My collection of the Oxford University College Stamps

We all have and handle these from time to time. "Back of book", Revenues, "Cinderellas", duty stamps and all kinds of other stamp like labels. Discuss them all HERE!

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Expatyeoman
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My collection of the 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

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SG CS1 / Lister 46

1884 ½d ultramarine. Perf 11.5

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Exeter College, Oxford

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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 »

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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 !

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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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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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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

Another couple now secured for the collection :)

First up, a second example of the Lincoln College stamp in a different shade.

It is marked in pencil on the back "2nd printing" and with the two side by side I now revise my opinion on my other one which in comparison I now believe to be from the final printing.

If anyone can help confirm or correct on those I'd be grateful. Lister, Sigee and Cummings list four shades ranging from dark to light indigo, and Gibbons only three (deep blue, prussian blue and deep dull blue). As they are shade ranges it is a bit of a minefield!
CS11a Lincoln.jpg
CS11 Lincoln.jpg
Last edited by Expatyeoman on 15 Jan 2022 15:20, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

And the second, a copy - finally! - for Balliol.

Lincoln broke with convention by being the only college to include the value on theirs; Balliol go the other way and have no name whatsover, just an embossing of the college arms.

These ones had been prepared for issue but with the legal ruling against the colleges they were never put into use.
CS2 Balliol.jpg
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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

With those two I'm now just over the half way point and have an example for each of the colleges.

First row. Oxford: All Souls, Balliol, Exeter, Hertford, Keble
Second. Oxford: Lincoln (two printings), Merton (embossed), Merton (lithographed), St John's
Third. Cambridge. Queens', St John's, Selwyn
202201 Colleges.jpg
Now to try to find the remaining issues for Keble, Lincoln and Merton...
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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Global Administrator »

Expatyeoman wrote: 15 Jan 2022 15:09 And the second, a copy - finally! - for Balliol.

Lincoln broke with convention by being the only college to include the value on theirs; Balliol go the other way and have no name whatsover, just an embossing of the college arms.

These ones had been prepared for issue but with the legal ruling against the colleges they were never put into use.

Image
Hope the Art Student creating that one, was failed. :mrgreen:

This is also imperf at sides. Was that just later trimming do you feel, or were they issued in strips etc like the Merton one?
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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

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Expatyeoman wrote: 09 Jul 2020 11:35
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!

I think that avatar is British Guiana?

Image

The 1852 Sind Dawke or Scinde Dawk early India stamp trio, from Sind Province, are all pricey, and heavily faked of course - ScamBay is full of them naturally. :roll: :roll: :roll:

See listing in SG before India.

This blue one on paper below is clearly genuine. (There is also a white one on paper.) The red value, with the die reputedly made by De La Rue, (cat 35,000 quid) was literally a blob of red sealing wax, that of course cracks and falls apart after 170 years.

India genuine blue Scind Dawk 4 Anna stamp ex Dale Lichtenstein collection
India genuine blue Scind Dawk 4 Anna stamp ex Dale Lichtenstein collection
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Click HERE to see superb, RARE and unusual stamps, at FIXED low nett prices, high rez photos, and NO buyer fees etc!
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Re: Oxford University College Stamps

Post by Expatyeoman »

Global Administrator wrote: 15 Jan 2022 16:30
Hope the Art Student creating that one, was failed. :)

This is also imperf at sides. Was that just later trimming do you feel, or were they issued in strips etc like the Merton one?

Yep, there was no expense incurred on that one!

They were produced as vertical strips of 17 (strange number, why I know not) so yes all examples are imperf x perf.

The strips had to be fed into the embosser then turned so there was one tete-beche on each strip. Now there can't be many of those still around either..
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