Special Regulations for the Evaluation of First Day Cover Exhibits at New Zealand National Exhibitions

[Approved 22 July 2006. The Special Regulations and Guidelines are based on the APF Regulations.]

Note: The First Day Cover class is not a recognized FIP class. An award won for an exhibit judged under the following national regulations will not qualify for entry in an FIP exhibition.

Article 1 Competitive Exhibitions
1.1 These special regulations have been developed to supplement those principles of the General Regulations with regard to First Day Covers (FDCs) at national exhibitions. Also refer to the Guidelines for judging FDC exhibits.
Article 2 Competitive Exhibits
2.1 A FDC is defined as

  • a cover to which stamps have been affixed and postmarked by the issuing Postal Authority on the date of issue of the stamps
  • a postal stationery item postmarked by the issuing authority on its date of issue;
  • a souvenir cover to which stamps have been affixed and postmarked on the first day of use of the souvenir cover; or
  • a cover with stamps affixed and postmarked on the first day of use of the postmark.
2.2 Exhibits may also include material used in the design or development of any of the above.
2.3 FDCs may be exhibited under the following sub-classesSubclass A

  1. Articles which relate to the first day of issue of stamps, or FIP defined postal stationery.
  2. The above may include souvenir covers and/or postmarks which relate to the first day of issue of one of the articles included in A (a) above.

Subclass B

Souvenir covers and postmarks.

Subclass C

A thematic or topical exhibit incorporating combinations of the articles in sub-classes A and B above. A thematic or topical exhibit may also include some maximum cards where such maximum cards meet the definition of a FDC and could be displayed in any FDC exhibit.

Article 3 Principles of Exhibit Composition
3.1 The constituent elements of a FDC should conform to the following characteristics:
3.1.1 The Postal Authority Article.The FDC should be franked with postally valid stamps.
3.1.2 The cover or article

  1. There are no restrictions on the dimensions of the cover.
  2. Covers may be officially or privately produced.
  3. Covers may be cacheted, either specific to the issue or generic. Covers without cachets are allowed.
  4. Cachets may also include a subsequent usage of a cachet originally produced for an earlier issue.
  5. Cachets may also be hand-drawn.
  6. Articles may be either addressed or unaddressed.
  7. Signatures on covers are acceptable and may influence the awarding of points for rarity. The signatures should relate to the FDC process i.e. producer, designer, engraver or related to the stamp i.e. person appears on stamp or cachet.
  8. All items should be shown with the postmark displayed. However for thematic exhibits the picture may be displayed but a photocopy of the postmarked side of the card MUST also be included.
3.1.3 The postmark (PM) – used in exhibits under sub-class A

  1. The PM must clearly show the date and place of cancellation.
  2. Postmarks that include the words “First Day of Issue” are preferable.
  3. Where available, related pictorial postmarks will be favourably considered.
  4. The date on the PM should be in accord with the recognised first day of issue, except in the following circumstances:
    1. A localised public holiday may defer the date of issue in that locality.
    2. Areas of delayed delivery will have a date of issue consistent with the arrival of the articles. This would apply to remote areas such as the Antarctic Territories which have only limited deliveries.
    3. Where covers have been postmarked in error on a date other than the advertised date(s) of issue. The inclusion of such material needs to be clearly described in the write-up.
  5. Where there is no recognised first day of issue, the postmark may be that of the earliest known usage. This date should be supported by stamps used on cover but a small number of cancelled stamps, either off or on piece, may be shown.
3.1.4 Pictorial and non-pictorial postmarks used in exhibits under sub-class B

  1. Postmarks must be dated on the first day of use of that postmark.
  2. It is expected that there will be a strong concordance between the postmark and the stamp and preferably with any cachet. However, this concordance may not be relevant in a thematic exhibit.
  3. The quality of these postmarks, unless rare, should be high.
3.1.5 Souvenir Covers

  1. Souvenir covers must be postmarked on their date of issue.
  2. It is expected that there will be strong concordance between the postmark and the cachet. As souvenir covers generally are franked with a current issue stamp, there may not be any concordance between the postmark and the cachet with the stamp.
  3. Souvenir covers are often issued in conjunction with explanatory information, either in booklet or pamphlet format. The inclusion of such material is acceptable, providing that there is at least one philatelic item on each exhibit page and the peripheral material does not overwhelm the philatelic content.
3.1.6 Supporting materialAn exhibit can include the following material relating to the production of a cachet on or intended for a FDC.

  1. Original design material including drawings and essays.
  2. Colour separation proofs.
  3. Printing proofs.
3.1.7 Classification of the exhibits.

