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  1. Stamps and other postal issues featuring Holmes, Doyle, or the Canon
  2. Covers (illustrated postal envelopes) and postmarks
  3. Philatelic reference works
  4. Cinderella issues: non-postal, commemorative stamp-like labels
  5. Canonical collections: stamps "related to" or illustrating the Canon.

These pages illustrate all the categories except "canonical" material, which is, however, included in the bibliography.

Over a dozen countries have produced Sherlock Holmes-related postal offerings, beginning in 1972 with Nicaragua's 50th Anniversary of Interpol issue,"The Twelve Most Famous Fictional Detectives," in which Holmes was on the high value, and continuing through the 2009 Monaco issue commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Click on most of the images to move to the corresponding page in Detective Fiction on Stamps for more on the issues. (Click on Holmes, above, to jump to the bibliography.)


Alderney 2009
Bhutan 1990
Canada 1991
Comoro Islands 1980
Congo 2013
Dominica 1991
Dominica 1996
East Timor 2000
Funafuti - Tuvalu 1984
Great Britain 1987-1988
Great Britain 1993
Great Britain 1993
Great Britain 2009

Great Britain 2013
Guernsey 1996
Guinea 2010
Liberia 2000
Liechtenstein 2012
Monaco 2009
Nicaragua 1972
Para Timor 2000
San Marino 1979
San Marino 2009
South Africa 2000
Switzerland 2007
Turks & Caicos 1984


Stamps and Postal issues

listed chronologically



2 córdoba, Litho. Nov. 13, 1972.
Scott #C812 perf. 14 × 13½

Nicaragua

Sherlock Holmes:
One of 12 Famous Detectives
50th Anniversary of Interpol

1972

(click on stamp for detail)

thumbnail sketch of Holmes and Doyle printed
on back, on top of gum. (Scott #C801-812)



July 12, 1979. Scott #953,
220 lira, perf. 13¼×14.
engraved by Giorgio Toffoletti

San Marino

Sherlock Holmes:
one of 5 Celebrated
Fictional Investigators

1979

(click on stamp for detail)

[Scott #949-953, 700,000 issued].
Multicolour offset combined with recess
by the I.P.Z.S. in sheets of 40,
white unwatermarked paper, PVA gum.


Comoro Islands

50th Anniversary of Doyle's death

1980

(click on stamps for detail)

République Fédérale Islamique des Comores, Feb. 25, 1980

Scott #502, perf. 12½

1981, #513: #502 overprinted with 15 franc surcharge

imperforate proof


Turks & Caicos

125th Anniversary of Conan Doyle's birth

1984

(click on stamps for detail)

   

   

July 16, 1984, Scott #629-632, 663 ss, perf. 14


Funafuti -Tuvalu

Diesel Locomotive:

"Sherlock Holmes"

1984

(click on stamps for detail)

Scott #20, perf 12½×13
Litho. Dec. 24, 1984

(also exists imperforate)

'Leaders of the World-Trains'
se-tenant pair
60-cent 1920 UK London
Transport Diesel "Sherlock Holmes".


Great Britain

Sherlock Holmes story booklet covers

1987-88

(click on booklets for detail)







April 14, 1987-
Covers of the 1987-88 £1 booklets,
with five 18p and one 13p stamps.
Stanley Gibbons #FH8-11.


Bhutan

Northumberland Hotel
(Hound of the Baskervilles)
with Holmes silhouette

1990

(click on sheet for detail)


souvenir sheet, Scott #915
October 9, 1990


Dominica

Holmes and Watson at Reichenbach Falls

1991

(click on sheet for detail)

March 26, 1991, Scott #1295, Litho., Perf. 14
100th Anniversary of the Reichenbach Falls episode


Canada

Holmes silhouette in 50-stamp booklet

1991

(click on image for detail)
(Unitrade) BK139, (Scott) 1358b
50 42¢ stamps of type Scott #1358 (+2 labels).

