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James Negus

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The concluding section is an edited version of scattered notes made while I was collecting. Unless the context demands, I try not to repeat information already available in the sources listed in the bibliography (section 4): that was absorbed into the database catalogue or had been used in my own published articles. [J.N.  Oct-Nov 2001]

[1890-137].  16 May 1890  Penny Postage Jubilee Conversazione and Exhibition

The dictionary defines a conversazione as “a social gathering for discussion of the arts, etc.”. Event held at the Guildhall, London, at the invitation of the Lord Mayor, on behalf of the Corporation of the City of London and the Post Office. Opened on Friday and continued Saturday 17th and Monday 19th May.

Cachet. Tombs (Controller of London Postal Service), quoted by Bauschke, places Army P.O. exhibit only at South Kensington Conversazione in July and not at Guildhall. Bauschke’s illustration of B.A / E cachet (p.32) appears to contradict.

Postcard. One penny was actually the letter rate, needed because postcards at this time were not permitted to show emblems and inscriptions on the address side. Sold at 6d., premium for the Rowland Hill Memorial and Benevolent Fund.

Presentation postcard. Stitt Dibden shows message printed on reverse of postcard read: “The Post Office of the Uniform Penny Postage Jubilee Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall tender you their thanks for your share in making the event a brilliant success”, the message signed by F.S.Baines, Chairman, and four other signatories. Bauschke (pp.4, 58, 88) shows initials to be F.E.Baines.

Postmark. NPM owns one original steel handstamp [Pearson 18] – HS/SP 003 in their internal catalogue. Its illustration (The Philatelic Year 1988) is as Bauschke type T2, time code 1 and date 23 MY 90. This date does not coincide with any from the 1890 exhibition; nor with the handstamp’s re-use for the Great Britain PS exhibition at Guildhall [database 1966-197], which took place 15-23 July 1966. But the handstamp was manufactured to have variable date, so not significant. A correctly dated type T2, code 1, 19 MY 90 is illustrated in PB Vol.5 No.4 (Dec 1967) p.4.

Postmark proofs. Stitt Dibden’s reference is to “proofs in black on Post Office paper … three stamps, large figures, small figures, no figure” of unclear meaning. Bauschke (p.29) says P.O. Archives has no record of the postmarks, but without specifically mentioning the Proof Impression Books as such.

[1890-140].  19 May 1890  London Philatelic Exhibition

Staged by the [Royal] Philatelic Society of London at the Portman Rooms in Baker Street, which the Stamp News report of 1 May 1890 remarks were “formerly occupied by Madame Tussauds celebrated exhibition”. Opened on last day, Monday 19 May, of Guildhall exhibition and ran till Monday 26 May. Not known if this included Sunday 25th. It celebrated the 50th anniversary of Penny Postage but also the adhesive stamp.

Commemorative overprint. The quantity of “L.P.E. 1890” overprints was given by the contemporary Stamp News as 2700, with a sale price of 6d. per stamp. Tête-bêche or double overprints cost 2s. Anstee says the quantity was 1500: this came from an unidentified typewritten note accompanying his purchase of 8 blocks of red-brown stamps and 6 of the blue. The Mauritius sheet size was 216 stamps; as 12½ complete sheets are exactly 2700 stamps this quantity seems more likely than the 1500, which does not divide exactly by 216.

The undenominated Mauritius Britannia stamps in both red-brown and blue were regularly ordered from London (1848, 1857) but never issued. Most of these imperf sheets were then remaindered in 1872. Lt. (later Major) Edward B.Evans, a Royal Artillery Officer serving there and much involved in 1890 in the London exhibition, seems the likely source of the remainder sheets.

They were perforated 11½ at the exhibition by Perkins Bacon on their first hand-operated machine by the same lady (Miss Stewart) as did this 30 years earlier. Nevertheless, the overprints are reported as imperf examples.

Anstee confirmed the overprints as being unaligned on his blocks, so must have been made individually. No details have been found of what implement M.P.Castle actually used to apply the overprints on 22 May or whether it has survived.

Overprints are in red, but a block of 4 of the red-brown stamp is illustrated with a black overprint in the Stamp World London 90 souvenir handbook. Its editor, John Sussex, with no access to the relevant papers when I asked about this later could not account for it. Anstee confirmed 29.1.92 that the overprint was not known to him in black. The same block of 4 is illustrated again in Bulletin 1 of Stamp Show 2000 at page 33. The overprints are again black, discounting my suggestion that the Stamp World 90’s reproduction could have been fudged to show a red overprint more clearly on a red-brown stamp. However, the original colour photo could simply have been the same one for both publications. Ownership of the block at Bulletin publication date (autumn 1998) is credited to Francis Kiddle.

Forged overprints are alleged to exist, but no identifying characteristics have been traced in the literature.

[1890-184].  2 July 1890  Uniform Penny Postage Jubilee Conversazione

Second conversazione for one day only, Monday 2 July, held at London’s South Kensington Museum, known since 1899 as the Victoria & Albert Museum. Unlike the Guildhall exhibition, its souvenir (envelope and insert) was sold both at the event and for the one day only at main post offices elsewhere. It cost 1s. though franked at 1d.

Souvenir card. Some purchasers kept the envelope and posted the undenominated insert card instead. When not prepaid this attracted a surcharge of 2d. Hudson (Oct91/F510) illustrates a card with a ½d. stamp, postcard rate, endorsed in MS. “Nature of a letter / 1d to pay”.

Envelope (1). British Library holds the original hand-drawn artwork. Has a manuscript superscription “Appd with train at / bottom of card / H.C.R.” (it had been drawn at the centre). The initials are Henry Cecil Raikes, Postmaster-General 1886-91.

Sandafayre Sale 159 lot 2536 (23.2.94) and re-offered Sale 163 lot 2301 (15.6.94) described an “essay” for the envelope “with suggestions on design by Harding on separate note”. Purchase confirmed misdescriptions. Meticulously pen-drawn in indian ink on flimsy, superficially identical to issued design, the “essay” differed in numerous details under magnification. It was also much smaller than the issued envelope. The separate brief note was concerned with prices, not design. I concluded it was probably a (very good) draughtsman’s exercise; alternatively it might be a drawing from which to make a line-block illustration in a magazine or advertisement.

First-day provincial usages noted in Hudson GB postal history lists cited
Within Kendal   (Jan90/M44)
St.Leonards on Sea to London, registered   (Aug90/T25)
Within Halifax   (Aug89/G40; re-offered Sep90/U30)
Within Looe, envelope + card both used   (Nov90/V63)
Within Bedford, registered   (May 91/A23)
Unaddressed envelope Whaley Bridge, single-ring cds (Jul91/C20; re-offered Oct 92/R19 + May93/Z38)
Portsmouth to Hereford   (Apr92/M25)
Edinburgh to ?, duplex * 131 *   (Stewart Harris list Oct95/25).

Private envelopes (1)-(4). Harry Furniss (1854-1925), British caricaturist and illustrator, designed the witty caricatures of the exhibition envelope and insert card. First 100 copies were signed for private subscription by members of the [Royal] PS of London. Comparison of signatures illustrated in Bauschke, Hudson and PB Feb 1980 suggests a facsimile signature was used – printed or rubber-stamped? Hudson has (Jan89/A18) offered example where both envelope and insert card were signed.

Used examples of Furniss (unsigned) envelope
Used 26.7.90 with 1d. lilac London to Ramsgate   (Bauschke p.77, ex Hudson Oct87/C29)
Another used 26.7.90 to Ramsgate (Hudson Feb89/B22)
Used 13.8.90 with 1d. lilac within Birmingham (Hudson Mar89/C33; re-offered Mar91/Z36 + Aug92/Q25)
Used AU – 1890 London to Warrington (PB Feb 1980 p.92)
Philatelic usage: Used 24.11.28 with 1½d. KGV London Stamp Exhibition to Birmingham (Hudson Jan91/X119)

Remainders of the Furniss caricature (edition 10,000) were used up by SCF with an overprint in dull red on envelope flap: Presented / with the / Christmas Number of the / Stamp Collector’s Fortnightly / December 15th, 1906. Earliest date known used 18.12.06. Philatelic usage recorded: Birmingham Congress to Coventry 8.6.11 (Hudson Jan 91/X84).

William Henry Elliot, 29 Calthorpe Street, London WC, produced imitations of the exhibition envelope and insert card on thin, poor quality paper for sale at 1d. His defence was that they would be a cheap substitute for items only on sale for one day, but withdrew unsold copies after Post Office objections under the Post Office Protection Act 1884. White says edition was about 3000, of which 1500 were “issued”, but Bauschke p.78 gives about 500 probably sold. Unaccountably, Lorna Houseman’s official history of De La Rue uses an Elliot imitation as illustration (opp. p.80) for the exhibition envelope. According to PB Jan 1971 three examples of the imitation are known postally used.

Wrapper. Packets of the exhibition’s envelope were wrapped around with a cream-coloured paper band. Inscription printed in gold between two VR insignia reads: Penny Postage Jubilee / 1890 / Ten Jubilee Envelopes / and / Ten Correspondence Cards. This scarce item is illustrated by White, also Hudson Jun88/K16; an example was exhibited at Stamp World London 90.

The envelopes were also made up into packets of 100, but no illustrations of bands have been seen.

Envelope (2). Two unidentified covers are mentioned in the exhibition’s “Instructions for Postal Duty” p.6 (Bauschke p.62): “Registered Letter official covers, with cards enclosed in them, for the safe transmission of the Jubilee Special Envelopes through the Post, will be on sale, price 3d. each, and ordinary covers with card, price 1d. each.” The NPM had no knowledge of these items on enquiry in 1990.

Postmarks. Pearson lists two steel handstamps for the exhibition of identical design but differing in size. The larger, No.21 (37mm dia.), has fixed date 2. JY. 90., but he notes it has also been seen on a cover with smaller date and lacking the dot after JY. NPM holds an original handstamp, catalogued by them HS/SP 005, but lists it as rubber and it lacks dots after both 2 and JY.

The smaller (32mm) is also listed at Pearson No.22 as a steel handstamp and shows dots after both 2 and JY. An original held by the NPM is again listed as rubber (ref. HS/SP 004) and its date is 2. JY 90, i.e. no dots after JY and 90. This handstamp was struck as a cachet on the cover for a Centenary Dinner on 6 May 1990.

