Visit from Maidenhead and District Philatelic Society - 23 November 2011
Thirteen Henley members were entertained by no less than five visitors from Maidenhead.
Tony Stanford opened the proceedings with a comprehensive display of Zululand stamps. This was a crown colony, which had its own postal service from 1885 until absorbed into Natal in 1898. With variations, we saw all the GB overprints of 1888 up to 5/-, Natal overprints for the ½d and 6d values, and the 1894 Zululand key-type issue including the – almost always fiscally used – pound values; also contemporary Zululand picture postcards and postal stationery.
Greg Wynne illustrated, mainly by actual folded letters, the postal services through Hamburg from 1518 up to the 1860s, i.e. everything before adhesive stamps. His display and its explanations threw much light on European post during that long period. The Counts of Thurn and Taxis operated the postal system throughout the Holy Roman Empire from the 15th century virtually until the demise of that ‘empire’, being replaced by German confederation. For much of that time, excepting when Napoleon was reshaping Europe, there were eight independent national or private post offices in Hamburg – carrying post locally and to all parts of Europe. All post from Scandinavia to the rest of Europe passed through Hamburg. Mail was carried by ships (typically weekly) or by stagecoaches (daily, reaching Paris in about eight days).
Rex Dixon showed, mainly by postcards, the children’s evacuation system (KLV) operating in Germany during the second world war. Children from cities liable to bombing were moved to safer areas in Germany and beyond. They were accommodated in about 6000 ‘camps’ (lagers) – actually schools, hotels and boarding houses and wrote home regularly. The postcards carried cachets of the KLV and often identified the particular camp where they were posted. The interesting messages were addressed generally to the children’s Lieben Eltren (dear parents).
Antony Simmons showed a wide range of Constantinople cancels on GB stamps, mainly the oval C postmark in many intricate variations. This provided wide coverage of the Victorian GB stamps in use from 1873 and also those overprinted in Turkish paras or piasters, issued from 1885 until World War I and the end of the Ottoman Empire. Other places where British stamps were posted and cancelled in the Levant included Smyrna (F87) and Beirut (G06).
Keith Hatch’s display concerned the exploits of that great British aviator Amy Johnson. She was the first woman to fly solo to Australia (1930) and then made record trips to Tokyo (1931) and Cape Town (1932). Her success was recognized in Daily Mail extras, a cigarette card of the Oxford passenger plane, a commemorative cover from her hometown of Hull in 1930, and later by the 2nd class stamp showing her with a bi-plane in the Extreme Endeavours (British Explorers) GB issue of 2003. Amy Johnson died when the plane she was delivering to the RAF crashed into the Thames in 1941.
An evening of great and varied interest in both history and philately.
A Churchillian evening with Simon Moorcroft - 9 November 2011
Sixteen members and one guest welcomed Simon Moorcroft to Bix for his presentation on Churchill’s Life and Legacy.
The first part of the display concerned the years from Winston Churchill’s birth in 1864, through his education, military exploits and the first part of his long political career. His military time encompassed action in Cuba, India and the battle of Omdurman; then time as a correspondent in the Boer war, and later a spell in command in the trenches in 1916. His political career as a conservative MP started in 1900; he switched to the Liberals in 1905 and led the Board of Trade (1908), the Home Office (1910) and the Admiralty (from 1911). He put the navy in timely readiness for the outbreak of war in 1914, had to resign after the Gallipoli debacle but was back as Minister of Munitions in 1917. After the war he was successful in bringing peace in Ireland at the Colonial Office and later, back with the conservatives, became Chancellor of the Exchequer. Simon showed more than twenty full-page Punch cartoons illustrating Churchill’s political career up to the 1930s.
The second part of Winston’s life started from his ‘wilderness’ (out-of-office) years during which he engaged with vigour in profuse private activity but maintained an independent and mainly unpopular interest in politics. His intense activities included writing, painting, brickwork, farming, home making (rebuilding Chartwell) and aviation. Simon ascribes his political unpopularity to:
· his reluctance to accept eventual Indian self-government
· his quiet support for King Edward VIII
· his concern about the rise of Hitler and German aggression, which people did not wish to hear about because of the dreadful war only recently ended.
