|Report of the Meeting, November 4, 2017|
John Davis - The Boy King
Eighteen members attended, and there were apologies for absence from two members.
The Chairman welcomed members to the final meeting of what he described as a momentous year in many ways,
lamenting the loss of senior members in Peter Andrews, Erik Menne Larsen and Edmund Hall, all of whom had been deeply
interested in the study aspect. He urged that members continue in the tradition for 2018 and onwards. He briefly described
the circumstances of our receiving permission from the family of Peter Andrews to submit his material for auction as he had
wished, and noted that over £5,000 had been raised from just 17 lots in the September Auction, with a few more lots to be sold in the room today.
The Secretary, wearing his Auctioneer hat, was able to expand on that figure, noting that not only had the auction sold £6745 worth of material for the Andrews family but had resulted in £1806.23 in Circle commission after all costs had been paid. And the room auction added a further £558 to the family’s total – an excellent result. We all hope that the family will continue to allow us to dispose of Pete’s material in this way, to the benefit of both family and Circle.
Another important way in which the Circle gained from such top-class material was in an instant surge in member applications. As soon as the list was published several of our Facebook members decided that they wanted to become full members, allowing bidding rights, and the final outcome was nine new members. Two more were voted into membership at the meeting – so welcome to Evangelos Patris of Athens, and welcome back to ESC 368 Ken Doig of California. The Secretary showed some essays bought recently at auction and said to have been produced in 1865 by Charles Skipper and East for Egypt, but after much discussion members could find no direct link with Egypt, and the buyer will be so informed.
The Treasurer welcomed the boost in commission from the recent Auction, and urged members with UK accounts to pay their subscriptions by standing order, so that the amount would simply flow into our account without any need for cheques having to be paid into the bank. Jon Aitchison has kindly taken over from the Secretary as Meetings supremo, and we hope to have an exciting and noteworthy list of displays for 2018, perhaps involving two live Auctions at the Stampex meetings. In his absence, Neil Hitchens reported that work on the website continued, and that the intricacies of Edmund Hall’s brilliant work were being unravelled and made available. The Librarian reported that the last list of books in the Circle Library had been published in hard copy in 1995, and hoped to have a new and fully detailed list on the website soon.
The display of the day, by John Davis our Chairman, was a staggering tour de force of those adhesives associated with the young Farouk, who came to the throne on the death of his father, Fuad, on April 29 1936 and reigned until his overthrow in a bloodless military coup d’état in July 1952.
All of the stamps were shown, in all their full panoply, from illustrations of essays for the first issue through the “royal imperforates and misperfs”, booklets and booklet panes, first day covers,, and then control blocks by the dozen – incomplete, as John admitted, but not by much. He then moved on to usages of the various face values, ranging right through from 1 millième local newspaper rate to the higher values on parcel cards and bank correspondence. And the immense confusion over air mail rates by different carriers was cogently and clearly laid out.
Postal stationery was covered extensively, both mint and used, with additional adhesives where necessary to reflect extra services or changes in the postal rate – and John was astonished to find that all of his three 6 mills letter sheets were printed with the newly discovered ”mamlaka” heading (see QC 259): does anyone have a “dawla” type? Frankly, the display was too much to cover in the space allowed: but there is a possibility that perhaps it might one day find itself – in its illustrated entirety – on the website. As Jon Aitchison said, “I have really learned a lot from this fascinating display of more than 120 sheets. Quite remarkable.”
Members thanked the Chairman in the traditional manner.