Just inside the entrance of PostBeeld’s shop in Haarlem is a recreation of a 19th century stamp shop window display. It contains a collection of old philatelic literature and accessories. It is also the private collection of PostBeeld owner Rob Smit.
In a series of short articles Rob takes an item from the museum and explains its history. Of course you can see the originals at PostBeeld’s Haarlem shop.
The Brothers Senf
Last time we talked about the pioneer stamp trader Lallier. Other stamp dealers from the early days we will encounter in this series of articles include JB Moens, Stanley Gibbons and Arthur Maury. But now, a bit of history about the Senf brothers from Leipzig.
In 1872, at the tender age of 17, Richard Senf opened a stamp shop in Leipzig. He soon began to produce philatelic publications. In 1874, his brother Louis took over the stamp and publishing businesses. Then, in 1880, Richard came back into the business, taking over responsibility for the publishing side. Louis continued with the stamp trade, and, among other things, opens a department for inspecting stamps.
Richard was a good researcher and editor and from 1892 he published an annual illustrated catalogue. This catalogue was the World’s best in its time and there were many editions. of the first edition, I only own a facsimile of the first edition,. my oldest original copy is from 1905.
The fact that this catalogue was a real success is demonstrated by the following recorded circulation figures:
1892: 16,000, 1893: 21,000, 1894: 25,000, 1895: 25,000, 1896: 25,000, 1897: 25,000, 1898: 25,000, 1899: 23,000, 1900: 20,000, 1901: 20,000, 1902/03: 18,000, 1904/05: 22,000, 1905: 25,000, 1906: 28,000, 1907: 27,000, 1908: 32,500, 1909: 31,000, 1910: 30,000, 1911: 33,000, 1912: 36,000
In addition to the annually-published world catalogue, a twice-monthly magazine was produced – the “Illustrierte Briefmarken-Journal”. Various other philatelic publications, storage systems and stamp collectors’ accessories were also produced. The publication below is an illustrated guide to philately, with lots of practical information for stamp collectors.
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