Special Regulations for the Evaluation of Maximaphily Exhibits at FIP Exhibitions (SREV)

[Last updated November 2013]
Article 1: Competitive exhibitions
These special regulations have been drawn up in accordance with article 1.5 of the “General regulations of the FIP for the evaluation of competitive exhibits at FIP exhibitions (GREV)” to supplement those principles with regard to Maximaphily. Also refer to “Guidelines for judging Maximaphily exhibits”.
Article 2: Competitive exhibits
The maximum cards should conform to the principles of maximum possible concordance between:

  1. The postage stamp
  2. The picture of the postcard
  3. The cancellation.
Article 3: Principles of exhibit composition
The constituent elements of maximum cards should conform to the following characteristics:
3.1 The postage stamp
The ‘postage stamp’ designation is reserved for the postal operator assigned to ensure the universal service within a UPU member country (Universal Postal Union), or a dependent territory. The postage stamp can be personalised on request from a client (individual, association, company, …), provided that it is available to the general public. It must be valid for postage and affixed only on the view side of the picture postcard. Postage-due stamps, pre-cancels, revenue stamps, stamps violating the “UPU (Universal Postal Union) philatelic code of ethics”, are not allowed, nor are official stamps, except those, which are at the disposal of the public (United Nations, UNESCO, Council of Europe,…). The postage stamps which are cut out from postal stationery are allowed only if the issuing postal service permits their use. Postage stamps printed online by a customer are not allowed.
Stamps issued by postal operators authorised by the responsible governmental body are admitted under the same conditions as the postage stamps.
3.2 The picture postcard
Its size must conform to dimensions accepted by the “Universal Postal Convention”. However, postcards of square or rectangular shape available on the market are accepted, provided that their size allows them to be laid out on a sheet to the A4 format (210 x 297 mm) at a rate of two per sheet. Out of respect for its designer, it is strictly prohibited to reduce the size of a postcard by cutting it.The picture must offer the best possible concordance with the subject of the postage stamp or with one of them, if there are several. All postcards fully reproducing the postage stamp, that is to say with perforation, face value, country name, are forbidden.The picture must emphasize the subject of the postage stamp. The postcards on the market are accepted as they are. They can have margins and a text directly connected with the subject. Old postcards can have on the view side an area for correspondence. With the exception of these old postcards, the larger the picture is, the better the quality of the maximum card is considered to be. Postcards with multiple pictures as well as ones with holograms are forbidden.
3.3 The cancellation
The cancellation must be printed exclusively by the authorized postal service. The pictorial design of the cancellation and/or the text, as well as the place of cancellation (name of the Post office) should have a connection with the subject of the postage stamp and of the picture postcard, or with the purpose of the issue (event, charitable activity, theme of the series). However cancellations made by philatelic services are accepted provided that the concordance of place is respected. Cancellations made by the philatelic service of small countries with only the country name are allowed.
The closer the connection is between the subject and the picture and/or the text of a pictorial cancellation, the better is the concordance.
The ordinary cancellations without illustration are valid provided that they indicate the name of the locality where the post office is located and the concordance of the place is respected.
The cancellation must be carried out within the period of validity of the postage stamp and as close as possible to the date of issue.
3.4 Classification of the exhibits
Maximaphily exhibits can be classified by:

    1. Country or group of countries
    2. Specialized field or study
    3. Theme.
3.5 Plan
In the introductory statement, the title and the plan form a whole, in perfect concordance with the material shown (reference GREV, article 3.3). The concept, the structure and the development of the exhibit should be clearly defined.
Article 4: Criteria for evaluating exhibits
The evaluation of the exhibits at FIP exhibitions is carried out according to well defined general criteria (reference GREV, article 4).For Maximaphily exhibits, special significance is given to the knowledge and the maximum possible concordance shown (refer to guidelines).
Article 5: Judging of exhibits
5.1 Maximaphily exhibits are judged by the approved specialists in the Maximaphily class and in accordance with section V, articles 31 to 46 of GREX (reference GREV, article 5.1.).
5.2 For Maximaphily exhibits, the following relative terms are presented to lead the jury to a balanced evaluation (reference GREV, article 5.2.).
Treatment and importance of the exhibit 30
Knowledge and research 35
Condition and rarity 30
Presentation 5
Total 100
Article 6: Concluding provisions
6.1 In the event of any discrepancies in the text arising from translation, the English text shall prevail.
6.2 These “Special regulations for the evaluation of Maximaphily exhibits at FIP exhibitions” have been unanimously accepted by the FIP Maximaphily Commission Conference held in Jakarta on June 22, 2012 followed by clarifying paragraph 3.1 with simple and clear terms, accepted by the Members of the FIP Maximaphily Commission Bureau on November 9, 2013 and approved by FIP Board in Rio de Janeiro on November 23, 2013.