2 se-tenant 25-stamp booklets, appx. 4 1/8"× 6 1/8", 105×156mm

Inside of booklet cover has Holmes silhouette in red and reads
"Three options to keep tabs on your important mail"
"Trois options pour suivre votre courrier important"


Great Britain

Five Sherlock Holmes Stories

1993

(click on stamps for detail)

Oct. 12, 1993, Scott 1515-1519, 1519a
(se-tenant strip of 5)
perf. 14 × 14½, Stanley Gibbons #1784-1788


Dominica

Basil Rathbone
as Sherlock Holmes

1996

(click on stamp for detail)

July, 1996, Scott #1845d
(from sheet of 9 #1845, 100 Years of Cinema)



offset lithography, perf: 14¾×14
96gsm coated unwatermarked,
bluish PVA gum paper,
sheet: 2×25, stamp size: 40.64mm×29.80mm,

Guernsey

Basil Rathbone
as Sherlock Holmes

1996

(click on stamp for detail)

November 6, 1996, Scott #578, SG #713,
(from set of 5: 100 Years of Cinema,
Scott #576-80, SG #711-15)


Great Britain

The Hound of the Baskervilles

1997

(click on stamp for detail)

May 13, 1997, Scott #1757, perf. 14 × 15
(from a set of 4 "Stories and Legends" #1754-57)


Liberia

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

2000

2 minisheets from the Lost World (the Canadian serial - adapted freely from Conan Doyle - hence the hot air balloons!!. Conan Doyle's picture and name on the one and his name on the other.

(from Michael Morton, President,
The A. C. Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Society of Copenhagen)


South Africa

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

2000

(click on stamp for detail)
October 25, 2000


Switzerland

The Final Problem
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Reichenbach Falls

2007

(click on stamp for detail)
September 6, 2007


Monaco

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

2009

February 16, 2009
(click on stamp for detail)


San Marino

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes

2009

June 16, 2009
(click on stamp for detail)


Great Britain

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

2009

October 8, 2009

(click on stamp for detail)


Alderney

Sherlock Holmes

2009

October 29, 2009

(click on stamp for detail)


Guinea

Arthur Conan Doyle

2010

(click on stamps for detail)


Liechtenstein

Sherlock Holmes

2012

September 3, 2012

(click on stamp for detail)


République du Congo

Sherlock Holmes

2013

(click on stamps for detail)>


Great Britain

Peter Cushing
Sherlock Holmes

2013

April 16, 2013

(click on stamp for detail)

Reference


Sherlock Holmes: A Philatelic Bibliography
originally based on listings of the University of Minnesota's
Universal Sherlock Holmes.

Larry Dodson's May, 2000 — ATA Handbook #139: The Philatelic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes ($12.00). A 72-page guide to many aspects of Sherlock Holmes philately, (including a 20-page section of stamps showing movie actors and directors who have played Holmes or related characters in movies, plays, on radio and tv, but excluding any discussion of Cinderellas, such as the Spanish Spiritualist Conference, Maiwand sheet, etc., below). American Topical Association, PO Box 50820, Albuquerque, NM 87181-0820, USA.

Benton Wood's 1993 revised edition of his "Philatelic & Numismatic Holmes," (1st edition, 1990) 28 pp in a limited edition of 180 copies, lists stamp issues through Dominica 1991, and includes a small bibliography, b&w illustrations of covers, canonical issues, Cinderellas, postmarks, coins...

Cinderellas

privately printed stamps (labels), issued commemoratively or commercially, not postally usable. (If you have additions, information, corrections, images, etc., please let me know).

(listed chronologically)


Tell Chocolate
German advertising stamp
circa 1910

Tell brand cocoa and chocolate
by Hartwig & Vogel AG

Holmes and Watson (?)
discover a brick of Tell chocolate



Thanks to Michael Morton for this image!

Tobler Swiss Chocolate
advertising stamp
1922

"He could catch anyone"


in the International Language
(Linguo Internaciona) "Ido"



Thanks to Michael Morton for this image!

