The Perfins of Austrian Levant

Prize Winning Perfins Exhibit

Vladimir Munzberger (#3490)

[Editor’s Note: Perfins Club member, Vladimir Munzberger (#3490) recently exhibited a prize winning One Frame Exhibit (16 pages) at the World Stamp Exhibition PRAGA 2008. His one frame exhibit “Perfins of Austrian Levant” received 85 points and a Vermeil medal. Following is the exhibit after some general comments by Mr. Munzberger about exhibiting perfins.]

PRAGA 2008 was held September 12 – 14, 2008 on the Praga Fair Grounds. Over 45,000 visitors attended. It was a major world exhibition under the full patronage of the FIP, but it was specialized into four exhibition classes: Traditional, Postal History, Literature, and One Frame Exhibits. More information about the exhibition is available at the exhibition’s web site

At the exhibition, four perfin exhibits were presented. These were the one discussed in this article; another One Frame Exhibit, “Perfins of the Bank of Greece”, by Vladislav Beneš from the Czech Republic; a very nice 5-frame exhibit titled “Perfins of the Kingdom of Bavaria” by German collector Reiner von Scharpen; and another 5-frame exhibit, “Perfins used in Czech and Slovak Territory”, by Julius Pisa from Slovakia. .

I believe that perfins are not only holes thru the stamps, but they are an integral part of postal history and this is the way they should be presented to public. That means that perfins have to be demonstrated in all possible situations in which they had been really used (of course, it is not simple). My exhibit is based on the following general ideas:

  1. Selection of the territory (in this case Austrian Levant). This also means one must have a certain minimal knowledge about this territory and historical background of its postal services.
  2. Showing the wide range of perfins from the selected territory – as much as possible and preferably better perfins. (From my experience it is very difficult for one collector to put together all of the perfins from any selected territory.)
  3. Showing the perfins on various stamps (preferably on the better ones.)
  4. Presenting a detailed study of the perfins, if possible, (in this exhibit very limited) and any new findings in this field.
  5. Showing the perfins used on various documents, especially with identified users of the perfins. For example, various cards, letters, stationary sent to various destinations (very difficult from Levant), or other postal documents (forms, etc.). It is also important to explain the starting and ending destinations, the correct postage fee, and some other specifics of the documents.
  6. Reasonable description of the material (not too much, but all of the important things).
  7. And, of course, one must also have in mind the FIP criteria for evaluation that will be used by the exhibition jury.

The above is one of the many possible ways that one can use to be relatively successful in exhibiting perfins. The degree that I succeeded in fulfilling these ideas and further improvements that could be made in my exhibit is another story and I will let our readers judge it.

Any comments regarding exhibiting perfins are welcome. I am always looking for good pictures of all Austrian Levant perfins which are missing from my exhibit for documentation and study purposes. It would be even better if I could add some of these to my collection. My address is Vladimir Munzberger, PO Box 260, 160 41 Praha 6, CZECH REPUBLIC or email me at