Louis-Napoléon-Bonaparte was the nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte and heir to the First French Empire under Napoléon. After the Revolution of 1848, Louis Napoléon returned to France and was elected president of the Second Republic. Within three years he dissolved the French Assembly, and held a successful plébiscite to have his status as Emperor validated by the people. He was Emperor as the Crimean War was fought from 1853 to 1856 over Russian imperialism into the Ottoman empire of Turkey. Napoléon III also commissioned Baron Haussmann to raze much of Medieval Paris to reconstruct the city on a modern plan of major boulevards.
This Louis Napoléon stamp was printed from 1862 until 1871, redrawn by Anatole Hulot from a design by Jean-Jacques Barre from the bills of exchange. Over eight million stamps were printed, and the stamps are highly collectable, though mostly not of great value, less than a dollar for the 20c blue despite its antiquity. Collectors have tended to specialized in subtle color varieties, postmarks, and plate flaws to identify stamps of greater interest and value. French postmarks of the time consisted of dots arranged in a lozenge form, the center of which were numerals designating various French cities and districts. Plate flaws accumulated over time as the printing plates were worn or broken and cleaned or repaired. A considerable body of philatelic literature defines and analyzes the varieties of the early French stamps, which often require considerable expertise to recognize.
See also Hermes.
Image Size: 4" x 5"
Paper Size: 9.5" x 13"
Paper Type: Rives Lightweight Buff, 115 grams
Edition Size: 99
[Ask for rates]