No other product is so closely related to stamps as the label. A label is nothing more than a piece of paper, to be attached or glued to something, to mark its owner or shipping address. In the 19th century suitcase labels were very common. When going to a hotel, the hotel supplied a gummed luggage label, and the luggage was sent to the hotel.
In the time that sending letters was coming up, the use of labels on the envelope to indicate the sender and/or receiver grew. Somewhat later, in the first part of the 20th century, advertising came up. For this purpose labels were also used, but now to promote products and events.
Nowadays labels are still in use, especially in the Scandinavian countries. A new development is that many organisations link a label to their events. Often this label can only be obtained in combination with an admission ticket, and this makes it a philatelic item.

Lets start now with advertising labels. It is not necessary to state that there are many different labels. In the years before 1940 a label with only name and address of a firm was enough to get the post to the correct address. However, labels were mainly used for a combination of addressing and advertisement.

Example of an advertising label

Example of an advertising label

Example of an advertising label
Example of an advertising label Example of an advertising label


When labels were used more and more (printing gradually became cheaper) advertising for events by means of labels (which in fact were early stickers) came into fashion. Labels were issued for many motorcycle exhibitions and races, and even motor clubs used this means of propaganda. Off course there are also a number of labels of our own TT races in Assen.

Some labels of the Dutch TT in Assen Some labels of foreign events

Philatelic labels.

Over the last years, the issue of labels on the occasion of philatelic events is becoming very popular. However, as motorcycle philatelists we know a series that was actually sold in the same way, but already in 1939. The stamps of German Reich # 1,2, +3 (numbering from the MFN catalogue) could only be purchased together with an admission ticket for the exhibition, or in the special post office on presentation of a ticket. I only own the ticket which came together with the stamps.

German Reich no. 1

Admission ticket for the motorcycle exhibition in Berlin, 1939

I only know 2 examples of modern labels related to philatelic exhibitions.The first is the French label of 1994, on the occasion of the "Stamp Salon" in the flower-park in Paris (October 15th to 24th). I am not sure how sale of this label was organised, but I think that is also was a conditional sale. In the magazine "Filatelie" of 12-1998 a letter is depicted which is paid with this stamp.

Label of the Stamp Salon, 1994 Label of the Israeli '98 World Stamp Exhibition (without URL)

The other issue concerns a series of 4 label sheets on the occasion of the Israeli '98 World Stamp Exhibition. This exhibition was held from May 13th to 21st 1998 in Tel Aviv, with as main theme 50 years of the Israeli State, and just as many years of the Doar Ivri (Doar = post) overprint issues. On 2 of the 4 sheets a scooterdriver is depicted. The difference between the 2 sheets is that on one of them, the internet address is given on the tab. The other stamps do not have the same picture on both of these sheets. The sheets have been sold to everyone who wanted them. A friend of mine has sent items, paid with these labels. As far as I know these 2 are the only labels related to our area of collection, but there are many more labels linked to exhibitions held all over the world.


Hans de Kloet
(translation: Paul Essens)


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