The Jubilee of Penny Postage
South Kensington Interesting Uses
Unusual Postcards

R.C. Tombs notes in his "Report Of The Controller" concerning the South Kensington Conversazione, Altogether 23,200 Jubilee envelopes were posted in the Museum and dealt with at the Postal Sorting Office, and 5,700 ordinary letters, and 6,700 ordinary post-cards. Whether this figure includes the 'hand back' of items purchased or brought to be stamped with the special indicia of the day is not clear.

In this instance a two part 'Reply Postcard' was so favor cancelled. 'Reply' postcards were introduced, in both Inland and Foreign types, in 1882. The two halves of this example are still attached by the linen hinge. As the card stock is 'extra thick', called 'stout' by the G.P.O., this may be why a 'hinge' was necessary as against the simply folded stock of the 'thin' cards. 'Stout' postcards in 1890 sold at 6d for a packet of 10 'Singles', a 'reduction from the previous 8d per packet of 12. This against the 51/2d per packet of 10 for the 'thin' cards, which also were reduced from the previous 7d per packet of 12. No price has been found for the packets of 'Reply' postcards.

With this notice of reduction also came a concern; It is not, however, improbable that the effect of the reduction in price will lead to a further increase in the volume of halfpenny matter, which, in the opinion of the Select Committee on Revenue Estimates, is carried at a loss. [35th Report of the Postmaster General - 1889]

Note the perforations on this 'Thin' Reply Postcard to aid folding.


Among the 5,700 'ordinary letters' posted at the South Kensington Conversazione, some were of the Penny Pink type. One such, sent to A.E. Griffiths who prepared quite a number of mailings, arrived having been inspected and thus stamped; Found in N.W. / without contents in a boxed frame, double line advisory. Obviously these were simply mailings to obtain the cancel, but sharp eyes spotted the possible loss adding to the interest of this envelope.




30th September, 2014