Remember the souvenir sheet issued for the Paris Philatelic Exhibition held in 1941? I showed you examples from engravings by Pierre Camors and Gaston Gandon. Well, I was reading an article on those issues in an old French philatelic magazine and that article quoted freely from a book called Le Patrimoine du timbre-poste français.
Needless to say I had to have it as I hoped it would be full of information I could use. It arrived yesterday and I must admit I'm in two minds about it. Basically, what it is, is a stamp catalogue with extra information. So it gives you details about why stamps were issued, details about the subjects the stamps depict, what the definitive values prepaid as far as postal rates is concerned, etc. So far, very interesting but rather useless to me. No biographical information, just the odd little snippet about the odd engraver here and there. Good news is that it does include information about rejected essays, and shows the odd die proof etc, so that does help. It also shows the odd philatelic document which often included extra engravings so that's good too.
So all in all a mixed bag and not the Book of Revelations I had expected it to be. So do I regret buying it? Well, in hindsight I probably wouldn't have but I think I might still grab it every now and then to look up certain stamps I'm going to be writing about. And let's face it: all philatelic books are interesting, whether they deal with one's own subject matter or not.
One final great plus is that the book comes with a fantastic engraving by Claude Jumelet, of the first French stamp, taken apart and showing an old engraving of a printing press in the background. Now if that isn't enough to get you off the fence, I don't know what will be! Maybe the fact that you can get that engraving on its own for next to nothing when you browse the Delcampe website a bit? Oops...