This book of almost 500 pages is for many reasons exceptional. On the one hand because of its content and on the other for its first-class design which can hardly be surpassed – and last but not least because of its sponsor who enabled the publication of this Din A4 hardcover book: Christoph Gärtner.
The book is based on the research work of the already deceased Thurn und Taxis experts Heinz Felix Lethaus and Horst Schenk who gathered a plenty of facts and figures of tariffs and franking, distances, weight and methods of dispatch in former years. Mr. Naab has now been able to illustrate the rather dry subject of many data and charts in a way that the reader will be pleased studying the book. He tried for years to document every postage rate on the basis of his own items as well as other collections which were accessible so that the statements made are being verified and documented. The manuals cover the devaluation of stamps, postal areas and taxes, correspondences in the TT Confederation before tax reform and as of the 1st September 1861 and the rural mail in the TT Confederation.
The almost 100 pages long digression about post-historical relevant terms from A to Z stands out particularly strong. These as well are not described lexically short but lavishly illustrated and explained very clearly. One can feel that the author is a true connoisseur. Also the levels of scarcity are displayed and illustrated with matching items of highest colour quality. Clearly and professional organized tabulations provide additional guidance. The chairman of the committee “ArGe Thurn und Taxis” – Werner Schäfer – states in his foreword that this book shall be “the reference work” of the Thurn und Taxis letters and their franking. One can only agree.
The quality of the research as well as the implementation could not be better and is definitely worth an award for literature. Maybe that was the reason for the auctioneer Christoph Gärtner taking on the graphical and technical realisation of the book in his company. He did even go a step further to enable broadcasting even though the book is not commercially available: he sends it to everybody who is interested in. It is left to the recipient to send a donation to the DPhJ (German Philatelic Youth) using the enclosed card with bank details of the DPhJ. They are happy to send a donation receipt which is tax deductible.
Address: Auktionshaus Christoph Gärtner GmbH & Co. KG, Steinbeisstr. 6+8, 74321 Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.