However his rapid return to the Admiralty on the first day of World War II and his assumption of the premiership eight months later brought him the leadership which he had always believed was his destiny. Leading Britain and the Empire, as had his ancestor at Blenheim, in its hour of dire need. Simon’s whole display was plentifully illustrated by covers, letters, photos, telegrams, a family tree and, above all, pictorial stamps showing events of Churchill’s life and lifetime and a variety of people, places and activities relevant to the story.
The final frames were even more philatelic. The 1965 GB Churchill commemorative issue was issued soon after his death. An omnibus issue of Empire commemoratives followed in 1966, almost all showing a striking view of St Paul’s Cathedral during the London Blitz. There were a few different designs and British Guiana was allowed to substitute its own cathedral in the picture. In Simon’s opinion, this fine issue marked the beginning of a welcome liberalization of British stamp issuing policy initiated when Tony Wedgwood Benn became Postmaster General.
On the centenary of Churchill’s birth in 1974 four GB stamps showing periods of his life were issued (and different designs in a few commonwealth countries). He became the first non-Royal person to be celebrated twice on separate British stamp issues.
Lindy Bosworth - Austro-Hungarian Navy During World War I - 26 October 2011
Some fourteen members of the club enjoyed this fluent, well-prepared and well-presented talk.
Despite not having a coastline now (as a result of political changes) at the beginning of the 1900’s Austria and Hungary both had several sea-ports and a significant navy in the Adriatic. The assassination of Franz Joseph, sparked the beginning of WWI and Lindy exhibited cards relating to this event, including one which featured the jacket Franz Joseph had been wearing when shot. Contemporary propaganda cards, which Lindy brought along, had slogans such as ‘Serbia must die’. Italy had been on the same side as Austria at the beginning of the war, but changed sides, making them a target for Austrian naval aggression.
Lindy showed several patriotic cards and also ‘charity’ cards for the Red Cross. Austria had five classes of battleships, pictured on cards. There was a free field post system for sailors and several fascinating items were presented. Most naval post went through the port of Pola at the northern end of the Adriatic, although there were some examples exhibited that had been dropped at ‘civilian’ post offices when ships called into other ports. The Austro-Hungarian navy was blockaded into the Adriatic by our allies and none escaped apart from a few U-boats. Consequently there are no examples of mail being sent from ’overseas’.
Several propaganda cards showing military success were displayed. The A-H navy also had many small boats – motor torpedo boats, colliers and other, supply vessels e.g. colliers, water tankers, and also hulks (accommodation vessels), troop carriers and hospitals some of which were illustrated on postcards. Some vessels had been requisitioned from the ‘private sector’ and were also illustrated on postcards. A good number of postmarks shown – different cancels for individual ships and evolution of designs during the period of the war.
Lesley Marley - Whaling 12 October 2011
Mrs Marley, from Havant, entertained twelve members with a comprehensive thematic display covering the whaling industry.
Postcards, letters, cigarette cards and notices – with much enlightening extra explanation – concerned the nature of whales, the history of whaling, whalers and their crews, and – latterly - attempts to conserve endangered species.
The many aspects we were able to examine included:
· the ‘bayleen’ (sieving mechanism enabling whales to eat small pelagic organisms) and other whale parts, with a display of actual whale bones including some in artistic form;
· the many types of whales from the huge Blues to modest porpoises and dolphins; and other well-known ungulates (hippopotami, camels, cows, pigs);
· the uses to which various parts of whales are used such as the blubber, ambergris, oils and bones;
· a great deal about whaling ships, weapons and the lives of the seamen,
· Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Winston Churchill, both of whom served as Admirals of the Cinque Ports (whose duties include dealing with whales stranded on the Kent Coast)
· and, as in any thematic enthusiast’s display, there were a great many stamps from many countries and over a long period.
President’s Evening 29 September 2011
Twenty members gathered for our annual President’s Evening at which Dave Armit regaled us with Scandinavian stamps and plied us with food and drink. With extra tables at one end for Dave’s Canadian extras and with three tables for Richard Gash to display his philatelic wares, Bix village hall was well packed.
The majority of the stamps were early issues with many variations, postage dues and officials. However, proceeding alphabetically, Aland Islands post-1985 stamps were an exception. These islands are an autonomous province of Finland, lying at the south end of the Gulf of Bothnia halfway between Finland and Sweden.