Guidelines for Judging Maximaphily Exhibits

[Last updated March 2007]
Competitive exhibitions
The present guidelines complete the general regulations (GREV) and the special regulations (SREV) to help the jury in the evaluation and the exhibitors in the elaboration of Maximaphily exhibits.
Competitive exhibits
2.1 A Maximaphily exhibit is exclusively composed of maximum cards.
2.2 The quality of the constituent elements and the concordance between these elements give the maximum card the qualification of “appropriate philatelic material” (GREV, art.3.1.).
Principles of exhibit composition
The constituent elements should conform to the following conditions, in addition to those provided in SREV article 3:
3.1 The postage stamp

  • It must be in perfect condition.
  • Only one postage stamp should be affixed on the view side of the picture postcard. Before 1978, when the “International statute of Maximaphily” was approved, maximum cards showing several postage stamps are tolerated, if one or more of those are concordant with the picture on the postcard.
  • In the case where a postage stamp has multiple, secondary or partial subjects, each subject must as far as possible, be dealt with separately.
  • The postage stamp (or the souvenir sheet it belongs to, if it is stuck on the postcard) must not exceed a quarter of the postcard area.
  • When the same subject is spread out on several se-tenant stamps making a panorama, the set can appear on a single postcard. However, when a subject is isolated on one of the se-tenant stamps only the one on which the treated subject is illustrated should be affixed to the postcard.
  • The use of an illustrated postal prepayment impression dispensed by automatic vending machines, affixed on the view side of the postcard, is allowed.
  • In general, abstract or symbolic subjects do not suit Maximaphily and are excluded from its field.
  • For a specific subject, the order of preference is: postage stamp issued in the philatelic program of the designated postal operator (postal authority) where it comes as main subject or easily identifiable secondary subject, then personalised postage stamp and last the stamp of an authorised operator (postal authority).
3.2 The picture postcard

  • The picture postcard should be as far as possible on sale before the issue of the postage stamp. Or, if it has been published specially, it should reproduce a pre-existing document.
  • Only square and rectangular formats are allowed; all others are excluded.
  • The following items cannot be used for maximum cards: collages, cut-outs, private photographs on photo paper, color or black and white photocopies, photo-montages, drawings, documents specially devised for the stamp issue to be printed privately on photo paper thanks to a computer.
3.3 The cancellation

  • The cancellation giving the name of the post office as well as the date must be legible. It must be whole and tie the postage stamp to the postcard. This applies to hand-stamped cancellations as well as to machine cancellations.
  • Non-illustrated cancellations are acceptable on condition that they indicate the name of the locality where the post office is located and the concordance of place is respected.
3.4 Classification of the collections

  1. The collections by country or group of countries include maximum cards created with stamps issued by one country or by a group of countries having geographical, historical or cultural links. Generally the chronological order of the issues should be avoided, except for traditional exhibits limited to one period.
  2. The specialized and/or study collections are based, according to the exhibitor’s choice, either on the constituent elements of the maximum card, or on the different concordances, or on both, or on a specific period.
  3. The thematic collections include maximum cards related to one theme. They are limited neither in space nor in time.In these three types of collections the so-called “variant maximum cards” can be simultaneously shown, that is to say maximum cards with the same postage stamp affixed on different postcards, with different cancellations, but always observing the rules of concordance. If the collection does not deal only with variant maximum cards, their number must be limited, in order not to show an imbalance in the exhibit or a lack of material. Two variant maximum cards per exhibition frame are considered as a maximum. A different date on the cancellation of the same date-stamp is not sufficient to make a variant maximum card.
3.5 Plan
The collection must be preceded by a plan on a single page. It must describe the contents of the collection and clearly show the leading idea. It must be logical, well-balanced and in accordance with the chosen subject and title. It must be divided into chapters. A mere table of contents or a literal description cannot be regarded as a satisfactory plan. It must be written in one of the official FIP languages.
Criteria for evaluating exhibits
4.1 Maximaphily exhibits are judged according to article 4 of the “General regulations of the FIP for the evaluation of competitive exhibits at FIP-exhibitions (GREV)” and in accordance with the “Special regulations of the FIP for the evaluation of Maximaphily exhibits at FIP exhibitions (SREV)”.
4.2 Treatment and importance of the exhibit
A total of 30 points is allotted, 20 for the treatment and 10 for the importance.The treatment and the development of an exhibit deals with following points:

  • A good concordance between the title, the plan and the contents of the exhibit.
  • A logical and judicious classification of the maximum cards, well adapted to the leading idea of the plan.
  • The written explanations should be concise, and give some supplementary information about the elements and/or the concordances.

The importance of the exhibit is linked to the difficulty of the development of the chosen theme, according to the material known and the narrowness of the treated theme.

4.3 Knowledge and research
A total of 35 points is allotted, 20 for the knowledge and 15 for the research.The exhibitor being judged by the way he/she has selected the maximum cards of his/her collection, his/her exhibit should clearly demonstrate his/her knowledge of the chosen theme, of the postage stamps, of the postal markings and also of the picture postcards when necessary.

