Chapter 6

Post Office Postal Stationery 1873 to 1920

 

The OUS also made use of Post Office postal stationery, “the Society’s postcards” (Ref. 126).

 

Four postcards, the first two in the Donaldson collection, have been found handstamped OXFORD/ UNION SOCIETY in black on the back at the top centre:

 

  • ½d lilac inland card Huggins and Baker (Ref. 127) CP2 (1870) used 6 December 1873 to Frodsham (in Cheshire)
  • ½d brown inland card Huggins and Baker CP4 (1875) used 8 December 1877 to Mrs Massingham at Norwich (see Chapter 4) - Figure 37 and Figure 38
  • 1d brown foreign card Huggins and Baker CP10 (1879) used 28 January 1881 to Cannes (author's collection)
  • 1d brown foreign card Huggins and Baker CP15a (1883) used 4 Feb 1885 to Dresden (Hudson collection).

 

For the first three the handstamp is wide (43 x 8 mm.); for the last it is narrow (35 x 8 mm).

 

A postcard has also been found handstamped “O.U.S.” in black on the back at the NE corner:

 

·         1d brown foreign card Huggins and Baker CP15a (1883) used 22 Nov 1890 to Munich (Hudson collection).

 

The handstamp had to be on the back as otherwise the card would have contravened Post Office regulations and been charged as a letter.

 

Cummings noted the OUS provision of postcards and letter cards (Ref. 128). They were not to be used for “places within the messenger radius” (Ref. 129) - which was as described in Chapter 5  (in 1886) “less than half a mile” - as these were served by the free Oxford notes. The following postcards (but no reply cards) have been found embossed with the OUS arms dated 1823 on the back at the NE corner (there were no Post Office restrictions on albino-embossing):

 

Queen Victoria:

  • 1d red foreign card Huggins and Baker CP27 (1892) ­­- two unused and four used: 10 May 1892 to France (Harman collection), 26 February 1899 to San Marino (Donaldson collection), 6 December 1899 to Rotterdam (author’s collection - Figure 36) and undated (uncancelled) to Bordeaux with the message "Just a card partly to break my long silence partly to take another plum out of the Union" (Donaldson collection)
  • ½d brown inland card Huggins and Baker CP30 (1899) - one unused (Ref. 129a) and two used: 30 April 1901 to London (Ref. 129b) and 6 May 1901 to an unknown address (Harding collection)
  • 1d carmine foreign card Huggins and Baker CP35 (1899) - four unused
  • ½d green inland card Huggins and Baker CP38 (1901) - one unused, one used 27 November 1901 locally in Oxford (Harding collection).

 

Edward VII:

  • 1d carmine foreign card Huggins and Baker CP46 (1902) – two unused, one used 22 April 1906 to Zurich (Davey collection)
  • ½d yellow-green inland card Huggins and Baker CP48 (1904) - one used 25 June 1905 to Birmingham (author’s collection)
  • 1d carmine foreign card Huggins and Baker CP56a (1908) - two used: 22 May 1909 to Bavaria (author's collection) and 10 June 1909 to Germany (Davey collection).

 

George V:

  • 1d scarlet foreign card Huggins and Baker CP62 (1912) - one used 19 June 1913 to Cambridge, redirected to Harlesden in London (Harding collection).

 

Two letter cards have been found embossed with the same OUS arms but on the front at the NW corner:

 

  • Edward VII 1d carmine card Huggins and Baker LCP3a (1904 De La Rue printing) - one unused (Harding collection)
  • George V 1d carmine card Huggins and Baker LCP6 (1913) used 23 December 1914 to Kensington (author's collection).

 

The letter card, folded in two and sealed round the edges, allowed a short message to be sent with the same privacy as a letter.

 

Ordinary (non-Post Office) stationery has also been found embossed with the OUS arms dated 1823. There is a postcard embossed on the front at the top centre, with a George V ½d green Profile Head stamp, used 12 February 1915 to London (Harman collection).

 

Last updated 4 Apr 2017