Portrait of Dr. Albert Louis
Our father, Dr. Albert Louis, was born in Krefeld (Germany) in 1925. As a young boy his uncle Fritz Deussen took him to the Krefeld philatelic society, the Heinrich von Stephan guild. Given the proximity of the Dutch border he soon began to collect Dutch stamps. Cycling from Krefeld he could, just over the border, personally buy new issues for his collection at the post office.
In the 1960s he specialised in – as well as Norway – the first issues of the Netherlands of 1852-1900, as well as the colonies. As a physician with a gynaecological practice (together with our mother Ilse) he was also responsible for the maternity ward of the nearby hospital. Our father and his team brought 17,000 children into the world, including the Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher and his brother Ralph.
Working as a physician with a practice at home and being head of department at the hospital meant - in the pre-mobile age - for many years being available on call at home. As a result he had a lot of time, which he filled with the stamps. He had his own stamp room. When he was sorting, plating and analysing his stamps, this meant "doors closed, windows closed" for the rest of the family, so that the wind would not blow things around.
Soon father Albert and son Karl sat together in the stamp room, during the week in the evening and on Saturdays or Sundays. He plated the 1852, 1864 and 1867 issues, as well as the first issues of Dutch East Indies. Karl began to plate the English 'Penny Red' and found in him the best philatelic teacher he could wish for!
In 1967 our father exhibited his Netherlands collection internationally at Amphilex in Amsterdam and in 1970 at Philympia in London. At the Palmares in London, almost all the major Netherlands collectors were present. That evening in London the group set out to explore the plating of the 1852 issue of the Netherlands. Kees van Balen Blanken and Bert Buurman led this. Many of them became friends, also outside philately.
We remember a number of philatelic friends who visited our home in Hürth-Hermülheim (near Cologne): Kees van Balen Blanken with his wife Nell, Fred Reed with his wife, Bert Buurman, Frans Driessens, Ferdie de Beaufort from Switzerland, but also Hans van Dieten just to mention a few. In our memory we still see them sitting in the stamp room at our home and discussing stamps, with a magnifying glass to determine the printing plates and positions. The philately of the Netherlands and colonies was - besides the family and his profession as a doctor - very important in our father's life. Especially after his retirement in 1990 collecting stamps became of even more importance. He was happy that his son Karl also collected stamps and even made his profession in them. Daughter Renate accompanied her father Albert to various international exhibitions, including Washington 2006, London 2010 and Lisbon 2011.
When his state of health after 2011/12 rarely allowed him to leave the house, stamps were a good support and an ideal hobby. It was a hobby that he could exercise freely and independently of his mobility and thus could "live on" further. Through the internet and email he was connected to stamp friends worldwide. He sent and received scans of stamps, cancellations and covers. The records in his card index, unique worldwide, with all major items of Dutch philately, greatly developed in those years. He would certainly have been pleased to see that the card index has found its way to Corinphila Veilingen in Amstelveen and is appreciated and consulted by numerous collectors. Thanks to Gerard Vink of the Corinphila team, the 'spark and spirit' has been continued. Gerard now records items the way our father did.
Many of the stamps, cancellations and covers of the Dutch colonies from the collection of our father Albert Louis offered in this catalogue have not been on the market for decades. They may bring joy to many collectors, just as they gave our father a lifetime of joy and great pleasure. That would definitely have been his wish...
Amstelveen, July 2017
Renate Werken (née Louis)