Sunday, May 16, 2010

London 2010 (II)

As I explained in my previous post, my first stop at London 2010 Festival of stamps was for the very spacious booth of Royal Mail. To commemorate the event, Royal Mail has issued a very impressive number of items. On the booth you could find a free catalogue of all the items issued at this occasion. Here is the cover of this15 pages catalogue.
One important point to mention is that May 2010 represents the 100th anniversary of the Accession of King George V, therefore a lot of the items produced for the festival were link to the commemoration of this anniversary.

The first item I selected was the first class stamp issued to celebrate the festival and picturing the profiles of Queen Elizabeth II and King George V. Here is the stamp, mentioning the London 2010 festival of stamps.

On Royal Mail booth you could purchase this stamp in various formats: cylinder (a block of six stamps showing cylinder numbers in the sheet margin), traffic lights (a block of six stamps with the famous traffic lights printed in the sheet margin), or gutter pair (a pair of stamps separated by an unprinted gutter). I selected the last format, with a gutter containing the date of issue of the stamps.

This stamp is also part of a souvenir sheet issued for the event.

In addition to the First Class stamp the souvenir sheet contains a 1£stamp picturing two portraits of King George V:
- the “Downey head” (on the left) which was the first definitive stamp picturing the King and which was based on a three-quarters photograph by W & D Downey
- the “Profile head” (on the right) which replaced the previous one in 1912 as it seems nobody liked it (even the King himself was disappointed by the final result)

The design of the border of the souvenir sheet is inspired by a 1928 Bradbury Wilkinson engraving.
To be noted that a version of the souvenir sheet overprinted with the location of the show (Business Design Center) on the top right corner was also available.

Another thing to mention is that non philatelic products picturing those stamps were also available such as a pin badge illustrated with the First Class stamp or this coffee much and coaster that I personally find very British!

Another souvenir sheet was also available on the booth, containing four stamps picturing some of the finest and best known stamps issued during the reign of George V.

The two stamps on the left pictures the stamps issued in 1924 for the British Empire Exhibition. It is to be noticed that these stamps were the first commemorative stamps issued by Royal Mail.
The two others are known as the “seahorse stamps”, they picture Britannia riding the waves in triumph in a chariot pulled by powerful horses.

Both souvenir sheets were sold also in a presentation pack that contains some very informative details about the King George V definitive stamps.

Other items were the London 2010 Exhibition Stamp Sheet containing the lowest value of Machin definitives and a stamp booklet.
A lot of other items were available such as dedicated “smilers” sheets (you could even print your own “smilers” sheet on demand), postcards, first day covers, postal stationery, stamp ingot covers…

I finally purchased a book containing a lot of information about stamps issued during the reign of George V.

In my next post I will share with you the souvenirs that I could buy from the booths of the foreign postal administrations.


keijo said...

That coffee mug is a definite smasher IMHO :)

msyanwu said...

I was going to buy the coffee mug but I ran out of time and had to leave... Argh....