Thursday, April 30, 2009

Donald Currie and Company

In 1862, Donald Currie purchased controlling shares in the Leith, Hull and Hamburg Steam Packet Company and set up his shipping company as the Castle Shipping Line. The London ship repair yards of the Castle Shipping Line were established under the trading name of Donald Currie and Company.

Donald Currie became Sir Donald Currie in 1881 while he was member of parliament for Garth. He passed away in 1909 at the age of 83.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Credito Italiano

Perfin collectors will know Credito Italiano as the source of thousands of CI perfins on Italian stamps. Much more rare is the Credito Italiano overprint on British stamps.

Credito Italiano opened an office in London in 1911. The stamp shown here is from the 1930s--a time when this bank (among others) had been refinanced by the Italian govenment's Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale, the bank having gone bankrupt in the Great Depression.

Friday, April 10, 2009

G. Hitchcock & Co.

This G. Hitchcock & Co. overprint may be from the firm that preceded G. Hitchcock Williams & Co., who were known to have used underprints (G.H.W. & Co.) on issues of 1864-79.

Hitchcock Williams & Co. also used overprints on issues in the 1930s and 1940s.

Arthur and Company, Limited

In the 19th century there was a manufacturing firm named Arthur and Company, Limited that had its head office and warehouse in Glasgow. There were factories in London, Leeds, Manchester, Ireland and Scotland as well as an office in New Zealand. I believe that this overprint is from that firm.

There are at least three distinct overprints known from Arthur and Company, and all are on this issue.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

R. Twining and Company Ltd.

The firm that was R. Twining and Company in the 1870s was founded in 1706 by Thomas Twining. At that time Thomas would sell 100 grams of his Gunpowder Green Tea for the equivalent of £160 in today’s currency.

Although Twinings is still in business today, I am not aware of their commercial overprints on any issue but the one shown here.

T. Tapling & Co. Ld. part 2

T. Tapling & Co. was in operation (and using commercial overprints) in 1874, as this example shows.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tod Brothers & Co.

Tod Brothers were flour millers in Stockbridge, Edinburgh from at least 1874. The company's flour mill was severely damaged by a gas explosion and subsequent fire c. 1901.

The company moved to new premises in Leith, Edinburgh. At some point the name was changed to A & R Tod. Commercial overprints with that name are known from at least 1934 to 1943.

Dolgellau R.D.C.

It is difficult to know how rare a given overprint is, but this one from Dolgellau, Wales (pop. 2,700) is probably quite scarce.

At the time this overprint was created, Dolgellau was the county town (that is, "main town" or capital) of the county of Merionethshire.

A catalogue of British commercial overprints

Gianni Sironi has created a catalogue of British commercial overprints! The files at are in PDF form for easy printing. The image on the left is a sample page (the cover of chapter S).

I've been asked about the Bonney & Lane catalogues that were made years ago. Apparently those catalogues were created in a type of software that cannot be read these days. I'm told that there have been attempts to covert the data, but these were unsuccessful.