Early Denmark and similar Danish West Indies stamps can be difficult to distinguish at first glance. Careful inspection of some collected material may reveal a few rarities. Some of these stamps were printed on hand-made paper, which is very thin and therefore easily damaged.
Faroe Islands (apart from during the British administration in 1940-1945) issued their own stamps only from 1975.
Finland’s early stamps are notable for the rouletted series and Russian-style stamps with small circles added.
Greenland issued stamps only from 1938.
Iceland’s first (skilling) currency stamps are expensive and not easily found.
Norway’s posthorn series started with skilling currency in 1872, then continued in ore without serifs and then with serifs on the letters NORGE, right up to the present day.
Sweden’s early (skilling banco currency) stamps are (like those of Iceland and Norway but not all of Denmark’s) costly to obtain. Most of the rest are much easier to collect. David’s sheets, as with the other parts of his display, reveal many varieties of colour, perforations watermark and postmarks.
David completed each half of his rich presentation with a few British Empire early or middle issues. Scandinavians discovered Newfoundland and Canada but there was no postal service then. The Newfoundland stamps include some attractive small landscapes and the series depicting many members of Queen Victoria’s family. The Canadian display took us up to a wide selection of the world’s first Christmas stamps, issued in 1898.
Members Evening 7 September 2011
Thirteen members attended the opening meeting of our 2011/12 season. As usual, the theme for the first evening was Latest Acquisitions. The displays presented included:
· Stamped (taxed) official documents from as early as 1638 in Spain.
· A range of Cinderella material, from Guatemalan and Egyptian telegrams to television, commercial and national savings stamps and savings certificates.
· Argentine postal stationery and Japanese, Spanish and other reply paid stationery; also the first 2011 Royal Wedding stamps - 1 GB, 1 NZ.
· Coinage and mining covers and postcards and GB E VIII 1½d stamp booklet.
· German post-war cold war period propaganda and other memorabilia.
· Fine GB E VII (including aniline) stamps plus 2010/11 GB new issues.
· Covers and postcards depicting the short history of independent Fiume, seized by the aviator hero Gabriele d’Annunzio in 1919.
· Libyan Italian colonial and later Kingdom stamps plus some recent gaudy Colonel Gadaffi issues.
· British stamps issued overseas on covers, mainly from the Caribbean ports of Colombia.
· The stamps of the Netherlands and Dutch colonies from 1852 to 1948.
Tasmanian Revenues and Other Stories by Francis Kiddle
Fourteen members welcomed Francis Kiddle, a former president of the Royal Philatelic Society. Here is a random selection from his fascinating and varied presentation.
Like many others, Francis was drawn to revenue stamp collection at a time of life when their variety and relatively cheap price were particularly attractive. Tasmania represents what was a particularly detached colony of Australia in a period, the 18th century, when these colonies were advancing rapidly to what became statehood.
Stamps were applied as evidence of tax payment well before their use as postage prepayment on letters. An example was a handsome 1827 Tasmanian Beer Duty stamp. Even after postage stamps were introduced (in 1850 in NSW and Victoria, in 1853 in Tasmania), many Australian colony administrations authorized ‘Stamp Duty’ stamps for postal use. It also became common practice to allow poor quality or badly printed postage stamps to be used for less publicly displayed revenue purposes.
Among the Tasmanian revenue stamps was an 1877 Stamp Duty series incorporating a duck-billed platypus. De La Rue’s artist in London had of course never seen such an animal; so he prepared the artwork by studying a stuffed platypus in the British Museum. Because these and other stamps were used also as postage, the Australian Commonwealth postal authority, when it took over in 1900, insisted that Revenue should be overprinted on tax-paying stamps. Nevertheless for a short transition period in 1900, stamp duty stamps overprinted ‘Revenue’ were still accepted for postage.
Because of the rapid speed with which the very large, mainly sparsely populated, Australian colonies were developing, it was very difficult to forecast how much revenue could be anticipated from new taxes and therefore how many stamps of what denominations should be supplied. As a result some of the cheaper values ran out and the high valued revenue stamps had to be overprinted, for example (as late as 1928) the 5d overprint of the 10/- value.
‘Other stories’ in Francis Kiddle’s evening comprised a thematic display on Goats. The many aspects of these animals shown philatelically included:
- Their many varieties in species recognised between antelopes and sheep.
