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Vol. 70: Switzerland Federal Mail – Rare Frankings 1849–1854 – The Richard Schäfer Sr. Collection

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article number: 477
The name of this collector will no doubt be familiar to anyone who has ever been involved with the philately of Old Switzerland. Richard Schäfer (1939-2023) immortalised early Swiss philately and postal history in ten wide-ranging publications and created a monument to it like few others before him. And for him, the basis was always the stamps themselves and their use in a historical context, especially on letters and covers of all kinds. As a result, several collections were put together from the 1960s onwards. At the BERNOBA 78 exhibition, he ventured to exhibit for the first time with a Strubel collection, and at NABA 1984 this exhibit was awarded Gold and a special accolade. Many other "super collections" were to follow, which took him to the philatelic Olympus, including a number of Grand Prix nominations. His last exceptional collection was "Old Switzerland - Frankings of the First Period of Federal Mail 1849 to 1854", which was shown at IBRA 2023. 

This newly published volume in the Edition d'Or series documents this collection on 120 pages, focusing on rare frankings of the Swiss Federal Post from 1849 to 1854. With a new postage rates law and the division of Switzerland into eleven postal districts, a new era in Swiss postal services began on 1 October 1849, which was followed in 1851 by the first Coinage Act and the introduction of the Swiss franc, which abolished the almost untenable situation of 297 different types of coins. Old cantonal and transitional stamps could continue to be used from 1849. In 1851, however, the local tax was abolished and the distance-based rayons were reduced to three districts.

The Schäfer collection includes the usage of the first Swiss stamps during the first four postage rate periods:

I. The use of the cantonal stamps of Zurich, Geneva and Basel and the transitional stamps from 1 October 1949 to 30 September 1854

II. The first federal postage rates from 1 October 1849 to 31 December 1851

III. Federal postage rates in Geneva from 1 January 1849 to 31 December 1851

IV. The second federal postage rates from 1 January 1852 to 30 September 1854

The chronologically arranged sections of the collection place particular emphasis on frankings, cancellations and rare early and late usages, especially the use of cantonal stamps. An almost unbelievable wealth of well-preserved covers are presented and precisely described in this documentation of the collection, with Schäfer attaching great importance to the correct classification and identification of the stamps and postage rates, but also determining the rarity of almost every cover, that is, listing the number of known comparable frankings. And the phrase "the only known ..." is frequently used. The abundance and variety of these exquisite ranges of covers is almost overwhelming.

160 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in German and English
 79.00 CHF

Richard Schäfer: Jean de Sperati – Rubens of Philatelic Forgers 1884–1957

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article number: 474
"My 10th and last philatelic book" can be read in smaller print under the name of the well-known Swiss author. He was to be proved right, as when preparing for the International FIP Exhibition LUGANO 2022, at which on 18 May 2022 his ninth work entitled "Kantonalmarken Schweiz. Echt - falsch - verfälscht (Reuterskiöld Nr. II)" was presented by Walter Brühlmann for the Corinphila publishing house, Schäfer (born 1939) announced the forthcoming book as his last work. He probably lived to see its completion, but not its publication, for he died in the spring of this year.

In nine chapters, this expert first devoted himself to a biography of Sperati and his family, his curriculum vitae, and the early and later years of his creative work, literally putting him on a par with "Rubens" and his importance in art. Thanks to the acquisition of the family estate, Schäfer was able to include many unknown facts and photographs, so that this first part of the book can already be described as the best ever published on Sperati. This also applies to the second part of the book, in which he also describes, in detail in nine chapters, the techniques that Sperati used to produce his forgeries. From matrices to postmarks, from paper and ink to the printing process, the production methods are described, explained and illustrated in detail.

What is perhaps unusual is the third part of the book, which Schäfer devotes to the marketing strategy of this "Grand Master" of the forger's guild. For him, this includes Sperati's feuds with the assayers' guild, and also original price lists, approval cards and booklets, Sperati's correspondence, Sperati's 1953 album "Philatélie d'Arts" and a black album as a presentation book. On fully 150 (!) pages Schäfer then presents what increases the value of this book enormously: every imitation of classic Swiss stamps produced by Sperati. They are compared with enlargements of the originals and all the differences are given in detail in both English and German. Specimens are taken into account as well as proofs, clichés etc.

An overall judgement is very easy for the reviewer due to the scope of the book and the accuracy of the research: it is the best book on Jean de Sperati and his work on classical Swiss forgeries that this reviewer has ever seen. This was probably only made possible by decades of study of the subject, but also by an enormous financial commitment to acquire all these relics over a long period of time. Anyone who collects, deals in, buys or sells these stamps should read the book, as it should protect them from many a bad investment. Buying it is also a good investment, given the limited edition of 200 copies.

– Wolfgang Maassen, AIJP

Format 21 x 28 cm, 275 pages, many coloured illustrations, hardbound in cloth with gold-embossed title and spine, dust jacket, gilt-edged pages all round
 125.00 CHF

Vol. 66: Argentine Stagecoaches 1852–1870 – The Pablo Reim Collection

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article number: 469
Pablo Reim (born 1955) is one of the world's most successful and well-known exhibitors of important collections of Argentine and Brazilian stamps, for which he has been awarded many Gold and Large Gold medals. In 2017, his collection of the classic issues of Brazil was awarded the Grand Prix at BRASILIA, and his collection of classic issues of Argentina was also thus honoured in Thailand in 2018. Professionally and commercially successful, he has managed to put together many collections that leave nothing to be desired in terms of rarity. Such is the case with this collection, in particular as it is devoted to a subject that is not easy. To understand this fully it is helpful to take a look at earlier Kneitschel catalogues, whose content Reim has considerably expanded through his research and documentation.

