Wednesday, 25 June 2008

National Postal Museum Acquires Rare Stamp Collection

The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum has received a well-known stamp collection from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The Harry L. Jefferys collection, which includes an inverted Jenny and numerous other philatelic rarities, was bequeathed to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1948 by insurance executive H.L. Jefferys. It has been in storage at the Institute for decades.

The Franklin Institute recently determined that the collection no longer supports its mission of science and technology-based education and negotiated an agreement for the collection to be transferred to the National Postal Museum.

The Harry L. Jefferys collection consists of U.S. stamps, covers, proofs and essays and is particularly strong in the 1851-1857 issue. The collection includes full panes of the one-cent and three-cent 1851 issue and the twelve-cent 1857 issue, as well as scarce positions of the one-cent 1851 issue, including positions 7R1E and 99R2. The collection includes a three-cent 1851 issue with double impression and a four-cent Schermack Type III coil single. Also included are several printing errors, including plate position No. 2 of the 1918 inverted Jenny airmail stamp.

"We are honored to include these new additions in our ever-growing collection," said Cheryl Ganz, curator of philately at the National Postal Museum. "Items such as the intact panes of the 1851 and 1857 issue are quite rare, and the double impression of the three-cent 1851 issue is one of only three known copies—it is the one cited by Carroll Chase in his famous study of classic U.S. stamps."

The National Postal Museum has developed a comprehensive conservation treatment and re-housing plan for the collection. Portions of the collection will appear in the upcoming national stamp collection display and also will appear on Arago, the museum's online collection information system.

This acquisition continues the National Postal Museum's tradition of making significant but previously difficult-to-access philatelic collections available to a large and diverse audience.

"We are pleased to announce this significant acquisition," said Allen Kane, director of the National Postal Museum. "The Jefferys collection will fill numerous gaps in the museum's national stamp collection and enhance the visitor's experience at the National Postal Museum and online." --

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Royal Mail's Carry On stamps bring infamy to philately

Carry on Hammer Stamps

London Barbara Windsor, a former star of the Carry On films, joined soldiers from the Household Cavalry in London to launch a set of Royal Mail stamps marking 50 years since the release of the first of the saucy comedies and the first Dracula movie from Hammer Films.

Carry on Sergeant and Dracula, both produced on shoestring budgets, kick-started a series of classic movies that were loved by millions.

The six stamps feature posters of three each of the best-known Carry On and Hammer Horror productions, including Carry on Cleo and The Mummy.

Ms Windsor, who posed with soldiers at the launch of the stamps, said: “Carry On was part of growing up for so many of us. It was a great honour then to be involved and I'm thrilled that Royal Mail has chosen to recognise these films in such a special way.”

The stamps go on sale today.