tradition and experience in classic philately since 1919

Vol. 60: Greece – Large Hermes Heads 1861 - 1886 – The Stavros Andreadis 'Kassandra' Collection

79.00 CHF
article number: 459
It is probably the first time that a book showing a collection in the Global Philatelic Network's “Edition d'Or” series of books has appeared for the second time with this Volume 60 in the book series. In 2011, with Volume 28, this collection of especially high quality had already been presented on 156 pages. Now there are 183 pages, on which the quantitative increase of almost 20 percent is far exceeded by the qualitative enrichment. For the well-known Greece specialist Andreadis has spared no effort or expense in the last ten years to add even more rarities to his collection, which at that time had already won several Large Gold awards. In 2018, it won the Grand Prix International in Jerusalem, another indication that this was truly an exceptional exhibit.

This is already made clear by the book cover and the first page of the collection, which now shows the essay by the French stamp engraver Albert Barre, who dedicated the design, derived from a French stamp of 1853, to Natalis Rondot, a legendary pioneer philatelist. The head of Ceres was replaced by the head of Hermes, which henceforth adorned the first Greek issues. Barre’s design for the Large Hermes Head issue exists only once in this form, although there are many other plate and print proofs as well as essays in the Andreadis collection, many of which are just as rare.

What does not exactly make collecting these first issues of Greece easier is the wide variety of printings that an expert can distinguish. It begins with the Paris printings (1861), followed by various provisional and finally the Athens printings (1862-1867). Printings from cleaned plates (1867-1869) followed, also Athens hard printings (1870) and then again printings from cleaned plates (1871-1872 as well as 1873). Prints on ‘meshed’ paper are known as well as new values from 1876, cream-coloured paper (1875-1880) and colour changes (1882). It is therefore not too easy for the collector to look through them all, also the control numbers on the reverse should also be mentioned, which are almost a special field in themselves. If you have not run out of steam yet, you can devote yourself to the rare mixed and combination frankings or to a legend in their own right: the “Solferinos”, the 40 Lepta misprint. This error of colour is one of the greatest rarities known to the philatelic world. Although there are 13 known examples, Andreadis’ collection contains the only one on cover. And even a pair!

Talking of pairs, Andreadis shows in his collection large and sometimes the largest known multiples of many values, some even on cover. And this in abundance and in excellent quality that captivates. Everything is described in detail in English and this therefore becomes a kind of handbook of Greek philately, providing the expert as well as the beginner with valuable knowledge about what exists, and also about what one might not own oneself.

The hardbound book is produced in the excellent quality usual for this book series, and so for 79 CHF plus postage the book is worthy of recommendation.

— Wolfgang Maaßen (AIJP)

size 25,5 x 34 cm, 192 pages, numerous color illustrations, hardcover with dust jacket, bilingual English/German, collection pages in English only.

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