- Their many domestic uses – milk and cheese, leather for kid gloves and shoes, meat, parchment (possibly the Dead Sea Scrolls).
- Capricorn and similar symbolic and fairy tale goats.
- Goats introduced, for example to the South Sea Islands, as food for missionaries.
- Numerous ‘Goat Island’ names – because, after cats, goats are a species that can most easily survive in feral conditions.
- Goat aspects of Mulready-type postal stationery, in which half the cost of postage was paid for by the advertiser.
- ‘Baz kashi’ (dead goat ball games) and other exotic uses.
Competition Evening 27 April 2011
Fourteen members viewed some nine sheet competition-style displays depicting:
- American Civil War ‘patriotic’ covers – commemorative and caricature envelopes issued by the Union Government.
- Ecuador covers, maps and price lists from the period 1800-1830 illustrating the organized postal system covering the Gran Colombia region (Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela) and beyond.
- Gilbert and Ellice islands – trial and issued stamps, including some extra large circular postmarks illustrating the first organized postage among these far-flung islands in 1911/12.
- Norwegian post horn series stamps (1872-1991) and other post horn motifs on stamps (many countries), on back of stamps or as postmarks (Norway) and, so we were told, as postmarks of local post in Greece.
Amersham & District Philatelic Society
The Amersham auction will take place on Thursday 19 May 2011 with 326 lots.
Visit from The Revenue Society 13 April 2011
Tony Hall and Ed Hitchens entertained sixteen of our members with a comprehensive and enlightening explanation of the very wide scope of revenue stamps. Although showing only a selection of their GB material, our visitors displayed a wide variety of embossed and adhesive stamps and some of the documents to which they were attached. These started in 1694 – as taxes to help finance the war against France. There was difficulty in embossing or gluing the stamps to the parchment or vellum then in use; so eventually they were stapled. Then and later, misuse of stamps (and their collection!) was hampered by the ease with which the colours ran when wetted.
Whilst a variety of taxes were levied as stamp duties from the beginning, a Stamp Act of 1765 extended to the colonies the requirement that all legal documents and newspapers should bear stamps. This was particularly unpopular in the American colonies and may have been one of the causes of the War of Independence.
Many revenue stamps were, in effect, receipts for amounts paid in actual transfers of money as well as evidence of duties paid. Some were therefore for very large amounts. We were shown a BP document stamped at £25 million and a single 1986 embossed stamp for £1 million. No documents or receipts were valid in a court of law unless stamped at the appropriate revenue amount. Taxes or duties with which many of us are still remember include 2d embossed on all cheques. Motor vehicle licence discs remain as a form of label whilst documents like TV licenses continue but no longer need to bear stamps. At first there were national insurance and National Insurance stamps and stamps representing prescription charges when these were first introduced. The great range of imposts certified by stamps on permits etc have included those on:
· Newsprint, paper and ink; entertainment; customs duties; betting; bankruptcy; civil service exams; probate.
· Hats, gloves and mittens; hair powder; tobacco; coffee substitute.
· Hire of horses; permits to operate stage coaches, four-wheel carriages, bath chairs (in 1937!) or to sire bulls.
· Bachelors, male or female servants; hearth tax; window tax; funeral tax.
In the 18th and 19th centuries taxes were particularly focussed on the rich on scales that were often rising, e.g. more being paid for each servant the more you employed.
A variety of English Court Fee stamps were shown – issued from 1856 for counties or for towns (when they wished) as well as for the national Admiralty, Common Law and Probate Courts and the subsequent Chancery and Matrimonial Courts. Finally we saw a range of ‘private’ revenue stamps – fees levied by non-government bodies such as trading associations in Liverpool or London.
Ed Hitchens and Tony Hall are, respectively, the Chairman and Treasurer of The Revenue Society (www.revenuesociety.org.uk), a globally active society anxious to attract new members. Meetings are held 4/5 times a year, mainly in London; and a Revenue Journal and other booklets etc issued free to members. A major attraction of collecting revenue stamps is the huge number of varieties available (many not yet catalogued) and the relatively modest prices traded even for scarce or unique items.
Chairman’s Evening 23 March 2011
Twenty one members gathered to celebrate our annual Chairman’s evening, together with a visiting speaker and two of his colleagues.
A very full house enjoyed Bob Clements’ hospitality in the form of savouries, cakes and liquid refreshment and a remarkable philatelic display from Alan Druce.
