On 8 February 1892, Dr Bernhardt Burghardt Assmus was found guilty at the Central Criminal Court, London, for unlawfully obtaining money by false pretenses by selling forged stamps as genuine to London stamp dealers Theodore Buhl and Morris Giwelb. After being found guilty for this crime, he was sentenced to three years penal servitude. This was the first prosecution of this sort in Great Britain.
Eighty years ago, on 12 May 1937, King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey and the first stamps of his reign went on sale in April and May 1937. George VI was ‘catapulted’ onto the throne by the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII, five months earlier. Edward had reigned for less than a year, having only succeeded his father, George V, in January 1936. The coronation of Edward VIII had been fixed for 12 May 1937 and it was decided to go ahead with this date for the coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
A new, annual National Stamp Celebration Day, held in association with The Philatelic Traders’ Society, is being launched this year to celebrate and promote philately. The celebration will be held on 4 May to commemorate the world’s first ever adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, which was issued on 1 May 1840 but officially used from 6 May.
**Stanley Gibbons invites you to celebrate this historic artifact with 20% OFF all items in store, with the exception of bullion items and Pink Zone items. As well as this, you can post any letter from our shop on the 4th – 6th May (standard letter sizes only – no packages).**
On 11 December 1936, just one day after the abdication of King Edward VIII, the four stamp printing firms (Harrison and Sons, Waterlow and Sons, Bradbury, Wilkinson and De La Rue), together with the Crown Agents, attended a meeting at the Colonial Office in order to discuss designs for a Colonial Omnibus issue marking the coronation of the new monarch, King George VI. With only five months before the Coronation, and because of shipping times to some of the most remote colonies, the firms had just one week to prepare initial essays for the new issue. We describe the frantic race to produce this omnibus issue: from the initial essays and die proofs to the final issued stamps.
Royal Mail will release eight stamps today depicting some of Britain’s greatest Racehorse Legends. This issue will be the first commemorative stamps to be released following the 2017 Royal Mail tariffs introduced on 27 March.
On 14 March Royal Mail’s Music Giants series will make an encore with a set of ten stamps honouring one of the most influential music and cultural figures of all time – David Bowie. In July 2016 Royal Mail released a similar set dedicated to the music and live performances of progressive rock legends Pink Floyd. In a similar format to the Pink Floyd issue, the David Bowie release will comprise six sheet stamps depicting some of his most admired and defining albums, along with a four-stamp miniature sheet showing Bowie performing live on stage across four decades.
As 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Machin we can expect to see some big celebrations of the milestone in the philatelic world; however, few will be quite as big as one event taking place in Hampshire in a few weeks’ time. On Thursday 9 March 2017, a very special art project will hopefully make it into the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest mosaic made up of stamps. The mosaic measures a staggering 27m by 9m and is made up of more than half a million Machin stamps. The mammoth mosaic, is the work of Peter Boyd and has been almost a decade in the making.
2017 brings with it two very notable and celebratory occasions and with them are bound to be some stamp issues of interest to readers of this column. The first of the two is imminent, and is the 65th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Princess Elizabeth (which occurred when His Majesty King George VI died unexpectedly on 6 February 1952).
During World War I, the Post Office was reluctant to use slogan postmarks on its mail in order help with the war effort, despite being in the unique position of being able to get a message to almost every address in the county. It wasn’t until 10 December 1917 that the first ‘War Bonds’ slogans appeared on mail in London, with roll-out across the country coming soon afterwards. We look at the different types of slogans produced and highlight a few rarities to look out for.