tradition and experience in classic philately since 1919

Richard Schäfer: Jean de Sperati – Rubens of Philatelic Forgers 1884–1957

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article number: 474
"My 10th and last philatelic book" can be read in smaller print under the name of the well-known Swiss author. He was to be proved right, as when preparing for the International FIP Exhibition LUGANO 2022, at which on 18 May 2022 his ninth work entitled "Kantonalmarken Schweiz. Echt - falsch - verfälscht (Reuterskiöld Nr. II)" was presented by Walter Brühlmann for the Corinphila publishing house, Schäfer (born 1939) announced the forthcoming book as his last work. He probably lived to see its completion, but not its publication, for he died in the spring of this year.

In nine chapters, this expert first devoted himself to a biography of Sperati and his family, his curriculum vitae, and the early and later years of his creative work, literally putting him on a par with "Rubens" and his importance in art. Thanks to the acquisition of the family estate, Schäfer was able to include many unknown facts and photographs, so that this first part of the book can already be described as the best ever published on Sperati. This also applies to the second part of the book, in which he also describes, in detail in nine chapters, the techniques that Sperati used to produce his forgeries. From matrices to postmarks, from paper and ink to the printing process, the production methods are described, explained and illustrated in detail.

What is perhaps unusual is the third part of the book, which Schäfer devotes to the marketing strategy of this "Grand Master" of the forger's guild. For him, this includes Sperati's feuds with the assayers' guild, and also original price lists, approval cards and booklets, Sperati's correspondence, Sperati's 1953 album "Philatélie d'Arts" and a black album as a presentation book. On fully 150 (!) pages Schäfer then presents what increases the value of this book enormously: every imitation of classic Swiss stamps produced by Sperati. They are compared with enlargements of the originals and all the differences are given in detail in both English and German. Specimens are taken into account as well as proofs, clichés etc.

An overall judgement is very easy for the reviewer due to the scope of the book and the accuracy of the research: it is the best book on Jean de Sperati and his work on classical Swiss forgeries that this reviewer has ever seen. This was probably only made possible by decades of study of the subject, but also by an enormous financial commitment to acquire all these relics over a long period of time. Anyone who collects, deals in, buys or sells these stamps should read the book, as it should protect them from many a bad investment. Buying it is also a good investment, given the limited edition of 200 copies.

– Wolfgang Maassen, AIJP

Format 21 x 28 cm, 275 pages, many coloured illustrations, hardbound in cloth with gold-embossed title and spine, dust jacket, gilt-edged pages all round
 125.00 CHF

Richard Schäfer: Swiss Cantonal Stamps. Genuine – forged – faked (Reuterskiöld No. II)

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article number: 463
The renowned author Richard Schäfer needs no introduction to any Swiss philatelist. Since 1995 he has become well-known far beyond the country's borders for his eight extensive and substantial monographs on Swiss philately and postal history. His works rightly rank among the most important standard works on philately in general and have often won first prizes at exhibitions, just like his own collections, which he has put together over 45 years.

Actually, now aged over 80, he wanted to put down his pen, but things turned out differently. Isolation and loneliness after the death of his wife a few years ago spurred him on again to tackle a subject for which he had already laid the first foundations 25 years ago with the acquisition of a forgery collection: the forgeries of old Swiss stamps and their producers. Over time, he succeeded in acquiring many important archives that experts had compiled. Among them were the Emil Rellstab archive, the collections of A. Stutz, Carl Walske (Swiss section, including Peter Winter imitations), Paul Butterfield Freeland, A. Kofranek, M. Bürle, M. Weggler and others. Supported by his son Richard Schäfer Jr. he thus compiled what is probably the largest reference collection of forgeries of old Swiss issues that has ever existed. When one reads that in Part III of the book alone 3,500 (!) forgeries are illustrated and described in detail with their characteristics, one already gets a first impression of the uniqueness of this work. This is because there has never been anything comparable, even approximately comparable, for the collecting area of Old Switzerland.

