stamps collecting had a powerful impact in our country. This european
hobby reached " mioritic plains" around the year 1865,
during the reign of prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Individual collectors
or tobacco merchants were selling our first postage stamps: The
Auroch Head, The United Princely States or Cuza.
The need to
communicate between collectors led to their organization into philatelic
societies and clubs. Therefore on the 1st/13th of January 1881 the
first philatelic magazine in Romania appeared, suggestively named
"TIMBROPHILO" (it is true that only for a short time,
the edition being limited to only three numbers), having the redaction
and administration at the "Steinberg & Wortmann" bookstore,
in Calea Victoriei nr. 16, Zlatari Inn.
reappeared in November 1890, under the name "TIMBROFILUL"
(2ND Year, nr. 4), having the redaction and administration in Morfeu
St. nr. 27, at the home of retired captain Constantin M. Moroiu,
who was also the director of the publication.
In nr. 6 from
February 1891, was published the first list of collectors in Romania,
classified on cities: Bucharest (24), Braila (3), Barlad (2), Botosani
(1), Craiova (4), Codaesti (1), Iasi (7), Galati (2), Focsani (2),
Pitesti (4) and Ramnicul Valcea (2).
In April 1891,
in Bucharest was founded, temporary, SOCIETATEA ROMANA DE TIMBROLOGIE
- S.R.T. (The Romanian postage stamp society), with president Dimitrie
C. Butculescu, Vice-president - colonel ® I. Thorand (Craiova),
secretary - captain ® C. M. Moroiu.
On the 6th
of May 1891, the first philatelic exposition took place, having
a private character.
took place at the house of president Dimitrie C. Butculescu, in
Bucharest, Clementei St. nr. 11 bis, the present building of the
LIDO casino, near the central headquarters of the Romanian Philatelic
From the "Timbrofilul" magazine nr. 12/oct. 1891, we find
out that in the offices of the Postal Direction, was organized a
small postal museum by colonel Gorjan, that held "the complete
collection of all the postal stamps, telegraphic and various prints,
used from before the Romanian Union, and up to the present, as well
as a section of postmen costumes, inscriptions, and various objects
that have been used in the Romanian countries".
1891, S.R.T. was finally organized, the Administration Committee
being made up of: Dimitrie C. Butculescu (president), col.rez. I.
Thorand (vice-president), cpt. Rez. C. M. Moroiu (secretary), G.
Bascovici, Al. S. Klenk and Dem. Antoniu (members).
At the meeting
held on the 26Th of november/10Th of December 1891, they changed
the name into "SOCIETATEA FILATELICA ROMANA" (Romanian
Philatelic Society), at the same time adopting the Statute, with
the aim of offering stamp collectors in Romania a center to meet
and join forces.
On 24th of
December 1891, the following presented communications within the
Society: Dimitrie C Butculescu about; " The Toscana, Parma
and Mondena stamps with a review of Italian philately" and
Constantin M. Moroiu - about "The Hamburg stamps, 1st and 2nd
On the 8th
of June 1892, the following people resigned from the management
of the Society: vice-president I.Thorand and secretary C.M. Moroiu.
The last one together with a small group of philatelists, reestablished
"Societatea Romana de Timbrologie" (with 23 members) -
under himself as president, at his own house. Vice-president I.
Thorand came back on his resignation.
In the new
situation created, S.F.R., to which more philatelists joined (42),
remade the Committee, with Dimitrie C. Butculescu as president,
deputy Ion Oteteleseano as vice-president, I. Thorand as secretary,
A. I. Pancu as cashier, and members: G. Bascovici, Al. S. Klenk,
Dem. Antoniu, St. Elefterescu, P. Obedener, col. Gorjan, I. Cesianu
and St. I. Nicolau - 2nd secretary.
the meeting on the 29th of June 1892, cpt.rez C. M. Moroiu was forced
to resign from the Society, being accused that he took upon himself
the title of president of the Society, and under this title he wrote
to many members and even to the Society, bringing moral damages
to it (information published in the newspaper "The monitory
of the Romanian Philatelic Society" year I, nr. 1 from the
15th of September 1892). The newspaper appears as official paper
of S.F.R., in parallel with the magazine "Timbrofilul",
run by C. M. Moroiu, as official paper of "Societatea Romana
de Timbrofilie", established by him.
