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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]
May 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee Conversazione
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
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.
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
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.
July 1890 Uniform Penny Postage Jubilee
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
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
First-day provincial usages
noted in Hudson GB postal history lists
Within Kendal (Jan90/M44)
St.Leonards on Sea to London, registered
(Aug89/G40; re-offered Sep90/U30)
Within Looe, envelope + card both used (Nov90/V63)
Within Bedford, registered (May
Unaddressed envelope Whaley
Bridge, single-ring cds (Jul91/C20; re-offered
Oct 92/R19 + May93/Z38)
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
Used 26.7.90 with
1d. lilac London to Ramsgate (Bauschke
p.77, ex Hudson Oct87/C29)
26.7.90 to Ramsgate (Hudson Feb89/B22)
Used 13.8.90 with 1d. lilac within Birmingham
(Hudson Mar89/C33; re-offered Mar91/Z36
Used AU – 1890 London to
Warrington (PB Feb 1980 p.92)
usage: Used 24.11.28 with 1½d. KGV
London Stamp Exhibition to Birmingham (Hudson
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
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
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.
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?
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
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.
June 1899 International Philatelic
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
Sheet. No sheet size has
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.
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
April 1910 2nd Philatelic Congress,
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
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.
June 1911 3rd Philatelic Congress,
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”
Sheet. Morris does not specify
the colours of the single rouletted sheet
he says was produced nor comment on its
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
Postcards. Of the set of
12, ten were seen in the RPSL Collection
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
1. Her Ladyship The Countess
of Warwick Congress Patron
Castle, from the River
C.C. [= County Councillor] Chairman
of Congress Exec. Cttee; Congress Chairman;
President, Birmingham PS
G.Johnson, B.A. Hon.Sec. & Treasurer
Exec. Cttee and Congress; Hon.Sec. Birmingham
5. H.Barnwell Cttee
6. C.J.Phillips Cttee
7. W.Pimm Cttee member
8. F.T.Collier Delegate, Birmingham
9. H.Grindall Delegate, Birmingham
10. W.F.Wadams Delegate,
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?
May 1912 4th Philatelic Congress,
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
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
April 1913 5th Philatelic Congress,
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,
 vignette inverted and  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
Undated postmarks from Congress
are known, struck on blank registration
labels (Hudson Nov93/E103; Jefferies photocopy
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
May 1914 6th Philatelic Congress,
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.
May 1920 7th Philatelic Congress,
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
June 1922 9th Philatelic Congress,
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.
May 1923 London International Stamp
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
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.
June 1926 13th Philatelic Congress,
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).
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.
January 1932 Pageant of Postage Stamps,
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.
June 1932 19th Philatelic Congress,
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.
May 1933 20th Philatelic Congress,
Souvenir label. The label
was issued in sheets  printed on seven
different types of paper, accompanied by
an identifying information card . 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.
May 1934 APEX International Air Post
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
Postcard (1). The set of
6 real-photo postcards in black and white
showing aerophilately rarities and famous
1905 newspaper pigeon post of Le Matin,
1911 first UK Aerial Post card.
1919 Newfoundland “Hawker”.
1920 first Chinese airmail.
Capt. Harry Butler flown postcard.
Franklin Relief Expedition message and balloon.
June 1935 22nd Philatelic Congress,
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
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.
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,
February 1937 Airmail Exhibition,
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
January 1940 Centenary of Uniform
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.
May 1940 27th Philatelic Congress,
Cover (2). Mulready
facsimile in black on cream stock, with
Congress details on back flap. Size 152
x 96mm. Sold at 3d.
May 1940 Stamp Centenary Exhibition,
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
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.
May 1940 Adhesive Stamp Centenary
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
March 1947 National Stamp Exhibition,
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”.
November 1947 National Stamp Exhibition,
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
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.
exhibitions traced for the database catalogue
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.
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.
20-27 Nov 1947 McLellan Galleries,
[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
National Stamp Exhibition
[1947-063] 3-8 Mar 1947 Central
Hall, Westminster, London SW1. Organised
by Stamp Collectors’ Association.
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,
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
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
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.
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.
