FEPA Medal for Exceptional Study and Research 2013
Stephano Calliga (Greece)
for “The stamps of the large Hermes head – 1861-1886, Overview – Precise Depiction of the Variety of Impressions by Four Methods of Printing – Sequence of Printings”
This treatise has been the product of almost 35 years of previous personal research by the author, a distinguished collector following a long family tradition of specialized collection of the Large Hermes Heads who expanded his remarkable research on printing methods and resulting findings for the early 1861-62 period to offer for the first time a dated 25-year sequence of LHH printings of all values. Analysis of impression, plus critical control number varieties-settings, as well as earliest circulation dates lead to consistent printing dates. Due to the expanded scope, the present treatise aims not only at specialists but also at a more general public wishing to approach the magnificent and innovative LHH stamps by separate discussions on their design, printing, circulation, as well as history of collection and most challenging research towards understanding and objective classification. Besides densely presented specialized philatelic knowledge based on multiple new findings, the treatise offers for the first time a methodical and consistent-colour illustration of the whole range of surviving printed output including major colour rarities previously unpublished or inconsistently illustrated in earlier isolated publications. The treatise presents a thorough and innovative in depth analysis of printing hardware and methods of advanced artistic printing in typography and their implications on the resulting impressions, as devised and practiced by the best in training and inventiveness at a time of flourishing excellence. Methods, apparently long forgotten since, though of paramount relevance both to the optimization of printing results in demanding situations in general and of course to world-wide philatelic research.