Maximaphily is a full-fledged branch of philately whereby maximum cards are produced and collected.
The slideshow at the top of this page shows you how a maximum card is created.
What a maximum card is and what the criteria are for correct maximum cards you can read below.
According to the international guidelines a maximum card consists of three elements:
a . a postage stamp;
b. a picture postcard;
c. a postal stamp.
The stamp must be confirmed on the image side of the postcard. This means that cards that do not have stamps and cards with uncancelled stamps are no maximum cards.
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 setenant 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 should be as far as possible on sale before the issue of the postage stamp. Or, if it has been published specially, it should reproduce a pre-existing document.
- Only square and rectangular formats are allowed; all others are excluded.
- The following items cannot be used for maximum cards: collages, cut-outs, private photographs on photo paper, color 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.
- The cancellation giving the name of the post office as well as the date must be legible. It must be whole and tie the postage stamp to the postcard. This applies to handstamped cancellations as well as to machine cancellations.
- Non-illustrated cancellations are acceptable on condition that the concordance of place is respected. concordances, or on both, or on a specific period.
The concordance of subject is the essential characteristic of a real maximum card. This concordance between the illustration of the postage stamp and the one of the picture postcard must be as close as possible and visually verifiable.
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 postage stamp and of the postcard. The "first day cancellation" can only be used when it is in accordance with the abovementioned condition.
- For monuments, landscapes and sites there is only one place that gives the required concordance. It is the one where the monument, the landscape or the site is located. If the place has no post office, the one serving that site should be selected or the one of the nearest place.
- When the subject is a personality the cancellation should be made in a place in connection with an event which concerns him/or her: birth, death, burial, work or aspect of his/her activity, posthumous homage etc. When the postage stamp commemorates explicitly one of these events, cancellation of the place where it happened is better.
- In the case where the postage stamp commemorates an event, the cancellation should be made in a place related to it.
- When the postage stamp shows for instance a plane, a train or a ship, the cancellation should be made in a place where there is an airport, a railway station, a port or an on-board post office related to the subject.
- The maximum cards showing sporting activities are better if they are cancelled in places where these sports are practiced.
- The maximum cards showing works of art such as paintings, sculptures, mosaics, enamels, leaded glass windows, frescoes, tapestries, and, generally, all objects in museums or collections, should be cancelled either in the place where they are to be found, or in the place where they were created. Cancellations of other places are allowed on the occasion of local exhibitions and other events if they are in connection with the work (signature or portrait of the artist, portrait of the model etc.). Nevertheless, in judging exhibits about "works of art ", considering their universal nature, the jury should allow the cancellation of the issuing country. However, in the case where the same work of art is shown on postage stamps of different countries, the maximum card with the stamp and the cancellation of the country where this work of art is to be found will be better.
- In case of postage stamps showing subjects located in a country other than the issuing one, the above-mentioned dispensation applies to personalities and to themes related to cosmos. The cancellation should be from a locality of the stamp-issuing country where an event related to the purpose of the issue has been organized.
- When the postage stamp commemorates an event or shows a landscape or a monument of another country, the realization of maximum cards is impossible as there is a total lack of concordance of place.
- The cancellations made abroad by post offices of a country (on occasion of philatelic exhibitions or other) are allowed.
- The cancellation is all the more interesting when it has been made in a place closely connected to the subject, which completes harmoniously the postage stamp/postcard set by its illustration or its text, and it has been used for a more or less short time.
The concordance of time is defined by the date of the postmark, within the period of validity of the postage stamp.