RARE METAL: Dave Roberts with his aluminium Tongan stamps from 1965.
RARE METAL: Dave Roberts with his aluminium Tongan stamps from 1965. Rob Williams

The Ipswich stamp fair has it all licked

THINK of a postage stamp and the first image is a picture of Queen Elizabeth on a piece of gummed paper, but the Ipswich Stamp Fair will showcase a diverse range of stamps from around the world.

Dave Roberts, stamp fair organiser, said the Ipswich Stamp Club has been organising the Stamp Fair for about 40 years.

"This year, we have 16 clubs and three professional dealers in attendance, with club members putting display books of items for sale and swap," he said.

The 2015 Stamp Fair featured over 180 exhibitors, with a similar number expected this year.

"It is a great opportunity to see the history of stamp collecting, visitors are welcome to peruse all the books, and they can purchase any items of interest."

The fair also includes an auction, again open to the general public, which does attract buyers looking for specific items, Mr Roberts said.

"A couple of years ago, an original 'Penny Black' stamp, one of the first ever issued, was brought to the fair, and went into the auction.

"While the auction listing is still being prepared, we are confident of having more than 250 lots for sale."

Mr Roberts said visitors could also bring private collections for dealer valuations.

Dave Roberts with one of his aluminium Tongan stamps from 1965.
Another example of Dave Roberts' aluminium Tongan stamps. Rob Williams

"We encourage casual visitors to participate in events and encourage them to get involved in the hobby."

A highlight of the show will be a display of rare and unusual stamps.

"We are used to just having a rectangle of gummed or adhesive, but around the world, there are some interesting diversions."

Mr Roberts said a number of stamps from Tonga would be on display, including one made from pressed aluminium.

"This was released on July 4, 1967, to mark the coronation of the Tongan king, and was in general use that year, this example was actually cut from an envelope, and clearly shows the postmark where it was cancelled."

Another rare stamp is a silver plate stamp released by the Dutch postal service in 2001.

"The example at the show is a first issue, so it is mounted on a card in a presentation envelope, but this was also released for general use, and there are plenty available taken from used envelopes."

The Ipswich Stamp Fair is at the Ipswich Showplace Pavilion on Saturday, November 6, doors open at 9am until 4pm.