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A Jubilee Reminiscence

Introduction

My exhibit commemorates fifty years since the introduction of Uniform Penny Postage and the world's first stamp, the Penny Black in 1890 through the major events held in that year. The collection, now over 600 pages, was inspired by the exhibits in the Court of Honour at Stamp World London '90 and the reproductions of the 1890 postal stationery available at that Show.

The collection has been built up over the past twenty five years through a wide range of sources, including the acquisition of major collections formed by the late Francis Kiddle RDP, Theo Jones and Donald Turner. In addition, by way of example, I also recently discovered the archive in the form of a scrapbook of E G Thompson, a Post Office Official at both the Guildhall and South Kensington Exhibitions, through a bookseller. It included a number of Instructions for Duty and Official Tickets, not previously known, which form part of the exhibit.

Displays of the material are regularly shown to Societies in the UK and I have published articles in several magazines and journals including The Great Britain Philatelic Society, National Philatelic Society, The British Philatelic Bulletin and Stamp & Coin Mart about the collection. Examples include GBPS Journal Jan/Feb 2012: The Genesis of the Jubilee Envelope and March/April 2007: the 1890 Christmas Card.

Extracts from the collection (different sections) have been shown frequently to support ABPS national exhibitions in the UK. In 2011 at Sheffield, the exhibit achieved a large gold medal with 94 points and was the first entry to achieve "Best in Show" with an entry in the Open Philately Class. Five frames were shown at the London 2015 International Exhibition (FEPA/Europhilex), relating solely to the Guildhall Exhibition, achieving a large gold medal with 95 points.

The display for the World Stamp Show in New York has been extended to eight frames to include additional material from the South Kensington Exhibition and the Genesis of the Jubilee Envelope. The additional section on the Jubilee Envelope largely comprises the complete De La Rue Archive material that was originally sold in the 1970's and is unique. The Guildhall section has been reduced to four frames leaving in the most important items.

Title and Plan: Feedback from the Judges in 2015 suggested that the entry would be improved by the addition of some "non-paper" items and this has been done, where practical (some medals in my collection are too deep to fit within the frames). In addition the plan has been extended to give more clarity to the structure of the exhibit, as suggested.

Treatment: The exhibit focuses on the two major events, held in 1890, to commemorate Uniform Penny Postage. In each case, the exhibit covers the arrangements for them, the displays which formed parts of the Exhibitions, the commemorative postal stationery produced (GB's first such issues) and studies of the special cancellations produced for the events (also the first of their kind in GB).

Knowledge and Research: Personal Research has been undertaken at the British Postal Museum and Archive (now known as The Postal Museum), the Guildhall Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum (formerly known as the South Kensington Museum) to add to established sources. Surprisingly, the records of the V&A were sent for destruction in the 1950's and have not been retained.

Condition & Rarity: Rarity is indicated, where known, on the sheets and many items have not been seen in other collections of this material.

Items of special interest include:

Pages 6/7 -- Duties of the Committee and Committee Badge
Page 18 -- Specimen of the Guildhall Invitation
Pages 25/26 -- The Guildhall Proofs
Page 38 -- Guildhall Telegraph Message
Page 44 -- Plate Proof of the Guildhall Letter Card
Page 49 -- Penny Black cancelled at Guildhall
Page 52 -- Cover to the Prince of Wales from the Postmaster General
Page 57 -- Proof Sheet of the S3 Guildhall handstamp
Pages 71/72 -- Instructions for Duty at South Kensington
Page 74 -- Card to Frederic Hill (Rowland Hill's brother) regarding the opening ceremony
Page 78 -- South Kensington Bag Label
Page 83 -- Contemporary Photograph of the Exhibition
Page 89 -- Proof Sheet of the Jubilee handstamps
Page 95 -- Mulready Paper Trial cancelled at South Kensington

The section on the Genesis of the Jubilee Envelope is largely based on the original De La Rue Archive was sold in the 1970's (Provenance: ex F.Kiddle) and is unique, including:

Page 100 -- The original sketch by F E Baines for the design of the envelope
Page 108 -- Final approved proof
Page 117 -- Approved Proof of the Jubilee Envelope wrapper
Page 121 -- Ink Recipe
Page 123 -- Official envelope for circulation to Post Offices
Page 124 -- Specimen of the Jubilee envelope


(link)

Frame 1

Introduction
  1. Introduction
  2. Structure of the Display
  3. Essay for a Jubilee Commemorative Stamp
  4. Essay for a Jubilee Commemorative Stamp
The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall
  1. The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall
  2. The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall
  3. See sheet 6
  4. Letter from Postmaster General to his son on eve of Exhibition at the Guildhall
  5. The Guildhall Exhibition Wrapper
  6. See sheet 6
  7. See sheet 6
  8. The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall
  9. The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall
  10. Instructions for Duty at Guildhall
  11. Officials Admission Ticket for the Guildhall Conversazione
  12. Admission Tickets for the Guildhall Exhibition
(link)

Frame 2

The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall (cont)
  1. The Guildhall Invitation Card
  2. The Guildhall Invitation
  3. Invitation and Admission Ticket to the Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall
  4. See sheet 19
  5. Carriage Tickets for the Guildhall Exhibition
  6. The Civic Party at the Guildhall Exhibition
  7. Presentation Copy of the Guildhall Catalogue
  8. The Penny Postage Jubilee Celebrations at Guildhall
  9. Displays at the Guildhall Exhibition
  10. The Guildhall Proofs
  11. The Guildhall Proofs
  12. The Guildhall Exhibition - proof of large card
  13. The Guildhall Exhibition - original exhibit label
  14. Letter Sorting at the Guildhall Exhibition
  15. Registered Mail from the Guildhall Exhibition
  16. Registered Mail from the Guildhall Exhibition
(link)

