Dickens on Cinderella Labels
An early tribute to Dickens was an issue of a “Cinderella label” published by the Strand Magazine of London and New York. The term Cinderella label refers to charity stamps, poster stamps, and promotional stamps. These labels are not valid for postage. However they are often used along with valid postage stamps. An example of this can be seen on this envelope mailed in London, England on January 10, 1911, which actually precedes the anniversary year.. This envelope and the label are especially interesting for three reasons. Firstly, the label was produced to honour the centenary of the birth of Charles Dickens and is shown in circulation a year earlier. Secondly, handwritten on the envelope is a notation "This is the 71st anniversary of the introduction of our penny post. Thirdly, the envelope is cancelled with the scarce machine cancel LONDON EC over H universal trial.
Inscription on label reads: A TRIBUTE TO GENIUS - 1812-1912. Centenary Testimonial and Charles Dickens Signature. Published and distributed by the Strand Magazine London and New York. Engraved and printed on handmade paper by Raphael Tuck & Sons. Testimonial committee included such personages as Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie, Earl Grey, Lord Strathcona, Earl of Roseberry, J. Pierpont Morgan and many other eminent lovers of Dickens. Issued in 1d denomination in England and 2c denomination in the United States. It was available in blocks of 12 with notations in the margins regarding the Centenary Testimonial Committee.
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A commemorative stamp is a postage stamp issued to honour or commemorate a place, event or person. Most postal services of the world issue several of these each year, often holding first day of issue ceremonies at locations connected with the subjects. Charles Dickens and his works have been recognized by many countries.
The first country to issue a commemorative stamp of Dickens was Russia, which issued in a pair of stamps in 1962 to recognize writers. It honours the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens and the 250th anniversary of the birth of Jean Jacques Rousseau.
Many British Commonwealth countries as well as a few other countries issued commemorative stamps in 1970 to recognize the Centenary of the Death of Charles Dickens. These are described below.
Issued May 19, 1970, set shows:
Dickens and scene from Nicholas Nickleby (5c);
Dickens and scene from Pickwick Papers (20c);
Dickens and scene from Oliver Twist (35c);
Dickens and scene from David Copperfield ($1)
A pair of stamp issued July 10, 1970
Oliver is introduced to Fagin (20c)
Dickens and scene from "The Old Curiosity Shop" (75c)
Issued July 6, 1970. They depict Mr. Micawber (on the 3c denomination) from David Copperfield; Scrooge (7c) from a Christmas Carol; Fagin (15c) and Bill Sykes (25c) from Oliver Twist. In addition to the individual denominations a miniature sheet was issued depicting the four stamps with a border surrounding them illustrating other scenes and characters from Dickens novels.
British Virgin Islands
Issued May 4, 1970. Stamps show original book illustrations from novels by Charles Dickens.
1) A Tale of Two Cities,
2) Oliver Twist,
3) Great Expectations.
Set of air mail stamps issued December 22, 1970
40f Dickens bust, 50f Characters from David Copperfield, 100f Dickens writing.
A set of four stamps issued June 17, 1970
1c depicts Barnaby from the story Barnaby Rudge;
12c shows Sairey Gamp (Martin Chuzzlewit);
20c Mr. Micawber and David (David Copperfield);
40c The “Marchioness” from The Old Curiosity Shop.
A set of four stamps and a miniature sheet were issued Nov. 23, 1970 for Christmas featauring scenes from "A Christmas Carol" by Dickens.
2c Scrooge and Marley’s Ghost,
15 c Fezziwig’s Ball,
24 c Scrooge and his nephew’s party
$1.20 Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present
Issued in July 23, 1970 stamps show
3r Dickens and books;
1r 25 Dickens and Victorian street scene;
60d Charles Dickens;
3r signature, quill and London sky-line.
On June 8, 1970 the state of Fujeira added an overprint in gold lettering to honour Charles Dickens on a set of Boy Scout stamps also issued on that date.
The first four of this literary anniversary set of 5 stamps issued in 1970 commemorates the Charles Dickens death centenary and the last stamp in the set honours the birth of William Wordsworth. The four for Dickens show Mr. Pickwick and Sam; Mr. and Mrs. Micawber; David Copperfield and Betsy Trotwood; and “Oliver asking for more”. The Wordsworth stamp pictures Grasmere.
On May 1, 1970 St. Kitts-Nevis issued four stamps.
4c depicts the graveyard scene and the
20c Miss Haversham and Pip (from Great Expectations); 25c Dickens’ birthplace;
40c Charles Dickens.
St. Christopher Nevis Anguilla
On June 9, 1970 this set of 4 stamps was issued. Each design incorporates a portrait of Dickens along with the following characters from his books:
4d Mr. Pickwick and Job Trotter;
8d Mr. Bumble and Oliver Twist;
1s6d Sairey Gamp and Mark Tapley (Martin Chuzzlewit); and
2s 6d Jo and Turveydrop ( Bleak House)
These four stamps issued on June 8, 1970 show Dickens and Dickensian characters.
