Dan Dare Stamp Gallery

For the benefit of non-stamp collectors, the philately fraternity call these "fake" one-off stamps "cinderellas".

The first issue of Dan Dare stamps was produced in the UK in 1953 as a publicity item for Lever Brothers' Lifebuoy Soap. There were 32 stamps in total and were issued in groups of two in cellophane packets inside the wrapping of the soap. A special folder was also issued in which to place your stamps, and a special "Letter from Digby" explaining all this was also given away.

Note: Compare this stamp with the US version shown below.

By 1957 the Lifebuoy stamps were available in Australia, and this time they were issued with Solvol soap. As far as I am aware Lifebouy (owned by Lever Brothers at that time) and Solvol (owned by WD 40) have no connection. If you can shed some further light on this please get in touch.

The advert below comes from the Perth Sunday Times dated 4 November 1957.

The National Library of Australian (http://trove.nla.gov.au) has a wonderful site of digitized online material, including many old adverts.

Somehow or other the Lifebouy stamps also came to the attention of Mr. H. E. MacIntosh, owner and founder of the Tatham Stamp Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, USA (founded in 1928). MacIntosh was an absolute fanatic when it came to the subject of his pet subjects: philately and numismatics (with a small side-line in scripophily). This enthusiasm led to his releasing numerous information booklets on these subjects designed to inform and encourage younger collectors. He also created and marketed "cartoon" stamps that extolled the virtues of stamp collecting, and more memorably he created reproductions of U.S. Confederacy banknotes that were uncomfortably close to the real thing.  

Where he got the plates from to produce these stamps remains a mystery, but the original plates must have been used, although the colours are different from the UK versions (see the Lifebouy stamps at the top of this page). MacIntosh only released one bank of 8 stamps (1958). He titled the stamps "Interplanetary Essays" and they turn up fairly regularly on Ebay or in specialist stamp outlets under that name, and are generally priced between 99 cents and $9 per bank.

And that was it for Dan Dare stamps until February 1994 when the UK Royal Mail released a set of stamps to commemorate British childrens literature. Dan Dare got his own stamp, as did other stalwarts of childrens fiction like Rupert the Bear, Noggin the Nog (oh the memories), Alice in Wonderland etc. Apart from the block of stamps themselves, first day covers were also issued and the whole set was also available on individual postcards. Apart from the stamps, the GPO also released some envelope stickers amongst which Dan Dare and the Mekon (see below).

And finally just to round off this section, British Telecom (BT) released a Dan Dare Telephone card in 1995.


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