The Bortier Gallery was part of the Marché de la Madeleine gallery. At number 5 there was a stamp business of Jean-Baptiste Moens. According to some, Moens is the inventor of philately. He was the creator and publisher of the magazine Timbre-Poste. Moens came up with a fantastic example of what we now call a "copy trap". His magazine was regularly shamelessly copied without references by another philately magazine from Paris by a certain Pierre Mahé: Timbrophile. Moens came up with a story of a unique stamp issued by the mini-state of Moresnet, which was located on the border with the Netherlands-Belgium-Germany. Since they did not have the rights to issue a stamp in that state and therefore they did not have any stamps, that was big news in the philately world. Moens had to wait a few weeks to see that his made-up message was taken over by his competitor. But funnily enough it was such big news that it was also taken over by many other magazines and this "hoax" settled for years as a "true story" in the philately world, with everyone looking for those misty and unique postage stamps from Moresnet. .
Flamsk Brabant, Belgium
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