C16501, C12732, C12724

Conan Doyle

Fifth International
Spiritualist Congress

Quinto Congreso
Espiritista Internacional

Federacion Espiritista Española

Barcelona 1934

issued for delegates


 

Denmark
Shoe Company labels

ca. 1938-47


(left) "On the Track of the all-Time best Shoe * ANGULUS * The Shoe Doctor’s recommend!",
(right) "Natural * BJORNELAEDER * Strong and Watertight Soles". (tr. Ken Rozek)
"Two Danish label stamps advertising shoes. The 'Angulus' one dates back to just before WW2 c. 1938-1939. The other just after the war ca. 1946-47. Advertising mock leather for shoes. Very scarce..."

(from Michael Morton, President,
The A. C. Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Society of Copenhagen)


Hollywood Star Stamps
1947

movie star collectable photo stamps
4¼" × 7½" sheet of six:
Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers, Virginia Mayo, Marie McDonald, Olga San Juan and

Basil Rathbone* as Sherlock Holmes

(*unlike the other stars on the sheetlet, the Holmes stamp only says
"Sherlock Holmes", but it's Rathbone's face...)
Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson
As above, identified only as "Dr. Watson" (rather than Nigel Bruce)
Thanks to Ken Rozek for this image of the sheetlet.:
 


 

Republic of Bohemia

Julian Wolff's 1957 "discovery"

"AFTER the series of successful revolutions that freed the iron curtain satellites, the new governments issued numerous commemorative stamps; too many, according to conservative philatelists. None of these aroused as much interest as the Sherlock Holmes stamp issued by the Republic of Bohemia in 1988. Planned for March 22nd of that year, actually it was not put on sale until December 7th because of some mysterious delay at the Mori-Arty Statni Tiskarna in Eglow..."

Julian Wolff's 1957 pamphlet "A Ramble in Bohemia", possibly originally sent as a Christmas card, describes (in an apparent philatelic journal, the "United Nations Philatelic Chronicle" dated April 1, 1997) the circumstance surrounding the issuing of the Republic of Bohemia Sherlock Holmes stamp in 1988. A copy of the stamp is attached. The text describes it as 'printed by photogravure on thick glossy paper... all sheets were perforated 12...'

Here's a facsimile!

C12719, C12715, C12735


Danish Christmas Stamp Design
1962

Henry Lauritzen

Henry Lauritzen, from his "The Philatelic Holmes" (1981):
a suggestion for a Danish "Christmas stamp" for 1962
which he used for his Christmas card that year.


Thanks to Bjarne Nielsen, BSI, for this and the booklet images.


 

Fabian's Phantom Post

George Fabian, Park Forest, Ill.
(started Fabian's Phantom Post Nov. 22, 1975)

lithographed on dry gum paper without watermark.

1976, 1977, 1979

February 7, 1976
 

2 3/8" × 3 1/2"   -   60mm × 86mm
C16503
 
June 10, 1977
 

1 1/4" × 2 3/8"   -   31mm × 60mm
(black ink on orange paper)
 

 
January 6, 1979
125th birthday of Sherlock Holmes

 

perf 11¾   -   1 3/8" × 1 1/2"   -   35mm × 40 mm

With thanks to George Fabian!


Sherlock Holmes
Howard Local Post
Old Radio

May 18, 1976

Howard DuBose, Durham, North Carolina

The Howard Local Post was started in 1972 by Howard Du Bose of Durham, N.C. The Sherlock Holmes Old Radio issue was #42 in the series, issued on May 18, 1976, influenced by the Sherlock Holmes radio show (Mr. Du Bose was a professional radio engineer in the early '70s). There were 750 stamps printed, in 30 sheets of 25, and 150 First Day covers.
Howard says "I combined my interest in collecting stamps, reading mystery novels (I started in Viet Nam with Nero Wolfe), and working in radio. I did several radio stamps. I only did stamps about what I was interested in. I had a total of 55 issues, some of which are still for sale! "


38mm × 52mm   -   1 9/16" × 2 1/16"
ungummed

The "First Day" cover above is "postmarked" May 19 (1976) —
while Benton's Wood's example below is dated May 18, without the "First Day" stamp!


similar cover from Benton Wood's 1993
"Philatelic & Numismatic Holmes"


sheet of 25 (#18)

With thanks to Howard DuBose!



