Cyprus - Europhilex '02 Literature Class

I was fortunate to be invited to judge the literature class of this FEPA Exhibition with Tony Vivilis, Bureau Member of the FIP Literature Commission. It was not a large literature class with only 94 exhibits, but what it lacked in quantity, it more than made up with quality. We gave three Large Gold medals and five Gold medals. This was more Large Golds than any of the four other classes (traditional, postal history, postal stationery, and maximaphily).

Looking at the Large Gold medal entries, the Vincenzo Fardella de Quernfort "Storia Postale del Regno di Sicilia" in three volumes was known to us from PhilaKorea 2002. The Vaccari publication "The Post in the Territories and in the Duchy of Modena - History and Postal History" in four volumes was new, and it is a superb handbook. Vaccari SRL were extremely strongly represented in the literature class with seven handbooks or catalogues, and their two issue per year journal, being entered. Others of their publications were entered by individual authors. The quality and thoroughness of Vaccari publications are to be applauded and admired, and it was good to see them at the Palmares. The third LG was for another new book to us by Fritz Heimbüchler, RDP, entitled "Romania: Wallachia 1820-1862 and United Principalities 1862-1872", a complete book on the stamps and postal history, beautifully illustrated, and it was a worthy winner of the Best Literature Award.

Amongst the Gold Medals was "Italian Postal Rates 1862-2000" in six volumes, published by Vaccari RSI, a complete new series to me. I would recommend the volume dealing with Airmail Rates as being important to many philatelists. The final book that I found fascinating was again published by Vaccari RSI entitled "Italian Revenue Stamps - Catalogue 1862-1957 - Postal and Fiscal Use" (Large Vermeil medal). What made this important to me was that it included all the Acts that identified the revenue rates, essential to the revenue exhibitor.

The other two golds were awarded to two entries from Greece the philatelic literature of which appears flourishing lately. The first was obtained by John Coundouros for "The Control Numbers and the Classification of the Stamps of the large Hermes Heads" (English edition) published by Vlastos in 2000. The other was obtained by Moses Constantinis for "The Posts in Greece, their History and Evolution", published in Greek by Hellenic Post in 2002.

Turning now to more modern concepts of literature, the CD-ROMs, four were entered. The organisers, under the Chairman Nicos Rangos (also Chairman, FIP Maximaphily Commission), followed my recent request to FIP that these electronic entries should be sent to one of the literature judges prior to the Show. Judging at home took me over two hours for just two of the four CD-ROMs. Very unfortunately, the two Spanish CD-ROMs entered by Filabo SA and Lamas Bolaño were prepared to Windows 95 standard, and I could not open them at home. At the exhibition Filabo SA's entry was finally opened using a third PC, but the other CD-ROM required a linkage that was not available on Windows 98 and later Microsoft software packages. On a more positive note, Ken Lewis's "CD-ROM Postal History of Cyprus 1886-2000" gained a well deserved Large Vermeil award. It contained a significant number of illustrations of postmarks and details on the various post offices, including modern and old photographs of the PO buildings. There was a very large section on the Rural Postmarks, an important area within Cypriot philately. It used the advantages of CD-ROM technology to provide an excellent research tool and a resource databank. If criticism had to be made, there was no word search capability other than in individual folders. On the other hand, the author had made the CD-ROM available in tourist shops as my wife discovered, an excellent marketing effort.

To recap, a good literature class in a European International Exhibition. Linking this with good organisation, very friendly Cypriots, stunning countryside, and an average temperature of 26C and no clouds, you can realise that we had an enjoyable and rewarding time.

Francis Kiddle, RDP, FRPSL
Chairman, Literature Commission