The collection of postcards may well go on display in an exhibition. | Miquel A. Cañellas


Three years ago, Joan Estelrich Maimó passed away. He had the largest collection of postcards anywhere in the Balearics. The owner of a small hotel in Can Pastilla and a shareholder in various tourism businesses, collecting postcards was one of his great passions, and he had the means to be able to amass his grand collection.

He was once a tourist guide. It was this that helped to spark his enthusiasm, as holidaymakers were so interested in sending postcards. He started to collect the cards and also stamps.

His collection was bequeathed to the Palma Philately and Collectionism Group, of which he had at one time been the president. He placed a value of 50,000 euros on this collection. The members of the group had to pay tax based on this valuation.

The Spanish Federation of Philatelic Associations once noted that one part of this collection - El Correo Aéreo de Baleares (1936-39) - became the most complete study of that period.

During visits to Madrid he would buy hundreds of postcards from Majorca and bring them back in his hand luggage in order to make sure that they didn't get lost. Some, he admitted, were "cheap", but he would treat these with just the same pride as he did the ones that were more difficult to source and were more expensive. He would display some of these postcards in his hotel.

The Palma Philately and Collectionism Group was founded in 1892. There are now some dozen members, and they hope to be able to stage an exhibition of Joan Estelrich's collection.