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VINTAGE ARTICLE MAY 4, 1935 THE KING AS PHILATELIST: STAMPS IN HIS MAJESTY’S GREAT COLLECTION KING GEORGE V THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS ANTIQUARIAN & COLLECTABLES | PHILATELY / STAMPS | ROYAL STAMP COLLECTION | ARTICLE | PRINTS | PAPER & EPHEMERA | ENGLAND | HERITAGE | UNITED KINGDOM | British & Far East Traders Lifestyle & Shopping Blog
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VINTAGE ARTICLE

MAY 4, 1935

THE KING AS PHILATELIST:

STAMPS IN HIS MAJESTY’S GREAT COLLECTION

KING GEORGE V

THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS

ANTIQUARIAN & COLLECTABLES |

PHILATELY / STAMPS |

ROYAL STAMP COLLECTION | 

ARTICLE | PRINTS | PAPER & EPHEMERA |

ENGLAND | HERITAGE | UNITED KINGDOM

 
DETAILS:
 

MEASUREMENTS:

9 inches x 13 1/2 inches

 

THE KING AS PHILATELIST:

STAMPS IN HIS MAJESTY’S GREAT COLLECTION

   

Stamp-collecting has been one of the King’s hobbies since boyhood. 

In early manhood His Majesty

decided to restrict his collections to the stamps

Of the British Empire.

     

In the course of the years,

these collections have been developed

with loving care on indefinite historical and scientific lines. 

   

The royal collection now extends

over some two hundred albums,

and contains not only most of the actual stamp varieties 

ever issued in the Empire,

including the rarities, 

but also many unusual items,

throwing light upon the origin and growth

of the system of prepaying postage

by means of stamps.

   

It is this historical matter,

as much as the many superb examples of the stamps,

that makes the royal stamp collection

the most fascinating ever formed.

   

A few of these special items,

many of which are not to be found in other collections,

are shown here. 

   

Most of them represent important stages

in the inception and evolution of our stamps,

but they can only give a slight indication

of the Empire-wide scope

covered in the great range of albums.

   

The King has the original pencil design

in the outline for the historic envelope

by William Mulready, R.A.

This was sold at a London auction on April 28, 1864,

when it was stated by the auctioneer

that this was the only sketch of the design made by the artist.

 

A note in the royal collection says

that from statements made by Mr. Mulready to his friends,

it would appear that the original idea for the design

was given to him by Queen Victoria

and was carried out by the artist

in accordance with her Majesty’s suggestions. 

 

AVAILABLE HERE

 

 

These are rough water-colour sketches,
marked 1d. and 2d. respectively,
of the first postage stamps,
the lower value in black and the other in blue.
They were formerly in the possession of Sir Rowland Hill,
introducer of the penny postage,
and were sent by him in 1840
to the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Sir F.T. Baring,
to show him how the stamps would look.
Many trial engravings and proofs were made
before our first stamps came into being.
Here is seen (left) a stamp with the Queen’s head,
but with a background which was rejected
in favour of one in the form shown on the right,
but without the head.
This enlargement of the stamp shown at the left centre,
without the lettering,
shows the beautiful engraving of the Queen’s profile
and the effective design.
One of the choicest blocks of rare stamps in the royal collection
is an unsevered group of five of the second 2d. stamp of Mauritius,
inscribed “Post Paid”
The first stamp in the block is the very rare error
reading “Penoe” for “Pence”.
The Mauritius portion of the royal collection
includes both the historic rarities called the “Post Office” stamps.
The 1d. red is here seen used,
and is still on the original letter on which it was posted
in Mauritius in 1847.
This stamp was formerly in the collection of the late Earl of Kintore.
A proof from a small experimental plate, made in 1841.
of twelve of the “Two Pence”,
having white lines above and below,
but no letters in the lower corners.
When King Edward VII came to the throne,
his son took a great interest in the new stamps
that had to be prepared for his reign.
The royal collection has many interesting examples
of the essays or suggested designs
submitted by contractors to the authorities.
Chief among the King Edward VII items
are the two original photographic proofs of the accepted stamp,
actually approved and initialled by King Edward.
On the proof approved for the frame surround,
a note indicates that the head is leaning too far forward.
The other proof shows the rejected frame design,
but gives the correct pose for the head.
At the time of King Edward’s death in 1910,
a new 2d. stamp was ready for issue,
but its circulation was not proceeded with,
and practically the whole edition was destroyed.
This page from King George’s collection
shows an unused pair of this stamp from the corner of a sheet,
and also one used on a letter addressed
to the then Prince of Wales on May 5,
the day before he became King.
This is the only used copy known of this stamp,
which has, therefore,
an extraordinary rarity value.

 

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