[1890-309].  4 November 1890  Jubilee Christmas & New Year Card

Postmark postcard. A souvenir sold at 6d. in aid of the Rowland Hill Memorial and Benevolent Fund.

Characteristics of genuine card: Large (165 x 241mm) greetings card, illustrated with portraits, scenes and Penny Postage Jubilee postmarks. Typo and litho in grey-green and brown on thick, soft stock by De La Rue.

Forgery. In only report traced (SL Apr 1983), forgery credited to Thomas Bray c.1978 and printed by photogravure on thinner card. More detail would be helpful. Was “photogravure” actually photo-litho or halftone blocks for the two colours?

[1897-204].  22 July 1897  London Philatelic Exhibition

The [Royal] Philatelic Society of London joined with the trade and the exhibition was held at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Piccadilly, from 22 July to 5 August 1897. The event was in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Sheet. Anstee’s article gives the sheet of Mulready publicity labels as 28 (4 x 7), but Chatfield has catalogued it as 36.

Wrapper. There were no postal facilities at the exhibition, but Anstee also illustrates a ½d. newspaper wrapper overprinted London Philatelic Exhibition 1897 and said to be on sale. By whom and whether this item was official or private is not stated.

[1899-181].  29 June 1899  International Philatelic Exhibition, Manchester

Organised by the Manchester PS at the City Art Gallery from 29 June to 5 July 1899.

Publicity label. Chatfield credits the Viking Ship design to Sidney [sic] Turner, well known for philately-related artwork. The Exhibition Catalogue cover, which is in the same Art Nouveau style as the label, is however signed: W.Dinsmore del. M’chester.

Sheet. No sheet size has been traced.

Postcard. An article by Gordon Anstee seen in draft illustrated a souvenir postcard. The Viking Ship motif was accompanied by four views of Manchester – Art Gallery, Town Hall, Ship Canal and the Exchange. The inscription at bottom right read: Wilson & Hudson, M’chester. A postcard with souvenir label affixed was in the Glass Slipper Auction 6.11.87/1603 and this one may have been meant.

[1909-049].  18 February 1909  1st Philatelic Congress of Great Britain, Manchester

The Manchester Junior PS staged the first Congress on 18-20 February 1909. Continuing annually since (except for wartime interruptions), Congress was prolific of souvenirs till the 1980s.

Cover. Possible cover in addition to the well known souvenir postcard is suggested from Glass Slipper auction 6.3.95/5559. The lot was for a 20.2.09 Congress special postmark on an “Exhibition printed envelope”. However, assumed to be a bulk mailing of plain covers for the special postmark, each one with the same printed address.

[1910-118].  27 April 1910  2nd Philatelic Congress, London

Organised by the Herts Philatelic Society 27-29 April 1910, the Congress had no special postal arrangements: the inaugural 1909 Congress had had a temporary P.O. and special postmark.

Sheet. A sheet of souvenir labels accompanied each Programme. Sheets were also printed by J.Dunbar Heath (of Perkins Bacon) as demonstration to his paper on 27 April “The Manufacture of Stamps”, then given to delegates. Morris says 500 sheets printed, then plate destroyed at meeting. Holman (S-UK Nov 1990 p.69) says 500 sheets of each colour.

Presentation sheets. Sheet of souvenir labels in gold printed for King George V (then Prince of Wales), the Congress Patron. Sheet of labels in silver for the Earl of Crawford, who opened the Congress.

Impressed die (1). Banquet menu (Café Monico 28 Apr 1910) has outer grey cover, decorative print in green. Impressed die affixed at top of front cover. Menu as 4-page insert held with green ribbon, letterpress printed in red and black on thick cream card. Imprint of Perkins Bacon & Co. Ltd. Impressed die 23mm square, engraved in carmine on to thick card 29 x 28mm. Modified from original die of 1857 Newfoundland 1d., SG Type 1. Corner denominations replaced by crosses. Country inscriptions replaced by PHILATELIC / CONGRESS OF / GT. BRITAIN. One Penny at foot replaced by H.P.S. APRIL 28TH 1910.

Impressed die (2). On Banquet invitation card engraved in deep violet. At top the impressed die resembling 1855 Van Diemen’s Land, Chalon Head, SG Type 3. Modified from original die by replacing country name with engine-turning and in place of denomination the words HERTS PHIL. SOC. Thick card. 21 x 27mm die.

[1911-159].  7 June 1911  3rd Philatelic Congress, Birmingham

Souvenir label. T.B.Widdowson (delegate of Leicester PS) gave a paper on “Direct Plate Printing in Two Colours” on 7 June and this was published in Stamp Collector Vol.15 (1911) pp.111-15. To accompany the lecture the printing company (Artistic Engraving and Printing Co.) gave a demonstration using the souvenir label. It is not clear from Bellamy & Darlow’s report exactly which colours of labels were printed on this occasion, so whether that session was in fact the origin of the several “proof” varieties.

Sheet. Morris does not specify the colours of the single rouletted sheet he says was produced nor comment on its status.

Label variety (1). The frame colour for the variety vignette omitted is not specified by Morris.

Label variety (2). The variety vignette double is on the dull purple & black label (Hudson Jun88/BB53). His photocopy Sep 89, colours not stated, had 2 perforated marginal blocks of 4 from lower left corner: this shows more than one sheet must have been printed with this variety. Also shown with the variety were 2 marginal singles from lower right corner.

Label variety (3). The variety frame inverted had appeared in Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5268 as a block of 6 (3 x 2) carmine & black label, but as “inverted centre”. The Sep 89 photocopies from Hudson did not specify colours; they were for a (perforated) vertical pair, upper right margin, and a marginal single, lower right corner. The depth of margins supports contention that it is frame (not centre) that is inverted. Morris reports one sheet with “inverted centres”, colours not given.

Label variety (4). The variety imperf vertically was noted from Hudson Jun88/BB52 and a photocopy Sep 89. A horizontal strip of 3 deep blue & black labels has centre stamp imperf vertically. This gives: (a) stamp with imperf right margin; (b) stamp with imperf left margin; and (c) stamp imperf left and right margins. A marginal pair of the blue & black label imperf between was in the Cinderella SC auction 19.10.96/416.

Proof (1). Always described as the “die proof”, the vignette colour is sepia, not the issued black, and frame is yellow-green. Imperf, 77 x 58mm white paper, ungummed and unwatermarked. A die proof on gummed paper, “green frame” (?vignette colour), was in Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5272.

Proofs (2) & (3). Hudson’s offer was for two matching pieces of paper bearing strikes from the label, one for the green frame and one for the sepia vignette.

Private overprints. Two kinds of imperf basic stamp have been seen, unissued Birmingham Delivery Company local stamps and the reprint and forgeries of the 1862 Argentine issue of postage stamps. Neither a listing nor any indication of who organised the overprints was traced. L.N. & M.Williams’ “Cinderella Stamp Corner” [SM Vol.38 No.454 (Nov 1972) p.57] asserts they were produced by a Midlands collector and repudiated by Congress. If this also implies official disapproval, it does not explain why cancelling-to-order with the special postmark was apparently permitted.

A likely source for the Delivery Company stamps could be H.L’Estrange Ewen, pioneer dealer at the time in this material and other Cinderellas like the Railway Letter stamps. He was one of the “donors towards the expenses of the Congress” according to Bellamy & Darlow’s official history.

Tyler shows how Edward Stanley Gibbons, no less, reprinted from the original stone the Argentine 5c. from the 1862 issue, then forged unknown 10c. and 15c. in the same design by altering denominations. Gibbons’s stone, reprints and forgeries were in the stock purchased by C.J.Phillips in 1890, who then sold them to a Birmingham dealer, T.Birch.

Overprint (1). Fiscal / & Rail / Exchange / CONGRESS / 1911. on ½d. blue (Chatfield c2a). Basic stamp of Birmingham Delivery Co. (Harman 97) prepared for use 1868, but not issued. Whether the overprint was on this, or one of the many later forgeries, is not clear. The 3d. yellow is also known as an imperf pair with the overprint (Cinderella SC auction 17.4.99/887). Both stamps of the pair have the Congress special postmark 7 Jun 1911.

Overprint (2). Reads PHILATELIC / CONGRESS / 1911 and was seen overprinted on 6d. Birmingham Delivery Co. There was no 6d. denomination in the original (1868) unissued set, hence basic stamp is a later forgery.

Overprint (3). The Fiscal & Rail Exchange overprint (1) repeated on an Argentine 5c. reprint of 1864 (SG 12). The example seen had 1911. duplicated at the top above the overprint through misalignment.

Overprint (4). PHILATELIC / CONGRESS / 1911 reading upwards. Seen on 1864 Argentine 5c. red reprint (SG 12) and forged 10c. green and 15c. blue.

The reported overprints reading PHILATELIC CONGRESS or 1911 only possibly arise from misalignment.

Congress cto 8 Jun 1911 on unoverprinted stamps
For the Delivery Companies, a pair of 3d. Birmingham with Congress cto 5.15 PM / JU 8 / 1911 but no overprint was seen in photocopy (Hudson Sep 1989). The 3d.is a forged denomination. The same cto occurs on the ¾d. Liverpool / Aberdeen stamp in a block of 4 (Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5270). This value would be from the omnibus sheet of 81 Delivery Co. stamps.

For Argentine, the 5c. reprint without overprint is known as a horizontal strip of 3 with the same 8 June cto. It was also seen on a bisect of the 15c. forgery lacking overprint.

Postcards. Of the set of 12, ten were seen in the RPSL Collection Apr 1995:

Postcards 3½ x 5½ in. (88 x 138mm). Divided backs headed Post Card and box for stamp, printed typo in blue-green (Countess of Warwick in black). Fronts illustrated with Congress souvenir label above a portrait, all halftone in black. Portraits and Warwick Castle from photographs, Countess of Warwick from a drawing.
1. Her Ladyship The Countess of Warwick Congress Patron
2. Warwick Castle, from the River
3. R.Hollick, C.C. [= County Councillor] Chairman of Congress Exec. Cttee; Congress Chairman; President, Birmingham PS
4. Councillor G.Johnson, B.A. Hon.Sec. & Treasurer Exec. Cttee and Congress; Hon.Sec. Birmingham PS
5. H.Barnwell   Cttee member
6. C.J.Phillips  Cttee member
7. W.Pimm Cttee member
8. F.T.Collier Delegate, Birmingham PS
9. H.Grindall Delegate, Birmingham PS
10. W.F.Wadams  Delegate, Birmingham PS

Postmark. Bellamy & Darlow place the Congress postbox at the Royal Hotel on p.61, but the Grand Hotel at p.69. Hugen says it was at the Grand Hotel. If mail was cancelled at the Birmingham Head Sorting Office, as alleged, how did the known cto’s arise?

