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Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Fair Postal Ephemera

As I finally reach the century mark on this blog with this post, I thought I'd post a few pieces of ephemera in observation of book fairs. The subject is timely because I'm headed up to Austin with a truckload of books to do the Austin Book, Paper & Photo Show this weekend. The preceding link shows six images from last year's show. I didn't make the cut, but my wife did--our exhibit barely shows up on the far-right side of image 4/6. We were off in a side room, but hoping for a more visible spot this year.

Here are some images that make my cut for today's post. Actually, they are all I have on the subject, but I'm always on the prowl for more. And who knows what will turn up in the Texas Hill Country?

What I have here are post cards and postal covers that commemorate various international book fairs (nothing close to home).


First up, from India, is my favorite of the bunch because of its colorful display of an active image of people interacting with books. Also, the art work was done by a 13-year-old, Kumari Pampa Paul. Nice to have a representative of the intended readership of the fair's books actually do a painting for the fair's advertising.

This is a First Day Cover, so called because the accompanying stamp was officially issued on the date indicated by the postmark. Also, the designation First Day Cover is on the front of the envelope. Because this was designed for collectibility, it probably does not fit within the definition of ephemera and belongs in a stamp collecting category, but covers are part of my collection, so I'll blur the lines now and then with items like this.

The title of the cover illustration is Book Fair and it commemorates the International Children's Book Fair of 1979.

Next are two covers from Israel commemorating two different book fairs. This one (immediately below) is a specially designed cachet for the Jerusalem International Book Fair of 1965. As with the India cover above, the postage stamp also commemorates the fair. I featured this cover back in September in a post titled, Books in Israel.


In this post, the Jerusalem cover has a companion piece of sorts with the Israel Official Trade Delegation to International Book Fair in Moscow cover that also sports a special flight postmark--Ben Gurion Airport to Moscow, via Vienna. The mix of Russian and Israeli symbols and graphics makes for an interesting postal cover.

I'm not sure of the date, but it appears to be 1977. If so, this would be the First International Book Fair in Moscow, 9/6/1977-14/1977. I have found reference to the Association of Jewish Book Publishers having attended this fair, so the cachet probably commemorates this historic fair.


The name Uri Shalit appears in the lower-right corner, followed by Moscow--U.S.S.R. There is a Uri Shalit, President of the Israel Stamp Dealers' Association and a Uri Shalit, neuroscientist, in Israel. I think the stamp collector is the likely sender of this cover. He probably never imagined it would wind up in Texas.

Finally, we head south, way south, to Argentina for a couple of post cards advertising the first book fair in that country--April 1943. Each is shown with images of the front and back of the card. The first post card features a postage stamp and cancellation to commemorate the Primera Feria del Libro Argentino.




5 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your 100th post, Chuck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting article about covers, and how related to book fairs.
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey, thanks, Frank--I feel like the turtle finally crossing the finish line. But I'm actually just getting started.

    Thank you, Judy, for your comments. I wish I had more covers and cards about book fair to write about. They'll turn up over time and find their way into this blog, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Uri Shalit was a prominent stamp dealer in Israel. I have no idea if he is alive or even working or if he had children in the business. I met him in 1967, and he knew my uncle who had passed away some years earlier. Dollars to donuts that cover never saw an airplane. If you have questions, drop me a personal note to tedd222@yahoo.com. Peter

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting connection for you to Uri Shalit. As for the cover, I assume you mean it was created for commemorative purposes and did not actually make the trip to Moscow--thus, it never saw an airplane. I can see that. But eventually it did get on a plane (a few decades later), the proof being in where it resides now.

    ReplyDelete

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