Tapling Collection

Tapling collection

The Tapling Collection includes this 1854, 4 annas stamp in blue and pale red from India with the error of having the head inverted.
Housed at British Library
Curators Paul Skinner

The Tapling Collection was donated to the British Museum from the estate of Thomas Tapling in 1891.[1]

The probate value of the Tapling collection was set at £12,000 but on arrival Richard Garnett (assistant keeper of Printed Books) estimated their value at more than £50,000 and described the bequest as the most valuable gift since the Grenville Library[2] in 1847 (equivalent to £24,000,000 in 2011).[3]

It is held in the Philatelic Collections of the British Library and selected items are on permanent public exhibition.[4][5][6]


Queen Isabella II (2 reales stamp with colour error) - The Tapling Collection (1851) - BL

The collection features these rarities:[7]

See also

References and sources

  1. "Wills and Bequests". The Times. 11 July 1891. p. 4. ...to the Trustees of the British Museum his entire collection of postage stamps and everything belonging to him 'appertaining to the science or hobby of stamp collecting,' upon the condition that the collection is kept in a separate room or part of a room, and is to be called 'The Tapling Collection,' and is always accessible to the president and secretary of the Philatelic Society.
  2. "Frederick York, The Grenville Library, a photograph". British Museum. 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  3. The figure of £24 million ignores any increase in value due to age of the collection and is calculated with average earnings increase since 1891.
    • "Death of Mr. T.K. Tapling, M.P.". Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury (Leicester, England). April 18, 1891. p. 6.
    • Day, Alan Edwin (1998), Inside the British Library, Library Association Pub., p. 205, ISBN 978-1-85604-280-2
    • Harris 1998, p. 411
  4. "Philatelic Collections: The Tapling Collection". Bl.uk. 2003-11-30. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
  5. "Tapling, Thomas Keay - Biographical entry - Blue Mauritius - Research Companion". Helenmorgan.net. Retrieved 2011-01-16.
  6. Humphreys, Rob; Bamber, Judith (2003), The Rough Guide to London (5 ed.), Rough Guides, p. 152, ISBN 978-1-84353-093-0
  7. Index to the collection of postage and other stamps bequeathed to the British Museum by Thomas Keay Tapling, M.P., British Museum, p. 24, British Library record SYS:010637981
  8. "Spain: 1851 2 reales blue, error of colour". British Library. March 26, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
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