Press release from RPSL

‘A great story from a great collector’ was how Chris Harman RDP, Hon FRPSL, giving the Vote of Thanks, described the display and presentation by Howard Hughes FRPSL to the members of the Royal Philatelic Society London on 9 November 2023. Titled ‘The Maltese Cross’, the display provides the background to the Maltese Cross obliterator, introduced by the Post Office in May 1840 to prevent the fraudulent re-use of the newly introduced postage stamps and postal stationery.

The display won the Grand Prix National when shown at the London 2022 International Stamp Exhibition. It explains how the obliterator was used – including the need to change the ink composition and design of the obliterator – and why and when it was replaced, including examples of late usage.

Introducing his presentation, Howard explained how studying the Maltese Cross has become ‘a lifelong passion’ as, when he began the collection, the information was not known, and he had to undertake the research. The result, as Chris Harman commented, is ‘a watershed collection’ full of extraordinary material.

President of the Royal Philatelic Society London, Michael Roberts FRPSL, presented Howard with the Society’s plaquette and certificate.

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Written by Héloïse

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