Zug, 25.01.2023

Stamp exchange fair held for the first time in new premises

The Zug Philatelic Society held its stamp exchange fair in new premises at Dammstrasse 22 for the first time – and experienced an unexpectedly large turnout. The event also proved the multifaceted historical depths to which collecting can lead.

On Sunday morning, January 22, the Siemens "Five moods" canteen was unceremoniously transformed into the spacious stamp exchange fair (Briefmarkenbörse) of the Zug Philatelic Society (Philatelistenverein Zug): amateur and professional collectors spread out their treasures in boxes, card indexes and albums on the long tables, and the first visitors already arrived at 9.30 a.m.. "People I've never seen before!" says a delighted Stefan Sägesser, the president of the association. The highly committed philatelic professional was everywhere at once, running his own stand, greeting guests and talking shop with colleagues.

Philatelic enthusiasm
The intense atmosphere in the room tells of the passion for collecting. Silvio Freund, who is responsible for organising the event (Börsenobmann), describes how, as a child, he was fascinated by the coloured stamps left behind by his grandparent, but gave up the hobby in his youth, only to rediscover it later in life - and eventually even made it into his profession.

The fascination with collecting has many different origins: some people collect according to picture themes, such as mountain huts, castles and palaces, horses or cable cars, and others according to countries - worldwide. Others focus on "pre-philately", i.e. envelopes from a time when there were no stamps, only postmarks.

The first stamp fair organised by the Zug Philatelic Society attracted a large number of interested collectors.
Collecting stamps is still a widespread passion today.
Not only stamps were popular, but also envelopes and postcards.             
Photos: Maria Schmid


In general, collectors prefer stamps that are still attached to their original envelopes, and look for specific postmarks such as the "Zug P.P." or the "Rosette from Ossingen". But the "perforations" on the edge or the paper are also important for the value of a stamp.

Or it could be a historical theme that fascinates collectors: Stefan Sägesser, for example, has built up a "Postal History of the Canton of Zug” collection, with which he was able to successfully participate in the international stamp exhibition "Pro Helvetia 2022" in Lugano (we reported at the time). He enthusiastically describes how collecting can become an exploration of the history "behind the respective objects".

Professionals and dealers
Stefan Sägesser has been fully professional since 2022, buying and selling as a stamp dealer and numismatist, advising and giving courses, and passing on the knowledge he has collected over decades. In his function as a committee member of the Federation of Swiss Philatelic Societies (VSPhV: Verband Schweizerischer Philatelisten-Vereine), the promotion of young people is particularly close to his heart - for example with class visits, holiday passes (Ferienpass) and workshops.

There is also a youth corner at the stamp exchange - with a treasure chest full of colourful stamps, a “stamp memory” and paper and coloured pencils that can be used to design stamps themselves.

But auction professionals also meet here, such as Tobias Schwarzentruber of "Luzernerraute GmbH" (Sursee), whose business is based on the fact that stamps can become capital investments. The basis for trading in stamps are two catalogues, the "Zumstein" and the "Schweizer Briefmarken Katalog" of the Swiss Stamp Dealers Association SBHV - thick books in which philatelic treasures are described and given a reference price.

Stories and world history
At one of the tables, Urs Calonder, who is a professional dealer and international auctioneer of "Swissasia Philately Ltd", as well as president of the Rätia Philatelic Association (Chur), has spread out his specialities, namely rarities that travelled between Switzerland and the Far East. He tells of a 1930 Federal Celebration Card (Bundesfeierkarte) that was sent to the German tropical physician Gerhard Rose, who was staying in China: through research, it was learned that he later became a Nazi doctor, and was convicted at the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-49 for experimentation on concentration camp inmates. The philatelic hobby can thereby unexpectedly lead to individual biographies and historical abysses.

The next stamp swap fair will take place on 11 June 2023.
Further information: www.philatelistenverein-zug.ch