Using some 700 pictured entires (envelopes and postcards), the books provides a deep insight into the postal history of Imperial China between 1878 and 1911. Author Stefan Ose (of Colditz, Germany), together with five assistants, have evaluated numerous auction catalogues from Europe and Hong Kong, using various reference works in their research. This book on the philatelic treasures of China has been published in English, as the authors expect the largest demand for it to be in the United States. Many of the Chinese immigrants who live in the great metropolitan areas of America diligently collect memorabilia of their former homelands. The book is comprised of nine sections: The Chinese Empire, French Post offices, Japanese Post offices, Treaty Ports, German Post offices, Kiautschou - German Post in China, POW mail, Russian Post offices and the US postal service in China. Each of these sections starts with a short, appropriate description and a sketched map. These are followed by pictures of the entires, always explained in the
- description, condition of stamp
- auction house
- starting price
- hammer price
Almost all prices are quoted in German Marks (Deutsche Mark: DM), and in some cases in other standard currencies as well.
The book is printed using the Xerox process. The envelopes and postcards pictured are only slightly reduced in size and can therefore be read quite well, depending on the condition of the particular item. The individual sections are preceded by sketches of maps featuring old-style writing, which can be very helpful in assigning correct postmarks in accordance with the location of a stamp's usage.
The book is a rich source for the expert, who can use it to estimate the current value of his own collection. The author have brought in enormous efforts in order to make the collector's work much easier. Expert collectors with no English will also be able to understand the descriptions. Volume II is currently being prepared. It will contain information on Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan.