Fritz Billig

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Billig in later life.
A Fritz Billig bookplate.

Fritz F. Billig (1902 – 1986)[1] was a Viennese philatelist and stamp dealer who fled to the United States after the Austrian anschluss in 1938 and continued his career from Jamaica, New York. There he published a successful and long-running series of philatelic handbooks that are still regularly referred to by philatelists today.

He appears in the 1938 Blue Book of Philately where his address is given as 1 Herreng 6/4, Vienna, Austria.[2]

During World War II, Billig temporarily changed his name to Fritz Billings in order to avoid anti-German sentiment current at the time.[1]

Prizes won for Billig publications included a Silver Medal at the Jubilee exhibition in Budapest 1934, the Prize of Honor at NABA Zurich 1934 and a Bronze Medal at OSTROPA 1935.[3]

For a time Billig operated an auction firm in conjunction with Fred Rich as Billig & Rich Inc. at 55 West 42nd Street in New York.

In the late 1960s, the firm HJMR Co. of Miami Beach, Florida, acquired and reprinted the Billig Handbooks.

Publications as author or publisher[edit]

  • Billig's Philatelic Handbooks
    • 44 Volumes of mixed content. (see links below)
  • Billig's Specialized Catalogues
    • Vol. 1 Austria, 1939.
    • Vol. 2 Czechoslovakia, German language, 1937. (Second edition, English language, 1942)
    • Vol. 3 Norway: The Plating of the First Issues, J. Jellestad, A, Odfjell & J. Anderssen, 1948.
    • Vol. 4 Greece, 1948. The Large Hermes Head.
    • Vol. 5 France Plating of the 20 Centimes Blue Laureated, General Dumont, 1950.
    • Vol. 6 Handbook of the Private Local Posts, edited by E.F. Hurt & L.N. & M. Williams, 1950.
    • Vol. 7 Canada: Catalogue of constant plate varieties, Hans Reiche, 1954.
    • Vol. 8 Rocket Mail, Stephen H. Smith, 1955. (Supplement 1958)
    • Vol. 9 Canada War Tax, The War Tax Study Group, Hans Reiche Chairman, 1959.
    • Vol. 10 Czechoslovakia, First Issue: The Hradcany, J. Velek, 1961.
    • Vol. 11 A Catalogue of the Revenue Stamps of France, Brainerd Kremer, 1962.
  • Billig's Handbooks on Postmarks (in English language from Vol. 8 onwards)
    • Vol. 1 Schweiz, Svizzera & Suisse, R. Botta.
    • Vol. 2 Baden, A. Grossmann.
    • Vol. 3 Italien, Italia & Italie, Prof. A. Carozzi.
    • Vol. 4 Lombardei & Lombardo-Veneto, Fritz Billig.
    • Vol. 5 Sizilien & Sicilia, Fritz Billig.
    • Vol. 6 Oesterreich & Austria-Italy Annullamenti, Fritz Billig, 1935.
    • Vol. 7 Samos, Ernst Hartmann.
    • Vol. 8 United States County and Postmaster Postmarks, H.K. Thompson, 1949.
    • Vol. 9 British Postmarks, with reference to the "1844" and subsequent numbered obliterations.” F. Hugh Vallancey, 1950.
    • Vol. 10 Japan Scenery Postmarks, Dr. H.K. Thompson, 1956.
    • Vol. 11 Postal Markings of the Allied Forces in Great Britain, 1940-46, Norman Hill.
    • Vol. 12 Illustrated Handbook of U.S. Naval Postmarks, Part I.
    • Vol. 13 Postal Markings of Spain, Theo. Van Dam, 1965.
  • Expert Billig's Großes Handbuch der Fälschungen (With Otto E. Stiedl)
    • 44 Parts 1933-38, published by Fritz Billig, Vienna. German language.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Biographies of Philatelists & Dealers, Brian J. Birch, Vol 1, 2008, p.212. Internet download only.
  2. ^ The Blue Book of Philately: "Who's Who" in the Stamp World. 2nd edition. New York: H.L. Lindquist, 1938, p.49.
  3. ^ Source: Advertisement in Billig's Specialized Catalogues, Vol. 6, p.167.

External links[edit]