this was the first time it had been held in Dunedin and the first time it had been held on Armistice Day.

It was supported by New Zealand Post and the New Zealand Stamp Dealers’ Association and organised by the Dunedin Philatelic Society.

There were 20 judges, including David Loe, who said it was relatively rare for the embroidered postcards to be seen in New Zealand.

"They found those things and sent them back to their sweethearts in the UK,’’ he said. In the main, the entries were "awesome".

"I think there’s some entries here that really tie into the flow of the exhibition being around Armistice Day."

Mr Gellet said the exhibitions included a charred envelope recovered from a plane crash in Singapore in 1954. A woman browsing the collections said she had never seen anything like the postcards before, and did not know they existed.

"It’s amazing," she said.

"There are so many different facets of stamp collecting."

The show also included a section for dealers, with nine there buying and selling stamps.

elena.mcphee@odt.co.nz 

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