THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS ISSUED BY THE PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN
The Royal Philatelic Collection will be exhibiting at the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum, Washington from 6th April, 2004.
The exhibition from The Queen's collection will feature material produced in the lead-up to the introduction of the Penny Black, Twopenny Blue and the Mulready for use from 6th May, 1840.
Commenting on the exhibition, the Keeper of Royal Philatelic Collection, Michael Sefi, said: "This will be a rare opportunity for visitors and Washingtonians alike to see some unique and very special material from The Queen's collection."
Highlights include the "Kirkcudbright Cover" - in fact, a wrapper - bearing the largest multiple (10) of Penny Blacks known on first day of use, bought by Her Majesty The Queen in 2001. The unique block of 38 unused Twopenny Blues from Plate 1 is also being shown.
Also included will be the pre-Treasury Essay material, some of the Treasury Essays and material illustrating the development of the Penny Black, Twopenny Blue and the Mulready envelopes and lettersheets.
The exhibition will also illustrate the work undertaken in selecting a new colour for the Penny stamp, by showing some of the obliteration experiments and "Rainbow Trials", and goes on to display Penny Red printings from the "Black" Plates.
The stamps will be shown with other rare stamps from the Collection, including: the "Post Office" Mauritius penny and twopence; British Guiana and Bermuda items; The Cape of Good Hope "Woodblock" errors of colour; as well as other "gems" from the Collection.