[1912-122].  1 May 1912  4th Philatelic Congress, Margate

Souvenir label. Before listing, confirmation is needed of two varieties in Hudson Apr94: vignette double (J88) and frame inverted (J89).

Sheet of souvenir label. The Britannia label is a triangular, printed in sheets of 18. The layout is formed from 9 tête-bêche pairs disposed 3 x 3. Each pair forms a square with the apexes of the two triangles pointing to top left and bottom right.

Proofs. The examples in the RPSL, donated by a member in July 1914, lacked one of the issued bicolours, grey-blue & black. The other five colours were present as complete sheets of 9 tête-bêche pairs printed on unwatermarked card. These are not unique: Hudson Sep89 offered similar proofs on card, but with stamps trimmed to shape. Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5274 had an imperf proof pair on thin paper, frame colour “violet” (?slate-lilac).

Publicity label. Partial imperfs were seen in the RPSL Archives on a complete sheet of the carmine Hotel label, which had 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th rows imperf. They are known on another colour: Hudson (Oct87/C87) had the violet label as a horizontal LH marginal pair, perf only at the foot. The same marginal pair occurred in the Cinderella SC auction of 19.10.96, though described there as “purple”.

With whole rows present on the sheet imperforate, this may be the source of the total imperfs, noted by Chatfield. Hudson Sep89 had sets of all the colours available imperf both as singles or as horizontal pairs.

The RPSL carmine misperforated sheet had an indistinct papermaker’s watermark that appeared to read SPECIAL ?TESTING PAPER / LONDON in double-lined caps and small caps. The second word was particularly faint and could be incorrect.

Postcard. The souvenir postcard is black and white photographic with divided back headed POST CARD. It is inscribed “Congress Souvenir”. Bellamy & Darlow p.98 say that “Souvenir and Pictorial Postcards [are available] at the Isle of Thanet Society’s Stall” [the host Society]. This is taken to mean this one postcard plus local picture postcards. The official souvenir postcard could just have been the Highcliffe Hotel’s own usual postcard inscribed for the special occasion?

[1913-114].  23 April 1913  5th Philatelic Congress, Edinburgh

Congress was hosted by the Scottish PS (Edinburgh), the JPS of Scotland (Glasgow) and the Dundee & District PS. The RPSL Library holds a complete record prepared by the Congress Secretary, inclusive of all ephemera and a group photograph (inf. Ron Negus 7.3.95).

Souvenir label. Imperf corner blocks of 4 of both colours were offered by Hudson (Apr94/J90). Imperf labels were for use on the Congress brochure.

Varieties of the imperfs, [03] vignette inverted and [04] colours of vignette and frame transposed, were seen in photocopy from David Jefferies 21.8.94. He suggested they could be either proofs or souvenirs made for the Organising Committee.

Sheet. The sheets of 12 labels (4 x 3) have no imprint.

Postmark. Congress was in session 23-24-25 April, but the special postmark was also used on the extra day, 26th. My BPSQB survey of Congress postmarks confirmed this.

Undated postmarks from Congress are known, struck on blank registration labels (Hudson Nov93/E103; Jefferies photocopy 21.8.94).

The special postmark on a cover with the printed address of Birmingham dealer, W.T.Wilson, suggests he made a bulk mailing for stock (Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5578).

[1914-141].  20 May 1914  6th Philatelic Congress, London

No special postmark or postal facilities were available at this Congress organised by the Royal Philatelic Society 20-22 May 1914.

Impressed die. Purchased as a souvenir label, this item was in fact a cut-out from the front cover of the Official Programme. This was confirmed from the British Library’s copy (inf. David Beech 8.8.94), as the Programme was lacking in the RPSL Library. The label-like engraving by Perkins Bacon is on thin buff card and shows portraits of KEVII, KGV and the Chalon Head of Queen Victoria. Morris’s reference says the label appears on front and back covers of the “handbook”, which might be construed as the lengthy Official Report rather than the (shorter) Official Programme. Also the back cover of the Report is illustrated by four engravings of Queen Victoria, not the three monarchs repeated.

[1920-146].  25 May 1920  7th Philatelic Congress, Newcastle

Souvenir label (2). No explanation was traced why the label reappeared in the same design as the original set and then in only two of the previous five colours.

Postmark. A registered cover with printed address of W.T.Wilson suggests another bulk mailing from Congress by the Birmingham dealer (Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5582).

[1922-171].  19 June 1922  9th Philatelic Congress, Bath

Private overprint. Of the scarce “Go to Bath” overprints on 1920 Liechtenstein postage stamps, Hugen says there were 9 values 10h. to 80h. (SG 29-37). But I also had the 1k. denomination (SG 38). Hudson’s offers (Mar98/B79) and my own holding, when compared against Hugen, showed only the 10h., 60h. and 80h. as needing confirmation that they exist.

[1923-135].  14 May 1923  London International Stamp Exhibition

Souvenir label. Hudson (Apr95/W53) had the set of 6 colours of the Mercury label as unwatermarked imperfs on heavily coated chalk-surfaced paper, but these may be proofs. Morgan lists unwatermarked imperfs for the blue label (23A-54) and the violet (23A-65).

Presentation sheet. The SL article of 1923 gives the impression that a sheet of the Mercury label in gold and another in royal purple were each made specially for presentation to King George V on his visit to the Exhibition and were unique. But as examples in these colours were on the market in March 1993, the inference must be that there were extra printings, as the presentation sheets are presumably still in the Royal Collection. My stamps were: (gold) single [aeroplane] watermark, with gum; (royal purple) multiple watermark, no gum. Both examples were imperf.

Souvenir card. Another copy of the PM souvenir card was in Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5587. It had a specimen Universal Postal Franker meter stamp and gave details of the process. The PM proprietor and editor, Albert H.Harris, noted for using modern business methods, was an early proponent of meter franking and compiled a catalogue of meter stamps. Lot 5586 in the same auction comprised the first registered cover to bear Universal Postal Franker meter stamps (3 x 1½d.), taken to mean at the Exhibition rather than generally.

[1926-166].  14 June 1926  13th Philatelic Congress, Liverpool

Postmark. A registered cover postmarked 17.6.26 from Congress and “addressed to [W.T.] Wilson of Birmingham” may indicate another bulk sending by the dealer (Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5599).

[1928-321].  16 November 1928  London Stamp Exhibition

Meter (1) The meter stamp by International Neopost seen was denominated GvR ½d., licence number N1, with dater die London E.C.1. Struck in red. The exhibition was actually held at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, E.C.4.

[1932-006].  6 January 1932  Pageant of Postage Stamps, London

Meter. The meter stamp by Roneo-Neopost Ltd. seen was denominated GVR 1½d., licence number N76, with dater die London S.W.1. Struck in red. The slogan contains lengthy details for the exhibition, which did take place in S.W.1 at the Dorland Hall.

[1932-165].  13 June 1932  19th Philatelic Congress, Brighton

From 1925 to 1931 Congress souvenirs were confined to a special postmark and a single design of postcard illustrative of the Mulready. This was presented each year by the magazine Stamp Collecting under Hugh Vallancey’s editorship. The lean period ended with the 1932 Brighton Congress. The designer of its souvenir label was L.J.Gilbert-Lodge, for a long period Hon.Secretary of the RPSL, and who signed the margin of some sheets.

[1933-150].  29 May 1933  20th Philatelic Congress, London

Souvenir label. The label was issued in sheets [03] printed on seven different types of paper, accompanied by an identifying information card [05]. Writing in Philatelic Paraphernalia No.23/24 (Apr/Jul 1990) p.311, John Holman says: “…nine were planned, De La Rue being unable to obtain supplies of granite and Dickinson paper”.

The Congress Banquet at Frascati’s in London presented its Menu printed on heavy paper folded as an entire, hand-addressed to the diner, and with a red seal. The Menu also bore a souvenir label; two examples noted both used the blue label.

[1934-128].  7 May 1934  APEX International Air Post Exhibition, London

Particularly abundant in souvenirs, including autogiro mail and a pigeongram. White’s article was a noteworthy guide and is recommended reading.

Souvenir card. Reuben Parker, a London dealer, produced a folded card printed with details of Zucker’s first rocket trial. The illustration of a cover shows the cachet without the words “Sussex Downs”. The card had an unoverprinted souvenir label (1), Plane & Tower Bridge, affixed by hinge.

Postcard (1). The set of 6 real-photo postcards in black and white showing aerophilately rarities and famous covers comprises:
        1. 1905 newspaper pigeon post of Le Matin, Paris.
        2. 1911 first UK Aerial Post card.
        3. 1919 Newfoundland “Hawker”.
        4. 1920 first Chinese airmail.
        5. Capt. Harry Butler flown postcard.
        6. Franklin Relief Expedition message and balloon.

[1935-170].  18 June 1935  22nd Philatelic Congress, Bath

Souvenir sheet. An early use for a label from the souvenir sheets was on a Christmas card from “the Officers and Members of Bath Philatelic Society” (Hudson Mar95/U108). The card showed Bath Abbey and was inscribed “Hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to the 22nd Congress”, so presumably dates from Christmas 1934. A Congress souvenir label in brown was hinged in a printed space. No other reference was seen.

Souvenir card. The card seen in the RPSL was a printed photographic in sepia, 158 x 132mm. The back was headed Printed Paper Rate, franked with ½d. KGV Silver Jubilee and cancelled with Congress special postmark 9PM / 20 JU / 1935.
        Caption down LH & RH sides in caps: Souvenir of the Unveiling of the / Stafford Smith Memorial Tablet. Picture of shop front Alfred Smith & Co. Foreign Stamp Importers.

Caption below: Bath June 21st, 1935 and description The Cradle of Philatelic Journalism! Here was launched on February 1st, 1863 the first number of the Stamp Collectors’ Magazine (by Henry Stafford Smith, pioneer stamp dealer and philatelic publisher), Doyen of the Philatelic Press, and the most erudite stamp journal of its day.

At foot: This card comes to you with the compliments of STAMP COLLECTING, LTD.

[1937-046].  15 February 1937  Airmail Exhibition, Selfridge’s, London

The famous store had a flourishing stamp department pre-war. The exhibition is said to have been held Monday to Saturday, 15-20 February 1937.

