BeetBookWebNot a great deal has been published about stamp boxes. One of the best known publications is a book by Brian Beet which is a bilingual catalogue of the stamp boxes in the Musée de la Poste, Paris.

Published in 1994, at the time of writing (October 2015), three used copies were being offered on Amazon. Searching “Brian Beet” in “Books” found them.


Auction Catalogues

In the absence of books, auction catalogues can provide a good source of information. Stamp boxes pop up at auctions all over the place but an auction devoted entirely to stamp boxes is a rarity these days.

PrimroseAuctionWebOne of the most famous was the auction of the “Primrose” collection by David Feldman at the millennium Stamp Show at Earls Court, London on 27 May 2000. This catalogue is a hard cover book full of illustrations of stamp boxes from the fairly ordinary to the quite spectacular.

The auctioneer does sell some back catalogues on their website but this one does not appear to be available. However, at the time of writing (October 2015), two used copies were being offered on Amazon. Searching “Primrose auction” in “Books” found them.


The most recent major auction was the “Blue Eyes” collection offered by Spink of London in 2009. The title “Blue Eyes” comes from the star box in the sale, made by Faberge and once owned by Frank Sinatra.

The auctioneer has kindly made a pdf copy of the catalogue available to this website. It may be downloaded from here.


Other Books

BookCoversOther books not specifically about stamp boxes may throw some light on particular types of box. Two worth mentioning are Art Nouveau Domestic Metalwork: From Wurttembergische Metallwaren Fabrik, 1906, a reproduction, with extensive additional notes, of the 1906 English catalogue of the famous WMF company. This illustrates some (but not all) of the known WMF stamp boxes (ISBN 978-1851495108); and Swiss Carvings: The Art of the ‘Black Forest’ by Jay Arenski , Simon Daniels, and Michael Daniels (ISBN 978-1851494934). This tells the story of the so-called “Black Forest” carvings which are now known to all originate in Switzerland. There are many “Black Forest” stamp boxes.
Both are well-produced hardbacks and, at the time of writing (October 2015) both were available on Amazon.


Another interesting book is Tunbridge Ware (3rd. Ed. 2001) (ISDN 9780572025458) by Brian Austen. The bulk of this book deals with Tunbridge Ware chronologically and comprehensively. Given the vast range of Tunbridge Ware, stamp boxes are only a small proportion of the examples given – but they feature with illustrations. There are small sections on Killarney, Spa and Sorrento wares (stamp boxes certainly being known of the last type ) and there are some notes on Mauchline Ware (another ware of which many stamp boxes can be found).

NeedlecasesBookA book on Victorian Brass Needlecases may seem out of place here; but thereby hangs a tale. The book by Estelle Horowitz and Ruth Mann (1990; ISBN 978-0962585326) “does what it says on the tin” and deals with needle cases. However, quite a few of them may also serve as stamp boxes; some even being explicitly designed for dual or multiple uses. On page 25 the authors show a Patent titled: “Case to hold Postage Stamps, Needles, &c.”. There is much for the stamp box collector here; and much that could be argued over.