Notes from the Past

De La Rue's Centenary Journal

Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd., of London, printers of postage stamps, and particularly for the British Empire, published a short time ago a special Centenary issue of their Journal in which they illustrated many of the postage stamps they have supplied to 147 countries during the past one hundred years.  I have not seen a copy of the Journal, but I understand it was a beautiful publication.  Many of these stamps, some of them recent issues still valid for postage, were illustrated in this booklet in colors.

De La Rue had an exhibit at the recent Fipex, in New York, and they arranged to have ten thousand of these booklets reprinted for sale at the show but none of them ever went on sale.  The illustrations in color of such stamps as were still good for postage violated the U. S. stamp illustration laws and the entire shipment of the books was impounded by the U. S. Customs authorities.  Had these illustrations of late stamps been in black and white the books would have cleared without difficulty.  Ultimately the shipment was released and returned to England, but De La Rue is sending out explanations that none can now be sent to the U. S. as they do not want to contravene the U. S. laws.

- George B. Sloane
Sloan's Column
July 14, 1956
Posted July 26, 2000

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