Oxford University College Stamps

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Expatyeoman
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Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

Although usually found in the "back of the book" section both Oxford and Cambridge Universities had the legal right dating back to the 1600s to provide their own delivery services by messenger. Stamps for these were first introduced in 1871 and used through to 1886 when the GPO formally objected to them.

For further information on these unusual stamps and their history I would recommend the following books:

- SG Specialised GB Catalogue Volume 1, Appendix
- College Stamps of Oxford and Cambridge by Raymond Lister
- The Post Office and the Colleges by Vincent West
- University Mails of Oxford and Cambridge 1490-1900 by David Sigee

SG unusually catalogue them in alphabetical order rather than by date of issue. Lister lists them by date of issue and includes postal stationery as well explaining the higher catalogue numbers.

Eight Oxford colleges issued stamps: All Souls', Balliol, Exeter, Hertford, Keble, Lincoln, Merton and St John's. Keble and Merton issued more than one type. I don't have them all, these are tough ones to find, I'll add as and when I track them down!

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All Souls' College, Oxford

Post by Expatyeoman »

SG CS1 / Lister 46

1884 ½d ultramarine. Perf 11.5

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Exeter College, Oxford

Post by Expatyeoman »

SG CS3 / Lister 40-41 (shades)

1882 ½d salmon-red. Perf 12

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Hertford College, Oxford

Post by Expatyeoman »

SG CS4 / Lister 25

1879 ½d bright mauve. Perf 11.5 but with the outer sheet edges imperforate so stamps can be found with one or two imperf sides.

Fully imperforate examples are taken from a later reprint sheet.

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Keble College, Oxford

Post by Expatyeoman »

SG CS10 / Lister 9

1882 ½d ultramarine. Perf 11.5. The fifth issue from Keble

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Lincoln College, Oxford

Post by Expatyeoman »

SG CS11-11b / Lister 36-39 (shades)

1877 1d deep blue. Perf 14.5

Gibbons list three shades of this stamp, Lister four. I think mine is the deep blue shade but no others to compare it with to confirm!

I guess Lincoln students must have been richer than the other colleges, their rate was a penny compared to ha'pence for all the others. Lincoln along with Balliol were the only colleges to not include their name on the design.

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Merton College, Oxford

Post by Expatyeoman »

SG CS14 / Lister 21/22 (shades)

1883 ½d mauve. Perf 11.5. The third issue and design from this college.

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St John's College, Oxford

Post by Expatyeoman »

SG CS17 / Lister 44-45 (shades)

1884 ½d grey-blue. Perf 12

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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Brummie »

Thanks for showing these Expatyeoman, I didn't know that the universities had their own stamps. You learn something everyday here.

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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by fromdownunder »

I am staggered that every day I click onto the Boards that I learn how little I really know.

Expatyeoman, you have opened up yet another avenue of knowledge for members here. Thank you.

Norm
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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

You're most welcome, I'm glad they were of interest.

I came across them by chance and am at the beginning of my journey with these, there are some serious collectors and collections out there (Sigee's book illustrates some fantastic items, in particular ones on cover - I suspect they will have pretty special prices too.)

If I can find a Balliol one I will have got to a representative one from each college. Finding one of each as listed by SG though will I think be a lifetime endeavour. A good number of these catalogue quite cheaply in Gibbons but as so often seems to be the case with back of the book items their frequency of appearing for sale belies those prices.

As a newbie here thanks for your encouragement; I'll see what else I can find to share.

Michael

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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by vikingeck »

Image

as Michael mentioned in his introduction , they also produced postal stationery. This is an envelope from HERTFORD College . The coat of arms includes a deer , a " hart" in old English hunting terms.

I see there are three of these on ebay this week at around £45-£50 each!

I'm also looking for a Balliol,..... none on ebay !

Alex
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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

A very slight tangent with my latest acquisitions..

First up, a complete imperf sheet of the Hertford College stamp. Lister states that the sheets were only gummed and perforated when delivered to the college with the remainder held by the supplier. Only 99 sheets were delivered and 328 sheets held in reserve. This must be one of the latter then.

Image

And correcting my earlier post on Hertford, I said there that imperf singles were from a later reprint sheet but I think that incorrect and the imperfs are from these sheets held in reserve.
Last edited by Expatyeoman on 29 Jan 2017 12:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

Secondly, a single from Hertford college with unofficial perf 12 (the genuine are perf 11.5).

According to Lister six of the imperf sheets that were held in reserve were subsequently gummed and perforated "for a collector" although many of these were destroyed.

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SG CS12. 1876 Merton College ½d bright blue.

Post by Expatyeoman »

A long while since I have been able to post on this thread, which reflects the rarity of these issues. My latest find, one of the scarcest and certainly one I thought I would never see let alone acquire for the collection, so very happy when postie turned up with it today!

SG CS12. 1876 Merton College ½d bright blue.

Embossed with the college design and perf 11½-12 x imperf. Unusually these were issued in vertical strips not sheets hence the perf combination. The bright blue is more vivid in real life than the scan, but I didn't want to fiddle with the exposure as it does show the embossing in detail.
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CS12 Merton.jpg

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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by ottawasteve »

Reminds me of India’s Scinde Dawks.

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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

ottawasteve wrote:
07 Jul 2020 14:17
Reminds me of India’s Scinde Dawks.
I'm not familiar with those issues but if they're anything like your avatar then I would say yes indeed!

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