Tomorrow Royal Mail releases the Treasures of the Archive Prestige Stamp Book, written by Douglas Muir the BPMA’s Curator of Philately. The book ties-in with the Postboxes Miniature Sheet also released tomorrow, and explores some of the amazing artefacts held by the BPMA.
The BPMA cares for the visual, written and physical records of over 400 years of British postal development. These records include stamps and stamp artwork, posters and photographs, documents and postal history, and objects large and small. Many of these are celebrated within the Prestige Stamp Book, including the Penny Black, Mail Coaches, the telegrams from the Titanic, the Penfold pillar box, the GPO Film Unit, stamp artwork from the era of King Edward VIII, and GPO posters.
The Prestige Stamp Book is lavishly illustrated with images of items from the BPMA collection and contains four exclusive stamp panes unavailable anywhere else, including all four of the Postboxes stamps.
The Postboxes stamps celebrates the many types of wall box which provided a cheaper and more practical alternative to large pillar boxes in less populated or remote areas. From 1857 wall boxes began appearing in walls, buildings or brick pillars and were later to be found on poles and lamp posts.
Production of wall boxes ended in 1980, and in 1995 freestanding pedestal boxes were introduced, but around 114,000 post boxes of all kinds still exist across the UK.
Four iconic wall mounted boxes appear on the Miniature Sheet and within the Prestige Stamp Book:
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 and 1936, 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.
Other products available as part of the Postboxes stamp issue are a Presentation Pack, First Day Cover Envelope, Stamp Cards, Press Sheet, Generic Sheet, and special First Day Covers cancelled and stamped from Tallents House.
For further information on these releases please see the Royal Mail Stamps & Collecting website. Details of some of the letter boxes held by the BPMA can be found in the Collections section of our website.