Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chandanson and Brun exploring Réunion's two first stamps history

This week, I finally got enough time and mind to read Les Deux Premiers Timbres-poste de l'île de la Réunion. Légendes et réalité de Jean-François Brun et Benoît Chandanson [The Two First Postage Stamps of the Island of La Réunion].
As promised in Chandanson's archivistic teaser published in Col.Fra, October 2008, the study quotes many documents from archives, described with accuracy, and confront them with the articles and books written by philatelists about these two local stamps. The numbers of stamps printed, sold and still existing are at the heart of the problematic.

The careful study of archives is a very formative work, that shapes a critic spirit and the capacity to find pertinent problematics. Mister Chandanson came back from it with precious knowledges.

But, to me, the most exciting part was the stamps and letters illustrated repertory. Exciting thank to the notes on some "metamorphosis" that happened on some pieces:
- cropping the margins... certainly for aesthetic purposes ;
- dividing a pair... so thirsty for money ;
- a detached stamp sticked on a letter with ressembling ink traces or with redrawing the marks of the pencil... is not the red line trespassed?

The madness of philatelic modes (on letter or detached?) reached paroxysm with the ninth notes (page 62). A letter was franked with a thirty centime stamp, stick in the horizontal way as a 1927 sale picture showed. In 1954, it was photographed detached. In 1980, it was back on the letter... vertically!

A very interesting reading (in French).

Une intéressante lecture.

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