The Hermès Les Merveilles de la Vapeur carré – The Marvels of Steam – Limited Edition

For comparison the original 1959 issue below.

The major change in the 1986 edition is the St Etienne-Lyon Locomotive de Marc Seguin in the lower left circle, which replaced the Luigi Pagani decal in Ledoux’s original design.

So who is Marc Seguin and why did Hermès chose him to replace Luigi Pagani?

The answer:

Marc Seguin was a French inventor and engineer born in Annonay in 1786. Responsible for inventing wire-cable suspension bridges, he was also, as the 1986 Hermès carre shows, the inventor of a locomotive driven by a multi-tube boiler that would serve the Saint-Étienne-Lyon line, which he along with his brother Camille, built between 1828 and 1833.

Hermès issued this rare Limited Edition to mark the bicentenary of Seguin’s birth.

But wait there’s more!

Unfortunately the date Hermès released this Special Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) issue is at time of this post unknown.

Given that it features Marc Seguin’s locomotive it is fair to deduce that the date is sometime after 1986. And if the 1986 reissue is rare then it can be argued that the HSB issue must be even more so.

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