Straits Settlements and other Malaya 9 March 2011
Fourteen members enjoyed a display by Roger Berry from Reading.
The (British) Straits Settlements were Singapore, Malacca and Penang. Although not formally joined as a crown colony until 1867, post offices at each of the three towns issued Indian (East India Company) stamps from the inception of those stamps in 1854. The first crown colony stamps of 1867 were also Indian – overprinted with a crown and values in cents of silver (later Malayan) dollars – but these were soon superseded by a proper Straits Settlements issue with values from 2c to 32c.
Since supplies of stamps from England took a long time to order and deliver, there were frequent shortages of certain values and stamps (and some postal stationery) had to be surcharged by a wide variety of local overprints, some now very scarce. Later more adequate issues were distributed for the Straits Settlements during the reign of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King Georges V and VI. The Malay Borneo Exhibition of 1922 was a further occasion for a variety of local overprints.
We then saw a comprehensive selection of Federated Malay stamps (the leaping tigers and the higher value elephants) as well as the different ‘tigers’ for each state.
The second part of the display concerned the northern states of Kedah and Perlis. These had been subject to Siamese (Thai) suzerainty until ceded to Great Britain in 1909 and, before that, used Siam stamps. From 1909 to 1912, Kedah and Perlis used Federated Malay States stamps. Then in 1912 Kedah produced its own distinctive definitives in three pictorial types according to value. The middle values, known as ‘Malay ploughing’ were particularly interesting. Apparently the British Adviser to the Sultan vetoed the sultan’s head as the theme and substituted a photographic and unrealistic concoction of a plough, cattle and a headman in formal dress. The Sultan (Abdul Hamid Halimshah) had to wait until 1937 for his portrait to appear on his state’s stamps, by which time he was a frail old man.
Perlis used Kedah stamps until it was provided with its own version of 1948/9 omnibus commemoratives and of Malaya definitive sets from 1950.
The Chairman thanked Roger Berry for his showing of a comprehensive and interesting variety of fine Malayan stamps.
Postcard Evening 23 February 2011
Fifteen members and three guests gathered at Bix to view seven displays of postcards. Some of these were intriguingly diverse but dominant themes which emerged included:
· The story of the resettlement of ex-slaves in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
· Landscapes, mainly as depicted by painters.
· The village of Goring as photographed early in the twentieth century and retaken today in the same places.
· Pictures of Thames-side Surrey from the 1930s and similar views of the City of Gloucester.
· Street and market scenes from countries where foreign postal services were permitted.
Among the host of more eclectic miscellaneous choices, we saw postcards depicting Chinese animals, autogiros, ships and wartime propaganda.
Member Displays 9 February 2011
Sixteen members gathered at Bix to be entertained by three of our number.
Stephen Gardner specialises in revenue, telegram and similar or Cinderella stamps. He showed us the pages that he has already written up after a comparatively short period of intense acquisition.
Besides the vast number of stamps valid for both postage and revenue, those intended to record specific non-postal charges can be postal stamps overprinted; similar stamps but with wording altered (e.g. ‘telegrafos’ instead of ‘correos’); or they may be special designs, often grander than contemporary postage stamps or similar to the higher values of the latter. After all, one is usually paying much more in some taxes than the amount of a letter or a modest receipt; in Jersey, for example, an offshore tax haven, huge financial deals might attract stamp duty in thousands of pounds at the time when the duties were paid by purchase of government stamps.
Many of the less common stamps seen are available in mint or proof form and some are scarcely or never found used. However lightly-franked used stamps are particularly attractive and interesting, showing when and where they were applied. Some telegraph stamps were payable at ‘collect’, some were ‘prepaid’. Some were issued in two detachable parts. Stephen’s final display of Cinderella charity, sales tax, church taxes, gas meter reading charges etc concluded with postage stamps forged in Britain or Germany to confuse and frustrate enemy morale and economies.
Malcolm Gascoyne opened with some early registered letter envelopes and then scarce or unusual Sarawak issues or proofs. One issue was despatched by the printer from England shortly before the Japanese invasion of Borneo in World War II. One set went via South Africa, one through Australia – whence they were returned to England and were only finally issued in Sarawak in 1946.
