The "Paris" collection of stamp boxes was begun over 20 years ago by an anonymous collector determined to put together as definitive a collection of the subject as was possible and to promote knowledge of and interest in stamp boxes by publishing a book thereon and displaying the collection at philatelic exhibitions and postal museums. Consequently, the collection was on permanent display at the Swedish Postal Museum in Stockholm between 1986 and 1992 and at the Musée de la Poste in Paris between 1992 and 1994, and exhibited at the Spanish Postal Meseum, Madrid in 1995. Following the closure of the Paris museum in 1995, continuing uncertainty about the future of the display has led to the collection being put up for sale here to allow the material to find new homes rather than remain indefinitely in storage.
The book "Stamp Boxes", based on this collection, was published by the Musée de la Poste in 1994 and it remains the only book on the subject. Since publication of the book, the collection has roughly doubled in size with all areas being augmented to increase their scope, but with particular success among the very early examples (lots 191-196).
Although it was always the intention to make this collection as comprehensive and definitive as possible, there are some areas of unmistakable strength, which betray the collector's personal enthusiasms. In this instance they are boxes that can be deemed to be works of art in their own right, boxes with enamelled depictions of postage stamps, and English silver novelties. The numbers here present in these catagories might give the misleading impression that they are easily come by; whereas the truth is that very few were allowed to escape this net during the last two decades. This phenomenon is best illustrated by the presence of no less than four examples of boxes by Fabergé -- probably the largest number that will ever be encountered in one place.
These pinnicles, however, only serve to emphasise the enormous depth and breadth of the "Paris" collection in materials, forms and nationalities, from the humble wooden souvenir to the luxurious creations of court jewellers, with something to suit all tastes, and with luck, most pockets.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA