Small paintings that were used to print Britain’s earliest postage stamps are going to be auctioned in May for an estimated value of £100,000 to £150,000 by Hansons Auctioneers. The collection contains 270 original stamp and 40 banknote designs painted in watercolour by artist Leonard Fryer. These tiny paintings were created between the 1920s and 1950s by using a brush in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. The intricate paintings signify the talent and effort that went into creating stamp and banknote designs back in those days.
Leonard Fryer was a designer at Waterlow and Sons, a company which has been engraving and printing currency, postage stamps, stocks and bond certificates since 1810. His granddaughters are selling these wonderful paintings now.
The stamp designs from the collection were painted for different countries like Malta, Peru, Antigua, Southern Rhodesia, St Lucia, Brazil, Cyprus, Jamaica, Nigeria and Ceylon. Stamp designs for Jamaica are referenced as palm trees, bananas and the sugar industry. One of them features a portrait of King George VI.
Leonard Fryer was 74 years old when he died in the year 1964. The collection was discovered by his relatives in one of his wardrobes.
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Image Courtesy: Hansons Auctioneers