Postcard. Illustrated to left with facsimile of 1911 Aerial Post postcard. Printed in dull blue, 140 x 90mm. Plain back inscribed only Produced by Stamp Collecting.

Meter. The meter stamp was a Pitney Bowes ER die, licence No. PB57, dater die London W.1. The slogan read “Visit the Airmail Stamp Exhibition”.

Cards were held using a ½d. die for 15, 16, 17 and 19 February, but the slogan on 15 February read “Shop at Selfridges and Save at Selfridges”. No dates 18 or 20 February were seen and, as they were similarly absent in Channel Island Stamp Co. auction 28.2.94/515, they need confirmation as existing.

[1939-059].  28 February 1939  Prepaid-postage Centenary

Souvenir sheet. Typo on translucent yellowish ungummed paper in yellow-green, a large label 130 x 80mm, stamped-to-order with ½d. KGV postal stationery die. Inscribed Souvenir / Centenary / of / Prepaid / Postage / 1839-40 and cto with cds FRECKLETON / PRESTON LANCS 28 FE 39, index C. A dealer and publisher, William Ward, is known at Freckleton and presumably issued this label and had it cancelled par complaisance.

[1939-340].  5 December 1939  Uniform Postage Centenary

Cover. Printed cover inscribed “The Centenary of Uniform / Postage throughout the / British Isles / 5th December, 1839-1939”, also 5 DE 1839 marking and “4” manuscript mark. Addressed Robson Lowe, 96 Regent Street, W.1.

Information from illustrations in Hudson: used with 4d PAID handstamp 5 DE 39 London W.1 (Feb89/B192); similarly used in London N.W.1 (Jan93/U122).

But also exist used on previous day: with handwritten address 4d PAID 4 DE 39 (Mar95/U122, Feb97/M103). A cover with 4d PAID handstamp  dated 4th and overstamped 5th was offered Mar95/U123.

[1940-010].  10 January 1940  Centenary of Uniform Penny Postage

Cover. Inscribed at top left “The Centenary of the Introduction of Uniform Penny Postage throughout the British Isles January 10th 1840-1940”. At bottom left reproduction of handstruck penny stamp appropriate to the town of 1940 posting. Addressed to Robson Lowe, 96 Regent Street, London, W.1, probably facsimile. Used with meter stamp or 1d PAID handstamp of 10 January 1940.

Illustrations in Benham Stamp & Cover News Jan 1989 and Cover News Mar 1995, Sep 1997 show usage from: Andover, Bangor, Basingstoke, Bolton, Bradford, Brighton & Hove, Carlisle, London W1, Northampton, Slough and York. More towns no doubt exist.

[1940-124].  3 May 1940  27th Philatelic Congress, Bournemouth

Cover (2). Mulready facsimile in black on cream stock, with Congress details on back flap. Size 152 x 96mm. Sold at 3d.

[1940-127A].  6 May 1940  Stamp Centenary Exhibition, London W1

Cover (1). Illustrated at left: coat of arms with artist’s initials MG [Milner Gray] below ribbon, set above a cartouche of Lancaster House and inscription “The Royal Philatelic Society’s / Stamp Centenary Exhibition”. Litho in black on pale yellow, 183 x 108mm. Printed address of RPSL. Cover has two numbers on reverse (red; green) at bottom right.

Cover (4). Illustrated with QV Chalon Head in oval and inscribed for postage stamp centenary. Recess in blue by Perkins Bacon, 165 x 108mm. Printed address of Westminster Stamp Co.

Pigeongram. Glass Slipper auction 4.3.95/5313 was for a “flown pigeongram from the event and contemporary cuttings”. No other reference was traced and not listed till confirmed.

Note. I had not been able to follow up my brother’s advice in January 1995 that the RPSL Archives hold files of correspondence relating to the preparations for the 1940 exhibition as well as the Red Cross Fund 1940-45. This is in addition to material on other exhibitions in which the Society has been involved.

[1940-127B].  6 May 1940  Adhesive Stamp Centenary Exhibition, Bournemouth

Postmark. Pearson’s special postmark 288 gives usage 6-14 May, but the brochure for the exhibition at the Pavilion, Bournemouth, advertises it as open 6-11 May only.

[1947-063].  3 March 1947  National Stamp Exhibition, London SW1

Souvenir label. The inscription “SCA” stood for the Stamp Collectors’ Association, but no details of this organisation were traced. The label’s dates 3-9 MARCH 1947 differ from the
3-8 MARCH of the cachet. As 9 March is a Sunday, perhaps the planned exhibition opening was cancelled for that day? The label itself was evidently produced in 1946 judging by its imprint.

Cachet. Typical usage on plain cover of the unusually large (58mm) red circular cachet shows a cacheted souvenir label and the adhesives machine-cancelled LONDON S.W.1 / A with the current slogan “Staggered Holidays for Comfort”.

[1947-325B].  20 November 1947  National Stamp Exhibition, Manchester

Cachet. Circular 38mm NATIONAL STAMP EXHIBITION / MANCHESTER dated 20-27 / NOVEMBER / 1947 struck in red: a more normal size. Typical cover bore the complete souvenir sheet cacheted once at the intersection of the four labels, with adhesives machine-cancelled Manchester / P and current “EP” Wedding Bells slogan.

Concurrent National Exhibitions 1946-48

Soon after the war two distinct national exhibitions took place in London and were repeated in provincial cities. These were the “British Philatelic Exhibition” and its overlapping “National Stamp Exhibition” staged in 1946-48. A search of the contemporary press and the exhibition catalogues would be useful in finding out why this happened and whether, as seems possible, they hoped to become regular events.
For reference, exhibitions traced for the database catalogue were:

British Philatelic Exhibition
[1946-363]  28 Dec 1946 – 4 Jan 1947  Imperial Institute, South Kensington, London SW7. Not open Sunday 29 Dec. Organised by BPA and PTS.
[1947-297]  23 Oct – 5 Nov 1947  Return to same London venue. Not open two Sundays 26 Oct and 2 Nov. Organised by BPA and PTS in conjunction with the Daily Graphic.
[1947-325A]  20-27 Nov 1947  McLellan Galleries, Glasgow.
[1948-035]  4-10 Feb 1948  Houldsworth Hall, Manchester.

Note. A projected BPE at Birmingham evidently did not take place. Writing in his Stamp Collectors’ Bulletin No.4 (Jul/Aug 1947), F.H.Vallancey gave projected exhibitions as Glasgow (Nov 1947), Birmingham (Dec 1947) and Manchester (Jan 1948). Bulletin No.7 (Jan/Feb 1948) reports that they took place in Glasgow and Manchester, but does not mention Birmingham. Note from above that Manchester’s event had slipped a month.

National Stamp Exhibition
[1947-063]  3-8 Mar 1947  Central Hall, Westminster, London SW1. Organised by Stamp Collectors’ Association.
[1947-325B]  20-27 Nov 1947  Houldsworth Hall, Manchester. Organisers not traced. Held on same dates as the Glasgow BPE.

Note added Nov 2001. As far as I know, the British Philatelic Exhibition of 1946-48 and the regular series of the same name begun in November 1966 were not connected. In 1965 I was invited to the inaugural committee convened by Robson Lowe as one representative from the philatelic press and for discussion of a possible new national exhibition. I attended that and one or two subsequent meetings but do not recall any mention of the 1946-48 BPE.

In addition there was another National Stamp Exhibition, first staged in January 1953 and repeated under that name in 1954 and 1955. From 1956 to date it has been known as Stampex. I do not know whether at its foundation it had any connection with the National Stamp Exhibition of 1947. J.N.


[1950-127].  6 May 1950  London International Stamp Exhibition, W1

Specimen. Alongside the souvenir sheets overprinted “Not For Sale” and believed circulated to dealers, the philatelic press received a “bromide”, which is a same-size black and white photograph of an (unoverprinted) sheet. The photo had no backstamped identification of source.

Filler card. Insert for the official illustrated cover, 163 x 105mm. Card shows a Mulready envelope reproduced in blue on white stock from a line block. The reverse is an advertising message from John Dickinson & Co. Ltd., designers and producers of the cover.

Postmark (1). Time indicators of the machine special postmark (Pearson 325) held or seen, all of which include “PM”:


Sat 6 May: 12.45, 5.15            
Sun 7 May: 5.15            
Mon 8 May: 12.45                   
Tue 9 May: 12.45, 5.15            
Wed 10 May: 12.45, 5.15, 7.15, 8.15
Thu 11 May: 12.45, 5.15, 7.15    
Fri 12 May: 12.45, 7.15    
Sat 13 May: 12.45, 5.15            

I was told by a dealer in covers that Sunday 7 May is a scarce postmark.

1951 Festival of Britain. Note that Rosen Nos.Z2A-E are charity labels, sold in aid of the Greater London Fund for the Blind. They do not commemorate a philatelic exhibition.


Key to Stampex History

[1953-010].  10 Jan 1953  First National Stamp Exhibition organised by PTS at Central Hall.
[1956-007].  7 Jan 1956  Renamed Stampex.
[1959-073].  13 Mar 1959  First souvenir sheet issued, using a UN stamp to illustrate Central Hall.
[1960]  No exhibition because of forthcoming London International (9 July).
[1969-053].  5 Mar 1969  Transferred to Horticultural Hall.
[1971-061].  1 Mar 1971  Only year with no special postmark because of postal strike during January-March.
[1981-055].  24 Feb 1981  Renamed Super Stampex because exhibition now staged in both Old and New Halls at Horticultural Hall.
[1986-288].  14 Oct 1986  Last BPE as separate exhibition.
[1987-063].  3 Mar 1987  First Spring Stampex following merger with BPE.
[1987-266].  22 Sep 1987  First Autumn Stampex/BPE.
[1996-024].  24 Jan 1996  Transfer of Spring and Autumn Stampexes to Business Centre, London N1.

[1957-000B].  [Date] 1957  Boys and Girls Exhibition, Earl’s Court, London

No dates for this exhibition were found.

Publicity label. John Holman refers to this label, produced in two designs se-tenant, at p.126 of his Stanley Gibbons Guide to Stamp Collecting (London & Ringwood: SG Publications Ltd., 1989):
“In 1957 Harrison & Sons Ltd. demonstrated perforating on the Gibbons stand at the Boys and Girls Exhibition at Earl’s Court. Sheets of labels were perforated and given to visitors; they were produced in mauve and [the SG label depicts] the Cape of Good Hope triangular and the Simplified Catalogue.” [The Harrison label shows a photogravure cylinder.]
This suggests a possibility there may still be remainders in the unperforated state.