But why Reuterskiöld II? This has a very special meaning. In 1907, this legendary Swiss philatelist published the third edition of ‟The Forgeries of the 'Cantonal' Stamps of Switzerland”, published in 1889 and 1898. On 36 pages, Reuterskiöld managed to describe 156 forgeries of the ten cantonal stamps at that time; however, there were no illustrations. Thanks to the huge collection, Schäfer is able to describe and illustrate not only these 156, but also another 39 forgeries. Each is shown in colour, with the particular features of the forgery explained clearly in comparison to a genuine stamp. He himself writes: ‟We consider it almost a small 'wonder of the world' that after thousands of hours of work we have succeeded in finding the corresponding stamp for each type of forgery, and this after more than 100 years.”

Let's take a closer look at this book. It is lavishly produced, hardbound with a dust jacket and gilt edging. In the first part (eight pages) the basics, that is, technical questions about forgeries are clarified: printing processes, papers, inks etc. Part II (22 pages) is devoted to the forgers and the known forgery collections. Here there is a very useful comparison of the identification systems used in forgeries such as those of Reuterskiöld, Robert Earée, Cedric Dry and others. The main part is the Part III already mentioned, the record of forgeries on 271 pages, followed by Part IV (Appendix with sources, 20 pages). It is almost impossible to describe this wealth in detail here, it is overwhelming. Every philatelist who is interested in the area of old Swiss stamps should study this work very carefully. It can and will save him many a poor investment.

If you want to find a "fly in the ointment", you will find it here also. Not only in the typography of the quotation marks, but also in the lack of final editing of parts of the book, which probably occurred shortly before going to press. However, they primarily concern only Part II. There, for example, on p. 19 Philip Spiro is still presented as the head of Spiro of Hamburg (which is not correct) and reference is made to a forthcoming book by ‟Gerhard Maassen” on the subject of Spiro. Schäfer confuses Gerhard (Lang-Valchs) and Wolfgang Maassen here, who both worked on this book on the Spiro family. On p. 27 the author is then referred to as "Wolfang Maassen" (without 'g') etc. Let's face it: these are typos that anyone can make in the rush of the moment. They in no way detract from the value and importance of the book. It is unreservedly recommended to everyone!

At the first presentation of this remarkable book on 18 May during HELVETIA 2022, Richard Schäfer announced that he planned to follow this work with another: a book about the forger Jean de Sperati and his imitations. We can look forward to it!

— Wolfgang Maassen (AIJP)

Size 21 x 27.5 cm, 315 pages, many illustrations in colour, hardbound with gold embossed title and spine, gilt edging all around, dust jacket, limited edition of 250 copies, ISBN 978-3-938538-38-8
 125.00 CHF

PORT PAYÉ - The Classic PP-Cancels of Switzerland 1796-1862

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The New Handbook by Evert Poel

Systematically listed according to their usages in the different Cantons
 65.00 CHF

Austrian Post Office in the Levant - Werner Schindler

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article number: 444
Anyone who has read the 564 pages of this extensive work - presented in the style of an EDITION D'OR volume – will know why history and especially postal history fascinate so many people today. Although this book is based on the author's own collection, what he has made of it thanks to the Köhler/Corinphila publishing team breaks all the constraints of previous EDITION D'OR and EDITION SPÈCIALE volumes. The result is a perfect mixture of comprehensive information, richly combined with interesting, valuable and attractive covers from the period covered. But Schindler does not stop there. He also takes the next step with regard to what is often referred to today as "social philately". He includes contemporary illustrations of all kinds, reproduces original texts, maps, paintings of people, photos and much more, which brings to life the otherwise "dry" historical material.

Schindler treats the complex subject-matter chronologically. He begins with the early development of the Levant up to the Congress of Vienna, then shows the developments on land and sea and discusses the early postage rates as well as the introduction of stamps. This alone takes up almost 300 pages and it is fascinating to read how the progress of industrial development was in tune with the expansion of postal routes, the available means of transport and destinations served. Of course, the Austrian Post Office's position in the interplay of powers at the time is not neglected either, as it - like so many others - always endeavoured to increase the Habsburg claim to expansion as far as Asia and Egypt. International postal links to Europe and overseas, postal treaties along various routes were the result and here it is also fascinating how the author deals with these important aspects on an almost global scale. The last 50 years of these developments - from the General Postal Union to the beginning of the First World War - are dealt with more briefly in comparison, but show the new stamp issues in different currencies and new postal services as well as the renewed economic changes.

