Postal Union Congress
The Congress was one of the four-yearly formal meetings of the Universal Postal Union and was attended by representatives of most of the world’s major postal authorities.
Initial plans were to issue ½d, 1d, 1½d and 2½d values, with a £1 value added later on. The £1 stamp may have been to boost the low value of the set of stamps to be presented to delegates, or may simply have been to generate income to offset the cost of staging the Congress.
The Post Office assembled a selection committee and invited nine artists and two printing companies to submit designs. The committee chose the following designs which were approved by Queen Mary as the King was unwell.
- F W Farleigh’s design showing the King’s portrait in an oval, with a crown above, was chosen for the ½d value in green, and a similar design in blue chosen for the 2½d value.
- Ernest Linzell’s design showing the King’s portrait with the Union Jack behind was chosen for the 1d and 1½d values in red and brown respectively.
- Harold Nelson’s St George and the Dragon design was selected for the £1 value in black.
The low values were letterpress printed by Waterlow and Sons, using printing plates produced by the Royal Mint, in the same size and corresponding colours as the equivalent definitives.
The larger format £1 was line-engraved by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co. In addition to sheets, the three low values were issued in rolls and booklets.