In Germany, Hansmichael Krug is considered the expert par excellence on the "Breastplate" issues of the German Empire. He has been an expertiser for these issues in the Bund Philatelistischer Prüfer since 1994, and had already gained experience as a stamp dealer many years before, and through freelance work for the Heinrich Koehler auction house since 1979. On several occasions he was included in the team of experts at important international exhibitions, such as BELGICA 2006, BULGARIA 2009 and ANTWERPIA 2010. Since 2002 he has also been a member of the International Association of Philatelic Expertisers AIEP, since 2012 Chairman of the ArGe Brustschilde study group, and from 2020 a member of the Consilium Philatelicum. His exhibits of the Dominican Republic, his second area of expertise, and particularly on the Breastplate issues from 1871 to 1875 have been awarded Gold and Large Gold medals several times.
In the introduction to the book, Krug describes what fascinated him so much about this transatlantic mail. It is precisely the background postal history with the agreements of the German Reichspost, which commissioned large shipping companies of that time with the carrying of mail in order to shorten the delivery time more and more. On a total of 140 pages he documents the different routes: via Bremen with ships of the Norddeutscher Lloyd, via Hamburg with ships of HAPAG and the Adler Line, via Hamburg and France with ships of HAPAG, via Stettin with ships of the Baltic Lloyd and finally via Great Britain. Each cover illustrated is described in detail with its route, and also with postage rates and destinations, and the excellent quality and rarity of the covers of various kinds is indeed impressive. A final chapter on postage rates and regulations from 1 July 1875 under the General Postal Treaty rounds off the subject. All in all, this volume is a true enrichment of this series of books for every interested reader.
— Wolfgang Maaßen (AIJP)
176 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English and German