Every now and then, we get emails asking us about specific types of postcards. Instead of replying to them one by one, we thought a series of posts explaining them was in order. First up, Maxicards!
What are Maxicards? These maximum cards, as they are often known, are postcards that feature an image (a monument, animal, event, etc) along with a stamp of a very similar or related image on the picture side of the card. There are actually thousands of them in circulation today, as they are regularly issued by the Post Offices themselves – with collectors paying big bucks for originals. See some examples on the Virgin Stamps website.
Maxicards have a long and storied history. The first Maxicard was mailed by a tourist in Egypt in 1893, who sent a picture postcard to a friend in Germany. The postcard depicted a pyramid and the Sphinx, and was mailed after he stamped it with a pyramid and Sphinx stamp. He accidentally placed the stamp on the view side of the postcard and thus the maximum card was born from his mistake. Whether later cards were accidents or by design, the craze took off. In 1978, the International Federation of Philately (FIP) officially recognized maximaphily as a branch of philately, basically saying that Maxicards are legitimate.
So, how can you create a Maxicard? You might purchase the postcard and related stamp, put the stamp on the image side and send it, but you have not actually created a Maxicard. Why is this? You are missing another important step that collectors look for: not only do you want the stamp and the postcard to be related, but you also want the postmark to tie in as well! Only then will you have a full-fledged maximum card. Learn more about creating a maximum card on this Maximum Cards website.
Do you have a favourite type of postcard that you’d like to see featured, or are you intrigued by a certain format? Let us know in the comments!