30.01.2017 - Where in the world is… Hans-Joachim Schwanke?

(wm) Many philatelists will never forget the sessions of the German auction house of Hans-Joachim Schwanke in Hamburg; the regular auctions, the special ones, his dedication to literature, etc. About half a year ago ‘Hajo’ (as his friends are wont to call him) retired, his auction house got a new name ("Auction Galleries Hamburg") and a new owner (Christoph Gärtner) made his entrance. And now many friends and relations of Hans-Joachim wonder how he spends his days. ‘Retirement’ often means ‘blissful tranquility’, but not in Hajo’s case. You would like to see the evidence of this contention? Just pay a visit to , and you will see what we mean. It turns out that Hans-Joachim is still active as a philatelic expert, leaning on an professional experience of almost 50 years, forty of which he spent in the world of philatelic auctions. He is still available if you wish to profit from this experience, following the same path that his colleague and friend, the former German top auctioneer Wolfgang Jakubek, chose a number of years ago.
The two things he likes to do the most are perhaps travelling and telling stories. He was able to combine these two things when he travelled to Mauritius a few months ago, in the company of his wife Sabine. His account of this trip is humorous words and sometimes a bit mischievous. He describes his visits to the Mauritian museums (including the Blue Penny Museum where the world-famous ‘Post Office’ stamps are on show), but also his search for the tomb of Joseph Osmond Barnard, the craftsman that engraved the first Mauritius stamps. Jakubek once stated that a search for Barnard's grave on the Mauritian cemetery would prove fruitless ‘because he has been buried on his own sugar cane plantation.’
Although Jakubek’s statement sounded quite certain, it still left Hajo no rest. He wanted to know for sure where the remains of Barnard could be found. We won’t give away the whole story, but Hajo’s account has a happy ending. He also presents a photograph of Barnard’s resting place. Well, look for yourself and use the link presented above.

The rediscovered tomb of Joseph Osmond Barnard, the engraver of the famous Mauritius ‘Post Office’ stamps. Photo: H. Schwanke