    1. FDC exhibits can be classified by Type of postal article
    2. Country or group of countries.
    3. Specific time period.
    4. Producer or producers (official or private)
    5. Speciality or study (forgeries, printing styles, variation in postmarking techniques)
    6. Special event
    7. Theme or topic
    8. Any combination of the above
  1. In an exhibit, what are known as “variants” can be shown, e.g., FDCs with the same stamp on different covers, or with different colour combinations in the cachet, or with different cancellations.
3.1.8 Introductory or title page(s)

  1. On the introductory, or title page the name of the exhibit and the plan should be in agreement with the material shown. The concept, (the story the exhibit tells) the structure and the development of the exhibit should be clearly stated.
  2. The introductory page should include sufficient information to enable a proper interpretation of the Exhibit.
  3. The page should also include the main references used in preparing the exhibit. Additional references may occur later in the exhibit.
    1. A thematic or topical exhibit under sub-class C should also include a plan of the exhibit. This plan may be either incorporated into the title page or shown on a separate sheet immediately following the title page.
    2. The Plan defines the structure of the exhibit, and its subdivision into parts, or chapters. It has to be correct, logical and balanced, and cover all aspects relating to the title. Furthermore, it has to be fully consistent with the title cho¬sen and should generally be structured according to thematic criteria.
    3. The Plan may be freely chosen in order to show the development of a theme or an idea. Themes related to organizations, institutions and recurrent events may be structured according to their subdivisions and follow a thematically time or place related classification.
    4. The plan should detail the contents of the exhibit, its subdivisions, and the size of the chapters shown.
Article 4 Criteria for Evaluation of Exhibits
4.1 For FDC exhibits, special significance is given to the philatelic and related knowledge. The criteria are detailed in Article 4 of the General Regulations for the Evaluation of Competitive Exhibits (GREV).
Article 5 Judging of Exhibits
5.1 Except as specified otherwise in this document, first day cover exhibits should be judged in their respective fields and in accordance with the GREV, particularly Article 5.
5.2 For FDC exhibits, the following relative terms are presented to lead the jury to a balanced evaluation as shown below.
Sub-Classes A & B Sub-Class C
Plan n/a 5
Treatment 25 25
Knowledge 25 25
Research  15 10
Condition 10 10
Rarity 20 20
Presentation  5 5
Total 100  100

Guidelines for Judging a First Day Cover Exhibit

[Approved 22 July 2006. The Special Regulations and Guidelines are based on the APF Regulations.]

Competitive Exhibitions
1.1 The present guidelines complement the general regulations (GREV) and the special regulations (SREV) to help the Jury in their evaluation and the exhibitors in the preparation of First Day Cover (FDC) exhibits.
Competitive Exhibits
2.1 A FDC exhibit is composed of FDCs and related items as defined in the special guidelines for the evaluation of FDC Exhibits (SREV).
2.2 The quality of the constituent elements and the concordance between these elements give the FDC the qualification of “appropriate philatelic item” (refer GREV).
Principles of Exhibit Composition
3.1 The constituent elements should conform to the following conditions, in addition to those provided in Article 3 of SREV.
3.2 The postage stamp
3.2.1 Except in the case of rare covers, or covers that have passed through the postal system, the stamp(s) should be in perfect state. FDCs showing several stamps are accepted. The use of illustrated labels issued from automatic vending machines is allowed.
3.2.2 Full or part sets of stamps are allowed on a single cover, i.e., the stamps affixed need not match the postage rate for the item.
3.2.3 Some knowledge regarding the philatelic aspects of the stamp should be demonstrated.
3.3 The cover
3.3.1 The cover may be produced and distributed by:

    1. a postal administration
    2. a private cover maker
    3. a collector
3.3.2 It need not conform to any size.
3.3.3 Repetitious cachets are allowed, although they would generally only be included where all of the stamps issued on one particular date cannot be accommodated on the one cover, or are not available on covers with different cachets.
3.3.4 For this purpose repetitious cachets do not include different colour combinations of the same illustration.
3.3.5 For official postal stationery items, some knowledge regarding the philatelic aspects of the postal article should be demonstrated.
3.4 The cancellation
3.4.1 The cancellation giving the name of the post office as well as the date has to be legible and should be struck so that the cancellation ties the stamp or stamps to the cover. This applies also to special postmarks.
3.4.2 It must have the date of issue of the postal article.
3.4.3 Many FDCs exist franked with blocks of four stamps or miniature sheets prepared at times when it was not considered important to tie the items to the cover. These are acceptable unless there is reason to doubt that the stamps were not affixed on the date of issue.
3.4.4 Any postal article bearing adhesive stamps must have all stamps postmarked.
3.4.5 Non pictorial postmarks are allowed, as are postmarks having no direct or indirect relation to the theme of issue or the cachet.
3.5 Classification of the exhibits.
  1. An exhibit could comprise one type of article. This could be traditional FDC envelopes, or individual types of postal stationery. The material will generally be displayed in chronological order,
  2. An exhibit can be by country or group of countries having geographical, historical or cultural bonds. It is expected that such exhibits would fall into subclass C and be thematic or topical in nature.
  3. An exhibit of items for a given time period. The items will generally be displayed in chronological order.
  4. An exhibit related to one or many FDC producers, and would generally relate to a specified time period. There are many ways in which this material can be displayed.
  5. An exhibit covering a speciality or study, which could relate to such things as forgeries, printing styles, variation in postmarking techniques.
  6. An exhibit relating to a special event which was popular with issuing authorities, i.e., the 1981 Royal Wedding.
  7. An exhibit relating to a theme or topic, which is not limited either in time or space.
  8. An exhibit may incorporate two or more of the above classifications. Ms could generally be the case.
3.5.2 In these types of exhibits, so called “variants” can be simultaneously shown, e.g. First, Day Covers with the same stamp on different covers and with different cancellations and the study of variants of the cancellations.
3.6 The Introductory or title page(s)
3.6.1 For details regarding the introductory or title page(s), plus the plan for thematic or topical exhibits, see Article 3.1.6 of the Special Guidelines (SREV).
3.6.2 Exhibits may be supported by a number of sub-title pages containing detailed written material regarding the subject of the exhibit. Any such sub-title pages should include at least one philatelic item.
3.6.3 Such sub-title pages will generally relate to exhibits described in paragraphs 3.5.1 (d) and 3.5.1 (e) and will provide details regarding the cover producer and their distribution methods, or the background to the special study, or a combination of the two.
3.6.4 These sub-title pages may be included anywhere within the exhibit.
3.6.5 For judging purposes, the sub-title pages are to be considered a part of the competitive exhibit.
Criteria for Evaluation of Exhibits
  1. FDC exhibits are judged according to article 4 of the General Regulations for the evaluation of competitive exhibits (GREV) and in accordance with the Special Regulations for the Evaluation of First Day Cover exhibits at national exhibitions (SREV).
  2. For sub-classes A and B the allocation of marks is the same. For sub-class C there are differences to allow for the thematic style of presentation.
4.2 Treatment and development of the exhibit

