tradition and experience in classic philately since 1919
New publications

EDITION SPÉCIALE: The First Stamps of Brazil 1843–1870 – The Fritz Heimbüchler Collection

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article number: 481
size 25,5 x 34 cm, 144 pages, numerous color illustrations, hardcover with dust jacket, bilingual German/English, collection pages in German only.
 79.00 CHF

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

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article number: 475
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.

size 25,5 x 34 cm, 216 pages, numerous color illustrations, hardcover with dust jacket, bilingual German/English, collection pages in German only.
 99.00 CHF

Vol. 71: Barbados – Adhesive Issues 1852–1878 & Grenada – Philately 1856–1901 – Joseph Hackmey – The White Line Series

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article number: 479
404 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English
 99.00 CHF

Vol. 72: Romania Outbound Mail – From the Crimean War to the UPU 1853–1875 – The Eddie Leibu Collection

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article number: 480
160 pages, hardbound with dust jacket, in English
 79.00 CHF

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