"From my Collection"
Some interesting examples from our collections

 

A FIRST DAY SOUVENIR and the "IDEAL STAMP"

Coronation Day, 22nd June 1911, saw the issue of the first British Stamps bearing the head of King George V (½d and 1d).

 

This souvenir sheet was issued by the Junior Philatelic Society to mark the event, publicise the Society and the Stamp Exhibition that it was organising for 1912. Posted on 22 June, it was was sent to the USA at the ½d Printed Matter rate and bears one of the new stamps.

 

Featuring the three-quarter profile Downey head, the appearance of the two new stamps was however much criticised both for the quality of the printing and the fact that the Downey portrait taken from a photograph was unsuitable for letterpress printing.

 

There is some irony in the fact that a feature of the 1912 Exhibition referred to in the 1911 sheet was the "Ideal Stamp". This was the result of a competition organised by the Society with a prize of 10 guineas for a stamp judged to be the best for "practical utility" and "artistic merit".​​

22 June 1911
Letter sheet from London to USA
LONDON FS (Foreign Section) machine cancellation

The winning design was printed (in a number of colours) at the Model Stamp Factory that formed part of the Exhibition held at the Royal Horticultural Hall, London from 14th - 19th October 1912.

Meanwhile attempts to redraw the Downey Head stamps did not prove successful and in 1913 the ½d and 1d stamps were replaced with stamps bearing Bertram McKennal's full profile head of the King.

The Junior Philatelic Society still exists but was renamed the National Philatelic Society in 1965.

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