Proposed design
for a U.S. Commemorative

for the 125th Anniversary of the
birth of Sherlock Holmes in 1979.

R. H. Brown and J. L. Watkins
July 19, 1978

"The world's first consulting detective."
(colorized image - intended color unknown)
No stamp was issued.
C16504, C12742

Portion of a 2-page mimeographed letter from Ted Schulz (BSI) soliciting help in writing the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C.
Sept. 15, 1978

... Captain Robert H. Brown and J. L. Watkins have designed a special commemorative postage stamp to honor the 125th anniversary of the birth of Sherlock Holmes. I have reproduced a copy of the proposed design, and it is attached. (My apologies for the poor quality of my reproduction). If you wish to assist Captain Brown .....


Sherlock Holmes Center Visit

Czyl's Penny Post
(ca. 1980s)

James Czyl, Posen, Illinois.


commemorating British Isles vist.
(from a sheet of 18 various)


The Battle of Maiwand Centenary
July 26-27, 1980

Maiwand Jezails
designed by Richard D. Lesh,
Wayne, Nebraska.


4 5/8" × 5 1/2"   -   107mm × 140mm
C16513, C12735, C12751

Mary Ellen Rabogliatti, in her article "The Philatelic Mr. Holmes" (Baker Street Journal, 9/81) cites Fred Boughner's article, "Calling all Holmes collectors," (Linn's Stamp News 9/22/80) as the source for this comment attributed to Commander Richard D. Lesh, designer of the Maiwand sheet, that he prefers the use of the term "Irenella" for these, rather than "Cinderella", in honour of the woman.


Pepys Island
A Study in Scarlet
1987


 

Yeti Post
1987

Gordon H. Palmer, Thousand Oaks, California

"The Yeti Post was started in 1965 as an offshoot of my founding and being involved in a climbing club. We use the first Yeti Post labels when we went to Nepal, and elsewhere. I remember well that the (so-called) postmaster in Namche Bazar took pains NOT to cancel the labels on the cards... ($%#&%!). Yeti Post issues now number close to 1000 or more." GHP

Thanks to Kevin von Bratt for suggesting this, and forwarding a copy the article.
Stamp Magazine (UK)
May, 1987

Sherlock Holmes

Feeling frustrated because of the apparent lack of intended action by the British Post Office earlier this year in celebrating the centenary of the debut of the most famous (fictional) private detective ever, Gordon Palmer of One Thousand Oaks, California, USA, issued a Yeti Post Cinderella inscribed '100th Anniversary of the first / SHERLOCK HOLMES story – 1887'.
With a single-line frame of 46mm horizontally and 38mm vertically and printed in black on yellow paper, the stamp portrays the archetypal detective in characteristic pose, looking through a magnifying glass at a 'Yeti'.
The first day of issue, as close as can be ascertained, was during early January 1987...

Read the rest of the article here. The image is adapted from Benton Wood's Philatelic and Numismatic Holmes, New Revised Edition, 1993, p.15, color added.


Various Cinderella Local Posts

Gordon H. Palmer (Yeti Post, above) has generously forwarded photocopies of a number of Local Post issues (and related labels) in his collection, along with some additional Yeti Post issues. They can be viewed here.


Autumn in Baker Street (ABS) Local Post

October 1992

The Wigmore Street Post Office was set up at the 1992 Autumn in Baker Street and the stamps were designed especially for that event by Linda Crane. The cancellation stamp was designed for the occasion as well and was destroyed after the weekend, so that no additional issues could be made. Stamps could be purchased at the local post office, affixed to correspondence at the gathering and after cancellation, were delivered to the addressees.
 
"For example, observation shows me that you have been to the Wigmore Street Post Office this morning, but deduction lets me know that when there you dispatched a telegram."
SH to JHW
SIGN
Thanks to Linda Crane for this material!


