Today I was able to study further the extensive exhibition collections on display. It was fantastic to walk around and see the names of many clients on the displays, and even recognise covers that we had sold in them! Seeing them put to good use is certainly one of the more rewarding parts of the job I have to say. I noticed several items from the famous “Severn” collection of GB including the £1 brown on a diplomatic parcel bag tag (pictured), as well items of Egypt, Persia, India, Singapore and Australia we had sold in recent years. And as I walked around in the afternoon, it was pleasing to see that many of these collections had won Gold or Large Gold medals.
Alan Holyoake’s collection entitled “Secured Mail leading to the Registration of UK Mail” featured a few items I recognised. However it was the six registered penny black covers that truly caught my eye as there are only a dozen or so known. Congratulations to him for his Large Gold.
Another Large Gold medal went to Ah Ee Tan for his fantastic Straits Settlements collection which featured pre-stamp postal history including a unique Waghorn cover from Singapore, through to India lithographed stamps used in Singapore on cover, later India bisects, before going on to the overprinted issues with covers, specimens, multiples, die proofs etc., finishing with covers sent from abroad.
Simon Greenwood’s collection of British Guiana won a Gold, however it contained items I’d only seen in books, and some items I never knew existed including mixed frankings with GB used to pay the internal postage on incoming mail.
Another jaw-dropping collection was that of John Griffith-Jones with “The Missionary Stamps of Uganda 1895-99”. With the first few issues created by Reverend Ernest Miller of the Church Missionary Society, Mr. Griffith-Jones puts it perfectly in his introduction when talking about their appeal: “The missionary stamps are primitive and lack elegance, but are wonderfully atmospheric and evoke the difficult circumstances of their production”.
A collection of Cape of Good Hope Rectangular issues by Emil Buhrmann had also caught my eye. Although the Triangular issues are more sought after, the beautiful presentation and the progression of the display helped it to earn a Large Gold.
With over 49 Large Gold medals and 121 Gold medals awarded, I would love to have mentioned more fascinating exhibits, but as a GB and Commonwealth specialist, these are the ones that struck a chord with me the most from what I saw today.