Sad News: Paolo Vollmeier has passed away

Published on Author José Ramón Moreno




(wm) He was a giant of Postal History research, one of the greatest philatelic literature authors, a world-renowned expert and connoisseur, as there were few comparable: Paolo Vollmeier. He died on the 30th of November in Castagnola in Ticino, where he lived for many years. Paolo Othmar Vollmeier was born on October 3, 1929 in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The schooling until 1946 in St. Gallen was followed by a visit to the technical center in Winterthur with the completion of the Engineering Diploma in Chemistry. Professionally, he worked in various countries, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, U.K. and the United States, and then, mainly in Italy. Since 1960, he held executive posts in the Italian textile industry, in 1981 joined the board (president) of a printing company (Offset Italia).

Paolo Vollmeier began collecting Swiss cantonal stamps as early as 1957. Since the 1960s, he has mainly dealt with pre-philatelic and engraver studies. He has been an examiner and expert since 1974, juror at numerous international exhibitions since 1982 and member of the FIP Expert Team (1997-2000).

Vollmeier was member of the AIEP (since 1979, since 1998 vice president, 2004 honor member) and in the Swiss old letter collector’s association (longtime chairman). He was a member of the FIP (Secretary General 1983-1985, President of the Fight against Forgeries Commission since 1997), the Consilium Philateliae Helveticae (President 1993-1998), and the RPSL (fellow);Académie de Philatélie, Académie de Philatélie de Belgique; Swiss Postal History Society; Club Filatelico di Lugano; DASV, AIJP, AEEPP, APS, Collectors Club, New York.

Unforgettable are his unique author works, which include the following well-known titles: Postgeschichtl. Works on Tuscany (1974), Milan (1976), Parma and Piacenza (1982), Kingdom of Sardinia (1985, three volumes), Lombardy-Veneto (1980);Fake postmark of the Vormarkenzeit altital. States (1979), Storia postale del Regno di Napoli (1996); Postal History of Sicily (1998); Repubblica di Venezia (2 volumes, Castagnola 2003).

Paolo was the editor of the FFE journal for the FIP (five volumes until 2002), and published numerous articles in philatelic journals. Vollmeier received worldwide recognition and was repeatedly honored for his extraordinary achievements. The short overview proves this impressively: 1973 SAVO medal; In 1981 correspondent member of the Académie de Philatelie in Paris; 1982 “Oscar della Filatelie” of the Collector’s Association Reggio Emilia; 1986 Roll of Distinguished Philatelists; 1986 DASV Medal, Prof. Hans Weidlich Medal; 1985 and 1996 Crawford Medal (for “Storia Postale del Regno di Sardegna dalle Origini all’Introduzione del Francobollo” and then together with Vittorio Mancini for “Storia Postale del Regno di Napoli dalle Origini all’Introdzione del Francobollo”, Targa AISP, 1997 FIP medal for research, 2002 Köhler Prize, 2004 Hunziker Medal, 2008 Lindenberg Medal.

It had become quiet around him in the last few years. He was suffering from age-related illnesses that, to his regret, were increasingly limiting him. His friends from the philatelic world never forgot him. In 2016 he was a guest at a symposium of the Swiss Consilium Philateliae Helveticae. This should be his last stay among friends. Paolo Vollmeier lives on in his work. He will not be forgotten.


APHV – Bundesverband des Deutschen Briefmarkenhandels