[1960-191].  9 July 1960  London International Stamp Exhibition

Postmark. Two items of artwork for the special postmark were offered in Hudson Mar93/X151.

[1961-302].  28 October 1961  Surrey Philatelic Exhibition and Convention, Woking

Meter. The Convention illustrated cover [01] was metered in red 2½d., licence No.NE705 (of Royal Electric Furnaces Ltd., Woking), dater die Woking, Surrey, and boxed slogan CONVENTION / OF SURREY / PHILATELIC SOCIETIES / WOKING / OCT. 28 1961 with Mosque.

[1962-000].  [Date] 1962  London Stamp Exhibition, Hilton Hotel, London

No dates for this exhibition were found.

Souvenir sheet. The GB 1882 £5 orange, lettered AA, imperf and actual size, reproduced typo on gummed sheet size 82 x 95mm. Sheet inscribed for exhibition in green letterpress.

Rosen’s assertion that sheets were “printed from the original plate” seems improbable. More likely would be a line block made from an example of the original stamp. The registration sheet is lacking stamp AA (according to Tony Wiseman’s researches) and there are no suitable plate proofs, either of which might have served to make the block.

The souvenir sheet was reissued overprinted SPECIMEN at the Southern Stamp Fair [1964-296]. The celebrated £5 orange featured in a further, rather crisper, typo reproduction in its centenary year for the 1982 BPE’s sheet [1982-280].

[1962-336].  1 December 1962  Eurostamp London Stamp Exhibition, SW1

The exhibition, organised 1-8 December by Tom Todd and sponsored by the Council of Europe, was legitimate enough. Todd (1911-84) and his Stamp Magazine were prime movers in the London Stamp Exhibitions of 1936, 1937 and 1939. Regrettably, the souvenir sheets gave an opportunity (most likely by some other entrepreneur) for exploiting a contemporary boom in the Europa and Kennedy themes by copious overprinting. This type of production must have contributed to a decline in interest in souvenirs among collectors.

Souvenir sheets 01 & 05. The “Wheel” design was by Reynolds Stone and used for the GB Europa stamps of 1960 (SG 621-2), which are imprinted Harrison and printed photogravure. The souvenir sheets, size 114 x 124mm and gummed, reproduced the stamps imperf and actual size as a vertical strip of 3 x 6d. se-tenant with 3 x 1s.6d., adding a letterpress inscription for the exhibition, signed by the printer Wm.Clowes & Sons Ltd.

The reproduced stamps are in blue; sheet 01 has a red-brown background surround and black inscription, while sheet 05 has a light turquoise-blue surround and red inscription.

According to L.N. & M.Williams, the Postmaster-General disallowed reproduction of the stamps in blue, the sheets were withdrawn and almost all destroyed. How far the destruction went is, however, questionable. As private overprints appeared on these sheets, remaindering seems more likely.

Private overprints on sheets 01 & 05. The sheets were cut down to 114 x 81mm, this guillotining removing printers’ imprints and inscriptions for the original exhibition. A caption at foot reads Europa, 1960. Large letterpress overprints were applied to cover all six stamps on a sheet:
(a) Portrait of President Kennedy
        [02] On sheet 01, blue stamps, red-brown surround, black overprint;
        [07] On sheet 05, blue stamps, light turquoise-blue surround, black overprint.
(b) Small portrait of Kennedy above monument. Left margin with US and Israeli flags. Right margin with English and Hebrew inscriptions for Memorial Forest in Jerusalem Mountains inaugurated 4 July 1966
        [03] On sheet 01, blue stamps, red-brown surround, black overprint;
        [08] On sheet 05, blue stamps, light turquoise-blue surround, black overprint.
(c) Large indistinct portrait of David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973). Left margin with English and Hebrew inscriptions for 80th birthday. Right margin with Israeli flag
        [04] On sheet 01, blue stamps, red-brown surround, red overprint.
        A price-list from Royale Stamp Co., London, advertised a pair of Ben-Gurion sheets, suggesting sheet 05 was also overprinted. This was not seen. Rosen dates above five overprints to an unspecified (and unknown) “1968 Exhibition”.
(d) 10th ANNIVERSARY OF / EUROPA ISSUES / 1956-1965
        [06] On sheet 05, blue stamps, light turquoise-blue surround, black overprint.
        Rosen ascribes this to a “1965 Europa Stamps Exhibition”. No other mention of such an event traced.

Souvenir sheet 09. The Williamses call this an “emergency printing”, produced in place of the withdrawn souvenir sheets. The sheet is slightly narrower (111 x 126mm), the Europa “Wheel” stamps are now reproduced in black instead of blue, and there is a light green surround. Any identifying inscriptions, “Eurostamp 1962, London Stamp Exhibition” etc., are absent but a new lengthy red caption introduced at the foot suggests Harrison as the printer. There is muddle over who printed what arising from Rosen’s catalogue and the way the souvenir sheets are inscribed. I favoured (for both original and “emergency” issues) Harrison printing in small sheets of 6 from their own photogravure cylinders, with Clowes overprinting captions on the sheets by letterpress subsequently. I doubt if the Harrison security printer would be permitted to let some other printer have use of cylinders made under official contract – or would wish to lend them out in any case.
Reproduction of postage stamps that have not been demonetised was subject to strict rules by the G.P.O. Normally, if in colours identical to the original, stamps had to be shown at least a quarter larger or smaller; otherwise some distinguishing marking (like bars or quarter-circles in black at a corner) had to be superimposed. Reproduction of a coloured stamp in black and white at the original size was permitted; otherwise the colour(s) had to differ in the reproduction from the issued stamp. As souvenir sheets so frequently illustrate stamps, these matters are particularly relevant. Though the regulations themselves underwent periodic changes, it is an interesting study to see how far they were obeyed in practice.

No thematic overprinting was seen on the “emergency” sheet 09, suggesting it was a regularly issued souvenir and not remaindered.

Souvenir sheets 10 & 14. The Lex Weyer “Tree” design used for the 1962 issues of Europa postage stamps was adapted for the souvenir. The sheets were litho printed by Curwen Press, with gum, and of size 117 x 131mm. The Europa stamps are imperf in a block of 6 (2 x 3) on sheets inscribed in deep blue with a claret border. Sheet 10 has stamp background in orange and the leaves of the tree are yellow; in sheet 14 the stamp background is grey-blue and the leaves are green.

Private overprints on sheet 10. The sheet was cut down to 107 x 85mm, removing London Stamp Exhibition, etc., from the lower part but the inscription EUROSTAMP – 1962 remains. Overprints letterpress in black were applied to cover all six stamps in the sheet:
(a) JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY 1917 1963 and large portrait
        [12] On sheet 10, stamp background orange.
        A Royale Stamp Co. price-list indicated sheet [14], grey-blue background, was also overprinted. Not seen. Rosen cites the unknown “1968 Exhibition” for this overprint.
(b) Lunar-module silhouette and FIRST MAN ON MOON / 21 JULY 1969
        [13] On sheet 10, stamp background orange.
        Rosen credits this to a “Space Stamps Exhibition, London” in 1969. No other mention of such an event traced. Royale had no offer of sheet 14 (grey-blue background) with the overprint. Possibly exhausted by 1969?

[1963-257].  13 September 1963  London Stamp Fair, Hilton Hotel, W1

In 1963 Tom Todd staged another exhibition at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane and with a theme of space stamps. The Post Office exhibited a model of Telstar and it accounts for cover [04] using the Jodrell Bank telescope as its illustration.

Souvenir sheet. The gummed sheet (95 x 89mm), printed typo by De La Rue, reproduces actual size and in the original colours the famous 1847 Post Office Mauritius (engraved) stamps, 1d. orange-red and 2d. deep blue.

The exhibition’s newspaper Stamp Fair News stated: “The printing plate used for these sheets has been made direct from a proof taken from the original engraved printing plate used in Mauritius in 1847” [both stamps are on the one plate]. The legendary Maurice Burrus owned the plate and it was retained by his family after his death. Taken literally, the newspaper’s assertion is of a newly made print from this plate.

But L.N. & M.Williams have recorded earlier reprinting in three colours: black, orange-red and deep blue. These appear to have been made on behalf of the dealer David Field some time between 1912 and 1927. Field was advertising the red and blue reprints for sale in 1939, so equally they might have been used by De La Rue to make the souvenir sheet.

Burrus’s collections were sold during 1962-67. Five examples of the (actual) Post Office Mauritius stamps from the collections and due for auction 1 October 1963 by Robson Lowe were on display at the exhibition. Someone of Lowe’s unique authority can easily be imagined as persuading Burrus’s heirs to allow a new reprint from the precious Mauritius plate.

Uncatalogued souvenir sheets. Three further souvenir sheets honouring John F.Kennedy are said by Rosen to have been issued at the London Stamp Fair. This cannot be so, because the President was not assassinated until 22 November 1963, two months after the Fair had ended. My recollection was that the sheets were on sale at a Stampex, but as no confirmation of date or by whom could be traced they could not be assigned a place in the catalogue database. For reference the souvenirs are:

Sheet 1. Photo-litho, with gum, size 110 x 74mm. Four essays for GB commemoratives of President Kennedy: 3d., 6d., 1s.3d., 1s.6d. Stamps reproduced in black, including perfs, on a carmine surround. Inscription reverse white. No designers credited.

Sheets 2 & 3. Photo-litho, with gum. Essays for US 1964 Kennedy memorial issue. Five designs in black with simulated perfs against a gold background. Inscribed by litho in black. Sheet 2 (113 x 98mm) has designs based on line drawings; sheet 3 (136 x 79mm) on photographs.

[1963-328].  23 November 1963  Polish PS Thematic Exhibition, Manchester

The Polish PS of Manchester exhibited the stamp centenaries collection of Stanley A.Garnett 23-24 November, accounting for the choice of two 1863 stamps (Turkey 20 para and Costa Rica ½ real) for the souvenir sheet. Unusually, the sheet was also printed on to a postal stationery postcard and the Souvenir Exhibition Programme.

Souvenir sheets. Listed as Morgan 63E-01 and 02, the sheet occurs printed in black on either white or chrome-yellow surfaced paper. Hudson’s offer May97/Q170 of a “deep yellow paper” was taken to mean the chrome-yellow version.

