Thursday, 20 August 2009

Treasures of the Archive Prestige Stamp Book

On the 18th August Royal Mail released the Treasures of the Archive Prestige Stamp Book.

The text written on the interleaves and stamp panes explore some of the amazing artefact's held by the BPMA today. It is also written by someone who knows his onions, Douglas Muir the BPMA’s Curator of Philately.

Starting with the cover of the stamp book, this features a sheet of Penny Blacks in the BPMA collection. This is a complete proof sheet of the Penny Black, said to be "the most important Victorian item in the collection". The different check letters had not yet been inserted into each stamp.

No printing plates survive from the Victorian period. However, there are a small number of line-engraved (recess) steel dies including the “Old Original” for the Penny Black.

The best way to see all their philatelic and postal history collections is by appointment with the Curator of Philately, Douglas Muir.020 7239 2570 or email

We have already written about the Machin Panes, however here (below) are some of the latest pics which show the stamp panes printed by Cartor SP in more detail.

The other non Machin related Panes in the book tie in with the Postboxes Miniature Sheet which was also released on the 18th August. These show some iconic wall mounted post boxes.

Text copied from Royal Mails website

"The earliest known surviving posting slot was placed in the wall of Wakefield Post Office in 1809. Britain’s first roadside pillar boxes appeared in the early 1850s but in more remote and less populated areas, a cheaper and more practical alternative was needed, resulting in the development of smaller post boxes.

Initially, they were installed in walls, buildings or brick pillars: later designs were also attached to lamp posts."

Royal Mail is also producing a Presentation Pack, First Day Cover, Stamp Cards, Generic Sheet, and Press Sheet, to accompany the Post Boxes Miniature Sheet stamp issue.

1st Class – George V Type B Wall Box

This example with the royal cipher of George V was cast by W T Allen & Co Ltd, London, between 1933-36, and is from Cookham Rise near Maidenhead.

56p – Edward VII Ludlow Box

Introduced in 1887 this type of standardized box derives its name from the foundry where many of them were made. This example is from Bodiam, East Sussex.

81p – Victorian Lamp Box

The lamp box could also be attached to lamp post or other such structure. This example is from Hythe in Kent and was installed in 1896.

90p – Elizabeth II Type A Wall Box

This Elizabeth II Wall box is located in Slaithwaite near Huddersfield and would have been made between 1962 and 1963.

The Machin Panes

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