Building his stamp collection

[Philatelie]. - Acavalos, Alexandre, chief accountant of the Ottoman Bank (fl. 1890). Copy ledger of 378 autograph letters signed (press copies).

Cairo, 1886-1902.

4to. Altogether ca. 416 pp. on 499 ff. of thin copying paper (each leaf with stamped foliation). 16 alphabetical thumb index leaves bound at the end. Bound in green half leather over black marbled cloth covers.


Extensive collection of outgoing letters in French, Greek, and Italian, mostly on matters of philately, created by Alexandre Acavalos, chief accountant of the Ottoman Bank in Cairo. Clearly, Acavalos spared no cost nor effort in building his stamp collection, contacting renowned international collectors (Martin de Henry), publishers (the Senf Brothers in Leipzig), editors (Edmond Frémy) and postal and bank clerks around the globe, from Haiti to Tabriz, from Alexandria to New York, and from London to Barcelona, Delft, Paris, Bologna, Vienna, and Belgrade. Acavalos frequently ordered rare stamps from the well-known companies of Stanley, Gibbons & Co. in London, Yvert & Tellier in Amiens, and The Scott Stamp & Coin Co. in New York; he corresponded with specialist dealers such as Erard Leroy d'Etiolles, Th. Lemaire, Béla Székula, Philippe Kosack, and V. Robert.

Often, Acavalos accompanies his requests with lists of stamps available for trading; cover letters provide information about specimens sent. Receipts, payment instructions, bank mandates, and orders of books and journals (including the bulletin of the "Société Internationale du Canal Maritime de Corinthe" in Paris, 24 June 1887) give evidence of Acavalos' wide-ranging interests and pertinacity. In 1900 he corresponds with Albert Coyette, president of the French Philatelic Society and secretary of the panel for organising the "Exposition Philatelique Internationale de Paris", about the shipping and safekeeping his collection, which is to be exhibited in Paris.


Binding rubbed and bumped, spine and hinges professionally restored. A few paper tears and occasional brownstaining.

Cat. no.: 36 Catalogue: Firsts. London's Rare Book Fair 2024