Ethiopia: The First Seven & Then Some
The First Seven ...
This exhibit presents an overview of Ethiopia’s first issue, the 1895 definitives and includes a pastiche of related items, including the unissued 1895 definitives, seals of questionable validity, fakes by Jean Adolph Michel, facsimiles by Louis-Henri Mercier and François Fournier, and trading cards.
This exhibit is structured as follows: (1) The 1895 Definitives – Issued & Unissued; (2) The 1895 Definitives – Proof & Specimen; (3) Two Post Offices; (4) Seal of Ras Makonnen; (5) Michel’s Lion Essay?; (6) The Province Block; (7) Mercier Facsimiles; (8) Fournier Facsimiles; and (9) Chocolate Cards.
This exhibit uses stamps and enlargements, covers, and other artifacts to tell the story of the first seven stamps of Ethiopia. In depth historical or background information is presented within a black bordered box at the bottom of a given page. Rare or particularly unusual items are displayed with a red border.
The early Ethiopian postal system was operated as a private concession backed by investors. King Menelik II granted this concession to Leon Chefneux. During this time, an active postal system was considered modern and progressive. In addition, it helped Ethiopia lay claim to being an independent nation which was politically useful in fending off the colonial aspirations of Italy. At that time, there was very few individuals able to read or write. Thus Chefneux quickly established a network of influential stamp dealers to sell the stamps issued by this exotic African country. The first seven issued stamps were sold to collectors at 11.8 French francs per set.
The basic seven stamps as well as the three unissued high values of Menelik II are abundant. The various proofs, seals, imperforate Fournier facsimiles and Mercier facsimiles are scare and difficult to obtain.
Award: Court of Honor - I originally entered this as a competitive exhibit, but I was subsequently asked to judge the show. Therefore the show Chairman converted this to a non-judged exhibit and called it the Court of Honor exhibit.
Show: Winepex 2005
Date: 30 September - 2 October 2005
Place: San Rafael, CA