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

Article number:477
79,00 €

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