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A collection of British and Commonwealth stamp designs, hand-painted to scale in watercolour, will be auctioned at Hansons on May 9 with an overall estimate of £100,000-150,000.

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A vast collection of British and Commonwealth stamp designs, hand-painted to scale in watercolour, will be auctioned at Derbyshire saleroom Hansons on May 9 with an overall estimate of £100,000-150,000.

The archive of 270 original stamp and 40 bank note designs was painted by Leonard Fryer, a designer for London’s Waterlow and Sons. Founded in 1810, the company was a worldwide engraver and printer of currency, postage stamps, stocks and bond certificates.

These tiny works, carried out from the 1920s-50s, had to be done with a paintbrush in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. The archive has been consigned by Fryer’s granddaughters and consists of original watercolour sketches of stamp designs created for numerous countries including Malta, Peru, Antigua, Southern Rhodesia, St Lucia, Brazil, Cyprus, Jamaica and Nigeria.

hansonsauctioneers.co.uk