Our forthcoming Hunters sale (number 7264) offers the contents of a large, wide-ranging collection of Red Cross related stamps, covers, proofs and ephemera. Please take a look in the “Topicals” section of our printed catalogue, and also under the Belgian Colonies, North Borneo & USA. Alternatively go to our website and in the “Quick Search” at the upper – right and simply type “Red Cross” and see what you find!
We are often asked “What should I collect?” The answer of course is entirely up to you but if you are looking for a topic which combines philately and history then the field of the Red Cross shouldn’t be ignored as it begins in the 19th Century and spans the entire 20th Century encompassing war with its fascinating postal history plus the many charitable stamps that so many supporting countries of this an internationally recognized organization issued, through to the present day with lovely maxi cards and First Day Covers amongst so much else.
Clearly in such an interesting field your collection can take whatever direction you prefer, you may stick with the stamps themselves, you may decide to add proofs, errors and imperforate special issues. You may add some interesting charity labels and perhaps the First Day Covers, perhaps you will collect wartime covers sent under the protection of the Red Cross. Whatever boundaries you set for yourself are yours alone and in the end you should collect items that give you pleasure. You may even (say it quietly!) add non- postal ephemera or even medals to your Red Cross collection!
There is some fascinating information regarding the Red Cross on Wikipedia but a couple of obscure facts may interest you. Henry Dunant who appears on many Red Cross topical stamps led a somewhat checkered life. He was forced to declare bankruptcy in large part because he neglected his business during his tireless activities in the early days of the Red Cross. It finally led to his expulsion from the organization when he was charged with fraudulent bankruptcy and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was forced to leave Geneva and never returned to his home city.
The second fact has a stamp twist. There is a great rarity in early Greek philately, the 1870 40L Solferino. This unusual colour, a shade in the lilac- rose / magenta range so-named for the colour created by the mixing of blood and military uniform at the battle of Solferino in 1859. The battle which Henry Dunant witnessed the terrible aftermath and began his campaign which resulted in the International Red Cross.
We don’t have a “Greek Solferino” but please check below to see some of our outstanding section of Red cross topical lots.