In the year
1894, Dimitrie C. Butculescu - " the initiator of the association
spirit and the forefather of the cooperative societies and expositions
from the country", organized, within the Cooperators' exposition,
in the Cismigiu Garden, Bucharest, a philatelic exposition, functioning
a postal office and a special stamp. With this occasion, an illustrated
postal card was edited in three nuances. Both the special stamp
and the illustrated card are considered to be the first ones realized
in Romania. This exposition was organized under the high patronage
of the heir FERDINAND and princes MARIA. On the opening of the exposition,
King Carol I addressed to Dimitrie C. Butculescu the following words
of praise: "The most popular Romanian, the apostle of patriotism".
archeologist, he participates to a lot of research together with
Alex. Odobescu and organizes the first archeological exposition
at Hotel Boulevard. He was elected as deputy in the Romanian Parliament
in three legislatures, and in the year 1893, he led the Romanian
parliamentary delegation at the Brussels Conference, we he upholds
a motion regarding the right of nationalities.
published at the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the
XXth century, up to the First World War, sees a sustained philatelic
activity, both in Bucharest, as well as the rest of the country.
In Pitesti, in the year 1890 we see the appearance of the "Postal
Stamp Carrier", under the publishing house I. N. Lazar; at
Iasi, in 1893, "The Iasi Philatelic Society" published
the illustrated magazine "Philatelic Romania", under the
redaction of Alf. A. Rosenberg, and in 1897, "The stamp enunciator"
appeared - philatelic journal for stamp collectors and traders (with
texts in romanian, french, and german), having as director I. Saraga.
In Focsani, the Moldavia Philatelic Society, in collaboration with
the Mercur Society edited in 1895, "The stamps echo" -
philatelic journal (in french), at the same time with the apparition
of another publication: "The Romanian Post" - national
philatelic newspaper, under the management of Garabet Alsan.
was founded in 1895, "the Exchange Union of Postage Stamps",
that reached in 1898 more than 150 members, being considered the
largest in Southeast Europe. In Barlad, in 1898 appeared "Romanian
Philately" - monthly philatelic paper. Directors-Owners: Theodoresco
& Co., and in Bucharest, in 1896, - the magazine "Rumanischer
Philatelist"(in romanian and german); editor: Oscar D. Perlmman,
and in February 1897 - "Le Thimbrophilie Roumain". On
the 8th of March 1900, in Constanta, the stamp and literature newspaper
"TIMBRU", under the management of T. Mantu, with the subtitle:
"Small Journal", and in Timisoara - the publication "International
philatelic market" (in hungarian), which in 1903 become "The
philatelic market" and in 1906 - "The postage stamps market".
In Iasi, in 1901, a magazine in german appeared "Rumanischer
Briefmarken-Offertenbltt" (Editor: Solomon Spielger). In 1903,
in Sibiu, the first philatelic group was establisher, under the
Military Circle, led by Geza von Jakots, while in Timisoara "The
international association for exchange of united postage stamps
collectors" was established, with its own publication "The
philatelic market"(ephemeral apparition). In Bacau in
1905, the "Roumanie Timbrophile" appeared (director: Herman
Rosenberg), and in Gaesti, in 1908/1909 "La Roumanie Philatelique"
(administrator and owner: Iancu D. Dinescu).
in 1903 the "Timbrofila" Society was functioning (president:
Stefan I. Nicolau - former 2nd secretary at the old S.F.R., in 1892)
and the "Romanian Philatelic Society" that will edit in
1904-1905, the magazine "La Roumanie Philatelique"
Etienne Constantinovitch). In 1906 "Le Moniteur Philatelique"
appeared - philatelic and cartophilic magazine, followed by "L'annonce
carto-philatelique" (on the 28th of June 1907) and " Revue
Mensuelle carto-philatelique ilustre" (director: Jean Katt).
In Braila between the years 1906-1907, the following magazines succeeded
one another: "Filatelia" as official publication of the
Romanian Philatelic Union (administrator: Victor Goutman), "La
poste" - bi-monthly publication (redactor: Victor Goutman,
administrator: Manelas Kostomyris) and "La philatelie"
(directors: M. Kostomyris and Dr. C.), and in 1910 - "L'annonce
philatelique d'Orient" - as official paper of Oriental Philatelic
Union (director: Leo Jacobson).
in 1906 was established The HUNNIA philatelic Association, by the
Urmeny brothers who continued to publish "The postage stamps
market" and in 1910, a satirical philatelic magazine appeared
named "Humorische Markenzeitung". In Targu-Mures there
was a philatelic group, in parallel with a magazine "Revue
philatelique", in the period 1912-1914, and in Resita, in the
same period the Resita Philatelic Group was in existence, with 26
that predated (the bosnian crisis, in 1908, and the Balkan crisis
in 1912-1913) and finally started the First World War, in the summer
of 1914, paralyzed any activity in the philatelic field, in the
years that followed. Following the events in the history of Romanian
philately, we arrive on the 23rd-24th of May 1920 at Timisoara,
were the imposing Market hall in the Lloyd Palace houses the first
Romanian philatelic exposition after the Great Union on the 1st
of December 1918. On the 3rd-5th of October 1924, in Bucharest,
in the Liedertafel hall, behind the Architecture School,
a great philatelic exposition takes place. For the first time, the
head of state, this time King Ferdinand, himself a philatelist,
offered the high patronage to a philatelic exposition, participating
movement in Romania grows stronger every year with new members of
quality, and new collections, containing great rarities, Romanian,
as well as foreign.
