The Champaign-Urbana Stamp Club will welcome members of the American First Day Cover Society at its 39th annual show and exhibition next weekend at the Urbana Civic Center. An AFDCS society meeting is set for Saturday afternoon.
Other highlights of the show and exhibition on Oct. 13-14 include the presence of a dozen top Midwest stamp dealers, a philatelic substation of the U.S. Postal Service and a special appearance by distinguished creators of commemorative envelopes for new stamp issues (First Day Covers).
The stamp dealers specialize in a wide variety of stamp collecting areas, including United States issues, worldwide issues, and postal history and First Day Covers.
FDCs are envelopes that carry a cancel from the day the stamp on the envelope was issued. As an example, for a stamp issued on Oct. 2, 2012, an FDC has to have a cancel with the date Oct. 2, 2012. Individuals, especially artists, often decorate such envelopes with illustrations that amplify a theme connected with the image on the stamp.
For a stamp with an Antarctic theme an illustration of a penguin might be appropriate. The illustrations on such envelopes are called cachets.
The creators of the illustrated FDCs are known as cachet makers.
"This is really art on envelopes," said Louise Toft, chairwoman for the show. "While each year we have many FDCs on exhibit and in dealer stocks, this year we are really celebrating the genre.
"Not only will we be hosting a meeting of the major national association specializing in FDCs, and welcoming dealers who specialize in them, we will be holding a Cachet Makers Bourse where some distinguished artists will be participating and offering their creations for sale."
The bourse is set for 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Saturday morning, the club will again present the seminar "What Do I Do with Grandpa's Stamps?" Toft said the seminar has been a popular and useful one for not only heirs of stamp collections but also for estate managers.
"A great many of today's estate managers have never been stamp collectors," she said. "This means they have no knowledge of stamp collections or how to sell them. They often overestimate collection values or, more often, underestimate them.
"This seminar will have useful information and tips for both heirs and estate managers."
The seminar leader is Tom Ross, an advanced collector of both U.S. and foreign philatelic materials.
Twenty-four large frames of exhibits (almost 400 pages) will be displayed. Among the topics for the exhibits are scouting and the stamps of the Franklin Roosevelt era.
Attendees also can get up to their elbows in stamps—literally. Included in the features of the show is the 3-cent table.
Said Toft: "We just dump out a box of stamps and let the attendees sort through them."
Sorters can buy the stamps from this table for just 3 cents each.
"We don't think there are any valuable stamps lurking in the piles, but somebody did find a $40 stamp in there several years ago," Toft said. "Sometimes the hardest thing to find is an ordinary stamp that dealers ignore or is only available as a part of a pricey set. This is just the sort of thing collectors look for in accumulations like the 3-cent table."
The club will welcome not only the post office but also a dozen dealers from Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
"This geographical diversity means a greater diversity in the stock of our dealers and greater collecting opportunities for our attendees," Toft said.
If you go
What: CUPEX 2012 Stamp Show and Sale, hosted by the Champaign-Urbana Stamp Club
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13; 10 to 4 Oct. 14
Where: Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Water St.
Activities: Join hundreds of Midwest stamp and postal history collectors viewing exhibits and searching for additions to their collections; almost 400 pages of exhibits, including some examples of inflation mail and many artist-illustrated First Day Covers (envelopes); regional meeting of the American First Day Cover Society and cachet makers (artist's) bourse Saturday afternoon; post office and top stamp dealers present
Website: http://www.custampclub.org