Little Pieces of Art & History
Bletchley Park Post Office covers combine the art of a limited edition print with the added value and interest from new stamp issues cancelled by unique Bletchley Park Post Office handstamps. The artwork is specially commissioned from local artists, and every edition is strictly numbered. Each cover is in a protective sleeve, and has a card describing the design concept and stamp details.
A Brief History of First Day Covers
Specialist collectors always refer to an envelope as a cover. This comes from the early days of sending messages wrapped in a cover of silk or oiled cloth to protect the contents. Any addressed envelope with a stamp on it that has been cancelled on its first day of issue is a 'first day cover'. The earliest, and most valuable, example is an 1840 Twopenny Blue, issued on the 8th May. It is worth in excess of £25,000 GBP.
The first illustrated Post Office cover appeared in 1980 to mark the jubilee of the Penny Post. These can be worth between £30-£125 GBP. Many early covers are only valuable if they carry a rare stamp, a particularly special address or cancellation postmark.
It was in the 1960's and 70's that specially designed 'official covers', published by specialist producers using sponsored post marks, appeared. These promoted wider interest in cover collecting, and many collectors built their collections around specific themes. Often produced in high value limited editions, these have the stamps specially cancelled and do not go through the postal system as it could actually reduce their value. However, to be legal they must carry a valid stamp and address. The Bletchley Park address as part of the design naturally makes our covers a little more special.
First Day Cover Collecting
If you have an interest in knowing more about British first day covers, or would like to start collecting them, there are some useful addresses on our links page. Or, use our e-mail facility to send your enquiry to us and we will provide the best response we can.
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