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Wednesday 31 March 2010

Fabergé's Fiscal Collection

It is not widely known that Agathon Fabergé began collecting Russian fiscals around 1900 and that Oleg Fabergé continued the collection. It was never properly written up or exhibited but it was vast. At some point, much or all of it passed to the Finnish collector B.-E. Saarinen. From him, a prominent English collector obtained a great deal of material and the remainders appear to have passed to one Finnish collector.

Recently, I have been able to acquire quantities of this Fabergé material from both the English and the Finnish collector. As with the Fabergés' better-known Zemstvo collections, there is both common material in abundance and rarities - sometimes also in abundance. Agathon clearly enjoyed privileged access to state offices and, as a result, scattered through the collection there are mint (gummed) copies of revenue stamps which were not on sale to the public as well as ungummed copies which may well have been taken from proof sheets.

Agathon's pencilled notes on the stamps start around 1900 and the names of his suppliers overlap with those of his Zemstvo suppliers: Withy, Peto, Roussin and so on.

I will have some of this material with me at ANTVERPIA 2010 and again in May at PHILATEX EXTRA in London.

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