Saturday, 3 December 2011

"Britain in Miniature"

Many thanks go to David Alderfer for this email.

Dear Roy,

Here's a short synopsis of "Britain in Miniature" which you illustrated 2 December on your blog.

The faux sheetlet of 3p and 5p Machin stamps with a black label in the center illustrates the front and back of a hard cardboard slipcase that contains a 77-page book titled "Britain in Miniature." The book was published by The British Post Office in 1972 in a limited edition of 2000 numbered copies. It was issued to commemorate the 25th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

The book is a combination of text, photographs, illustrations and actual postage stamps (17 issues; 80 stamps) including the pair issued for the Silver Wedding (3p blue and silver and 20p purple and silver) and a set of decimal Machins (1/2p to 10p with the four decimal high values). The stamps are mounted throughout the book with stamp hinges.

In 1972, Stanley Gibbons did the marketing of the product. I do not know what it's original selling price was. Examples occasionally are offered on eBay. Rushstamps has about one copy a year available for purchase at $125.

The book can be seen as the prototype for the Annual Yearbook format that Royal Mail began issuing in 1984. They are the same size and format as those annual products.

There seems to be little demand for "Britain in Miniature" within the stamp collecting community, but the book is a lovely item, though not of great value.

David Alderfer
Chicagoland area

1 comment:

GBStamps said...

When the book does show up on eBay or elsewhere, it is generally offered for a much lower price than Rushstamps charges, so beware of overpaying.