The biography in this new 56th volume in the EDITION D'OR series portrays the collector as a man committed to his dreams. This is actually his life's work - both professional and philatelic. Born in 1949 in Langadas near Thessaloniki, in the 1950s and 1960s Anestis Karagiannidis could see few prospects for his future in his native Greece, and so he emigrated to Canada in 1971, married his wife Artemis there in 1976 and hired himself out as a carpenter until 1981, when he finally remembered his roots: he opened the "Boulangerie Pâtisserie Afroditi" in Montreal. This exclusive patisserie for Greek and French pastries became so successful over the years that Karagiannidis and his youngest son now have more branches.
Nor did Karagiannidis give up the love of philately of his youth. On the contrary, his hobby developed more and more into a passion, so that since 1986 he has focused on the second period of classical Greek philately. These stamp issues are widely known as the "Small Hermes Heads". Specialists are aware that a collection of these issues is anything but easy to put together. Initially (1886-1888) they were produced in various printings in Belgium, then from 1889 to 1890 the stamps of the 'First Athens Printing' were produced, followed by those of the 'Second Athenian Printing' from 1890 to 1896 and finally those of the third printing from 1897 to 1901.
This still sounds manageable, but the variety of papers, colours, perforations and watermarks often presents a puzzle to the collector. Karagiannidis knows how to solve these puzzles in the truly unique collection documented in this book, which has been awarded six international Grand Prix Gold Medals and two additional Grand Prix Medals since 2013. He describes the occurrence of all the varieties very clearly and the excellent print quality of the stamp illustrations is extremely detailed and close to the original.
The exhibit is a traditional collection in the best and truest sense of the word. It is in the well-understood sense an "accumulations of rarities", and should "only one of three known examples" appear in the description, then one can hardly estimate their rarity factor in view of the countless unique specimens.
This book is a pleasure to read. It is a "must read" and a groundbreaking handbook for anyone interested in these issues.
— Wolfgang Maassen (AIJP)
164 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English and German