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12.06.2018 - Hervé Barbelin: Oscar Berger-Levrault. Ouvrages et correspondances (1860-1869)

(wm) In France, the name Berger-Levrault has a confidence-inspiring sound, and that for a number of centuries. Today it is a well-known media company, but in earlier days the former printing house, bookstore and publishing house was known to almost everyone, even far beyond the borders of France. Philatelists, and especially philatelic historians, are particularly familiar with this dynasty's offspring, namely Oscar Berger-Levrault, who published his first ‘stamp list’ in September 1861, which a few months later became the basis for a number of stamp catalogues that were published in one country after another. How things developed in the following years can be found in Hervé Barbelin’s book “Oscar Berger-Levrault – Ouvrages et corresponances 1860-1869” (“Oscar Berger-Levrault – Works and Correspondence”). Oscar Berger-Levrault conducted a large correspondence with numerous collectors of his time: in France, in Europe, but also with philatelists in the United States.
Thanks to the fact that he managed to gain entrance into the family and company archives, Barbelin can substantiate this and document it. He got access to material that was previously completely unknown. Of course he also prints for the first time the complete first stamp list, and he also goes into the details of Berger-Levrault’s own catalogues that he published from 1864 (in German) and 1867 (in French) on. Berger-Levraults correspondence of the years 1860/1861 are of great importance: it makes it possible to detect - for the first time! - who were the early ‘greats’ from the philatelic world of that time.
In this respect, the book (215-pages, A4, softcover) is extremely important book for the reconstruction of the history of philately, and it meets the highest demands. It appeared on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the French Academy of Philately, of which Barbelin is a member. It would be gorgeous when Barbelin’s book also would appear in English and/or German, so that its valuable contents would become available for collectors in the non-French speaking regions.
The book is available at the Académie de Philatélie, Robert Abensur, 8 rue des Fossés, 54700 Pont-a-Mousson, France. It costs 32 euros (plus 7 euros postage and packing). If you wish to know how to obtain a copy of the book please first contact the Academy by email: academie.philatelie@gmail.com