The Jubilee of Penny Postage
Christmas Card
4th November, 1890

A rather large card, measuring 6 1/2" by 9 1/2' on soft, heavy stock [without any border]. The card was produced by both typography [dark brown, almost black solid lines] and lithography [brown and grey-green, shaded dots or broken lines] processes. It was issued in November, 1890 for the closing of the Penny Postage Jubilee celebrations.

The Guildhall Cancel illustrated is the 'handback' or Type H-1, while the South Kensington is of Type 2, being the 'large' diameter.

As with the Guildhall postcard, this was also sold for 6d [16.35 in 2013] and proceeds were for the Rowland Hill Memorial and Benevolent Fund.

At the annual meeting of the Rowland Hill Memorial And Benevolent Fund in the Mansion House on 11th November, 1890, Mr. Baines, C.B. presented the Fund with 7,000 as the amounts raised by the Executive Committee of the Uniform Inland Penny Postage Jubilee Celebration [4,579,000 in 2013].

The total raised for the Fund during the Jubilee year, through all efforts, was 12,260 pounds and 10 pence. That's approximately 8,019,000 in 2013.

The cards were accompanied by a thin stock, buff coloured envelope for mailing. One user, Mr. T. H. Voller, inscribed his name in the centre. Perhaps, after sending other cards to others, he found he had an 'extra' and posted one back to himself.

In 1885 the land around Walton, Lancashire was nearly empty, but by 1890 had been building up as a suburb of Liverpool. His house then was probably new and quite a step for a Civil Service Clerk.

Thomas Harry Voller, born in 1857 in Bermondsey, became appinted as a telegrapher in London's West Central district at the age of 20. By age 24 he was a clerk in the Prison Department. At the time of this mailing he would have been about 33.

A forgery of this Christmas Card exists, produced in 1978 by a Mr. Thomas Bray of Burgess Hill, Sussex. He employed a local printer to produce a plate from an original of the Christmas Card. About 1000 were made at a total cost of 250. When raided by the police, some 800 cards were recovered at his home. After his conviction the police destroyed the plate and the remainder of the cards seized or turned in as evidence, leaving about 200 in the hands of collectors and dealers.

The colour of the forgery is good and so is the quality of the printing. However, the original was printed by de la Rue using their surface printing technique while the reproduction was made by photogravure, so a screen will be apparent on the reproduction. The original is on thick soft card; the forgery is on crisp white thinner card (if not stained by coffee, which a number were after complaints had been received that they looked too new!) On the reverse some of them bear very crude examples of the special 1890 handstamps in various colours. The presence of any handstamp is a clear indication that it is a reproduction as the postmarks are dated May and July 1890 (the card was not issued until November) and no examples of the genuine have been found bearing these postmarks.
Stamp Lover: April 1983




Genuine CardBray's Forgery

About 1987 [I have a copy dated by hand for that year] the Valentine Press produced a reduced size, folded Christmas card for Bernardo Publications. Size of this card is: 5 3/4" by 8 1/2". The front is a copy of the 1890 Jubilee Christmas card, adding a brown border. Note: this reproduction was taken from another genuine card without the 'dots' near the flag of the G.P.O. unlike those seen on Bray's forgery.

On the left inside is found:
The purchase of this card is
helping Dr. Barnardo's to help a child.

The greeting is:
With every good wish
for Christmas and
the New Year.

The back:
Christmas pictorial commemorative print
A C Collection.





15th March, 2016