Stamp Dealer Mail
IntroductionThis display falls into three parts:
- Early Stamp Dealers: A short history of some of the more prominent early members of the stamp trade.
- Overseas Mail to and from Stamp Dealers: A selection of letters to and from various British stamp dealers, together with business use of invalidated foreign envelopes.
- Whitfield King Parcel Post Labels: A detailed study of the stamped to order parcel post labels of one prominent "classic" dealer.
Early Stamp Dealers
Whitfield King & Co.
Charles Whitfield King (1855-1930) dealing in Ipswich in 1869 whilst employed as a clerk at the Customs House, he later moved the business to Lacey Street. His son also Charles Whitfield King (1887-1944) joined the business and his son James Charles Whitfield King (1921-1982) is listed as 'sole proprietor' on "Whitfield King & Co's Philatelic Bulletin" dated October 1951. The business continued until the early 1960's but then slowly disappeared. Whitfield King & Co. produced many distinctive embossed registered envelopes only in the reign of Queen Victoria.
Stafford Smith & Smith
Henry Stafford Smith (1843-1903) was in partnership with his brother Alfred William Smith (1837-1880) in Bath from 1862 to 1866 when the partnership was dissolved by mutual agreement.
Stafford Smith & Company
Henry Stafford Smith moved to Brighton where he established a new business. He produced a magazine and also stamp albums.
Alfred Smith & Co.
After the partnership was dissolved Alfred Smith stayed in Bath where he produced embossed envelopes with a picture of the building where he had his premises. These envelopes were printed in red, green & black. By December 1896 his son Bertram T.K.Smith (1872-1938) had moved the business to London.
The new premises for Alfred Smith & Son were at 37 Essex Street, Strand the centre for leading stamp dealers at this time. Alfred Smith & Son slowly traded less and less until B.T.K. Smith stopped publishing the 'Monthly Circular' in 1923.
William Simpson Lincoln (1844-1922) is reputed to be the first stamp dealer in London, about 1856, and claimed to be "The Oldest Established Stamp dealer in the World"? He opened his first shop in 1859. He produced a range of embossed envelopes with advertising rings and was well known for his sheets of crests, crest albums and postage stamp albums. He was awarded many medals and diplomas for these publications. Stanley Gibbons acquired his stock in 1931 from his son William E. Lincoln. This letter demonstrates that many leading stamp dealers wrote to foreign clients in the appropriate language.
William Brown (1864-1927) was a leading stamp dealer from Salisbury. He was the founder and first publisher of the "Philatelic Journal of Great Britain" later bought by P.L. Pemberton. On the 1901 census he is listed as 'Foreign Stamp Dealer' & 'Employer' with 3 'Domestic Servants'. On the 1911 census it states that William Brown was born at 72 Endless Street, Salisbury, he married Naomi Hilda Pickford on 21st January 1891 and they had two children Esther & Philip. On this census he is listed as 'Foreign Stamp Dealer & Artist'. The problem with trying to find details of the life of William Brown is that there are a number of William Brown's in Salisbury & the surrounding area.
Stacey Charles Skipton
A former business partner of William Brown who continued to publish.
Hugo Griebert was entered on the 'Roll of Distinguished Philatelists' in 1921.
Oswald Marsh (1880-1951) In his time Oswald Marsh was one of the leading stamp dealers in London. Fortunately he did not throw anything away and that is why there is so much of his material available today. Today he is well known for his first day cancels on the stamps issued during the reign of King George V. So far as I know he did not produce any ordinary embossed envelopes but used a great number of embossed stationery cut-outs.
Joseph William Palmer (1853-1931) He produced 'Nursery Rhymes Revised' price 'one penny'. He had an obsession with forged stamps and wrote poems on the subject. He also wrote poems of a fanciful nature. J.W. Palmer is reported to have had a room at 281 Strand papered with forgeries. Unfortunately this was lost when the Strand was widened.
Stamp Dealer Overseas Mail
Errington & Martin
These cards were most probably used as a type of 'compliment slip'. The cards from Guatemala were used for advertising and a large quantity were purchased after they were invalidated. Unfortunately there is no indication as to when they were used either before Oswald Marsh bought the business in 1922 or after when Herbert Charles Elcock Marsh (Oswald's son) ran the business. My view is that it was after 1922 as the Marsh family never disposed of any material connected with the business.
These two invalidated cards were obviously used for business purposes.
The two Air Letters from South Africa were sent regarding the purchase of postage stamps, the Air Letter regarding the 1947 "Royal Visit" is interesting, Gibbons spent £2225 buying this set which today is equivalent to £77,760. Airgraphs were also used by stamp dealers in their business during World War II.
Telegrams were used in the 1930's and during World War II to advise stamp dealers of the dispatch of an order of postage stamps. The three registered letters were sent regarding business matters.
All these covers were used in 1952/3. After World War II there was a paper shortage and Robson Lowe being a member of the stamp trade bought a number of envelopes which had been invalidated from various postal authorities. Fortunately he did not affix the valid postage stamp over the embossed stamp, the Hungarian cover has been used twice.
Whitfield King Parcel Post Labels
When Edward VII became king embossed parcel labels were produced advertising the stamp albums they sold. Two types were produced "Per Parcel Post" and "Printed Matter Only", these labels continued to be used into the reign of George V. Most envelopes, labels & postcards produced by Whitfield King & Co have a printers reference number printed on them although the registered envelopes produced for use during Queen Victoria's reign have no printers reference number.