Today I present to you something rather special.
A superb piece of British postal history.
It's an exceptionally rare and sought-after item which pre-dates the introduction of the postage stamp in May 1840.
It was sent directly from the highest seat of power in the land.
And it bears the handwriting of one of the nation's most celebrated heroes.
I know this piece will appeal strongly to both specialised and general collectors.
I'm thrilled to be able to offer it to you.
And the story behind it starts here...
In the heart of the British establishment - Westminster Palace.
A letter from the House of Lords
The Palace of Westminster, before it burned down in 1834 and was rebuilt between 1840 and 1876.
Members of Parliament have always been a privileged bunch.
Even when it comes to sending letters.
So when the Uniform Penny Postage was introduced on 10 January 1840, they were amongst the first allowed to use the penny "post-frees".
On January 16, special pre-printed envelopes were issued headed "To be posted at the Houses of Parliament only".
And when posted in the official Parliament boxes they incurred no postal charges.
However, these envelopes were only briefly in use before they were replaced at the end of January 1840.
The new pre-paid envelopes were available in two varieties – one each for the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Each type had two values available, for one penny and two pence post.
The 'House of Commons' envelopes were printed in black on white paper.
The 'House of Lords' envelopes were printed on cream paper using a distinctive orange-red ink.
But these parliamentary envelopes were used for just four months.
The introduction of the Penny Black in May 1840 removed the need for them, as stamps came into use for Parliamentary post.
And today very few of them survive.
But I am fortunate enough to have this one available for you.
Very fine and supremely rare
This is a very attractive used example of this highly rare envelope.
Printed in vermilion on unwatermarked yellowish wove paper.
It reads "(Temporary.) To be posted at the House of Lords only. Post Paid.--ONE PENNY.--Weight not to exceed -1/2 oz."
The envelope is in very fine condition, with merely a light horizontal filing crease at the top.
It was sent to an address in Edgware, North London.
And it's neatly cancelled with a clear strike of red "Paid 12 MR 12 1840" crowned circle hand stamp.
An exceptional envelope
These envelopes are a truly fascinating piece of British philatelic history.
They existed for just a brief moment, as the world teetered on the cusp of the modern postal revolution.
And the letters they contained were the most important of the period - packed with political intrigue, gossip and deals which turned the wheels of power.
So the history, rarity and fine condition of this piece make it a worthy and valuable addition to your collection.
But there's another factor which elevates this example even further.
And that's the man who originally sent this letter.
The man whose own handwriting adorns the envelope.
The legendary Iron Duke. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.
Touched by greatness
This envelope was handwritten by the Duke of Wellington, one of the most important figures of the 19th century.
As a national hero Wellington ranks alongside Churchill and Nelson.
He's the man who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Queen Victoria called him "the greatest man this country ever produced".
And to the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson he was “the last great Englishman”.
Wellington was a tactical genius and a veteran of 60 battles, whose ideas are still studied in military academies to this day.
And in his second life as a politician he twice led Britain as Prime Minister.
When he sent this letter in 1840, Wellington was the Conservative Leader of the House of Lords - and a canny political operator.
He out-manouvered his opponents through constant correspondence with key figures in the House.
The pen became his sword.
And the letters he sent were his soldiers.
A "must have" piece of postal history
If you're a collector of British postal history, this is a 'must have' item.
• A highly rare envelope sent from the heart of the British government.
• Dating from the pivotal moment of the postal revolution.
• Presented in very fine condition after more than 180 years.
• And handwritten by one of the most famous men of the 19th century.
This is undoubtedly one of my favourite items I've offered this year.
And hopefully it will become one of yours as well.
An item that you'll proudly display in your collection for years to come.
With a fascinating story you'll enjoy sharing with others.
The last time we offered one of these rare parliamentary envelopes was 12 years ago. It sold swiftly to a collector for £25,000.
But we recently sourced this example from a dealer in financial distress.
Our costs were far lower. And we can pass that saving on to you.
That's why you can purchase this superb envelope today for only £12,500 ($15,800).
And don't forget:
This envelope comes with our Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity, so you can add it to your collection with complete peace of mind for the future.
And it's also covered with our 28-day money back guarantee if you change your mind for any reason.
If you wish to reserve this item or learn more about it, contact me now.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or call me on +44 (0) 117 933 9500.Thanks for reading.
Until next time,
Paul Fraser Collectibles.P.S. Are you following us on social media? Find us here: