One of the root causes of the First Opium War was a trade imbalance between China and Britain. Over two or more centuries, demand had grown in European countries for luxury goods from China, notably tea, porcelain and silk.
Philately is a new interest of mine, for no real reason than that I had not given it much attention before. My ignorance on the subject changed around five years ago when I was admiring a few first day covers that my father had: a keen stamp collector, he has amassed thousands of stamps over the years. I had just completed a GCSE in astronomy via evening classes; with my curiosity piqued, I started to wonder what astronomy- and space-themed stamps were out there.
On 5th March 2020, Bob Galland gave an excellent talk on The Evolution of the British Franking System at the Royal Philatelic Society London, 15 Abchurch Lane, with a full display of hundreds of sheets and the usual presentation to the assembled audience of 86 members and guests. The Auditors were hap-pily ensconced in the office on the third floor trying no doubt to find a flaw in our accounts to justify their fee.
In 1974 Robson Lowe published an illustrated monogram on this correspondence to commem-orate his visit to the National Philatelic Exhibi-tion held in Pretoria. The collection was sold privately at the time, and 46 years later it has resurfaced, intact, to be offered in the October Stamps & Covers of Southern Africa auction.