The carrying of mail in this very large country was provided from 1852 onwards by stagecoaches run by private companies, which carried the mail and also travellers to towns and villages not served by the state postal service. The routes passed through valleys, across smaller and larger rivers, some of which had no bridges, and through the desert. The first route served by a stagecoach company was from Buenos Aires to Chascomus. After more and more companies contracted with the post office, the postal administrator Gervasio A. Posadas in 1858 laid down general rules and regulations that had to be followed by the stagecoaches. These included, among other things, an obligation to apply a postmark to items of mail carried by the stagecoaches, a regulation that was not always observed, however. With the introduction of adhesive stamps in 1858, their use on stagecoach correspondence became obligatory, yet in many cases the stamps remained uncancelled. Before the introduction of self-adhesive stamps, mail received individual postmarks designed and made by the stagecoach companies. Later, the private handstamps were also used in combination with the Argentine stamp issues.

Pablo Reim's collection offers a unique study of the various handstamps used by the stagecoach companies. At the same time, the collection documents the different stagecoach routes that were operated in different years. Rarities in this collection include six stagecoach postmarks that are unique, 14 stagecoach handstamps of which only two examples are recorded, three from a total of five known covers to Europe, two covers that were carried by two different stagecoach companies (only four or five such covers are known), and seven covers from stagecoaches that used the postmarks of travelling post offices. The Pablo Reim collection is the first collection in the history of Argentine philately to be exhibited in eight frames at an FIP international stamp exhibition. To be able to view it at leisure in this publication is an unparalleled pleasure.

— Wolfgang Maaßen (AIJP)

164 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English and German
 0.00 CHF

Vol. 67: Transatlantic Mail between the German Empire and the USA from 1871 to 1875 – The Hansmichael Krug Collection

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article number: 470
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
 79.00 CHF

Vol.68: Incoming Mail to Spain 1850–1880 – The Luis Alemany Indarte Collection

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article number: 471
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
 79.00 CHF

Vol. 69: Ludwig van Beethoven – The Yukio Onuma Collection

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article number: 472
The best-selling EDITION D'OR in recent years!

Shortly after the sales launch, the 1st edition is already completely sold out. We are planning a reprint for August/September 2023, but this is not yet firmly scheduled and depends on the receipt of additional orders. You are welcome to place the order here and we will register you for a copy of a reprint.

It is somewhat the exception to the rule when a thematic volume is published in the well-known Edition d'Or series. If published at all, it is always a collection that has in the long term received international FIP awards several times over. This is also the case with the collection of the Japanese Yukio Onama (born 1936), who enriches the subject of Beethoven in countless ways in an unusual philatelic "biography". Both the book and the collection consist of five chapters. The first three are devoted to describing Beethoven's life, the fourth describes events after Beethoven's death, and composers who were influenced by him, and the last quotes what others have said about Beethoven.

The selected philatelic material testifies to the diversity and rarity, documented on the one hand by original material (from stamps to covers and postal stationery), but also by original images, colour trials and essays, printing errors and plate varieties, postmarks and special cancellations, telegrams and proofs, etc. In doing so, Onama generally avoids the issues of dubious countries, and only – as he says himself – considers those of “authentic”, that is, reputable states, and in doing so shows material that one would not, at first sight, regard as "suspect", such as when one sees a Penny Black or a Hindenburg disaster cover. Unlike some others, his descriptions are clear, correct, short and concise. The focus is on the rare material and its relevance, with which he demonstrates the depth of his thematic research. The collection is a delight - not only for music lovers!

— Wolfgang Maaßen (AIJP)

164 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English and German
 79.00 CHF

Pre-Subscription: EDITION SPÉCIALE Germany unused from 1849 – Austria unused from 1850 – The collection of "American" Bruce Wright

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article number: 475
Publication in May 2024

Special price EUR 69.00 if ordered by 15 March 2024, thereafter EUR 79.00

Bruce Wright, born in 1948, was born in sunny California and also completed his school career there. He started collecting stamps at the age of 10. Like anyone else who starts this hobby at a young age, Bruce was a generalist at the beginning, keeping everything that was a stamp.

Only over time did he begin to specialise, until finally he concentrated on the stamps of Germany and Austria. He was particularly fond of these areas. He studied German at school and had therefore been interested in German and Austrian history for quite a long time. His preference for classical music quickly led him to composers such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. The development of the German Empire from the many old German states and the changes in the Empire of Austria attracted his particular attention. In addition to his core areas of Germany and Austria, Bruce has collections of UN, San Marino and British omnibus issues.

After his school career, Bruce obtained degrees at Caltech (California Institute of Technology) and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). After that, the serious side of life began. He served as a US Air Force officer in the Vietnam War and had a career in oil and gas, telecommunications and semiconductor equipment. He retired at the end of 2016 after working as CFO in several high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. From then on, he was able to devote himself completely to his dream of assembling a complete collection of Germany from Old German States to Modern in unused condition.

Bruce was fascinated by these 'little works of art' from the beginning of his interest in stamps. He was particularly taken with the intaglio stamps. Stamps on stamps bother him in that he thinks the stamp distracts from the beauty of the stamp. And so Bruce has very few cancelled stamps in his collections. He only ever accepted cancelled stamps when it seemed impossible to find unused ones because they were too rare or simply did not exist. Yet a relatively large number of the used stamps in his collection are very valuable key pieces in his collections.

For some years now Bruce has been publishing short and very interesting articles about stamps from his collections and the stories around them.
In addition to stamps, Bruce collects autographs of great personalities from various eras and seminal books on history. He is also a nationally recognised online strategy gamer.

In autumn 2023, the collection of the "American", as Bruce is known in German and Austrian collecting circles, will be honoured with an EDITION SPÉCIALE.

approx. 200 pages, collection in German language
 0.00 CHF