Thematic collectors sometimes have the opportunity to collect items that relate to their chosen collecting area not only on stamps, but also as originals – even in miniature format – whether it be cars, trains or ships, to name just a few examples. Animal lovers often breed or keep the animals that are the subject of their philatelic interests. This was exactly the case with Lutz König, a philatelist born at Nordhausen, in the Harz region, in 1952.
König not only knows a great deal about pigeon post (the title of his exhibit, which has received many Grand Prix and Large Gold medals since 2006), but also about pigeons themselves, which he bred until 1990. He won high awards with his pigeons at many shows in the former GDR. It was only his workload that led to him giving up this time-consuming pursuit so as to further his career, and he concentrated instead on the philatelically charming theme of the pigeon
The new Volume 57 in the well-known "EDITION D'OR" series of books not only gives a biography of this unusual collector, it also provides a highly readable introduction to König's collecting area. The preface deals with the ornithological view of pigeons and the carrying of news by pigeon post, also fine pigeon breeds and pigeons as high-performance "athletes", and describes the role of the dove as a well-known and worldwide symbol of peace.
Finally, this high award-winning collection is documented on almost 100 more pages. In four parts of the collection, it provides deep insights into the "biographies of pigeons in the wild", the evolution of "the development of today’s domestic pigeons from wild rock doves", as well as a historical reference to the development from "the path from bird of the gods in antiquity to religious symbol" and to aspects of the "doves are a source of inspiration – worldwide fame of a different kind".
What is most impressive is the meticulous development of this exhibit, which uses all kinds of philatelic items (stamps, postmarks, postal stationery, letters, franking marks and much more) to illustrate what is written. Present-day questions such as the protection of species and today's dangers to wild and domestic pigeons are not left out. When selecting the philatelic items shown, one can sense the expert who loves what is special: until 1990 Lutz König had collected GDR in a specialised way, that is, stamps with specialised features and varieties. Later he continued this far from easy approach in his pigeon post collection and chose special, sometimes even unique items in each case.
It is not only entertaining, but also educational in the truest sense of the word to read this book; it is a joy. One should have seen the collection - now everyone has the opportunity to do so comparatively easily.
— Wolfgang Maassen (AIJP)
128 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English and German