By 2012, the 5th Salon du Timbre or Planète Timbres, held in Paris, has become a major biennial philatelic event, in Europe. It is organized by the French Post - La Poste, through Phil@poste, the department responsible for preparing, producing and marketing the philatelic products.

As in previous years, the Salon du Timbre was held in the Hall Pinède, in the Parc Floral, Paris.
9 days, 23,000 m² of exhibition space, 120,000 visitors (of which about 20,000 were school children), over 50 totally free activities, about 90 stands of international philatelic dealers, postal administrations and philatelic institutions, national and international stamps competitions, new issues, signing sessions, and more ... In short, a great Salon attracting not only philatelists, but also families, and school groups.

The official opening of the Salon 2012 was on Friday June 8th in the afternoon, although access was restricted, by invitation, only to La Poste and exhibitors guests.

(See also the articles devoted to the Salon du Timbre 2006 >>>, 2008 >>>, & 2010 >>>, also published in VARIABLE 1, 9 and 17).

On Saturday June 9th, the first day that the Salon opened its doors to the general public, hundreds of people crowded in front of the entrance way long before the opening. With 9 days ahead, for most it was not impatience to visit the Salon, but simply that Phil@poste was releasing a special philatelic edition, with a very limited printing sold exclusively in the Salon, similar to what they did in 2010, with great success.
In this case, it was a folder of 15 sheets - the Coffret Marianne & L'Europe - Collection Étoiles d'Or, with a limited printing of 6,000 numbered copies, each selling for 125 EUR. Long queues formed all day in front of the Phil@poste stand ... until that the 6,000 folders sold out around 4 pm.
While this is an issue that, as in 2010, aroused much controversy and criticism on the part of collectors, is also a great money raiser for the organization and contributes to the financing of this major philatelic event.

Every two years, the Salon du Timbre is based on a theme. In 2012, it highlighted the stamp as a medium of recalling events that have marked the main stages of the human adventure, through 6 large activity / thematic areas dedicated to prehistory, antiquity, middle ages, modern times, contemporary, and the future - with the collaboration of the CNES, the French space agency. In each category, visitors could view exhibitions, attend lectures and participate in workshops, games and other activities. These areas were especially popular during weekdays, when the Salon was literally overrun by school groups.

For collectors, the Salon allows an insight into the manufacturing process of various philatelic products, with the display of equipment and printing demonstrations by l'Imprimerie des Timbres-Poste (images below), and to meet the main institutions and associations related to the stamp world, in France. The main national and international federations and associations (FFAP, FEPA, FIP, WADP, Posteurope, ...) all took advantage, too, by offering seminars, forums and conferences.

Phil@poste presented a remarkable media display, and released many different philatelic products at the Salon, - stamps, sheets, booklets, collectors ..., each with its own special or first day postmark, as well as some souvenirs and special editions on sale only on the stands at the Salon. Among them, and directly related to our area of study were 3 new issues of vignettes LISA.

With the exception of the first issue in 2004, with only two designs, each Salon du Timbre, since then has had 3 new ATM designs - 2 dedicated to the Salon, and the third commemorative to the congress of the Fédération Française des Associations Philatéliques (FFAP), hold during this philatelic event. Phil@poste also released a 'traditional' stamp with commemorative vignette dedicated to this conference (right image).

The first design is a composition by Sophie Beaujard dedicated to Franco-American friendship, with images of 6 key figures involved in the relationship between both countries (18th-19th cent.) - La Fayette, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexis de Tocqueville, Rochambeau & Peter Charles - L'Enfant.
The second design, by Isy Ochoa, depicts some of the major French rulers between the thirteenth and twentieth centuries - Kings Saint-Louis (or Louis IX de France), François 1er, Henri IV, Louis XIV, the emperor Napoléon 1er, and general Charles De Gaulle.
The issue dedicated to the 85th congress of the FFAP is illustrated with the Musée d'Orsay, Paris and on the right, 'Le cheval à la herse'. This is a sculpture by Pierre Louis Rouillard, created in 1877, and currently located on the museum's access esplanade. The ATM design is by Claude Perchat.

