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July HolmeWork Assignment: A Nicaraguan Stamp and the Sherlock Holmes Medal

July HolmeWork Assignment: A Nicaraguan Stamp and the Sherlock Holmes Medal

 

sherlock_speech          Nicaragua SH Stamp

On November 13, 1972, the country of Nicaragua issued 12 different stamps featuring the most famous fictional detectives. This series of stamps was issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Interpol, the International Police Organization. The highest value stamp, 2 Cordobas (C$2), featured Sherlock Holmes. For those that collect stamps, this is Scott C812.

On December 23, 1972, Nicaragua experienced an earthquake, with a 6.2 reading on the Richter scale.

The Baker Street Irregulars had made arrangements to celebrate the issuance of this stamp (the first stamp or coin to feature Holmes, by any government) at its January 5, 1973 annual dinner in New York. From the March 1973 issue of The Baker Street Journal (Volume 23, Number 1, page 55) is this excerpt from the report on the dinner:

Unfortunately, the Director of the Philatelic Bureau of the Republic of Nicaragua, Mr. Rafael Sevilla-Sacasa, was unable to be present due to that severe earthquake. In absentia, he was awarded the Sherlock Holmes medal for his services in keeping the memory of the Master green by the issuance of the first official Sherlock Holmes stamp. In his place, Mr. Jeff Oakden, of the Crown Agents, delivered a short address.

A few pages later (page 60, to be exact) of the same issue, the Honours column reported that:

The Sherlock Holmes silver medal was awarded in absentia to the Hon. Rafael Sevilla-Sacasa, Director of the Philatelic Bureau of the Republic of Nicaragua, for his services in keeping the memory of the Master green by the issuance of the first official Sherlock Holmes stamp.

This is the first time that the reports of the annual Baker Street Irregulars meeting mention the awarding of a Sherlock Holmes medal.

So our assignment is… What is this medal that was presented? Hopefully we can also find a description and photographs of this item.

UPDATE 7/27/2015 – See our post An Update On July’s HolmeWork Assignment: A Nicaraguan Stamp and the Sherlock Holmes Medal

2 Responses to July HolmeWork Assignment: A Nicaraguan Stamp and the Sherlock Holmes Medal

  1. The Sherlock Holmes Silver Medal awarded in absentia to Rafael Sevilla-Sacasa was (and is) a unique award, and as far as I know no photograph of it exists.

    I should note that because of the earthquake it’s quite possible that that nice set of stamps does not exist postally used . . . there are first day covers, but they (and the stamps) were produced in the United States and distributed here by the company that managed production of Nicaragua’s postage stamps . . . it may well be that all of the stamps and first day covers in Sherlockian collections were purchased from me, after I obtained covers, sets, and single Sherlocks from the distributor.

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