Stampa 2013 is being held in the complex of conference suites in the grounds of the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in the south centre of the city at Ballsbridge. RDS is the location of the annual Dublin Horse Show.
Today (Saturday) is the second day. I attended the first day yesterday. Admission was €5 (or €3 on production of a flyer). There were some over-priced souvenirs, which I did not buy. See the cover of the Show’s programme.
There was also a special Show postmark. Actually three different postmarks, one for each day. The programme is interesting. For example, it lists the members of the Irish Philatelic Traders Association…twenty one in all. About half these are actually based in Ireland.
The Show ran side by side with the annual Coin Collectors event. There was also some Militaria such as medals, badges and buttons.
The programme also had a floor map of the dealers tables. Actually there were only twenty tables and the floor map was completely wrong. Something clearly gone wrong in the proof-reading.
Dealers…well I would say only about seven or eight in attendance. One auction house, with extensive and expensive interests, has evolved from a 1970s stamp shop. There are maybe three Irish dealers, catering for the top to middle end of the market and known internationally.
And there are a handful of part-time dealers from eBay, mail order, show fairs etc. I always sense that the full-time dealers are quite complimentary to each other, often directing buyers to the table of a rival. But I always sense a certain tension between full-time dealers and part-time dealers.
Why is this? Well the full-time dealers carry extensive stock and have more overheads than part-timers. The part-timers are good value but wont have stamps that are difficult to find.
Certainly for a person like myself, playing “catch-up” after more than a decade away from collecting, I need to use the full-time dealers for (say) miniature sheets and booklets. And its more economic to use the part-timers for (say) common commemorative stamps (2001-2010).
The Irish Philatelic Bureau had a kiosk, doing good business in show souvenirs, including the special postmarks, new issues and taking stamped covers to be posted out.
The Philatelic Bureau also cancelled stamps to be collected after two hours. I had about ten envelopes (maybe thirty five stamps bought as “mint” from dealers). I was able to bring them home with me. There are maybe another ten envelopes to be delivered over the next few days.
Exhibition. Some really good stuff on show. My favourites being displays on Censored Mail to and from Ireland in the Second World War and on President John F Kennedy of United States, who was assassinated fifty years ago.
Good day? Yes I think so. The usual “cat and mouse” game with Dealers. Win some. Lose some. The surprising thing was how difficult it was to get cheap, commercially-used stamps.
But I made inroads into Wants List.