For the first time, the 3 designs were available from the 2 types of distributors used by Phil@poste. Those issued by Monétel LISA 1 machines, using mechanical/ink printing, and by IER LISA 2 Évolution, with thermal printing. To enable this, 40,000 self-adhesive labels with plain/normal paper, and 40,000 on thermal paper were produced. There are no differences in design, imprint systems, or formats, only the type of paper used in the label manufacture.

Phil@poste installed 6 distributors in a small space at the opposite end of the entrance way to the Salon. Each ATM design could be obtained, from June 8th - the first day of issue, from one Monétel distributor and one IER postal kiosk.

As expected, most visitors preferred to use the old Monétel machines, which printed the face value with ink, even if it sometimes meant queuing for a long time ... even though they were next to the IER postal kiosks without queues.
However, it is quite possible that the Monétel distributors will not be used again, mainly because of the lack of spare parts and ink cartridges.

Monétel LISA 1 - Normal paper and ink printing IER LISA 2 - Thermal paper and printing
For ATMs issued by Monétel LISA 1 distributors, considering the programmed prefixes and current postal rates, the basic set is made up of 4 values - E 0,55 EUR - 0,60 EUR - P 0,77 EUR & LETTRE 1,00 EUR, corresponding to the basic rates for economic domestic mail (E - Ecopli), priority domestic mail (without prefix), priority international mail (P), and priority domestic mail for letters above 20 g. (LETTRE). These machines can also provide purchase receipts showing the ATMs issued, and are printed on the same self-adhesive labels as those used for the stamps.

The minimum face value programmed into the distributors was 0.55 EUR, the current national rate for economic mail.
As an example, one ATM set of one of the designs is shown below.
E - Inland post Economique / Ecopli Inland post Prioritaire
P - International Priority mail - Prioritaire LETTRE - Inland letters above 20 g.
Receipts in French for the purchase of the 4-values set, with the list of stamps issued and the total paid

For ATMs issued by IER LISA 2 postal kiosks, according to the tariff program in the machines installed in the Salon, it was possible to obtain ATMs of the 3 designs with up to 20 different texts, as well as stamps with no text, starting from 0.55 EUR, the minimum value programmed. As a example, the first values with one of the designs is shown below.
On these machines, the receipts with the list of stamps issued are printed on rolls of white thermal paper.

Inland economic mail
Inland priority mail (J+2)
Inland priority mail (J+1)
International priority mail
Inland priority mail - Small parcel
International priority mail - Small parcel

Phil@poste and the association L'art du timbre gravé organized daily signing sessions with the stamps designers.
In the pictures below, Sophie Beaujard (daughter of the well-known Yves Beaujard, standing behind her) has created her second lovely ATM design, after the issue for the 60th Philapostel general assembly in Arêches (see article >>>), and Claude Perchat, designer of some other ATM issues in recent years.
Both artists are also the designers of the corresponding postmarks.
In addition to the first day postmarks for the different stamp issues, Phil@poste also prepared general dated postmarks for the Salon Planète Timbres, one for the inauguration day - June 8th, and one variable date special postmark for each vignette LISA.

Maximum card 'Amitié franco-américaine' (Franco-American friendship). The vintage postcard shows a photograph of the La Fayette bust (ATM) on the flags of both countries (postmark), at the Musée de l'Armée.
Maximum card. The vintage postcard reproduces a painting with the portrait of Louis XIV, who also appears in the special postmark along with Saint-Louis, and the ATM issue.

The maximum card 'Musée d'Orsay' is realized using a modern postcard published by the museum itself, the ATM issue, and the special postmark illustrated with the same subject, dated of the first day of issue - June 8th.

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This page was created in June 2012
and last updated:  12.07.12 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (04.07.2012)