The illustrated stamps are reproduced in reduced size and appear to have been taken from the Gibbons catalogue. The sheet has an ornamental outer frame in red, inner frame around stamps in grey, and sheet inscriptions in black letterpress.

Postcard. The postcard is postal stationery (Farleigh design), cream stock, impressed 2½d. scarlet. The souvenir sheet in red, grey and black is overprinted at the left of the address side. The red frame is inverted in relation to its appearance on the separate sheets. (Similarly, its use on the cover of the Programme shows it inverted.) The first-day machine cancel is Manchester X with the slogan “Fly Direct via Manchester Airport …”.

[1964-296].  22 October 1964  Southern Stamp Fair, London

Held 22-24 October at the Ceylon Tea Centre, Lower Regent Street, London W1.

Souvenir sheet. The GB 1964 Botanical Congress set of 4 (SG 655-8) is reproduced from a halftone block actual size (including perfs) on a sheet 115 x 89mm with gum. Each stamp is defaced with a black line at bottom right; the sheet is inscribed litho in black. Issue quantity 1000. The printers of the stamps, Harrison, are credited, but the reproductions are not their original photogravure productions, only halftone facsimiles.

Specimen. Remainders of the 1962 London Stamp Exhibition sheet featuring the 1882 £5 orange were overprinted SPECIMEN in gold and, above, a new inscription Southern Stamp Fair Oct. 22-24 1964. Issue quantity 450.The overprints are by the old method of printing in letterpress and dusting with gold powder while the ink is wet. The powder tends to flake off with handling.

[1965-048].  17 February 1965  SG Catalogue Centenary Exhibition, London SE1

Though Edward Stanley Gibbons was advertising price-lists in 1864, no actual copies have been recorded, so their form and content is presently unknown. The company have always dated the foundation of today’s Gibbons Catalogue from the following year, since two copies of a printed Price-list and Catalogue have survived and these bear the date November 1865. To mark the centenary Stanley Gibbons Ltd. mounted this exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall in London, commemorated by issuing a souvenir card and cover, employing a special postmark and running a slogan campaign, the first which the G.P.O. had allowed a commercial company to sponsor. The recently appointed Postmaster-General, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, opened the exhibition.

Gibbons also honoured the centenary by launching a new catalogue at the exhibition. This was the Elizabethan, a specialised listing of stamps of Britain and the Commonwealth issued during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. (Editions of the Elizabethan finally ceased to be published from December 1985 when the torrents of stamp new issues had led to a serious drop in popularity among collectors.) Postage stamps of Ajman on 6 May 1965 (SG 37-44) commemorated the exhibition and the designs included the November 1865 price-list and the new Elizabethan.

Harrison, printers of the souvenir card, perforated current GB postage stamps at the exhibition but – of course – did not distribute samples.

Note. Gibbons staged another exhibition the following year, though no souvenirs were issued and its importance can be overlooked. Having acquired premises at Drury House, Russell Street (near Drury Lane Theatre), an exhibition took place 6-7 September 1966 at its formal opening. Among the exhibits were the Gibbons/Kinneir essays unveiled at 1965 Stampex, together with many others with new ideas for British stamps, notably from David Gentleman. These had featured in a Post Office Seminar on 23 June 1966 with the P.M.G. Anthony Wedgwood Benn.

(The SG Catalogue Department was transferred from 391 Strand to Drury House when it opened: consequently, as Editor, I worked there from 1975 to 1981.  J.N.)

[1966-197].  15 July 1966  Great Britain PS Stamp Exhibition, London EC

Cover. Covers had been advertised serviced with the 1966 GB Birds set, but they were not available as issue of the set had been postponed.

Postmark. The exhibition at the Guildhall was open 15-23 July 1966, except for Friday 22nd, according to GSM Vol.39 (Jul 1966) p.193. It had a post office using the original Penny Postage Jubilee handstamp from the 1890 event at the Guildhall, adjusted for current dates.

[1966-308].  3 November 1966  British Philatelic Exhibition (BPE), London W1

Souvenir cards (1)-(3). I was approached about remainders in January 1992 by the Secretary of the BPF and asked to suggest a fair price. The cards were due to be offered for sale at Spring Stampex 1992. I heard no more, so do not know if this happened.

[1967-098].  7 April 1967  Stampex, London SW1

Souvenir sheet. Three framed Constable paintings are presented as “subjects for Great Britain pictorial stamps to be issued in June 1967”. They are: (1) Salisbury Cathedral; (2) The Cenotaph, and (3) The Hay Wain, all in the National Gallery. The first British Paintings set actually appeared in July 1967 and did not include Constable. His Hay Wain was, however, used in the second Paintings set issued 12 August 1968.

[1970-272].  28 September 1970  39th FIP Congress, London W1

The Congress was held at the International Coffee Organisation, Berners Street, London W1. A report in LP Vol.79 (Dec 1970) p.273 gives its dates as 27-29 September, but the special postmarks are recorded only for 28th and 29th. The LP report has no mention of souvenirs.

[1971-061].  1 March 1971  Stampex, London SW1

Stampex was held while the official Postal Strike (late January to early March) was in progress. The customary special postmark could not be produced nor was G.P.O. delivery of mail in operation. The change-over to decimal currency, and with it the issue of a whole new range of Machin definitive postage stamps, took place on 15 February during this seven-week dispute. (During this period, too, a field of great interest to some Cinderella collectors opened up, the licensing of many hundreds of private posts; fortunately they have been meticulously documented by Clive Smith.)

For many years at Stampex it was possible to buy a standard blank cover, on which stamps were then affixed and the item posted in the special box to receive the exhibition postmark. The cover was illustrated with the Mailcoach Trophy, awarded annually at the exhibition, and is believed initially also to have included the relevant year-date before this refinement was dispensed with.

In spite of the difficulties, two covers seen show that some kind of souvenir was considered worth attempting by someone – producing an interesting record in these later times. Both items used a Mailcoach Trophy cover dated for 1971.

Postmark (1). The cover bore new decimal Machins, postmarked 15 February with an official “First Day of Issue” special postmark. When the strike ended the G.P.O. delivered accumulated mail, adding a “strike” cachet in explanation of the delay. This was duly present.

Postmark (2). The cover was unaddressed but it received a Wood Green N22 cds dated 1 March 1971. In spite of the strike, many post offices in the UK remained open and transacted counter business, including the sale of the new Machin stamps. Presumably Wood Green was one such and would cancel-to-order if asked at this time.

[1971-308].  3 November 1971  BPE, London W1

A £5 stamp with the head of King Edward VII was planned, resembling the £5 orange of Queen Victoria that was reproduced on the souvenir sheet of the 1962 London Stamp Exhibition. A die was proofed in March 1902 but the denomination was not issued. BPE now illustrated the KEVII design on its souvenir card, a printing said to be from the original die.

Souvenir card. Glazed card typo by De La Rue and with their imprint; size 92 x 60mm. The KEVII die reproduced imperf, actual size, in red-orange with white line defacement bottom right. Print quantity 5000 (of which Rosen says 3400 were sold). It was announced that any unsold remainders would be destroyed and there would be no reprinting.

[1972-209].  27 July 1972  Philatex, Bournemouth

Trials. The exhibition’s souvenir sheet reproduced in yellow-green and at same size the GB 1929 £1 black Postal Union Congress stamp, the famous design by Harold Nelson. Printing was from a halftone block and the stamp had a black border.

The sheet is also known printed in four colours other than the issued yellow-green and the Rosen catalogue lists it additionally in black. As KGV stamps had been demonetised on 1 March 1972, a few months before the exhibition, this use of the original colour would not have contravened regulations.

Often advertised as “colour proofs”, a description “trials” seems more appropriate. Both stamp and surrounding border are in the same colour: since the halftone screen then appears in the stamp edges, these look faintly coloured instead of white. This suggests they may have been found unacceptable for that reason and the alternative was adopted. With this, the issued sheet achieved white edges to the stamp by printing around its coloured halftone a box in black with inner-facing perforations. In so doing, the box was printed inverted in comparison with the series of colour trials.

The known colours are:
                Carmine stamp and border.
                Orange stamp and border.
                Green stamp and border.
                Grey-blue stamp and border.
                (The printing in black was not seen.)
The green trial and the issued yellow-green are different shades, readily distinguished by noting the colour of the border.

[1972-306].  1 November 1972  BPE, London W1

Souvenir card. The 1956 Malta 10s. St.Paul was reproduced on a glazed card by John Waddington using the “Kirketch process”. This appears to be a typographic rendering of the recess-printed original stamp.

Cachet. A circular datestamp BRITISH PHILATELIC / EXHIBITION 1 NOV 1972 in red was seen as a control marking: it underprinted the stamp in addition to the serial number already struck in black on the reverse of the souvenir card. The same datestamp for 4 NOV 1972 is known in black, red, blue and green, all struck on the reverse of a single card. This was presumed to be a reference copy for this trade-sample marking.

[1972-351].  16 December 1972  Royal Silver Wedding Stamp Exhibition, Ringwood

An imaginative design for the souvenir sheets gave enlarged reproductions of the 1972 GB 3p Silver Wedding stamp to illustrate errors. Sheet (1) shows “silver omitted” and sheet (2) has “transposed value”. In turn, sheet (1) is known with an error of its own!

Souvenir sheet (1) – error. In the error sheet the black-brown colour is omitted, so that the portraits of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are absent from the stamp.

Souvenir sheet (1) – trial. Advertised as a “proof”, this is probably more accurately a trial printing. The right-hand caption in the issued sheet is in Palace Script, an ornate sloping typeface often used on compliments slips and formal invitations. The trial has this caption set in the most widely used typeface for printing text – Times Roman, upright letters in the same face as the sheet heading.

Souvenir sheet (2). The error being illustrated on this sheet arises from a misperforated horizontal pair, causing the value to be transposed. Here, though, it appears to have been assembled from a normal pair rather than an actual example.

[1973-057].  26 February 1973  Stampex, London SW1

Souvenir sheet. The sheet reproduced two Royal Silver Wedding stamps, the 1948 £1 George VI & Queen Elizabeth and the 1972 20p Queen Elizabeth & Duke of Edinburgh.

The sheet also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Stampex, the current year 1973. The rather confusing large date “1972” was meant to refer to the Silver Wedding of that year, not the exhibition.

