Previous Lot Next Lot

Auction: 23027 - Stamps and Covers of Great Britain
Lot: 2079

Great Britain
Line Engraved Proofs and Essays
Charles Whiting, Methods of Avoiding Postal Fraud
1840 (26 May) letter signed by Charles Whiting at Beaufort House to Francis Baring, Chancellor of the Exchequer, over two pages with integral address panel and filing endorsements.

Whiting, one of the four Treasury Competition Winners, writes requesting the return of "a model of a stamping machine, which I submitted to the Lords of the Treasury ... as presenting an effectual method of printing the same stamps from being used twice by uniting the process of printing and piercing at the same moment." Whiting appears dismissive of the machinery with "instances constantly occurring of the same Stamp being used again." ... "Very recently, at Birmingham, a case was pointed out to me where the same Stamp had been used three times, and the very Stamp was received by me on a letter, which the slightest chemical knowledge has again rendered fit for use, presuming it were in accordance with my notions of right and justice to do so".

At this juncture, there is an 1840 1d. black Plate 2 example lettered HL (three margins) affixed and set within the text which appears unused. Whiting then adds that had Whiting's compounds etc. been employed this instance might have been avoided. "I may perhaps be thought intrusive by this communication, but, I feel it my duty to make it; and I take the liberty to add a Specimen of what I conceive would very considerably increase the difficulty of forgery of our Coin.".
In two instances, Sir Rowland Hill has annotated in the margin in pencil, mostly rejecting Whiting's ideas "They will be given up on application", "Neither one nor the other affords any unusual security", in each case the note is initialled "RH ".
Signed "I have, Sir, the honour to remain, With respect, Your obedient Servant, Charles F. Whiting".
The document, which is a trifle foxed and folded in places, shows part examples of Whiting's "cancelled/vr/post paid" and "post/go free/office" cancellations on front and back.

A remarkable document of enormous historical and philatelic importance, offering a unique insight into the contemporary use, and abuse, of both the Maltese Cross cancellation, and the Penny Black.

The Northbrook Papers, Christie's, 17 December, 1996, Lot 22

Subject to 20% VAT on Buyer’s Premium. For more information please view Terms and Conditions for Buyers.

£8,000 to £10,000

Starting price

Sale 23027 Notices
The adhesive is with four margins, not three as mis-printed in the catalogue.