Issued on July 17, 1970 the designs incorporate a portrait of Dickens and scenes from his novels:
1c Oliver Twist;
3c A Christmas Carol;
15c Pickwick Papers; and
30c The Old Curiosity Shop.
Turks & Caicos Islands
Charles Dickens on Other Commemorative Stamps
This series of four vending stamp booklets issued during 1998-1989 time periods depict scenes from Dickens books on the booklet cover. Pip frightened by Magwich from Great Expectations; Oliver asking for more (Oliver Twist); Nicholas Nickleby and Smike on the road from Yorkshire to London; and David and Little Emily with Pegotty and Mr. Barkis setting off for a day’s holiday from David Copperfield.
Set of 5 Christmas stamps issued November 19, 1993 recognizing the 150th anniversary of the publishing of “A Christmas Carol”. Stamps show:
Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim (19p);
Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig (25p);
The Prize Turkey (35p); and
Mr. Scrooge’s Nephew (41p)
On September 16, 1998 a set of 9 stamps was issued to recognize Great Children’s Stories. A very large souvenir sheet showing all nine stamps within a decorated border was also issued. The sixth stamp in this set recognizes Dickens’ story of Oliver Twist.
This Christmas issue (released Dec. 17, 1987) honours the 175th Birth Anniversary of Charles Dickens. Each pair forms a composite design showing an open book. The first design in each pair shows Charles Dickens and the second a scene from A Christmas Carol. 6c Mr. Fezziwig’s ball;
25c Scrooge’s Third Visitor; 50c The Cratchits’ Christmas; 75c A Christmas Carol. A 5$ miniature sheet was also issued depicting a teacher reading to students.
Christmas 2004 set of 4 stamps honouring Norman Rockwell, one of which (90c value) depicts his painting of Tiny Tim from Dickens “Christmas Carol”
St. Vincent and
Dickens on Postage Stamp Booklets
A number of countries have used Disney characters to portray scenes from the novels of Charles Dickens. These stamps are considered by many philatelists to be a means of increasing the postage revenue of a country through the use of popular subject matter which may have no particular relevance to the country. They are not viewed as commemorative stamps. I have included them in this collection to illustrate the wide appeal of Dickens works through this form of adaptation of his works.
Disney Cartoon Characters Portraying the works of Charles Dickens
A set of nine stamps were issued on November 14, 1983 for Christmas. Walt Disney cartoon characters depicting scenes from Dickens’ Christmas Stories. Jiminy on clock (1c), Jiminy with fiddle (2c) and Jiminy among toys (3c) from Cricket on the Hearth; Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit (4c) and Donald Duck as Scrooge (5c) from A Christmas Carol; Minnie and Goofy (6c) in The Chimes; Goofy sees an imp appearing from bells (10c) The Chimes; Donald Duck as Mr. Pickwick ($2) - The Pickwick Papers; Disney characters as Pickwickian characters ($3) The Pickwick Papers. In addition a miniature sheet ($5) showing Donald Duck as Mr. Pickwick with gifts - The Pickwick Papers.
Antigua & Barbuda
Issued on Oct. 15, 1990 to promote International Literacy Year. Uses Disney characters to illustrate the eight stamps: Children lay down on a bank of daisies and fall asleep from Dickens “Christmas Stories” (15c); Poor Jo looking through the iron railing at his friend’s grave from “Bleak House” (45c); Oliver asks Mr. Bumble for more from “Oliver Twist” (50c); The Marchioness peeps through the keyhole “Old Curiosity Shop” (60c); Little Nell presents grandfather with her nosegays “Little Nell” ($1); “Mr. Pickwick” ($2); Florence keeps Paul company near his beloved sea based on “Dombey and Son” ($3); Miss Wren fixes her idea “Our Mutual Friend” ($5). In addition two souvenir sheets were issued one shows Oliver amazed at the Dodger's mode of going to work based on "Oliver Twist" and the other depicts arriving unexpectedly at Mr. Peggotty's from David Copperfield."
Turks & Caicos Islands
A set of 9 Disney "Dickens" Christmas Stories issued Dec. 1, 1982 based on Walt Disney's Cartoon Film "Mickey's Christmas Carol". Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Scrooge (1c); Goofy )Marley's ghost) and Scrooge (1c); Jiminy Cricket and Scrooge (2c); Huey, Dewey and Louie (2c); Daisy Duck and youthful Scrooge (3c); Giant and Scrooge (3c); Two bad wolves, a wise pig and a reformed Scrooge (4c); Donald Duck and Scrooge (65c); Mortie and Scrooge ($1.10). A miniature sheet showing Mickey and Minnie Mouse with Mortie ($2) was also issued.