From December 4-6, 2009, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum participated in MonacoPhil, the elite international philatelic exhibition held every 2-3 years in Monte-Carlo. As a founding institutional member of the Club de Monte-Carlo, the Smithsonian has been honored to present a selection from America’s National Philatelic Collection at every MonacoPhil since the show’s inception in 1997.
It was particularly gratifying that the museum could be present at the opening reception, during which the 2009 ASCAT Grand Prix award was presented to William H. Gross (commorative stamp at left), whose generous gift of $8 million dollars for a new philatelic gallery at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum is a major investment in the future of the hobby.
Participation in the MonacoPhil event reinforces the Smithsonian’s position as a leader in international philately. Ten international institutions were invited to participate in this year’s rarities exhibition. Our contribution to the show – the largest known block of the first issue of Peru – was displayed alongside equally impressive specimens from the collections of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Archive for Philately (Bonn) and the Philatelic and Numismatic Museum of Vatican City. In addition, the best material from private collections all over the world was on view.
Great international events like MonacoPhil are a testament to the strength and vitality of philately at home and abroad.
About the Author
Daniel A. Piazza, Curator of Philately, collects and writes about the stamps and postal history of the U.S. during the Bureau period (1894-1978) as well as the Italian peninsula. He sits on the board of governors of the Vatican Philatelic Society and edits its journal, Vatican Notes. His other national memberships include the American Philatelic Society, American Philatelic Research Library, American First Day Cover Society, and Writers Unit #30. Locally, he belongs to both the Washington Stamp Collectors Club and the Baltimore Philatelic Society. In addition to his philatelic activities, Piazza is an academic historian specializing in U.S. History to 1760. He holds degrees in the subject from Wagner College (B.A., 1998) and Syracuse University (M.A., 2004) and has completed the coursework for his Ph.D.