Royal Mail celebrates the Bicentenary of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) with a set of six stamps, a miniature sheet, and a lavishly illustrated prestige stamp booklet.
The RHS began with a meeting of amateur and professional gardeners in London in 1804. The Society's aim was "to collect every information respecting the culture and treatment of all plants and trees." Experimental and nursery gardens were set up and in 1858 Prince Albert became the Society's president and the 'Royal' was added to the title.
The world-famous RHS gardens at Wisley were presented to the Society by Sir Thomas Hanbury in 1903, and the Royal Horticultural Hall in London was opened in 1904, with a second hall in Greycoat Street added in 1928. Collectors will recognise these Halls as the venue of Stampex from 1969-1995.
The stamp designs were created by Rose Design, using photography by Barbara and Zafer Barran who were also responsible for the Photography (Fox Talbot) Millennium 43p stamp of January 1999.
|2nd class Dianthus Allwoodi Group||1st class Dahlia Garden Princess|
|'E' rate Clematis Arabella||42p Miltonia French Lake|
|47p Lilium Leon Pixie||68p Delphinium Clifford Sky||Miniature sheet of 6 values (this copy has a FD postmark)|
Pane 1 (below): contains Machin definitive 1st class gold, 42p and 47p stamps, and RHS logo label. Shown here with RHS Logo, Wisley, postmark E9101.
Pane 2: contains 2nd class, 'E' rate, and 68p RHS stamps. Shown here with Chelsea Flower Show L9116 postmark.
The stamps and book are printed by Joh Enschede Security Printers. The Flowers Greetings stamps (pane 2) were originally printed by Walsall Security Print in booklets and Questa in Smilers Sheets. This is also the first printing of the 42p definitive by Enschede. The Smilers Sheet was probably printed by Walsall SP but this has not been confirmed.
All images are taken from Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin and Postmark Bulletin, and are Copyright 2004 by Royal Mail.
We have produced exclusive FDCs for the stamps, miniature sheet, Smilers stamp and set of 4 for the Prestige Book panes.
Prestige Book panes on set of 4 Norvic FDCs as shown above - Price £17.75
Set of 6 on Norvic FDC with postmark L9105 (Chelsea Flower Show) or E9101 (RHS Logo, Wisley) - Price £7.25 each.
Miniature sheet on Norvic FDC with Chelsea Flower Show postmark L9116 - Price £7.25
|5 x Smilers stamps on Norvic Dahlia FDC with Gt Torrington Dahlia postmark - Price £5.50|
|Single Smilers stamp on Norvic FDC - £3.95 with RHS Logo Wisley postmark - Price £3.95|
Mint set of 6 stamps OR miniature sheet - £3.75
Prestige Book - £8.75
PO FDCs also available - please ask for details.
Smilers Sheet £7.85 - single stamp £0.50
All prices exclude postage & packing. For prices in foreign currencies - please email us.
These postmarks were available for the date of issue and all should be available on first day covers. However some will be more plentiful than others, and some may only be available on specific 'official covers', with a very few on PO fdcs in collections. It may be many years before these appear on the resale market.
| Ref FD417
Philatelic Bureau postmark - Tapestry flower bed design
| Ref FD418
Wisley, Woking official postmark - Tapestry flower bed design
| Ref L9091
RHS 200 Years, Chelsea, London SW3
| Ref E9101
RHS 200 Years, Wisley, Woking, Surrey
| Ref L9092
RHS 1804-2004 200 Years of Inspirational Gardening
| Ref M9096
Cultivated Flowers, Garden Close, Birmingham
| Ref L9093
200 Years RHS 1804-2004 Chelsea, London
| Ref L9095
200 Years RHS 1804-2004 Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey
| Ref L9094
200 Years RHS 1804-2004 Flower Girl, Chelsea, London
| Ref L9105
The Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea Embankment, London SW3
| Ref L9123
'Miltonia', Chelsea, London SW3
| Ref N9129
'Lilium' (Lily), Harrogate, N Yorkshire
| Ref W9136
'Dahlia', Great Torrington, N Devon
| Ref E9134
'Dianthus', Wisley, Woking, Surrey
| Ref L9124
'rose' Wisley Road, London SW11
| Ref N9130
'Delphinium', Kuntsford, Cheshire
| Ref E9135
'Clematis', Rettendon, Chelmsford
| Ref L9122
Chelsea, London, SW3 (Lily)
| Ref L9115
RHS First Day of Issue, Chelsea Flower Show
| Ref L9116 |
RHS Chelsea Flower Show In use 24-28 May for the show
| Ref L9090
RHS 1804-2004 Chelsea, London SW3
| Ref N9097
The Glory of the Garden, Tatton Park, Knutsford
| Ref L9119
Promoting Cut Flowers and Indoor Plants - Flowers & Plants Association London SW8
This page updated 14 June 2004 [17.1.05]
|13 January Classic Steam Locomotives||30 January Hong Kong Stamp Expo 2004 Smilers Sheet||3 February Occasions/Greetings stamps and Smilers sheet||26 February Lord of the Rings||16 March Letters by Night Prestige Book (TPOs)
A British Journey - Northern Ireland
|1 April New definitives, including airmail postcard book of stamps||6 April Centenary of the Entente Cordiale||13 April Ocean Liners||11 May 40p Country definitives||25 May Royal Horticultural Society|
|15 June British Journey - Wales||29 July Rule Britannia Smilers Sheet||10 August Royal Society of Arts||16 September Woodland Animals||5 October Scottish Parliament Building|
|12 October Crimean War||2 November Father Christmas|