World Stamps

The Two-Penny Tyrian Plum: Inside Linn's

Jan 4, 2019, 1 PM
In the spring of 1910, Great Britain printed millions of King Edward VII 2-penny stamps with a bold, new design in a color called Tyrian plum. Abruptly, the entire supply of stamps was incinerated, with just a dozen or so examples surviving on the philatelic market. Over a century later, the unanswered questions surrounding this aborted issue only add to its mystique. Image courtesy of Ian Gibson-Smith.

By Denise McCarty

The Jan. 21 monthly issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Jan. 7. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Jan. 5. Here are three stories you'll want to check out.

The many mysteries of the Two-Penny Tyrian Plum

In 1910, Great Britain printed millions of King Edward VII 2-penny stamps with a bold, new design in a color called Tyrian plum. Abruptly, the entire supply of stamps was incinerated, with just a dozen or so examples surviving on the philatelic market. In this issue of Linn’s, Matthew Healey unravels some of the mysteries of the Two-Penny Tyrian Plum.

The stamps we collect come from panes and sheets — do you know the difference?

Many post office customers request a sheet of stamps from the clerk at the counter, but in most cases what they really want is a smaller pane. Michael Baadke describes and illustrates these two terms and more in the Stamp Collecting Basics column.

Postal reform in India and the 1854 Queen Victoria stamps

Unveiling Classic Stamps columnist Sergio Sismondo examines the postal reform that led to India’s 1854 stamp issue and also provides details behind the creation of the stamp designs by Capt. Henry Edward Landor Thuiller and an artist and engraver named Maniruddin.

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