A total of 25 points is allotted. The treatment and the development of an exhibit deals with following points:

  • Degree of advancement and originality
  • Does the exhibit show the greatest degree of advancement in terms of the items exhibited?
  • Is the approach orthodox, or has an unusual or original interpretation been used?
  • How complete is the treatment of the subject chosen?
  • Has the subject been chosen to enable a properly balanced exhibit to be shown in the space available?
  • Do the items exhibited properly correspond with the title and description of the exhibit?
  • The accompanying text should not overwhelm the philatelic material. It should be legible, and without spelling or other errors.
4.3 Knowledge and research
4.3.1 A total of 40 points is allotted for sub classes in A and B, 25 for knowledge and 15 for research. A total of 35 points is allotted for sub class C, 25 for knowledge and 10 for research
4.3.2 The exhibitor will be judged by the way the items for the exhibit have been selected. The content has to show knowledge of the chosen theme on, philately, cancellations and the cachets. The philatelic knowledge will be judged according to the interest of the comments.
4.3.3 Knowledge of the philatelic article covers details relating to that article including reason for issue, designer, printer, printing style, quantity issued and other philatelic details.
4.3.4 Knowledge of the various cachet producers covers details relating to:

  • Identity of the producer and his location
  • Method of distribution to clients
  • Period in operation
  • Number of variants produced for each issue
  • Printing methods used
  • Much of the above data could be included using sub-title pages.
4.3.5 It is most unlikely that the numbers of FDCs produced for each issue will be known. Therefore, where cachet variations are exhibited, the total number of variations produced may not be an indication of the difficulty of obtaining some of those variations.
4.3.6 The knowledge on cancellations, covers the types of cancels, the period used, the place and the justification of the use of the postmark. All attempts to improve the aspect of a postmark after it has been applied by the postal authorities will be considered as falsification and incur a penalty.
4.3.7 The cancellations by post offices of a country established abroad (for instances on occasion of philatelic exhibitions or other events) can be accepted.
4.3.8 The cancellation is especially interesting as it completes the unity of the stamp to the cover by its illustration or its text. Such concordance of stamp, postmark and cachet is encouraged.
4.3.9 If relevant to the period covered by the exhibit, the exhibitor should demonstrate the impact of the transition from addressed to unaddressed FDCs.
4.4 Condition and rarity of the material
4.4.1 A total of 30 points is allotted, 20 for the rarity and 10 for the condition of the items shown.
4.4.2 The rarity of First Day Covers depends on the difficulty of acquisition.
4.4.3 The condition may also vary for difficult to acquire covers and those that have passed through the postal system.
4.4.4 When evaluating condition, recognition should be given to the transition from addressed to unaddressed covers, the timing of which can vary from country to country.
4.5 Presentation
Presentation 5 points. The presentation of an exhibit should be well balanced and give a good general impression. Therefore the exhibitor should consider the following:

  • sheets used MUST be either white or of a light colour
  • display the selected material harmoniously
  • avoid sheets which are too empty or show too much overlapping of the material
  • the accompanying texts should be legible, and without spelling or other errors.
4.6 The Plan
4.6.1 The plan (for thematic or topical exhibits) is allocated 5 points, and will be assessed against the requirements in Article 3.6 of the Special Guidelines for the Evaluation of FDC Exhibits at national Exhibitions (SREV).
4.6.2 There should be agreement between the title, the plan and the contents of the exhibit, as well as a logical and judicious classification of the First Day Covers, adapted to the story line of the plan. The written explanations should be concise, and give some supplementary information about the elements.
Judging of the Exhibits
Evaluation by the judges for First Day Covers exhibits should be provided in a written format, and include constructive observations to assist the exhibitor to improve the exhibit.