Once in a lifetime chance

This summer I got a message of a good acquaintance that, after over thirty years of collecting and exhibiting, he intends to end his collection of motorcycle philately. He started collecting and exhibiting as one of the first collectors in the world. At that time his collection was simply called “The Motorcycle”. As he states, building up a collection is a big challenge, especially when you want to compete in exhibitions. You have to know your theme very well and you must have good knowledge of the rules for exhibitions. Motorcycles is a very small restricted theme, so it's even a bigger challenge to set up this collection, a lifetime project. Most difficult as we all experience with our own collection is to find good, rare, material.

Design for stamp Isle of Man - MFN cat. no. 3
Design drawing for Isle of Man stamp, MFN catalog no. 3, 1974

In the early eighties he started to take part in exhibitions and in 1988, just in time for the National exhibition FINLANDIA 88, the title was changed to "The World of Motorcycles". Finally in 1993 he reached his goal by receiving a GOLD medal in the BANGKOK 1993 International exhibition. Until today this is the only gold medal rewarded collection of motorcycles in the world! I myself have seen this collection in The Hague at the FEPAPOST exhibition in 1994. What I can remember from that visit was the enormous amount of rare material. Nevertheless Hans de Kloet and I had some discussion about showing all these different kinds of material all together at the same page, see e.g. the missing helmet of Israel.

Motorcycle stamp Israel with missing helmet
Stamp of Israel with missing helmet (right), MFN catalog no. 1, 1966

In thematic exhibiting the main objective is telling the story rather then showing all rare material you have. But we didn’t get tired looking to this fantastic material we never had seen before. This collection contains a lot of errors, proofs, rarities and hard to find material.

Test print USA Express stamp - MFN catalog no. 1/2
Test print of USA Express stamp - MFN catalog no. 1/2

After over 30 years of building up this enormous collection, he wants to stop and give collectors the chance to buy this collection. Because of the large amount of exceptional material the price is not low, however for the amount of 50.000,00 euro you will get a superb collection of motorcycle philately.

If somebody is interested please contact me, and I will act as a mediator with the seller.

Variants of the express stamps of Dominican Republic - MFN catalog no's. 1-4
Variants of the Express stamps of Dominican Republic - MFN catalog no's. 1-4

Speaking about exhibiting motorcycle collections in Inter-national exhibitions. One of our members, Bernard George, will take part in the exhibition in Rome, October 21st to 25th, with his collection called "Quand la petrolette devient motocyclette".

Another collector of motorcycle stamps, John Hayward, is also exhi-biting his collection "The Iron Steed" at this event.

I like to wish both of them a lot of success and hope they will receive a good score. Please let us know your experiences so we can report in our Newsletter next time.

Nico Helling


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