100th Anniversary of the First Croatian Philatelic Exhibition

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Serie: 639 | Type: (P) | Stamps in serie: 1
The stamp has been issued in a 20-stamp sheet and there is also a First Day Cover (FDC).

Stamps no: 639
Value:2,8 kn
Author:Željka Jordan, designer from Zagreb
Size:35,5 x 29,82 mm
Paper:white 102g, gummed
Tehnique:Seven-coloured offset glossy print
Printed by:"Zrinski" - Čakovec
Date of issue:9.9.2007

Motif: Magnifier and tweezers, basic toolkit in philately In the modern world, particularly in Europe, philately is an inseparable segment of the national culture and is, simultaneously, the promoter of national values, from folklore heritage, culture, art and up to tourism and sport.

Not once only was it declared that postage stamps are the finest mirror of a nation’s culture, the range of cultural accomplishment of its art and design expression that transfers messages to the most distant nooks of the world.
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Philatelic exhibitions, however, are places where philatelists can display their personal collectional preferences, investigations and creativity in the exhibiting of the philatelic material as guardians and promoters of the national cultural heritage.

Zagreb and Croatia can proudly point out that as long ago as the year 1876 it was in Zagreb that the Literarisch-Philatelistischer Verein [Literary-Philatelic Association] was established as the first philatelic society in Croatia and as the third philatelic society in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (the first one was established in Brno in 1874 and the second one in Budapest in 1875). The significance of this fact is supported by the data that the first society of this type was established in England in 1865, to be followed by the societies in the USA in 1866 and in Germany in 1869.

The oldest Croatian society of the sort with a continuously running activity is the Croatian Philatelic Society (HFD - the original Croatian acronym stands for Hrvatsko filatelističko društvo), established on the 1st of June 1896 and it is one of the oldest ones in this part of Europe.

The HFD continued with its activity for two decades as the matrix society, so that the philatelic societies in Croatia but also on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vojvodina, Slovenia and Serbia at the time of the Austria-Hungary and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes established their societies as subsidiaries of the HFD (in Karlovac, Osijek, Sisak, Varaždin, Slavonski Brod, as well as in Ljubljana, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zemun, Subotica, Novi Sad, Mostar, Tuzla, Bihać and Banja Luka). The Croatian Philatelic Society had 800 members before the First World War so that it was sufficiently strong and capable of organizing the then demanding international philatelic exhibition.

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the organizing the first Croatian philatelic exhibition. That event had taken place from the 1st to 12th September 1907 in the Art Pavilion in Zagreb. The goal of the exhibition, according to the article in the newspaper Obzor, was the following: “... on the occasion of this first Croatian philatelic exhibition we wish to present to the world our Croatian people as a nation culturally, historically and politically independent, our homeland presented by God’s gifts of natural magnificence and natural riches and our white city of Zagreb the head and capital of all Croats.”

The exhibition was opened by the Mayor of Zagreb, Dr. Milan Amruš in the presence of almost the whole of the Ban’s government members. As it was stated in the newspapers Novosti from that time: “The Mayor, Dr. Milan Amruš, in his fine and ingenious speech explained the goal of the exhibition. We have here the first Croatian Philatelic Exhibition for non-professionals, too.

We are particularly happy that the society has made our youth enthusiastic about this exhibition, (...) which has thus made the society proud not only before the Croatian people but also before the whole world.” The stamps displayed at the exhibition came from the whole world, among them many that were very rare and of great value at that time. The exhibition was divided into five parts: 1. collections of the society members; 2. charts of the HFD; 3. collections of the young; 4. philatelic equipment – merchants; 5. picture postcards and copperplate engravings.

02 charts_v1_468x60
Data about the exhibitors reveal that at this exhibition many well-known personages participated at the exhibition as philatelists, like Mijo Philippović, Esq., the founder of the Zagreb Zoological Garden, painter Menci Klement Crnčić, composer Krešimir Baranović, architect Dragutin Ibler or Dr. Artur Gavazzi. The exhibition had a more than excellent attendance so that the duration of the exhibition was prolonged for three days.

The Austrian-Hungarian papers as well as the ones from the whole world wrote at great lengths about this exhibition, considering it an important social event of that time. “Philatelists for Non-philatelists” was the motto of the exhibition and numerous articles from Croatian and foreign papers wrote about its success and the awakened attention of the overall population – all of them valuable documents now deposited in the HFD archives with more than 160 chronologically classified clippings.

The first Croatian Philatelic Exhibition was famous for many reasons, not only for the mere fact that it was the first exhibition of this kind in our country but also because it was, in the real sense of the word, a Croatian exhibition. This can be proved by the number of problems the exhibition organizers had encountered with the authorities regarding the approval of the contents of the exhibition medal and the stickers issued for the occasion.

The obverse side of the exhibition medal shows the image of a woman with a globe, the reverse side features the Art Pavilion and four coats of arms – the historic coat of arms of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia with King Zvonimir’s crown, the one of the City of Zagreb and then the coats of arms of science and of art.

On the stickers, issued in the form of postage stamps, the allegoric image of Croatia is shown with a small boy putting an album with stamps into her hands. It should be mentioned that this exhibition was the forerunner of a range of great philatelic exhibitions in Croatia; among them should be emphasized: JUFIZ III, the exhibition held from the 20th to 25th of May 1956, the only philatelic exhibition under the patronage of FIP [Federation Internationale de Philatelie], ALPEADRIAPHILA 2004, held in Zagreb from the 10th to 12th September 2004 under the patronage of FEPA [Federation of European Philatelic Associations], as well as the first national philatelic exhibition in the Republic of Croatia CROATIA PHILA ’93, held from the 1st to 15th September 1993.

Recently the Croatian philatelists have won numerous medals at world and international exhibitions; only in the year 2006 they won 76 different medals, ranging from gold to bronze. Besides, every year a number of promotional philatelic exhibitions have been organized in Croatia and there are also regular competitive national exhibitions, national exhibitions of the youth in Šibenik, bi-yearly national single showcase exhibitions in Novska as well as regional exhibitions Slavonijafila and the Adriatic philatelic meetings. Ivan Librić
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