Maximaphily is the most beautiful and exiting way in stamp collecting. It is one of the eleven recognized classifications of Philately. All types of visitors in the F.I.P. exhibitions find it very attractive, because of the beautiful illustrations on postcards and because the purpose of Maximaphily is to collect exclusively Maximum cards.A Maximum card is made up of three elements:
- The postage stamp. 2. The picture postcard. 3. The postmark.
The three elements are joined together in a fascinating way conforming to the following very precise regulations adopted by the International Philatelic Federation (F.I.P.). The meeting of the above three elements having a close visual relation constitutes the Maximum card .
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.
The picture postcard
- • The picture postcard must be, if possible, on sale before the issue of the stamps or if it has been specially published, it must reproduce an existing document.
- • 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. Mere reproduction of stamp design on a picture post card should be avoided.
- • 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.
- • All postcards fully reproducing the postage stamp, that is to say with perforation, face value, country name, are forbidden.
- • Postcards with multiple pictures as well as ones with holograms are forbidden.
What about the postmark and the time of cancellation?
The pictorial design of the cancellation and the place of cancellation (name of the post office) should have a close and direct connection with the subject of the stamp and of the picture postcard, and its date should be within the validity of the stamp and as close as possible to the date of its issue.
What is \”appropriate material\”?
The Maximaphily items should conform to the principle of maximum possible \”visual\” concordance between: The postage stamp, the picture postcard and the postmark. Special attention must be paid to the observance of the three concordances: of subject, of place and of time.
• The concordance of subject is the most important condition to characterise a Maximum card, e.g. the best concordance between the subject of the stamp and the illustration of the picture postcard.
• 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 stamp and the card.
• The \”first day cancellation\” can only be used when it is in accordance with the above mentioned condition
• For monuments, landscapes and sites the only place giving the required concordance is the one where the monument, the landscape or the site is located.
What is not appropriate material?
Any other material which does not conform to the above mentioned regulations is considered as not appropriate material for this classification of Philately.
Furthermore, the following items cannot be used for maximum cards: collages, cut-outs, private photographs on photo paper, colour 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, digital printouts, illegible postmarks, bigger size or different shapes of postcards: only square and rectangular formats are allowed; all others are excluded.
FIP Maximaphily Commission organizes a Best Maximum Card Competition every year. We at India are also participating this year in this competition. All those interested in participation are requested to send their entries to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org at an earliest possible. Best three cards will be selected and send for participation in the world competition. You may submit your card by post also at my address given below. A small information about the quantity printed and concordance between the three aspects of maximum card (i.e. Picture Post Card, Stamp and Cancellation) may also be sent alongwith the card.
We are compiling a catalogue of the Indian Maximum Cards issued by Individual collectors. Kindly send me details with scans by email of the cards issued on Indian stamps by any society or individual collectors.
All are requested to kindly send a high resolution scan of the cards issued by them till date with a small information about the card and quantity printed. If available for sale the price of the card may also be mentioned.
As it is not yet decided the location of the Next Competition of the Best MC. There is a possibility that the FIP Maximaphily Commission can first publish all the National Selections for this Competition at their FIP Maximaphily Commission website and then request all National Associations (and/or Delegates) to submit their votes by email or letter.
Any clarifications and/or suggestions regarding FIP Rules and regulations of Maximaphily are also welcome.
Ajay Kumar Mittal
FIP Maximaphily Representative from India,D-57 South Extension part-1,New Delhi-110049, +91-9811032311