The History of Stamp Collecting Part 27 – Arthur Maury

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In the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 27.

Part 6 of this series has a nice story about a young, inexperienced, Arthur Maury (click here). Later the name of Arthur Maury became very well known and respected in the world of philately and a stamp catalogue bearing his name is still published annually.

Maury was born in Paris on July 31, 1844. At a young age he moved to Boulogne sur Mer with his parents where his father opened a shop selling gloves. Arthur had collected and dealt in stamps from an early age and he was allowed to use part of his father’s shop to trade stamps. That was very useful as there were many English tourists in Boulogne sur Mer with whom he could do business.

Two portrait photos of Arthur Maury, the bottom one taken later in life.

Later, Maury moved to Paris and expanded his business dramatically, building a flourishing company. Initially he started in the rue de Richelieu, but you can get an idea of the scale of his business when you look at the picture above of the premises he moved to, located at Boulevard Montmartre no. 6. The company still exists, mainly via the internet, and a large part of the current business is in numismatics. In 2009, it even became the first French philatelic company to be listed on the Paris stock exchange.
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Maury was a good businessman and had many interests. He wrote books on various subjects, including heraldry. He was chairman of the ‘Chambre Syndicate des Négociants and Timbres Poste’. Among his many publications there are also catalogues and albums. In June 1864 the first issue of his magazine “Le Collectionneur de Timbres Poste” appeared.


Georges Herpin

In the November 1864 issue of that magazine, Georges Herpin proposed that the word ‘philatelie’ should be used instead of ‘timbromanie’ as a general word for collecting stamps.

Above is a picture of an advertisement stamp made by Maury on which the letters of the words “TIMBRES MAURY A PARIS” are reversed.

Maury died on December the 1st, 1907, but his name lives on in the world of philately up to this day, as said previously. In 2010 France issued stamps to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Paris Stamp Exchange, one bearing the portrait of Arthur Maury.

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