Thursday, July 25, 2013

Special Delivery

People have always been compelled to decorate their correspondence as an expression of love and friendship, or to commemorate a special event. Here is a bit of colorful postal history featuring some advertising and hand-illustrated and lettered envelopes which went up at auction about a decade ago at Grosvenor Philatelic Auctions in London. The Torquay & South Devon Rose commemorative envelope, above was postmarked in 1872.

A bewildering illustration of an orange seller being trampled. Postmarked 1865.

Miss E. Quarmby was indeed a very lucky woman to have received these beautifully inscribed envelopes in decorative rustic hand-lettering from the hand of a talented admirer. Postmarked 1883 & 1884.

Considered to be a propaganda envelope, but none-the-less lovely. Postmarked 1852.

Hand-illustrated strongman by Hugh Rose, postmarked 1898.

An advertising envelope for Lord George Sanger's Circus, postmarked 1893.

Arthur Granger's safety envelope, postmarked 1862.

Another letter for Mrs. King-Harman, this time with a faux fly on it. Postmarked 1897.

Hand-illustrated coorespondence to Miss Monshall, postmarked between 1887-1937. 

A Welsh mountain watercolor illustration postmarked 1948. Some lovely hand-lettering hasn't gone unnoticed either. 

Another advertising envelope with some great illustrations for Lord George Sanger's Greatest Circus at the Hippodrome, postmarked 1891.


  1. Just awesome - I'm an ephemera junkie - this is quite the fix! Thanks!

  2. These are lovely. I lived near Crosland Moor and now live next to Devon, nearly 400 miles apart.

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  4. Just beautiful. I especially love the watercolor mountains! I've always been interested in quirky illustrations, like these bookmarks for books
    a friend recently gave me. There's something really special about using such a personal and artistic touch on items we use everyday.


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