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Ancient Britain - stamp issue 17 January 2017
Royal Mail started its 2017 Stamp Programme with a subject that has not previously been featured as a stand-alone topic: how people lived in prehistoric times has always been a fascination for many and the Ancient Britain stamp issue explores this subject in some detail.
The stamps show famous iconic sites and some of the most exceptional artefacts found across the UK, and overlays illustrations to show how people lived, worked and used the objects. We also explore the social and technological evolution of these early Britons.This appeared to be an ordinary run-of-the-mill stamp issue, until collectors and dealers discovered a new publicity initiative by the markeing department. Local newspapers reported that a new unannounced special postmark would be applied to all mail posted in a postbox at or near the location one of the sites where the Ancient Britain artifacts were found. This would apply to mail posted between January 17-21. These postmarks were not announced in the Postmark Bulletin and were not available from Special Handstamp Centres using the reposting facility.
We managed to obtain three full-set first day covers with the Grimes Graves (Thetford) postmark as shown on the £1.52 stamp. These are probably the only ones produced. The full story of these is on our blog here.
The other stamps showed 1st class - Battersea Shield, Skara Brae village. £1.05 – Star Carr headdress, Maiden Castle Hillfort; £1.33 - Averbury Stone Circles, Drumbest Horns; £1.52 - Mold Cape.