National Portrait Gallery, London, 150th Anniversary
The Pictorial Who's Who of British History

Postal History
Faeroese Postal History 
Hungarian Hyperinflation
Soviet-Lithuania 1947-90
Encased Stamps
Dutch Silver Stamp 
A Jewel on a Stamp
TPG Post 
Azad Hind 
Christmas Island 
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Kaulbach Island 
Canadian Nat. Symbols
Barcelos Rooster
Private - Personalized 
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St. Zeno 
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St. Valentine 
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Seven Wonders 
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Hidden Messages
Gothic Alphabet

Philatelic Art Mews
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
National Portrait Gallery
Bjrn Wiinblad


On 18th July, 2006, Royal Mail has issued a set of 10 stamps and a card series, featuring portraits from the National Portrait Gallery in London. I was delighted when I received an unexpected letter on 24th July, 2006, from a British friend, who had sent me 10 maximum-cards from this series. The cards are shown below as "large thumbnails". 

The National Portrait Gallery was established in 1856 after 10 years of effort by the 5th Earl Stanhope. and his supporters, including Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) and Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881). Stanhope first introduced the idea to the House of Commons in 1846; he tried again in 1852 and after he took his seat in the House of Lords he tried for a third time in 1856.

The Gallery was established with the criteria that it was to be about history, not about art, and about the status of the sitter, rather than the quality or character of a particular image considered as a work of art. As the guardian of more than 9,000 portraits of famous men and women and boasting a phenomenal archive, library and information technology gallery, the NPG rules the roost as a pictorial Whos Who of British history.

Sir Winston Churchill. Sir Joshua Reynolds.
  • Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), painted 1927 by Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942). Oil on Canvas 457 mm x 205 mm). 

  • Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792). Fragment of a self-portrait, painted c. 1747-1749. Oil on canvas (635 mm x 743 mm). 

T.S. Eliot. Emmeline Pankhurst.
  • Thomas Stearns Eliot, British poet, (1888-1965). Large fragment of a painting created c. 1949 by Patrick Heron (1920-1999). Oil on canvas, 762 mm x 629 mm). 

  • Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1929), militant suffragette and the leader of the militant movement for women's suffrage. Large fragment of a painting created 1927 by Georgina Agnes Brackenbury (1866-1949). Oil on canvas (787 mm x 616 mm). 

Virginia Woolf. Sir Walter Scott.
  • Virginia Woolf (ne Stephen 1864-1938). Photographed 1902 by George Charles Beresford (1864-1938). Platinum print. 152 mm x 108 mm). 

  • Sir Walter Scott, novelist and poet (1771-1832), sculpted 1841 by Sir Francis Leggatt Changrey (1781-1841). Marble bust, 762 mm high. 

Mary Seacole. William Shakespeare.
  • Mary Seacole (ne Grant 1805-1881). Jamaican nurse, adventurer and writer. Painting created 1896 by Albert Charles Challen (1847-1881). Oil on canvas, 240 mm x 180 mm). Private property lent to the National Portrait Gallery. 

  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616), dramatist and poet. Painted by John Taylor (died 1651),  c. 1610. Oil on canvas, 552 mm x 438 mm). Shakespeare being the most celebrated English playwright and poet, and one of the great writers of all time, he was highly esteemed during his life. 

Dame Cicely Saunders. Charles Darwin.
  • Dame Cicely Mary Strode Saunders (1918-2005), founder of the Hospice Movement. Painting by Catherine Goodman (1961 - ), created 2005. Oil on canvas, 912 x 707 mm). 

  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882), naturalist and originator of the Theory of Evolution. Fragment of a painting created c. 1881-1883 by John Collier (1850-1934). Oil on canvas, 1257 mm x 965 mm. 

The images are scanned in 200 dpi, and any visitor is welcome to download the images. They will appear full size in the chosen folder. Each image will take around 350 kb. All 10 stamps are 1st rate. The maximum-cards are ordinary postcard-size. The cards were sent in a cover franked with 18 1st rate stamps, and one 2nd rate stamp. 

Images copyright Royal Mail 2006.

Sources and links: 

Revised 02 nov 2006 
Copyright by Ann Mette Heindorff
All Rights Reserved 

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