Keeper of the royal collection Michael Sefi, shown at the opening of the exhibit “The Queen’s Own: Stamps That Changed the World,” will speak October 16 at the Third Annual Maynard Sundman Lecture at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. Photo by Jeff Tinsley, courtesy of Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

Third Annual Maynard Sundman Lecture at Smithsonian

LITTLETON, NEW HAMPSHIRE – The Third Annual Maynard Sundman Lecture will be held at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. on October 16 from 2 to 3 p.m. The lecture, “The Royal Philatelic Collection: An Inside View,” features Michael Sefi, keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection – considered the world’s premier assemblage of working British and Commonwealth stamps.

The series of annual lectures was established by Littleton Coin Company president David Sundman and his brother Donald, president of Mystic Stamp Company, to honor their father Maynard Sundman, founder of Littleton Coin Company, formerly Littleton Stamp & Coin. Scheduled on or around Maynard Sundman’s birthday, the lectures are designed to explore and interpret recent philatelic research. The Sundman family actively supports educational events that promote understanding and appreciation of philately, the collection and study of postage stamps, and numismatics, the study or collecting of coins, medals, paper money, etc.

At this year’s event, conducted the day before Maynard’s 89th birthday, Sefi will discuss the collecting objectives of King George V, who started the Royal Philatelic Collection in the late 1800s. George, who was Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather, reportedly spent three afternoons a week working with the collection whenever he was in London. Sefi will also address current issues facing the collection.

Sefi, who has been involved with the royal collection since 1996, first as deputy keeper, then as keeper from Jan. 2003 on, specializes in early stamps of the reign of King George V – particularly those of Great Britain. The keeper personally chose some of the more striking pieces on display in the exhibition The Queen’s Own: Stamps that Changed the World, running now through January 11, 2005 at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Part of the exhibition centers on the 1839-1841 British postal reform, which opened affordable mail service to the common man. The reform produced the world’s first postage stamps, the Penny Black and the Twopenny Blue. For further information about the exhibition and the Maynard Sundman lecture, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s website is www.postal.si.edu.

Based in Littleton, New Hampshire, Littleton Coin Company has become one of the world’s largest coin and paper money mail-order operations. Maynard Sundman founded Littleton Stamp Company in 1945. Today, it employs more than 330 people and provides friendly service to collectors nationwide. Mystic Stamp Company is one of the largest stamp companies in the U.S.