221B
"Arthur Conan Doyle 1"
2000

Al R. Young
Al Young's Studio

numbered edition of 150
Black ink on German etching paper
1 5/8 in. × 2 1/8 in. image (approx.)
on 2 5/16 in. × 3 in. paper


Faces of Holmes
2000

Dennis P. Jordan
Jordan Printery

Boltpost faux postage

William Gillette
[1853-1937]

Peter Cushing
[1913-1994]

Basil Rathbone
[1892-1967]
Dennis Jordan "Test Sheet of 25 Stamps" printing variety #1 (above) and
Dennis Jordan "Test Plate of 5 Stamps" printing variety #2 (below).
Thanks to Ken Rozek for these two images.


East Timor (Para Timor)
2000

"Sharlock" Holmes (animation)


[click to enlarge]

East Timor became an independent nation on May 20, 2002, and the first stamps were issued on that date, a set of four, commemorating independence. Pre-independence issues of East Timor (Para Timor) are therefore considered "Cinderella" issues, with no postal validity.


High Eldersham (UK)
2000

Detectives in Fiction
Sherlock Holmes


December 31, 2000

(Does anyone have any information on this?)



Chess Sets offer Hoax

NOT Holmes!

Sakhalin
(not a postal entity)
2003

NOT Holmes!

Ken Rozek has reported this (Dec. '06) eBay hoax... a sheetlet of Sakhalin labels of chess sets claimed to include Sherlock Holmes (third from left in top row). The ad included a description of the pieces – "stamp picturing a Sherlock Holmes Chess Set - Professor Moriarty, Doctor Watson, Inspector Lestrade, Irene Adler, the Hound of the Baskervilles and more" – and an image of some of the pieces supposedly shown. (below)

In fact, the set on the stamp is apparently a Studio Anne Carlton "History of Golf chess set". The same company, Studio Anne Carlton, does make a Sherlock Holmes chess set, from which the images for the stamp offer hoax were apparently taken.

Thanks to Ken Rozek for his fine detective work!

Another eBay Sherlock Holmes
Hoax Stamp Offer
Same Seller - Oct. 2007

Buriatia
"Sherlock Holmes And Sting as Doctor Watson RARE"

NOT Holmes!

Ken Rozek reports: This is NOT a Sherlock Holmes picture, but rather an image of Sting as Fledge in the 1995 movie The Grotesque, aka They Don't Eat Dead Poets.


Holmes and Moriarty
2008

Dennis P. Jordan
Jordan Printery

Boltpost faux postage

Some artist's proofs of Dennis Jordan's new series, from Ken Rozek's collection




Royal Mail Smilers Holmes sheets 2009


U.S. Stamps.com Holmes 2009


"Zanzibar" Conan Doyle - 2014

16 Cinderella mini-sheets, each with with a different photo of Conan Doyle in a frame from a 1944 stamp of Zanzibar (Scott 221, Nov. 20, 1944, Engr. perf 14, 1sh dull purple), on a triangular label, placed over an image of Holmes and Watson playing chess, from the 1979 Russian tv series. The coat of arms of Zanzibar and two small images of the current Zanzibar flag surround the stamp/photo. (also imperforate.)


(click an image to enlarge)


 

Sherlock Holmes covers

There's no limit to Sherlock Holmes covers...
click on this one for more.

 

Special Covers


 

Postmarks


Long Beach, CA

Anaheim, CA

The Sherlock, Washington Post Office
operated from 1891 to 1915.

Sherlock Holmes (and related) postmarks

based on a list prepared by Mac Yerkes


 

Disney

Redonda

Easter 1984
Goofy as Sherlock


(Redonda not catalogued in Scott)


St. Vincent Grenadines

"The Great Mouse Detective"
1992

souvenir sheets and sheetlet, listed in Dodson.
12/15/1992


Scott #989


Scott #990


Scott #986


Tajikstan

2003

3.00 - Goofy as Sherlock in the detective bureau!
(from Michael Morton, President, The A. C. Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Society of Copenhagen)

Congo

2007



Sherlock Holmes: A Philatelic Bibliography
originally based on listings of the University of Minnesota's
Universal Sherlock Holmes.

Chris Redmond's Sherlockian.Net


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