Stamp Classics (15th January) was a minisheet only issue, which pays tribute to historic British stamps from the reigns of six monarchs.
The Leonardo da Vinci issue (13th February), comprised of two setenant strips of six stamps and a Prestige Stamp Booklet. On the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, 144 of his finest drawings from Royal Collection Trust are being displayed during 2019 at 12 museums and galleries across the UK.
The Philatelic Society
The Royal Philatelic Society London is the oldest philatelic society in the world, and was established in 1869. In 1896, the HRH the Duke of York, son of King Edward VII became President of the Society, an office he continued to hold until his accession to the throne as HM Kind George V in 1910. Permission to use the prefix ‘Royal’ was granted by His Majesty King Edward VII in 1906. Following his accession, King George V acted as its Patron and in 1924, granted the Society permission to use the Royal Arms on its stationary and publications. The Royal philatelic tradition has been maintained and today, the Society is honoured by the Patronage of Her Majesty the Queen. Her Majesty graciously allows a section from The Royal Collection to be displayed at the Society’s opening meeting each season.
The Royal Collection
The Royal Collection is one of the largest and most widely distributed art collections in the world. Running to more than a million objects, it is a unique and valuable record of the personal tastes of Kings and Queens over the past 500 years. In addition to the well-known paintings, drawings and toes works of art, the Collection includes almost the entire contents of all the royal palaces. Following Charles I’s executive in 1649, the greater part of the King’s possessions were sold by order of Oliver Cromwell, and the Royal Collection has largely been formed since the Restoration of the Monarchy is 1660. The Royal Collection is not owned personally by The Queen, but is held in trust by her as Sovereign for her successors and the nation.
With regard to Leonardo da Vinci, The Royal Collection holds the greatest repertoire of Leonardo’s drawings in existence (having been obtained in 1680), housed in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Because they have been protected from light, fire and flood, they are in almost pristine condition and allow us to see exactly what Leonardo intended – and to observe his hand and mind at work, after a span of five centuries. These drawings are among the greatest artistic treasures of the UK, and on the anniversary of Leonardo’s death, they are brought to the widest audience ever.
Did you know…?
- King George V collected stamps from the age of 16 and today, his collection remains the basis of The Royal Philatelic Collection. He also had a total dislike of unnecessary stamp issues (ironic!).
- The reign of Queen Victoria produced the world’s first adhesive stamps, the Penny Black and Twopenny Blue, borough into use from the 6th May 1840.
- The reign of Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed the greatest changes to British stamps.
- Leonardo da Vinci was left-handed and throughout his life, he habitually wrote in perfect mirror image, from left to right.
- Leonardo was illegitimate, the child of a young peasant woman and a lawyer and was raised in his paternal godfather’s household.
- When Leonardo da Vinci died, he bequeathed his drawings to his favourite pupil, Francesco Melzi.
- Leonardo was fascinated by the male profile; their features, such as the dense mat of curly hair, were inspired by ancient coins and medals of Roman emperors.