The Harmer Family Role in the Recovery of the Mauritius Post Office: The Printing Plate

“Reviewing the history of the lost plate in The London Philatelist
in 2012, the centenary of its discovery, philatelist David Beech related
a story told to him by H.R. Harmer’s son. Harmer the elder had sold
the plate around 1930, it was thought, to Maurice Burrus, but it was not
amongst Burrus’s Mauritius collection when auctioned in 1963, four
years after his death. H.R. Hamer believed it had been kept as a souvenir
by a nephew. The fear was that it had been lost, perhaps during the
preparation for auction. In the months following the publication of this
article David Beech’s determined sleuthing in the archives of the Royal
Philatelic Society London uncovered written proof (a letter from Burrus)
that Burrus had owned the plate in 1935.
I was thrilled early in 2015 when contacted by David Feldman
SA letting me know that the plate had been rediscovered; not lost, but
in the possession of Maurice Burrus’s late niece, Odile. H.R. Harmer,
as conveyed by his son to David Beech, had, essentially, been correct.
The plate had stayed in the family, kept it seems as a souvenir of their

From the 2016 Feldman Catalogue