  • The knowledge of postage stamps is judged according to the interest of the comments (purpose and date of issue, type, printing, variety, date of the end of validity …).
  • The knowledge of postal markings covers the types of cancellations, the period of use, and the justification of the use of the cancellation (place, illustration, text …).
  • All attempts to improve the aspect of a cancellation after the postal authorities have applied it will be considered as falsification.

The knowledge of picture postcards is judged according to its concordance with the subject of the postage stamp, its quality and the rarity of the edition.

The research in Maximaphily is based on the observance of the three concordances: of subject, of place and of time.

The concordance of subject is the essential characteristic of a real maximum card. This concordance between the illustration of the postage stamp and the one of the picture postcard must be as close as possible and visually verifiable.

The concordance of place requires a connection between the name of the place or the locality written in the postmark and the subject of the postage stamp and of the postcard. The “first day cancellation” can only be used when it is in accordance with the above-mentioned condition.

  • For monuments, landscapes and sites there is only one place that gives the required concordance. It is the one where the monument, the landscape or the site is located. If the place has no post office, the one serving that site should be selected or the one of the nearest place.
  • When the subject is a personality the cancellation should be made in a place in connection with an event which concerns him/or her: birth, death, burial, work or aspect of his/her activity, posthumous homage etc. When the postage stamp commemorates explicitly one of these events, cancellation of the place where it happened is better.
  • In the case where the postage stamp commemorates an event, the cancellation should be made in a place related to it.
  • When the postage stamp shows for instance a plane, a train or a ship, the cancellation should be made in a place where there is an airport, a railway station, a port or an on-board post office related to the subject.
  • The maximum cards showing sporting activities are better if they are cancelled in places where these sports are practiced.
  • The maximum cards showing works of art such as paintings, sculptures, mosaics, enamels, leaded glass windows, frescoes, tapestries, and, generally, all objects in museums or collections, should be cancelled either in the place where they are to be found, or in the place where they were created. Cancellations of other places are allowed on the occasion of local exhibitions and other events if they are in connection with the work (signature or portrait of the artist, portrait of the model etc.).

Nevertheless, in judging exhibits about “works of art “, considering their universal nature, the jury should allow the cancellation of the issuing country. However, in the case where the same work of art is shown on postage stamps of different countries, the maximum card with the stamp and the cancellation of the country where this work of art is to be found will be better. When a Work of Art is an integral part of a monument (sculpture, fresco, stained glass window, mosaic, etc.), the preferred cancellation is that of the nearest post office to the place where the monument is located.

  • In case of postage stamps showing subjects located in a country other than the issuing one, the above-mentioned dispensation applies to personalities and to themes related to cosmos. The cancellation should be from a locality of the stamp-issuing country where an event related to the purpose of the issue has been organized.
  • When the postage stamp commemorates an event or shows a landscape or a monument of another country, the realization of maximum cards is impossible as there is a total lack of concordance of place.
  • The cancellations made abroad by post offices of a country (on occasion of philatelic exhibitions or other) are allowed.
  • The cancellation is all the more interesting when it has been made in a place closely connected to the subject, which completes harmoniously the postage stamp/postcard set by its illustration or its text, and it has been used for a more or less short time.

The concordance of time is defined by the date of the postmark, within the period of validity of the postage stamp.

4.4 Condition and rarity of the material
A total of 30 points is allotted, 20 for the rarity and 10 for the condition of the items shown.The rarity of a maximum card depends on:

  • The relative rarity of the three elements, each one in its own area of interest.
  • The difficulty of making it and/or its antiquity.

The antiquity is defined by reference to three periods:

A. Before 1946, date marking the first publication of the maximum card definition.
B. From 1946 to 1978.
C. After 1978, date of the adoption by FIP of the “Maximum-card regulations.

4.5 Presentation
Five points can be given for the presentation.The presentation of an exhibit should be well finished and give a good general impression.Therefore the exhibitors should conform to following conditions:

  • use sheets of a light color
  • display the selected material harmoniously, with a maximum of two cards per sheet (avoid too empty or over-charged sheets, and overlapping items).
  • write the accompanying texts concisely and in legible writing, without mistakes.
Judging of the exhibits
To get a consistent evaluation the judges for Maximaphily exhibits should complete the evaluation sheet and make some observations for the exhibitor and give him some advice on improving the exhibit.As forgeries are not acceptable in an exhibit, exhibitors are advised to have their doubtful items certified.
Conditions of application
These “Guidelines for Judging Maximaphily Exhibits” have been unanimously accepted by the FIP Maximaphily Commission Conference held in Jakarta on June 22, 2012 followed by clarifying paragraph 3.1 with simple and clear terms, accepted by the members of the FIP Maximaphily Commission Bureau on November 9, 2013 and approved by FIP Board in Rio de janeiro on November 23, 2013.