- exhibition to mark 200th anniversary of the Bermuda Post Office
Hamilton, Bermuda (27 March, 2012) – Three Perot stamps, named after William B. Perot, Bermuda’s first Postmaster General from 1818 to 1862, and representing some of the rarest and most desirable stamps in the world, are being lent from Her Majesty The Queen’s private stamp collection to an exhibition in Bermuda from the 19-28 April 2012. Sponsored by specialist insurer Hiscox and to be held at Bermuda’s leading art museum, the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, the exhibition is part of the 200th anniversary celebrations for the Bermuda Post Office as well as Masterworks’ 25th anniversary.
Bermuda held a pioneering role in the development of the modern day postal service as one of the first jurisdictions to introduce a uniform postal rate in 1842, only two years behind the United Kingdom and three years ahead of the USA. Perot’s introduction of postage stamps to the colony in 1848 made Bermuda only the second British colony to issue its own stamps, and was ahead of many other countries such as France (1849), Canada (1851), Russia (1857) and Italy (1862).
The three Perot stamps will travel to Bermuda along with the famous Kirkcudbright Cover bearing a block of ten 1d penny blacks – the first stamps issued in the world – and posted on the first day of use on 6 May 1840, as well as a number of other early stamps of Great Britain provided from The Queen’s private collection. The three Perot stamps from The Queen’s collection will also be joined by five other Perot stamps, some of which are owned by Dr David Saul – a former Premier of Bermuda, bringing together probably for the first time since the mid-19thCentury, eight of the remaining eleven Perots believed to have survived.
Michael Sefi, the Keeper of Her Majesty The Queen’s private stamp collection, commented: “Only 11 Perot stamps are believed to have survived and it is a rare thing indeed for the three held in the Royal Philatelic Collection to be travelling overseas. That they are ‘returning’ to Bermuda for the first time is particularly appropriate and, on its 200th anniversary, celebrates the important role the Bermuda Post Office played in the development of the modern postal system.”
Charles Dupplin, CEO of Hiscox Bermuda, added: “Together with the five other Perots being lent to the exhibition, they will make for a spectacular addition to the Masterworks’ exhibition and for keen philatelists, it is a real privilege to see such rare and pioneering stamps returning, albeit temporarily of course, to their ‘home’ country.”
Tom Butterfield, Creative Director and Founder from the Masterworks Museum said: “In our 25th Anniversary year it is thrilling to us that we are able to host these stamps to share with the people of Bermuda and our visitors. They
will complement our collection and add to the overall experience of seeing a little piece of Bermuda’s history and
culture when one walks through our doors. This exhibit is an illustration that visual art forms take on many
interpretations and this adds to that lexicon. We are honoured to be given the responsibility, and we sincerely hope
that all of Bermuda will come down to the Botanical Gardens and see this once in a lifetime exhibit.”
For further information and pictures of the stamps, please contact:
Sebastian St. John-Clarke
+44 (0) 7779 702191
Tom Butterfield or Elise Outerbridge (441) 236-2950
Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). There are three main underwriting parts of the Group - Hiscox London Market, Hiscox UK and Europe and Hiscox International. Hiscox London Market underwrites internationally traded business in the London Market - generally large or complex business which needs to be shared with other insurers or needs the international licences of Lloyd's. Hiscox UK and Hiscox Europe offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers, as well as high net worth individuals. Hiscox International includes operations in Bermuda, Guernsey and USA. Hiscox Insurance Company Limited, Hiscox Underwriting Limited, Hiscox Europe Underwriting Limited and Hiscox Syndicates Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
For further information, visit www.hiscox.com.
The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art is located in the beautiful Botanical Gardens and was built on the
existing footprint of an old Arrowroot Factory. It comprises four exhibitions areas, a Member’s Lounge, gift shop,
café, classroom, conservation room, and of course a state of the art, climate controlled storage room.
In 1987, the idea of repatriating Bermuda inspired art began a journey that culminated with the opening of the
Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art in 2008. The Masterworks Heritage Fund was set up in the summer of 1987, and by 1989 it had secured a tiny gallery on Front Street in Hamilton, the capital of the island.
Perhaps the biggest turning point in Masterworks’ 25 year history was the return of a Winslow Homer watercolour
in 1992. Within five years of setting up Masterworks, the acquisition of this painting gave credence to Masterworks
and allowed the organisation to dream of better things.
In 1994 Masterworks again took a step forward, and held an exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Bermuda works at the Bermuda National Gallery. By this time, the Collection was up to 300 works, and a few overseas exhibits of the
Collection, most notably in the Guild Hall in London, pushed forward the notion of an absolute need for a
permanent home for the growing Collection. Dame Jennifer Smith, Bermuda’s then Premier, and a former
Masterworks volunteer and staunch supporter, arranged the transfer of the Arrowroot Factory, and in 2004 the
physical work on the building began, and the doors to Bermuda’s only purpose-built museum were opened on
March 3rd 2008.
Almost four years later, over 50,000 people have come through the doors from all over the world, the museum has
hosted artists from countries such as South Africa, England, USA, Haiti, and Canada, introduced new programmes
for children, opened a wildly successful café, inspired people to tap into their creativity, worked with government on
a new education initiative, acquired new artworks, members and volunteers. The museum houses over 1,200 K works of Bermuda inspired art and photographs, and over 50,000 artefacts, each one telling a little piece of
Bermuda’s story. The museum and café are accessible with a ramp and elevator and are open Monday –
Saturday, 10am – 4pm and Sundays from 11am – 4:30pm. Admission $5 but free for members and children under
For further information, visit www.bermudamasterworks.com (external link)
About the Royal Philatelic Collection
Started in the nineteenth century, the Collection was put together by Royal stamp enthusiasts. Key figures in its development were Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria, and King George V, grandson of Queen Victoria, a keen stamp collector who built up a collection of world renown which today is widely regarded as the finest collection of its type in the world.
The Collection, now privately owned by Her Majesty The Queen, continues to acquire material by purchase and by donation from postal administrations.
For further information, visit http://www.royal.gov.uk/The%20Royal%20Collection%20and%20other%20collections/TheRoyalPhilatelicCollection/TheRoyalPhilatelicCollection.aspx (external link) and related pages.
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