Professionally, like his father before him, a well-known star architect (born 1940), Alemany Indarte compiled countless collections of the highest international class that were second to none. Among others, there are several specialised collections of Brazil, Finland, Argentina, Spain, the Netherlands and India, and also of the Italian LATI air mail. When one learns in this new book that he was awarded over 120 (!) Gold medals, 40 of them at FIP international exhibitions alone, then one can get an idea of the sort of areas that characterised the philatelic life of this philatelist, who died in 2020.
In order to better understand the special theme of this collection, which has been awarded many Grand Prix awards, it is worth looking back. The long years of the two civil wars ("Carlist Wars" of 1833-1840 and 1847-1849) had left Spain, which was focused on domestic politics, almost untouched by the political and economic changes in the other European countries. When a postal reform based on the British model was finally adopted in 1849 with the issue of stamps for the prepayment of letters, there were only two postal treaties with foreign postal administrations for the exchange of mail: France and Belgium.
After the first stamps were available at post office counters from 1 January 1850, the Spanish Post Office made great efforts to establish postal links with other European countries and to other overseas states through treaties. A postal treaty with neighbouring Portugal came into force on 30 August 1850, and with Switzerland in March 1851. Agreements with the Kingdom of Sardinia followed (1851/52), as well as with the other Italian states in the following year, 1853. Postal treaties were also concluded with Prussia and Austria in 1852, followed by the Netherlands, Denmark and the other German states in July 1853. Postal agreements with Great Britain were only added in 1858, followed by Russia and several Scandinavian states in the 1860s.
Initially, the various postal treaties mostly only included logistical agreements such as routes, country transits and financial regulations for postal exchanges. The complete franking of letters to addressees in other countries was not yet provided for. Spain usually charged the Spanish sender or collected the fee from the Spanish recipient for conveyance to or from the border. The country was thus connected to Europe and the rest of the world, even if this was still relatively impractical for the letter sender and the recipient.
This specialised collection of Luis Alemany thus documents the development from a postally almost isolated Spain to a nation integrated into the world's postal system. In each case, this is done with covers that have been carried to Spain from seven European countries; they are assigned to the various postal treaties of each country and show an in-depth explanation of the routes and postage rates relevant to the postal history. Many notes below the covers illustrated make their rarity and exceptional status more than clear.
— Wolfgang Maaßen (AIJP)
160 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English and German