The collection is a fusion of different studies that have been pursued over 45 years of energetic collecting. The intention is to show a very wide range of unusual covers from all around the world - with the emphasis on early letters and First-Issue covers - and to include covers from as many different countries as possible; 115 countries are represented in all, ranging from Afghanistan to Zululand. The exhibitor’s recent book International Postal Reforms, 1550-1898, only tells part of the story and while some of the 824 items illustrated in that book are included in the frames on this occasion, they are in the minority for many countries.
The structure of the display is mainly geographical – each continent being dealt with in turn – and the items from each country are then shown in chronological order. Free-standing frames of threedimensional objects (dating from 3000BC to 1902AD), including cuneiform ‘clay-tablet’ letters, complete 1860s stamp albums and registered tube-post of the B