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THE MULREADY POSTAL STATIONERY

THE MULREADY POSTAL STATIONERY
It is a fitting tribute to William Mulready that 175 years after the stationery designed by him was issued a book of such magnificence is published. It is the result of collaboration by two leading philatelists, Alan Huggins and Alan Holyoake, both of whom have formed outstanding collections which have received high awards at international exhibitions. Prior to this publication, accessible specialised reference material on the Mulready was limited to a few, often historic, auction catalogues; Robson Lowe’s Encyclopaedia of the British Postage Stamp, 1952; Alan Huggins’s British Postal Stationery, 1970; Malcolm Lowe’s The Mulready Advertisements,1983; Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Specialised Catalogue, Volume 1, Queen Victoria; and a number of published articles of varying quality. This book tells the whole story, starting with the design and development of the Mulready postal stationery. Never before have Treasury Competition entries, essays, proofs and issued items been illustrated so profusely in one volume. The issued stationery is fully described and historic mistakes contained in previous listings have been corrected. For example, the numbered arrangement of the stereos has been amended to give the actual layout on the printed sheets with the Mulready design in the correct upright position, rather than the layout generated by using the stereo numbers in the upright position, which has been the case in previous publications. Perhaps pride of place belongs to the breath-taking usages illustrated. Care has been taken to include information from all available sources, and besides a traditional index, an additional one provides an invaluable cross reference listing of individual stereos. The genesis commenced on 12th December 1839 when Henry Cole visited William Mulready and three days later he had drawn the design that was adopted. The process of design, development and printing was completed in time to allow sale to the public on 1st May 1840. The issued Mulready had a relatively short life; the envelopes were replaced by the one penny pink envelopes on 10th February 1841. Nevertheless, a total of 190 stereos were produced and at the last count some 610 different advertisements had been recorded. Remarkably, new discoveries are regularly being made. The two Alans are to be congratulated on producing such a splendid book. It fills a much needed gap in Great Britain philatelic literature. It is undoubtedly the finest work on the subject and will certainly stimulate renewed interest in the study of this postal historically important material.

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