Next Malcolm showed some 17th century covers posted in the ‘London Penny Post’. Mr Dockwra set up this postal system in the 1690s. It operated for about a hundred years being eventually superseded by the London Twopenny Post at a time when the government imposed a surcharge to help pay for the Napoleonic Wars.
Brian Moore collects many forms of philately (not least letters posted on 1 July). On this occasion he showed us part of his early Marlow postal collection - many covers and postcards including views and related stories concerning such places as the Marlow Bridge (twinned with that spanning the Danube between Buda and Pest, Greenlands, the Borlase School, and Medmenham village – and the latter’s Hellfire Club and Danesfield’s long associations with the RAF, starting with processing of air photographs taken over enemy territory and delivered via Benson airfield.
Members Evening on 26 January 2011
Sixteen members gathered at Bix to display themes related closely or loosely to the Letter P. This letter has very wide application and many members produced several topics, which included the following:
Pakistan: Overprints in many varieties on Indian Stamps in 1947. Also examples of different high value issues and attractive pictorials.
Papal States of Italy.
Panama to Peru: A 1778 map of the region and a 1818 letter to an address in Quito.
Parma, an Italian grand duchy absorbed into Sardinia in 1860.
Peru: Peruvian and British stamps on letters posted from British post offices in Peru, including several very scarce examples. Fine revenue and other Cinderella stamps from Peru and other countries.
Pearls: Thematic stamps.
Plate numbers: Examples of GB Victorians including explanatory enlargements.
Pahang, Penang and Perak: Examples from these three Malay states, with emphasis on ‘tigers’.
Philippine Islands: Spanish, US, Japanese, Victory and Independence issues.
Pictorial (multi-card folding) letter: example from Guernsey.
Piers on postcards: Examples of the 90 or so Victorian piers around Britain, of which about 50 survive today.
Poland: Government in exile (London) – stamps, covers and explanations of these fine depictions of Polish efforts in World War II. Stamps issued by German and Austrian occupiers in both world wars (overprints and definitives) and a (probably) British intelligence issue depicting German Governor Frank instead of Hitler.
Port Gdansk: Polish stamps overprinted for issue by Polish post offices in Danzig whilst that city was German territory between the world wars.
Poonch: Interesting examples of these not-often-seen Indian princely state stamps.
Portugal: Early stamps.
Portuguese colonies: Similar early colonial issues plus the colony-only ‘crown’ issues.
Postage dues: Guernsey.
Postage stamps (!) of British Empire Queen Victorian and King Edward VII sets, including the high values.
Postcards and other illustrations of Euston and Bricklayers Arms stations, London.
Prime ministers and presidents: Illustrations and descriptions of Nigerians. Also handover of power by many Argentine presidents (none of whom died violently during their terms of office).
Prince Edward Island: All three sets.
Proofs of stamps for many countries, mainly of revenue stamps.
Propaganda: Including various stamps and British anti-German postcards and cartoons.
Prussia: Examples from three issues (1850-1867).
Puerto Rico: Spanish (‘baby’) and US (overprint) examples.
Member Displays 12 January 2011
Fourteen members met at Bix for an evening dedicated to Exhibitions, Festivals and Carnivals.
Argentina is a country that takes festivals seriously and lists hundreds of annual ‘nacional fiestas’. We saw fine pictorial stamp depictions of many of these covering everything from music, song and dance, through beauty contests to ‘traditions’, flowers and even apples.
British Elizabethan celebration stamps were perhaps more modest but attractive and collectable – again a wide variety including a scout jamboree, royal jubilee, architectural achievement and international stamp exhibitions.
Earlier British stamps (Kings George V and VI) included the British Empire Exhibition of 1924 and 1925, the Olympic Games in 1948 and the Festival of Britain in 1951. Members also showed a page of the 1924 and 1925 stamps, with the perforation varieties and a range of postmarks, explanation, maps and documents relating to Wembley Park generally as well as the 1924 exhibition, the 1948 Olympic events and subsequent times, similar illustration of Festival of Britain features including ‘live architecture’ in the form of new social housing in East London.
Examples of festive events in other countries included stamps from Spain, Switzerland, Germany, and - for typical West Indian exuberance – Anguilla. Among the New Zealand commemoratives of 1940 were examples of those with ‘gridded gum’ (to prevent unused stamps curling up), now valued at about 15 times the usual versions.