This book is not a compendium, that is, not a concise textbook, it is an encyclopaedia of the Austrian Post and the Habsburg claims in the Levant - an encyclopaedia which has not existed in this form and with this content until now. The author is up to date, as is made clear by the sources he has evaluated and the state archives used, which today are gradually digitising their holdings. As a competent postal history expert, however, Schindler knows how to put facsimiles of old postal treaties in their overall context instead of reprinting them page by page, as is often the case, and he describes documents in such a way that one can learn from them. He is aware of and interprets the correspondence of large companies and trading houses, he knows about treaties and their backgrounds, but he does not simply leave them isolated in space, but interprets them against the background of previous and subsequent historical events, so that an overall picture of this complex matter emerges.

The author and publisher can only be congratulated on this book. It is a reference book in the best sense of the word, a monograph, not a documentation of a collection. But the book shows what you can do with a collection and what you can use it for. In short: philately meets history. The two are no longer separate!

— Wolfgang Maassen (AIJP)

564 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in German and English
 99.00 CHF

Swiss Federal Stamps 1850 - 1854 - The 'Durheim' - Issues, Frankings - Rarities - Richard Schäfer

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For Corinphila it's an Honour to present the new handbook written by the well known Swiss collector Richard Schäfer sen. After the release of his first Handbook on Swiss Cantonal Stamps in 2014, Mr. Schäfer's Handbook is an usefull addition concerning the research of number of printed stamps, postal usages and rates, cancellations and rarities, including valuation based on auction results of the last decades. Written in German with plenty of usefull information.

  1. Federal Post Constitutional law and tariffs

  2. Ortspost and Poste Locale

  3. Rayon Issues

  4. Cancellations

  5. External Mail

Each issue is systematically listed relating to the following scheme:

  • Historical background

  • Circulation figures

  • Prevalence, number of printed stamps

  • Usages and rates

  • Frankings and Rarities

 99.00 CHF

Swiss Cantonal Stamps 1843 - 1854, Frankings - Rarities - Richard Schäfer

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For Corinphila it's an Honour to present the new handbook written by the well known Swiss collector Richard Schäfer sen. After the release of Corinphila's Handbook and Catalogue in 2011, which is already sold out, Mr. Schäfer's Handbook is an usefull addition concerning the research of number of printed stamps, postal usages and rates, cancellations and rarities, including valuation based on auction results of the last decades. Written in German with plenty of usefull information.

Read more
 99.00 CHF

Sachsen-Meinigen: Thüringen als philatelistisches Sammelgebiet • Die Sammlung Heinrich Sanders

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article number: 429
208 pages, of which 87 are full-colour plates showing pages from the collection, hardbound, in German
 79.00 CHF

Bernd Juchert: Bull's Eyes on covers (2nd edition)

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article number: 405

Collectors of Brazil's famous "Bull's Eyes" of 1843 may well have seen Bernd Juchert's first edition of this book which was a 150-page study which listed, described and illustrated, in black and white, all the "Bull's Eyes" covers that were known to him at the time.

The second edition of this book, to be published on 14th May 2015 by Wolfgang Maassen, is a world apart from the first edition. This new, high-quality and lavishly presented book now has 360 pages and it shows almost 50 per cent more covers which have come to light over the intervening years. There are also listed some 38 faked or forged covers and 18 covers on which no expert opinion has yet been given and which must be regarded as "questionable". The author and publisher make it clear that 'questionable' does not necessarily mean that these covers are faked; they might be perfectly genuine, but all the relevant questions are not yet answered and/or the author, Bernd Juchert, has not yet seen these covers at first hand.

Three characteristics in particular distinguish the new edition. The circa 300 illustrations are, for the most part, shown in colour for the first time. More than one hundred of the illustrations are new. Secondly, auction records, including prices realised, are given for almost every cover. All this is presented in an attractive, full-colour format, and trilingually, with German, English and Portuguese text. For the first time all the covers are given numbers that can, in future, be easily referred to and quoted. To date just 217 genuine "Bull's Eye" covers are known. The author and publisher have spent two years preparing this book and I have no hesitation in recommending that if you have any passing interest in either Brazil or classic first issues covers then this book should have a place in your library.

 169.00 CHF