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First British St Valentine's Day Greetings Telegram
Designed by Reginald John "Rex" Whistler (1905–1944)
Issued by the G.P.O., 14 February 1935
Lithograph and letterpress
Printed by Fosh & Cross Ltd, London
16.1 cm x 21.1 cm
St. Valentine's Day greetings telegram designed by Rex Whistler, issued by the GPO 14 February 1936 and printed with colour lithography and letterpress by Fosh and Cross Limited, London. A rectangular fasces frame, surmounted by a neoclassical palm frond cartouche decorated with pendant garlands held up by winged putti at either side, also carrying envelopes all against a pale blue backround with stars. Ribbons with suspended fruit and vines and trophies with flaming torches, quivers and bows and arrows to either side. Unused & Unfolded.
Around 49,000 of these telegrams were sent out on the day of issue, however, as ephemeral items, they are now scarce, especially in this condition.
See V&A [E.3778-1983] and Postal Museum [POST 33/4879] for similar.
pp.141-142, Hugh Cecil and Mirabel Cecil, "In Search of Rex Whistler: His Life and His Work", London, Frances Lincoln Limited, 2012.
Cat. No.619, p.98, Laurence Whistler and Ronald Fuller, "The Work of Rex Whistler", London, Batsford, 1960.
Very good condition. Small, neat, closed and recoloured hole-punch top left. Old collector's annotation in blue pencil verso "Valentine, 1936".