ProFi: The ProvenanceFinder

ProFi expertise for individual items: research in a worldwide database. Information on value and importance with the greatest possible certainty.

The Heinrich Köhler auction house offers the philatelic expertise of the next generation – created with ProFi, the ProvenanceFinder. Only ProFi can digitally research data on the provenance history of individual items in seconds and combine it with the ProFi expertise. This includes information on known entries in auction catalogues from all over the world, including the prices realised. If an item has had important, perhaps even royal, previous owners, this is also part of the ProFi expertise. ProFi opens up access to this information, which can significantly increase the value and significance of a collector's item. Collectors who consign with Köhler thus benefit from real added value: Köhler philatelists create the ProFi expertise for their individual items – a world-exclusive!

Screenshot ProFi der Preußen-Halbierung
Example from ProFi for the provenance result of a rare item from Canada in the mid-range price bracket

Data collected worldwide 

In order to build the web-reliant database for ProFi, the Köhler experts digitised and merged countless auction catalogues (technical term: mapping). This is how the Digital Philatelic Archive (DipA) came into being. By April 2023 it already had over 1 million entries and it is growing by about 100,000 entries per month. Through the use of artificial intelligence, the DipA is becoming a learning system that creates further links with each new entry, which can provide new information about the history of origin of individual items. The Köhler philatelists retrieve the information via search queries and receive the results in seconds: in 2 seconds for a keyword search and in 2.5 seconds for image recognition.

ProFi - Expertise in seconds 

The search results from ProFi are part of the ProFi expertise. The lot description gives information on the provenance history. Collectors will find information on the history of the lot in auction catalogues, and the collections in which - possibly famous - previous owners it was included. The lot description may also state that, for example, only three other covers with this stamp have been recorded, or that what is being offered is the largest multiple of this stamp. Value and importance can thus be reliably determined.

Exclusive access for Köhler and GPN 

ProFi is available to the philatelists of the Köhler Auction House and the Global Philatelic Network (GPN). In order to disseminate information, Köhler also makes ProFi available for philatelic research on request.

Currently the greatest possible security for collectors 

Köhler gives collectors and buyers the greatest possible security: the ProFi expertise provides them with reliable information on the importance and value of individual philatelic items offered by auction.

The ProFi expertise for individual items contains secure information on:

  • Provenance/Auctions: The provenance history of an individual item in the form of the when it was sold by auction. 
  • Provenance/Name Sales: Important, sometimes royal, previous owners 
  • "Pedigrees": Several provenances for a single item result in a "family tree". The further back the tree goes, the more sought-after the individual item is. 
  • Rarity: The number of comparable stamps, souvenir sheets, multiples or covers with the same franking, with a postmark from the same place or to the same destination. 
  • Price history: Overview of the prices that have been paid in the past for this or comparable individual items. 

ProFi expertise: Advantages 

  • ProFi, the ProvenanceFinder: a world first, exclusively at the Heinrich Köhler auction house 

  • For the philatelic expertise of the next generation 
  • Determination of value and importance of, individual philatelic items offered by auction with the greatest possible certainty
  • Through research in a huge stock of data (Digital Philatelic Archive, DipA)
  • Created by merging information (mapping) from auction catalogues available worldwide 
  • Database: more than 1 million entries, growing database, learning system thanks to artificial intelligence, search results in seconds
  • ProFi-expertise with information collected worldwide on the provenance of single lots, lot descriptions with:
    • Offers in auction catalogues (with results/price development)
    • Information on important previous owners (sales-promoting emotionalisation, such as collectors on a par with famous previous owners, e.g. Ferrary, Burrus, Boker, ERIVAN or King Carol I.)
  • Lot descriptions with further information on the: "pedigree", rarity, alterations and possible forgeries
  • Exclusive use of ProFi for philatelists at Köhler and the Global Philatelic Network (GPN)
  • Real added value for consignors at Köhler: Köhler philatelists prepare ProFi expertise for their individual lots – a world-exclusive!
  • Real added value for buyers: reliable Köhler auction offers based on ProFi

Consign now to the Heinrich Köhler Auctions and benefit from ProFi: the ProvenanceFinder.