Frame 3

The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall (cont)
  1. Display of a British Army Post Office
  2. The BA/E Handstamp
  3. Programmes of Music at the Guildhall Exhibition
  4. Programmes of Music at the Guildhall Exhibition
  5. Displays of Telegraphic Apparatus
  6. Guildhall Telegraphic Message
  7. See sheet 38
  8. Displays of Telegraphic Apparatus
  9. The Guildhall Letter Card
  10. Design of the Guildhall Letter Card: The Royal Cypher
  11. Advertisement for the Guildhall Letter Card
  12. The Guildhall Letter Card
  13. The Guildhall Letter Card
  14. The Last Guildhall Card
  15. The Last Guildhall Card
  16. Guidlhall Appreciation Cards
(link)

Frame 4

The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall (cont)
  1. The "Guildhall Star" Postmarks
  2. The "Guildhall Star" Postmarks
  3. The "Guildhall Star" Postmarks
  4. The Conversazione and Exhibition at the Guildhall
  5. The "Guildhall Star" Postmarks
  6. "Guildhall Star" Type S1
  7. "Guildhall Star" Type S2
  8. "Guildhall Star" Type S2
  9. "Guildhall Star" Type S3
  10. "Guildhall Star" Type S3
  11. "Guildhall Star" Type T1
  12. "Guildhall Star" Type T1
  13. "Guildhall Star" Type T1
  14. "Guildhall Star" Type T1
  15. "Guildhall Star" Type T2
  16. "Guildhall Star" Type T2
(link)

Frame 5

The Conversazione at South Kensington Museum
  1. Introduction and Admission Ticket
  2. South Kensington Post Office Conversazione Advertising Poster
  3. Post Office Jubilee Conversazione Programme
  4. Ground Plan
  5. Instructions for Postal Duty
  6. Instructions for Postal Duty
  7. Instructions for Duty at the South Kensington Conversazione
  8. Instructions for Duty at the South Kensington Conversazione
  9. Officials Admission Ticket for the South Kensington Conversazione
  10. Reference to the Opening Ceremony
  11. The Conversazione at South Kensington Museum
  12. "A Royal and Distinguished Party"
  13. Displays at South Kensington Museum
  14. Letter Sorting at South Kensington Museum
  15. Registered Mail from South Kensington
  16. Other Mail from South Kensington
(link)

Frame 6

The Conversazione at South Kensington Museum (cont)
  1. South Kensington 1890 Money Orders
  2. Post Office Telegraph
  3. Photograph
  4. Press Release regarding "The Electrophonoscope"
  5. South Kensington Musical Entertainment
  6. Illustration from "The Graphic"
  7. The Pneumatic Tube Post
  8. The Pneumatic Tube Post
  9. The South Kensington Jubilee Handstamps
  10. The South Kensington Jubilee Handstamps
  11. The South Kensington Jubilee Handstamps
  12. The South Kensington Jubilee Handstamps
  13. The South Kensington Jubilee Handstamps
  14. The South Kensington Jubilee Handstamps
  15. 1840 Mulready Envelope Paper Trial
  16. The South Kensington Jubilee Handstamps
(link)

Frame 7

The Genesis of the Jubilee Envelope
  1. Introduction
  2. Decision of the Jubilee Committee as regards the Jubilee Envelope
  3. The Jubilee Envelope: The First Meeting with De La Rue
  4. The Jubilee Envelope: Preliminary Design
  5. The Jubilee Envelope: Design Amendments
  6. The Jubilee Envelope: Unadopted Designs
  7. The Jubilee Envelope: Design Approval
  8. The Jubilee Envelope: Developed Artwork
  9. The Jubilee Envelope: Proof of detail with "Postmen" removed for paste up of layout
  10. The Jubilee Envelope: Paste Up of the final layout
  11. The Jubilee Envelope: Black print from uncleared block
  12. See sheet 107
  13. The Jubilee Envelope: Final Proof
  14. The Jubilee Envelope: Final Approved Proof
  15. The Jubilee Envelope: Paper Samples
  16. The Jubilee Envelope: Final Pull from the Plate before its destruction
(link)

Frame 8

The Genesis of the Jubilee Envelope (cont)
  1. The Jubilee Envelope: Destruction of the Plate
  2. The Jubilee Envelope: Paste Up of the Correspondence Card
  3. The Jubilee Envelope: Correspondence Card, Preliminary Uncleared Proof
  4. The Jubilee Envelope: Preliminary Order for Supply
  5. The Jubilee Envelope: Wrapper
  6. The Jubilee Envelope: Completed Sheet of nine Wrappers
  7. The Jubilee Wrappers
  8. The Jubilee Wrappers
  9. The Jubilee Envelope: Ink Recipe
  10. Presentation Copies of the Jubilee Envelope
  11. The Jubilee Envelope: Official Mail
  12. "Specimen" of the Jubilee Envelope
  13. First Day Use of the Jubilee Envelope
  14. "Round the World" Usage of the Jubilee Envelope
  15. The Jubilee Envelope Used from the Boer War
  16. South Kensington Exhibition Appreciation Card