[1973-096].  5 April 1973  North-West Showpex, Manchester

Souvenir sheet. The sheet had Europa as theme and appears to have been remaindered, since three private overprints are known for untraced exhibitions, each additionally overprinted “Specimen”. Whether there were such exhibitions needs establishing.

Private overprint (1). Reads “Europa Exhibition” in black and listed by Rosen as from “1973 Europa Stamp Exhibition”. Was this part of the main Showpex?

Private overprint (2). Reads “EUROPA 1974” in scarlet and listed by Rosen for a “1974 Europa Exhibition”. The sheet is catalogued twice at X43A and X60.

Private overprint (3). Reads “EUROPA 1975” in royal blue and listed by Rosen for a “1975 Europa Stamp Exhibition”.

[1973-186].  4 July 1973  APEX 73 International Airmail Exhibition, Manchester

As with the great APEX of 1934, this further major exhibition was inventive of souvenirs appropriate to the airmail speciality. There were flights taking in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man; a facsimile of the rare “Lifeboat Saturday” postcard, and balloon mail to carry it just as it had been originally. A novelty of 1934 was also repeated – mail by carrier pigeon.

Pigeongram. A card (180 x 83mm) containing at left a microfilm chip secured in a cut-out window. The reverse is litho printed in black with exhibition details and logo. Bears 1973 3p European Communities postage stamp cancelled 6 July 1973 with exhibition special postmark and addressed to Head Post Office, Manchester.

Printed information that pigeons were “released from Kodak House, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire” [where the microfilm was prepared?]. Faint rubber stamp in red at top left of face reads “Pigeons released on 18 June 1973 at 16.08 hrs. Direct flight to Windsor Berks.” Hence the microfilm mail was carried in advance of the exhibition ready for postmarking and sale there.

[1973-248].  4 September 1973  Showpex 73, London W1

Private overprint. The souvenir sheet reproduced typo the GB 1966 2s.6d. Westminster Abbey postage stamp in its original black colour but enlarged in size. The overprint reads “In honour of / ROYAL WEDDING / of / PRINCESS ANNE / 14th November, 1973”. Unusually, overprinting is in white ink; it is in consequence indistinct and best viewed with the sheet at an angle to the eye. (Another instance of white ink can be found on the 1925 postage dues of Albania.) Its choice here may have been dictated by the original sheet colours of black on gold-surfaced paper.

The exact date of the wedding would have been known at exhibition time in September, but until an overprinted sheet was seen on cover postmarked there, the overprint was regarded as private and posthumous to the exhibition.

[1973-305A].  31 October 1973  BPE, London W1

For the souvenir sheet, Bradbury Wilkinson’s reproduction commemorated the 60th anniversary of Sir Bertram Mackennal’s Seahorses design for the KGV high values, which had been engraved by J.A.C.Harrison. (It has been featured also on the £1.46 postage stamp booklet of March 1983, notable for misspelling Mackennal’s name.)

The reproduction appears to be a version taken at about Stage 6 during preparation of the master die, when Britannia’s shield was cleared for re-engraving the Union Jack emblem. Stage 6 in the SG Great Britain Specialised Catalogue is captioned as having no circles at the top though they are present in its illustration; except for one circle at the extreme left, they are present on this die proof. The BPE’s information sheet states “this souvenir was printed from a plate laid down from a roller made in approximately 1912 by the Royal Mint and now in the possession of the Post Office”.

Souvenir sheet. Uncut sheets of four of the souvenir, in both ordinary (greenish blue) and presentation (crimson) versions, had been seen; they were “four up”, i.e. souvenir sheets disposed 2 x 2 on the printer’s sheet. Presumably supplied for pre-production approval, they were present in the reference collection of the BPE. The albums for this had been mounted and written up by the late Leon Rapkin, through whose kindness I was able to examine them in the late 1980s.

[1973-335].  30 November 1973  Second Olympia Exhibition, London

The souvenir card is headed “Second Olympia Exhibition” with dates 30 November – 1 December 1973. No souvenirs of the First, nor any other “Olympia Exhibition”, were traced, so it is not known what connection this had with philately, if any.

[1974-124].  3 May 1974  Festival of Stamps, London SE1

The first of its kind, on 3-6 May 1974 the Stamp Collecting Promotion Council organised a “Festival of Stamps” at London’s Royal Festival Hall, deliberately aimed to attract the non-collector. The Council underwent several reorganisations with changes of name and personnel in subsequent years and its ultimate fate is not known.

PVS sheet. Much emphasis was placed on the postal validity of the souvenir sheet. The presentation pack stated: “The unique Souvenir Sheet … is the first British Commemorative Exhibition Sheet to be recognised by the British Post Office, as having postal validity”. The words “Exhibition Sheet” makes this technically correct, an earlier contender’s sto sheet making a political protest rather than celebrating an exhibition. This was Express Stamp Auctions of Wembley objecting to the new VAT tax the year before [database 1973-091].
The present sheet reproduced the Penny Black actual size, suitably defaced with a tablet at foot of the bust dated “6th MAY 1974”. It was lettered SL, said by John Davies (Philatelic Paraphernalia No.15 p.185) to stand for Sidney Leverton, the Festival’s organiser.

The stamping-to-order at right of the gummed sheet was with ½p turquoise-blue and 3p blue octagonal Machin postal stationery dies. (The illustration to Davies’s article has no ½p, perhaps a simple fault in the magazine printing.)

Specimen. In addition to a litho overprint SPECIMEN across the Machin stamps, the PVS sheet was numbered on reverse at bottom right by numbering machine. The caption “This Souvenir Sheet has postal validity” has not been obliterated and this statement cannot be so

[1974-134].  13 May 1974  Forest Philharmonic Society

Souvenir card. The card reproduced the GB 1972 9p Vaughan Williams postage stamp and a hand-drawn cds ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL / LONDON, listed by Rosen as X47. His preceding entry X46 is for the Festival of Stamps PVS sheet overprinted “F.P.S. / 10th Anniversary / Royal Festival Hall May 1974” [private overprint 1974-124-04] with attendant Specimen and 100 numbered first day covers.
No explanation is given of the meaning of “F.P.S.”; nothing was found elsewhere of an event that seemed connected with it. The initials mean Forest Philharmonic Society (one of Gerald Rosen’s interests was classical music). I assumed for the database the Society possibly had an anniversary exhibit at the Festival of Stamps. This speculation would now benefit from proper research, though the Festival’s “catalogue” has no list of exhibits itself.

[1974-335B].  30 November 1974  Churchill Centenary Exhibition, Camberley

One of the souvenir cards surfaced with a private overprint, whether at the exhibition or shortly after is not known.

Private overprint. Souvenir card [01] printed typo with blue surround, no gum, size 106 x 139mm is overprinted in gold “10th ANNIVERSARY OF DEATH – January 24th 1975”.

[1975-056].  25 February 1975  Stampex, London SW1

The souvenir sheet was a litho reproduction of Waterlow’s recess-printed miniature sheet produced for the UN in 1955; this had been the first from the international organisation, nowadays a very expensive item. The souvenir sheet had an imperf coupon at the left-hand side.

Private label. For this item a self-adhesive “Interphil ’76” label was affixed over the coupon. The label (95 x 45mm), printed litho in vermilion and black, is numbered at foot in black letterpress. It was probably originally a publicity label, with the numbering added for the Stampex sheet. Rushstamps advertised it among “latest releases” in the Rosen green-cover Catalogue published about June 1976: Interphil, the Seventh US International Philatelic Exhibition, was held at the Philadelphia Civic Center 29 May – 6 June 1976.

Whether the souvenir was originally created for the US exhibition and was on sale there is not clear. If so, strictly speaking it is outside the scope of the database catalogue. The fact that a year-old Stampex sheet with a UN theme was utilised is suggestive of appealing primarily to American collectors with their known strong interest in UN material.

The original miniature sheet bore the inscription “Issued by the United Nations Postal Administration”. For the souvenir sheet there is wisely inserted beside the coupon “Reproduced by Stampex Limited”. Its edition had been 12,500: the fact that remainders were available for the Interphil item seems to confirm the decline in popularity that had overtaken exhibition souvenirs by the 1970s.

[1976-089].  29 March 1976  Forest Philharmonic Society, London

Souvenir card. (And see 1974-134 above.) Rosen’s X79, the card gave enlarged imperf reproductions in black of the GB 1957 Scout Jubilee Jamboree set. The inscription reads “Royal Festival Hall / March 29 1976”. It  hardly seems likely this was another anniversary – a 12th would be unusual. Was it a memento of a concert – the Festival Hall would be appropriate – or was there a stamp exhibition at the venue? The absence of any information on the souvenir card or elsewhere makes it another item needing research.

A plain f.d.c. was seen cancelled with an operational London SE1 c.d.s. It had numbering-machine numerals on the reverse and Rosen says they read from 1 to 225. The printed address read Forest Philharmonic Society, Royal Festival Hall, London, S.E.1. Franking was by a pair of the 1975 4½p + 1½p Health & Handicap Funds stamps plus a pair of ½p Machin definitives. The choice of Britain’s only charity issue for postage suggests the event may have been a fund-raising concert after all.

[1976-143A].  22 May 1976  Camberley Stamp Fair

Private overprint. The souvenir card featured a portrait of George Washington and advantage was taken of the US connection to apply a private overprint. Whether this was available at the Fair or was made posthumously is not known. The overprint, letterpress in gold ink across the foot of the portrait, reads INTERPHIL ’76. The remarks made above [1975-056] about the private label affixed to a Stampex souvenir sheet apply here too.

[1977-156].  4 June 1977  Windsor Silver Jubilee Stamp Exhibition

Private overprints. The souvenir sheet has a portrait of the Queen and, at bottom right, appears the official Jubilee emblem printed in silver. Permission was needed to use the emblem and it was in two versions, incorporating either the English or the Scottish crown. For her Silver Jubilee the Queen undertook extensive tours in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from May to August and the souvenir sheet was privately overprinted accordingly.

None of the overprinted sheets had been seen, but they had been advertised by the Camberley Stamp Co. on the back cover of the Rosen catalogue (red-cover edition, 1979). The overprint reads “Royal Tour of England” (and similarly for the other three regions) on sheets with an English-crown emblem, total four kinds; but another four are listed where the crown is Scottish, grand total eight. All overprinting is in silver and Camberley’s ambiguous reference “800 numbered sets” is taken to mean 100 copies of each of the eight overprinted sheets.

