18th September 2018 Danzig “Luposta 1932” The greatest airmail exhibition ever – Giles du Boulay

Banbury Stamp Society started its new season on Tuesday September 18th when Giles du Boulay presented material on the airmail exhibition ‘Luposta 1932’ held in Danzig.  The title was something to live up to and Giles did just that, describing the event and showing us both philatelic material and ephemera from the event.  He started by reminding us of Danzig’s place in history and geography: it sits on the Baltic and in 1920, under the Treaty of Versailles, it was declared a Free State under the jurisdiction of the League of Nations.  It is now the Polish city of Gdansk.  The city got the idea for an air mail exhibition from successful events in France in 1930 and 1931 and so an organising committee was set up to create a similar event for Danzig.  It was underwritten by the city which saw it as a way of promoting the city and tourism.  The exhibition name ‘Luposta’ is a contraction of the German Luftpostausstellung which, according to Google, translates as Airmail Exhibition.  The event was planned to take place over nine days with philatelic competitions, stamp fairs, auctions as well as displays of models from various aircraft manufacturers.  The event culminated with a visit from the LZ127 Graf Zeppelin; indeed, in order to raise funds, lottery tickets were sold with the prize being a flight on the airship.


A set of overprinted stamps as well as printed postal stationery were produced for the event and we saw examples used from the various exhibition post office counters alongside letters and covers to and from the organisers as well as competition guidelines and a medal from one of the exhibition entries.


The second half was devoted entirely to the flight of the Graf Zeppelin:  Friedricschafen to Danzig then a loop around the Baltic to Sweden, back to Danzig then home to Friedrichschafe.  Giles had done in-depth research on the covers in his collection – clearly the prize of this material was a cover flown on the Graf Zeppelin and signed by, among others, the pilot of the airship and the daughter of Count Ferdinand, Grafin (Hella) von Brandenstein-Zeppelin.  Again, the philatelic material was supported by other material: menus for dinner and breakfast as well as a very impressive ticket for one of the exhibition jury members.   It was also ably presented by Giles who clearly understood his material and enjoyed talking about it – for example, we found out that the Graf Zeppelin had an aluminium piano on board to entertain the guests.


The next meeting will be on Tuesday 2nd October at 7:30pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre when Robin Pizer will talk about ‘German Exchange Controls’. The Banbury Stamp Society is on-line at ‘www.banburystampsociety.co.uk’, or contact John Davies on 01295 255831.