Mulready, the pre-paid envelopes were introduced at the same time as that of the Penny Black. These envelopes were issued as a part of the Sir Rowland Hill’s Great Post Office reform and became valid for the postage used since 6th May 1840.
This envelope was named after its designer, Irishman William Mulready R.A. He was a popular and an esteemed artist of that time. The key point that made this envelope desirable for the collectors is its withdrawal from the public use in 1841. The stock was even destroyed afterwards.
The design of this envelope depicts Britannia at the top centre with a shield and a recoiling lion surrounded by the representation of the continents of Asia and North America with people reading their letters in two lower corners.
These envelopes were quite unpopular and short-lived, due to this the production was far lower in number. This scarcity and its historical aspect had made this specimen a collector’s item.
Image Courtesy: The Westminster collection