We reach the
year 1932, when in Bucharest, at the Romanian Academy Foundation
(Dalles Hall) between the 23rd and the 30th of November, takes place
the greatest philatelic exposition since, called EFIRO - 1932
(The Romanian Philatelic Exposition).
exposition also has the honor of being under the high patronage
of the chief of state, King Carol II, himself a philatelist since
the age of 6, owner of a fabulous collection, ranked as third in
the world at that time, in terms of value. EFIRO - 1932, brought
great collections and collectors from abroad, among them: Louis
Goldberg (Belgium), Henry Rosenthal (France), Heinrich Birnbach
(Germany), dr. Emilio Diena (Italy), Theodor Champion (France),
Louis Yvert (France), Nils Strandell (Sweden), Rene Pancelet (Belgium),
Edwin Muler (Austria), A. Hertsch (Switzerland). We can affirm that
almost all the "sacred names" of European philately gathered
and participated in one way or another at this great philatelic
regalia, named EFIRO - 1932 and that will have a great echo after
66 years, through the organization of the EFIRO - 1998, at the Palace
of Parliament. But let's not anticipate. Up to the great philatelic
exposition EFIRO - 1998, we have the moment named "Bucharest
'58", exposition that took place in the Postal Palace, and
was organized by the Department of Posts and Telecommunications,
together with the Romanian philatelist Association. This exposition
was a successful training for the international exposition The Romanian
Postage Stamp Centenary, in November that year. At this exposition
over 145 collectors from Romania and all over the world participated
with their collections, among other objects exposed, being reminders
from the dawn of the postal service in Moldavia and Muntenia:
coaches, old stamps, postal uniforms, various documents regarding
success of Romanian philatelists, reorganized after December '89,
in The Romanian Philatelic Federation, was the great philatelic
exposition of Balkan countries: BALCANIFA '91 that took place in
Bacau. This great exposition was under the patronage of the President
of Romania, Mr. Ion Iliescu, that through his personal counselor,
send a very nice message to all participants. Starting with the
year 1996, romanian philatelists held their expositions in the grand
Palace of Parliament. The elegant Bratianu Hall hosted the ROMFILEX
'96 exposition, under the patronage of the president of the Chamber
of Deputies of the time mr. Adrian Nastase, prime-minister of Romania
today. This exposition was a general repetition of the greatest
philatelic exposition ever organized in Romania, named according
to tradition EFIRO - 1998.
EFIRO - 1998,
was also under the highest level of patronage, from the chief of
state, President Emil Constantinescu. The Romanian Post, and The
Romanian Philatelic Federation united its forces in an effort to
realize a national exposition that through its grandeur, through
its high number of panels set up (1300), the EFIRO '98 exposition
will rise to the level of an European exposition. Hoping that this
grandeur will be overtaken in the year 2008, through the organization
of a world philatelic exposition that will celebrate 150 years since
the Romanian Post issued the famous Auroch Head (Cap de bou) -
Moldavia stamps in 1858.
philatelic event will be the crowning glory of the work and passion
of a number of generations of postage stamps collectors in Romania,
as well as a good way in which the Romanian Post will celebrate
this remarkable feat of its time, the issue of a postage stamp.
As it did at the centenary, the Romanian Post will not miss the
150th anniversary of Romanian postage stamp, a great honor among
the other European postal administrations.
We are sure
that united we will manage. On a Tuesday, the 26th of October 1999,
at the initiative of a number of enthusiastic philatelists (Silviu
Dragomir, Leonard Pascanu, Teodor Melnic-Ghiata, Corneliu Beda,
Alexandru Bartoc, Mircea Stanculescu), on Saint Dimitrie day, at
the Bellu cemetery a memorial service took place in front of the
restored funerary monument of the great personality that was Dimitrie
C. Butculescu. The restoration was done through the care of the
Romanian Philatelic Federation.
In the year
2001 - F.F.R. celebrated 110 years since it was founded. This cultural
the biggest collectors organization in Romania. According to its
Statute F.F.R. aims at promoting cultural, historic and moral values
of the Romanian People through its postage stamps.
was promoted benevolent, through patriotism and love of Romania,
although the state, especially the Cultural Ministry, did not give
its full support throughout our long existence. Any way, Romanian
philatelists are optimist and keep on going only through passion
and love for the postage stamp.
by Teodor Catalin Giurgiu.