The Mulready envelope, named after the artist William Mulready who designed it, was introduced in 1840 along with the Penny stamps. The envelope was part of Hill's vision for postal reform, aiming to streamline and improve the efficiency of the postal system.
Mulready envelopes were intricately designed with elaborate illustrations on both the front and back. The front often featured an allegorical scene called "Britannia Shielding the Figure of Hope," symbolizing the benefits of postal reform.
The Mulready envelope faced criticism and ridicule from the public. Many found the design to be overly complex, and the central vignette was humorously likened to a tombstone or a mausoleum. Due to the public's negative response and the practical issues with the design, Mulready envelopes had a short lifespan. They were officially withdrawn from use after only a few months.
Today, Victorian Mulready Covers are highly sought after by philatelists and collectors due to their historical significance and the brief period of use.
Please refer to the following grading acronyms in relation to this category.
- UM = Unmounted mint.
- FMM = Fine Mounted Mint.
- AMM = Average Mounted Mint, will have some defect.
- VFU = Very Fine Used, with a very light postmark.
- FU = Fine Used, with moderate postmark.
- GU = Good Used, with heavier postmark.
- AU = Average Used, slight defect such as pulled perfs, snagged corner or slight thin.
- SF = Stamp with faults, such as trimmed perfs, thinned, small tear.
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