7 Jan 1956 Renamed Stampex.
[1959-073]. 13 Mar 1959 First
souvenir sheet issued, using a UN stamp
to illustrate Central Hall.
exhibition because of forthcoming London
International (9 July).
5 Mar 1969 Transferred to Horticultural
[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
[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
Jan 1996 Transfer of Spring and Autumn
Stampexes to Business Centre, London N1.
[Date] 1957 Boys and Girls Exhibition,
Earl’s Court, London
No dates for this exhibition
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
This suggests a possibility
there may still be remainders in the unperforated
July 1960 London International Stamp
Postmark. Two items of artwork
for the special postmark were offered in
October 1961 Surrey Philatelic Exhibition
and Convention, Woking
Meter. The Convention illustrated
cover  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 London Stamp Exhibition, Hilton
No dates for this exhibition
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 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].
December 1962 Eurostamp London Stamp
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
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
On sheet 01, blue stamps, red-brown surround,
On sheet 05, blue stamps, light turquoise-blue
surround, black overprint.
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
On sheet 01, blue stamps, red-brown surround,
On sheet 05, blue stamps, light turquoise-blue
surround, black overprint.
indistinct portrait of David Ben-Gurion
(1886-1973). Left margin with English and
Hebrew inscriptions for 80th birthday. Right
margin with Israeli flag
On sheet 01, blue stamps, red-brown surround,
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)
(d) 10th ANNIVERSARY
OF / EUROPA ISSUES / 1956-1965
On sheet 05, blue stamps, light turquoise-blue
surround, black overprint.
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
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
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
On sheet 10, stamp background orange.
Royale Stamp Co. price-list indicated sheet
, grey-blue background, was also overprinted.
Not seen. Rosen cites the unknown “1968
Exhibition” for this overprint.
Lunar-module silhouette and FIRST MAN ON
MOON / 21 JULY 1969
On sheet 10, stamp background orange.
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?
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  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.
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
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
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
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.
November 1963 Polish PS Thematic Exhibition,
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 …”.
October 1964 Southern Stamp Fair,
Held 22-24 October at the
Ceylon Tea Centre, Lower Regent Street,
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.
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
(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.)
July 1966 Great Britain PS Stamp Exhibition,
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.
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
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.
September 1970 39th FIP Congress,
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.
March 1971 Stampex, London SW1
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.)
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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
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
The known colours are:
stamp and border.
stamp and border.
stamp and border.
stamp and border.
printing in black was not seen.)
green trial and the issued yellow-green
are different shades, readily distinguished
by noting the colour of the border.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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”.
July 1973 APEX 73 International Airmail
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
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.
September 1973 Showpex 73, London
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
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.
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.
November 1973 Second Olympia Exhibition,
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.
May 1974 Festival of Stamps, London
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
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
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.
November 1974 Churchill Centenary
One of the souvenir cards
surfaced with a private overprint, whether
at the exhibition or shortly after is not
Private overprint. Souvenir
card  printed typo with blue surround,
no gum, size 106 x 139mm is overprinted
in gold “10th ANNIVERSARY OF DEATH – January
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.
March 1976 Forest Philharmonic Society,
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
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.
22 May 1976 Camberley Stamp
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.
June 1977 Windsor Silver Jubilee Stamp
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
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.
September 1977 Showpex 77, London
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.
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
Private overprints. Letterpress
overprints were added in gold ink at the
foot of the sheet:
ROYAL VISIT TO JERSEY 27th JUNE
ROYAL VISIT TO GUERNSEY 28th JUNE
ROYAL VISIT TO / ALDERNEY and SARK
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).
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.
May 1980 London 1980 International
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”.
October 1980 BPE, Wembley
Souvenir sheet. A trade sample
had the BRITISH PHILATELIC EXHIBITION cds
dated 18 AUG 1980 on the reverse.
October 1980 Cinderella Stamp Club
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 1987 Spring Stampex, London
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.
September 1987 Autumn Stampex/BPE,
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
In explanation, the relevant
Post Office News Release MNE(R) 93 dated
12 June 1987 is quoted in full:
FLOWERS BLOOM ON ROYAL MAIL
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
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
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
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
1 March 1988 Spring Stampex,
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
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
Years 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
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