Helvetia Philatelic Society

for stamps and postal history of Switzerland

Founded over 70 years ago, we pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming society for collectors and students of Swiss stamps and postal history. Our membership is located both in the UK and throughout the world. Beginners and experts alike are welcome to join and participate in our activities. To find out more, click here.

What’s New: Summer 2024
(July/ August/ September)

This years EUROPA stamps are about endangered species in Switzerland’s rivers and waterways. The first stamp features a whitefish species, the Balchen, a freshwater fish found only in Lakes Thun and Brienz. The second stamp shows two endangered species living in the waters of the River Doubs: the white-clawed crayfish and the Zingel asper, Switzerland’s rarest fish. You can eat Balchen, also known as Coreonus, and it is often served as fillets smoked or in fish soups and has a delicate flavour an attribute that may not help with conservation!  Zingel asper the rarest fish is also edible but generally conservation measures prohibit this.


Date of issue 1.5.2024

The 2025 Helvetia Society annual meeting

Annual meeting

The 2025 Annual Meeting is planned for 5 and 6th April 2025 again at the Whitehouse Hotel, Worcester.  Those who have been to the 2023 and 2024 meetings will know how well we are treated by the Hotel so save the date.

Full details will be published in the newsletter, also further details can be obtained from secretary@swiss-philately.co.uk

The Whitehouse Hotel is next to Foregate station but if you don’t want to come by train the Hotel has good reservable parking

A feature of the Annual meeting is the Club Auction where bargains can be found. This lot no 12 was bought by your webmaster! Almost all lots were sold at or below asking prices.

Helvetia Society Zoom Meetings

If you are a member of our society and would like to participate in our zoom meetings and if have not received the email then please let me know at onlinemeet@swiss-philately.co.uk

Normally, I will send a link to the next meeting between 4-5 days ahead of the meeting and usually again the day before. If you have not received a link and wish to join then email me at onlinemeet@swiss-philately.co.uk and with a back up to webmaster@swiss-philately.co.uk or direct to my email if you have it in your system. There have been some problems with people not receiving links. Our next zoom meeting will be Wednesday October 9th 2024 and I will send out the link on or about Monday 7th.

Our zoom meetings are an opportunity to show your prized material but also an opportunity to pick the brains of Society experts. 

This was shown at our last meeting. The siege of Paris (1870-1871) was a significant military event in the Franco Prussian war (Napoleon 11 vs King Willem 1 and his chancellor Otto von Bismark).  Balloon post was used to carry items out of Paris and it has been estimated that 2.5 million letters were carried out of the besieged city. Carrier pigeons sent out by balloon were used to carry incoming mail so the above item is a curiosity.

Have you little mysteries in your collection if so join a zoom meeting and maybe get an answer.

Helvetia News Letter

Past years of the Helvetia New letter are available in the news letter archive on this website. Current issues can be viewed and downloaded from the members area of the website. This is password protected. If you are a member and do not know the password the please contact our secretary

If you would like to contribute to the newsletter please let the editorial panel know:  librarian@swiss-philately.co.uk.

Upcoming National and International meetings

News of these and other meetings can be seen with more details on the Association of British Philatelic Societies website www.abps.org.uk

PHILATELIC CONGRESS OF GREAT BRITAIN .The next Congress will be in Southampton from 11th to 14th July 2024. It will be based at the Leonardo Grand Harbour Hotel, close to the harbour and city centre. Free parking is available for visitors.

POSTAL HISTORY SOCIETY CONFERENCE 2025 October 3, 2025 – October 5, 2025 Imperial Hotel Torquay

EUROPHILEX 2025 May 7, 2025 – May 11, National Exhibition Centre, Marston Green,  Birmingham, B40 1NT

Bernaba 2025 14-17 May, Bern

Look out for Varieties !

This is a regular feature and we are fortunate that our member Werner Gattiker – wernergattiker@outlook.com has agreed to help us find items we may have not have spotted. His contributions focus on plate varieties you may be able to find unspotted in dealers stockbooks! So arm yourself with a good magnifying glass (Werner recommends small x8 or x10 magnifiers). Happy hunting!

The 1960 Schaffhausen Munot Double-Print
Zumstein 368.2.01
S.B.K. 368.Ab.1
S.G.  627a

“Double-print” is a misnomer – this is another example of a strong re-entry covering the entire stamp area. It occurs on position 12 of sheet number 1 but only on a small part of the printing, estimated at about 2,700 sheets. In a similar way as described in part 5 of this series (the 20c San Salvatore double-print of 1938), the correction of some inadequacy on field 12 did not go to plan, and the rocker die was misplaced sideways by a fraction of a millimetre for the re-entry, resulting in all vertical and most diagonal lines being doubled. The result is quite striking: the figure “90” is much slimmer, and all the horizontal elements of the inscriptions on the right and left of the stamp are squashed or have disappeared completely, such as the serifs in “HELVETIA”.

The resulting stamp clearly stands out from the remaining 49 in the sheet in that the colouring is much denser and deeper. This again resulted in many of the varieties being bought up by eagle-eyed philatelists, but there is always a chance that some were used in the normal course of mailing letters or parcels, and you may find an example of this variety unnoticed in some kiloware or a dealer’s stock-book.

The variety only occurs on the original white wove paper, not on the phosphor granite paper.

Current catalogue values are: Zumstein (mint or used) CHF 1,000; S.B.K. (mint or used) CHF 500.     SG mint £950.

What’s new on our website.

Our members only page has all recent newsletters including the most recent one and these can be downloaded and printed if desired. The members password can be obtained from our secretary. Password arrangements are being changed and in future you will need to log in with the email address that you have registered with the society and then create your own password. In the meantime there is a single password. Once the new more secure password arrangements are up and running then there are several areas of the members pages that will be expanded, for example, members displays.  If you have ideas about what would be good to include please let me or any member of the committee know.

Helvetia Society Subscriptions 2024

The Membership Subscription is only 10 Pounds – for this you will receive electronic copies of the Helvetia News Letter, a password to our members page on the website, the right to participate in Society physical and online meetings and you can participate in the Society exchange packet. If you wish to receive posted copies of the Helvetia Society Newsletter the subscription rates are as follows £22 p.a. for Great Britain, £26 p.a. for Europe, £30 p.a. for Rest of the World. We welcome membership from anyone anywhere in the world who is interested in Swiss Philately. There is an application from you can download if you click the Join us tab.

Our Website – Please, please  

Let me know how I can improve our website. I will be especially grateful for any notification of any errors or difficulties you encounter. Tim Hargreave webmaster@swiss-philately.co.uk 

Are you interested in Swiss stamps and postal history?

Why not join our Society, and enjoy all the benefits that membership offers.

To find out more please contact the Secretary on

01905 423091

OR

Click on the thumbnails below to find out more about early Swiss stamps.

Are you interested in Swiss stamps and postal history?

Membership of our Society has many benefits including a newsletter, regional and national meetings, a superb lending library etc.

To find out more please contact the Secretary on

01905 423091

OR

secretary@swiss-philately.co.uk