1890 Uniform Penny Postage – The Harry Furniss Caricature

Harry Furniss Post Office Jumble Uniform Penny Post CaricatureA short time after the South Kensington Exhibition, Harry Furniss [a noted caricaturist of the time] published his version of the Jubilee Envelope and Card. The purpose of the caricature was to highlight the poor working conditions that many postmen were subject to. In fact in June of 1890, the first major strike of postal workers took place.

At the time of the production of these caricatures 100 “special subscription” copies printed in black were prepared. It is thought that these were sold to pay for the preparation of the 10’000 due to be printed in blue. Each of these envelopes and the insert cards were signed by Harry Furniss and are sometimes sold as “proofs”.

Most examples seen are unused (a listing of all used examples I have recorded are below), though the remainders of the edition of 10,000 were obtained by the Stamp Collector’s Fortnightly. These copies were distributed with the 15th December 1906 edition and are stamped in dull red on the envelope backflap in five lines; “Presented / with the /  Christmas Number of the / Stamp Collector’s Fortnightly / December 15th, 1906”.

Recorded Usages

Harry Furniss Post Office Jumble caricature sent within Liverpool1. 1890 (Jul 24) sent within Liverpool with 1d lilac ¹

History: Regency Superior, Aug 2014, lot 2494, realised $357

Harry Furniss caricature2. 1890 (Jul 25) Sent within London with 1881 1d lilac die II, a few slight age stains, otherwise fine.

History: Grosvenor 25th Jan 2007 lot 104 realised £380 plus commission

Harry Furniss Post Office Jumble caricature3. 1890 (Jul 25) Sent within London with 1881 1d lilac die II, a few slight age stains, otherwise fine

History: Sold by Special Auction Services, March 2015

4. 1890 (Jul 25) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from London to York with 1881 1d lilac¹

5. 1890 (Jul 25?) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from London to Brighton with 1881 1d lilac¹

6. 1890 (Jul 25?) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from London to Cambridge with 1881 1d lilac¹

7. 1890 (Jul 25) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from London to Southampton with 1881 1d lilac

History: For sale by Mulready Philatelics October 2018 for £475

Harry Furniss Post Office Jumble Uniform Penny Post Caricature usage8.  1890 (Jul 26) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent to Guildford with 1d lilac, tied London double ring cancel, a little grubby, back stamped Guildford.

History: Corbitts March 2012 lot 1979 realised £115 plus commission

9.  1890 (Jul 26) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent to Ramsgate ¹

10. 1890 (Jul 26) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent to Ballymena

Post Office Jumble Harry Furniss caricature11. 1890 (Jul 31) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from Lombard St. B.O. with 1881 1d lilac ¹

History: Cavendish June 2016 lot 2275 sold as part of group for £260 plus commission; For sale by Mulready Philatelics for £595 July 2016

Harry Furniss 1890 Penny Post Jubilee caricature12. 1890 (Jul 31) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from London to Elham, Kent,  with 1881 1d lilac tied by London E.C. squared circle ¹

Harry Furniss 1890 Penny Post Jubilee caricature with Hoster machine cancel13. 1890 (Jul 31) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent within London with 1881 1d lilac tied by London Hoster machine cancel ¹

History: For sale by Samwells Ltd for £450 in 2016

14. 1890 (Aug 2) Penny Postage Jubilee “POST OFFICE JUMBLE” satirical envelope by Harry Furniss sent registered from London to France

History: For sale by Mulready Philatelics (Oct 2018) for £625

 

84.0015. 1890 (Sep 12) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with 1d lilac tied by London Hoster machine cancel, Leatherhead arrival bs (scan of reverse)

History: Sold on eBay May 2014 for £84

Harry Furniss 1890 Penny Post Jubilee caricature16.  1890 (Sep 24) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from Dewsbury to Canada with 2 1/2d Jubilee ¹

Post Office Jumble Harry Furniss caricature17. 1890 (Nov 30) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature sent from Chippenham to London with 1/2d green, 1/2d blue and Foreign Bill 1d

History: Cavendish sale 682 ex lot 1310

Harry Furniss Post Office Jumble Uniform Penny Post Caricature registered usage18. 1890 (Dec 13) Penny Postage Jubilee “POST OFFICE JUMBLE” satirical envelope by Harry Furniss, sent registered from Eastbourne to Germany with three 1887 1 1/2d (two on reverse), address partly erased, very rare registered use.

History: David Feldman SA September 2012 lot 31575 estimate €500 (unsold)

19. 1890 (Dec 24) Penny Postage Jubilee “POST OFFICE JUMBLE” satirical envelope by Harry Furniss sent to Wimbledon with 1d red pl.215 tied by London dulpex

History: Ex Eric Kenwright (Argyll EtkinSep 27th 2018 lot 338 realised £200 plus commission)

20. 1891? (Mar 11) Penny Postage Jubilee “POST OFFICE JUMBLE” satirical envelope by Harry Furniss from Birkenhead to Fairfield with 1881 1d lilac

21. 1895 (Oct 19) Penny Postage Jubilee “POST OFFICE JUMBLE” satirical envelope by Harry Furniss sent locally in London with 1881 1d lilac tied by geometric ds

History: For sale by Andrew Lajer for £325 (Oct 2017)

Harry Furniss Post Office Jumble envelope22. 1896 (Dec 21) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with 1887 1/2d vermilion tied by Ipswich squared circle ds

Post Office Jumble Harry Furniss caricature23. 1896 (Dec 24) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with 1d lilac, redirected from London to Bristol

History: For sale by KC Philatelics for £735

24. 1898 (Dec 27) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with 1881 1d lilac ¹

Harry Furniss Post Office Jumble charicature

25. 1900 (May 13) Penny Postage Jubilee “POST OFFICE JUMBLE” satirical envelope by Harry Furniss from Harrow to Switzerland with  six 1900 1/2d green (five on reverse)

History: Sold by Andrew Lajer £400

1890 Uniform Penny Post Post Office Jumble Harry Furniss caricature26. 1903 Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with KEVII 1d sent within London

History: Cavendish sale 676 ex lot 1366

Harry Furniss 1890 Penny Post Jubilee caricature with postal stationery cut-outs27. 1906 (Jan 18) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with QV postal stationery cut-outs (one missing) sent from London to the Netherlands

9299

1442

28. 1914 (Apr 14) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with 1887 2 1/2d and KGV 1/2d sent to the Falkland Islands

History: Grosvenor 21st May 2014 lot 1442 sold £170 plus commission

Harry Furniss caricature envelope29. 1930 Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with KGV 1 1/2d sent to the USA

30. 1940 (May 6) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee cover caricature with 1940 1d tied by Llangollen cds

History: Sold on eBay for £56 (Oct 2017)

Insert Cards

1890 (Jul 31) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee caricature insert card with 1887 1/2d vermilion tied by London squared circle, London bs

History: For sale by Mulready Philatelics Oct 2018 for £295

1890 (Jul 31) Harry Furniss Uniform Penny Post Jubilee caricature insert card with 1887 1/2d vermilion tied by London squared circle, partial arrival bs

 

Notes:

¹ Thanks to John A. McCulloch for this information

Bibliography / Further Reading

The Philatelic Studies of John A. McCulloch

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2 responses to “1890 Uniform Penny Postage – The Harry Furniss Caricature

  1. simon Fairthorne

    Were there two editions of this envelope? In the above illustrations in 11, 17 and 19 the head of the left hand horse is well above the protruding feet on the left, whilst in all the other examples they are level (there are other smaller differences as well)

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