The advertisement also offers “proofs in yellow” of the basic souvenir sheet in both versions. This probably simply means an extra printing on yellow paper, especially as the inevitable SPECIMEN overprint is also listed for both sorts of “yellow proof” in an edition of 100 each type.

All this unseen private material was ignored for the database catalogue, nor was it considered worth purchasing. Rosen’s listing does not go beyond early 1976, so the material is absent there.

[1977-250].  6 September 1977  Showpex 77, London W1

The souvenir sheet illustrates the GB 1887 Queen Victoria Jubilee set in full (but with the changes of colour for ½d. and 1s. of 1900). Remainders were given a thematic overprint.

Private overprint. In black letterpress above and below the stamps, the overprint reads “Charles & Diana / Royal Wedding / 1981”. The lack of a precise date in 1981 suggests it was applied when the engagement was announced and before the July wedding day was fixed.

[1978-154].  2 June 1978  Windsor Stamp Exhibition

Said to have been held 2-3 June, nothing was traced of the venue or the organisers. The souvenir sheet is a photograph of the Queen’s Coronation, printing credited to Bradbury Wilkinson in a Camberley Stamp Centre advertisement in Rosen’s red-cover catalogue (1979). The sheet would presumably commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Coronation.

Private overprints. Letterpress overprints were added in gold ink at the foot of the sheet:
        [03]  ROYAL VISIT TO JERSEY 27th JUNE
        [05]  ROYAL VISIT TO / ALDERNEY and SARK 29th JUNE.
Contemporary news reports need checking to establish if these refer to 1978 or were another segment of the 1977 series undertaken by the Queen for her Silver Jubilee (see 1977-156, above).

[1979-043].  12 February 1979  10th Anniversary NPM Opening, London EC1

Cover. The illustrated cover issued to commemorate the anniversary of the National Postal Museum was stamped-to-order with the 9p violet octagonal postal stationery die, printed photogravure and with phosphor bands. It was withdrawn from sale 2 October 1981 at the closure of the current exhibition “Ten Years of Decimal Machins” (6 May – 2 Oct 1981). Whether there had also been an exhibition at the time of issuing the cover in February 1979 was not noted.

[1980-127C]  6 May 1980  London 1980 International Stamp Exhibition

Sample (1). The House of Questa produced as a sample of their work a souvenir sheet showing Big Ben, Concorde and the British Telecom Tower; a Heidelberg printing machine was in operation at their stand. The sheet illustrated in the exhibition catalogue (p.73) is imperforate, has a pale blue (not pale grey) surround, and bears an additional caption “International Stamp Exhibition 6-14 May 1980” above the labels. The same in black and white appears in the Post Office Philatelic Bulletin for May 1980. It was probably a preliminary design distributed for press publicity.

Sample (2). Harrison & Sons had as sample a souvenir sheet combining three printing processes. The label printed photogravure showed the Machin head of the Queen; se-tenant was a recess-printed label of Queen Victoria as depicted on the Penny Black, newly engraved by Geoffrey Holt. At the Company stand a single-colour Roland offset-litho press applied an exhibition logo below the labels, the third process. The photo and recess portions had already been printed at the High Wycombe factory (probably by the Jumelle press).

Sample (4). Walsall Security Printers’ sample souvenir sheet was a facsimile of the 1843 Zürich 4 rappen Cantonal stamp, the first lithographed stamp to be issued. The printer re-created it “on a 19th century litho stone press using the original craft techniques” shown at the exhibition. The catalogue (p.75) illustrates the “finished engraving from which the final transfer [was] taken”.

[1980-275B].  1 October 1980  BPE, Wembley

Souvenir sheet. A trade sample had the BRITISH PHILATELIC EXHIBITION cds dated 18 AUG 1980 on the reverse.

[1980-275C].  1 October 1980  Cinderella Stamp Club 21st Anniversary

Publicity label. The Club’s journal, The Cinderella Philatelist, revived a practice from 19th century philatelic literature by including a free gift with each quarterly number. This has continued without break from No.1, published in 1961, through the generosity of members in donating suitable Cinderella items each time.

The gift with the October 1980 issue marked the Club’s 21st anniversary; additional labels could be had at 5p each. It showed the Club logo cancelled with a Dockwra handstamp. The production details published with the label (Vol.20 p.62) were: printed in scarlet in sheets of 16 (4 x 4) on self-adhesive paper and rouletted. Designed by John Gilbert and John Holman. Printed by S & M Printing Services, Dartford, Kent in quantity 2000 labels.

[1981-273].  29 September 1981  BPE, Wembley

Souvenir sheet (1). Marking the 70th anniversary of the KGV Downey Head design, the sheet reproduced the unadopted 3d. and 4d.values actual size. Printing was said to be from the original dies presented to the National Postal Museum by the Royal Mint in 1980.

The Downey Head of the King for his definitive stamps was based on a photograph by W. and D.Downey, hence the name. (The information sheet with the souvenir misspells the designer’s name as “Mackennel” instead of Mackennal.) During the exhibition on 30 September a £1.30 postage stamp booklet in the Postal History series was issued featuring the Downey Head; special postmark (2) for that day recorded the fact.

The souvenir sheet was presented to paid-up members of the NPS by Mrs Eliane Hollings in some copies of the December 1994 Stamp Lover. Also, both the souvenir and information sheets were included with Glenn Morgan’s British Stamp Exhibitions catalogue when published in 1995 “with compliments of the British Philatelic Trust”. These gifts must suggest there were several hundred sheets existing as remainders from the exhibition.

Souvenir sheet (3). Walsall Security Printers’ souvenir sheet showed the vignette, without territory designation, as used for the 1981 Royal Wedding omnibus issue, the latter organised by the Crown Agents. The sheet inscription reads “Sept.29 – Oct.2” and there are special postmarks for each of these days. The exhibition catalogue, however, includes in the hours of opening 5-8 pm on Monday, 28 September.

[1982-280].  6 October 1982  BPE, Wembley

Souvenir sheet (1). The reproduced stamp was the GB 1882 £5 orange. As with the 1981 BPE sheet (see preceding entry), some copies of the December 1994 Stamp Lover contained the present sheet (plus the information sheet), a gift to NPS members from Mrs Eliane Hollings. Numbers of remainders must therefore have existed at that date.

Postcard (2). Specialist dealer in Post Office cards, Ian Andrew of Reading, publicised the exhibition and his stand No.36 with a privately produced postcard. This illustrated the Wembley Conference Centre in black and white with stand details on the reverse.

[1986-288].  14 October 1986  BPE, London SW1

Postcard. No souvenir sheet had been issued by the organisers. Instead, the National Postal Museum issued on opening day a postcard depicting the painting of Queen Victoria by Heinrich von Angeli (1885), which was familiar from its original use on postal stationery postcards in 1889. The Museum was concurrently staging an exhibition of postal stationery and it ran from 11 August to 23 December 1986.

[1987-063].  3 March 1987  Spring Stampex, London SW1

Cachet. No souvenir sheet was issued by the organisers. On the National Postal Museum’s stand was a hand-operated Krag stamp-cancelling machine fitted with a triangular die numbered 318. This and a franking machine with the Museum’s own cachet could be operated by the public, but not to cancel postage stamps or other indications of postage.

[1987-266].  22 September 1987  Autumn Stampex/BPE, London SW1

Souvenir card. No souvenir sheet was issued by the organisers, but this exhibition saw the first use in Britain of the Post Office’s own souvenir – Exhibition Card No.1.

In explanation, the relevant Post Office News Release MNE(R) 93 dated 12 June 1987 is quoted in full:


The Royal Mail is introducing a special philatelic souvenir exhibition card for visitors to international stamp shows, starting this month.

Collectors who buy the card at stamp exhibitions can have their card cancelled with a special cachet, exclusive to that exhibition, giving the name and dates of the show. Cards bought at exhibitions will also be numbered on the reverse.

The card will be issued from tomorrow (June 13) to coincide with the opening of the Capex ’87 philatelic exhibition in Canada. The card’s design, in full colour, is based on the Flower stamps issued in January this year. Each card will carry the 31p and 34p Flower stamps, cancelled with “Royal Mail Exhibition Card No.1, Edinburgh, 13 June 1987”.

The cards will be on sale from the British Philatelic Bureau and Post Office stands at designated stamp exhibitions at home and overseas, for one year, price £1. Each card will have room for only one cachet and cachets will be available at exhibitions only. [Followed by list of 5 exhibitions June 1987 – March 1988 where available.]

Note to Editors. The card will be A5 size and printed in a combination of two colour litho and two colour intaglio on the front of the card and two colour litho on the back. There will be a multilingual text on the reverse of the card describing the Flower issue with the address of the British Philatelic Bureau. On the front the bottom left hand corner will be left free for the application of the cachet. Cards bearing a special exhibition cachet will be available only at the exhibition concerned. Cancelled cards without a cachet or a number will be available from the British Philatelic Bureau.

The series issued over the years comprised four different designs before the enterprise was abandoned by Royal Mail. They had duly appeared in Britain at each Spring and Autumn Stampex but no more were forthcoming after Spring Stampex in February 1991 [database 1991-057]. No special announcement about this development was encountered, but that was by no means unusual for the Post Office. Presumably collectors, already saturated with an abundance of Royal Mail products, virtually ignored exhibition souvenirs and they proved uneconomic to produce and market.
        The only detail to be added to the News Release above is that the elaborate combination of litho and recess printing was the work of Debdens Security Print, Essex, an unfamiliar name.

[1988-061A].  1 March 1988  Spring Stampex, London SW1

Cachet (1). The cachet available at the NPM stand was a Krag triangular die 579 (North Walsham, Norfolk) between five wavy lines and a circular dumb cancel. It was applied in black to NPM postcard 88/1, Loading Mail on the Post Office Railway c.1938.

[1995-118].  27 April 1995  Stamp 95 Exhibition, Wembley

Souvenir sheet. The souvenir sheet was distributed with the Exhibition Guide, also the SG Great Britain Concise Stamp Catalogue, 10th edition of April 1995.


Totals per Decade of Philatelic Souvenirs listed in the Database

  No.     Years   No.        Years   No.
1890-99 41      1930-39 101     1970-79 1046
1900-09 5        1940-49 91       1980-89 1000
1910-19 59      1950-59 174     1990-99 915
1920-29 53      1960-69 740     Grand Total     4225

The 12 records later than 1999 are disregarded. Added to the above would be many hundreds of postal souvenirs if these are also to be collected (see section 6).