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Category Archives: Adventures

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The 1993 Sherlock Holmes Stamps First Day Cover

The 1993 Sherlock Holmes Stamps First Day Cover

“Holmes stopped at a post office…”

– The Adventure of the Creeping Man (CREE)

In 1993, the Royal Mail issued a set of 5 24-pence stamps featuring scenes from different Sherlock Holmes stories. Fleetwood, the philatelic collectibles firm, issued a Philatelic Numismatic Cover (PNC) featuring the stamps along with a Victorian farthing and penny. The envelopes were cancelled on October 12, 1993, the first day of issue for the stamp.

The inclusion of the farthing is curious, as it is only mentioned once in the entire Canon – “You shall not have a farthing from me,” from The Beryl Coronet. However, if we consider that this was a money making venture and farthings were more affordable than a half-penny, the logic becomes clear. Both the farthing and penny are dated 1893 or earlier. The back of the envelope serves as the all-so-important certificate of authenticity.

The PNC came with a descriptive card detailing some facts about Holmes and his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. All items were placed inside a leatherette display holder.

Below are the five stamps – Reigate Squire, Hound of the Baskervilles, Six Napoleons, Greek INterpreter and the Final Problem. Scan the stamps closely – on each one is a letter that will eventually spell out the name DOYLE.

Canonical Currency in Present-Day Terms (2018)

Canonical Currency in Present-Day Terms (2018)

“An intricate and elaborate calculation.” – The Adventure of the Dancing Men (DANC) Image courtesy of Jean Upton Now that the holiday season is behind us and the inevitable bills begin to roll in, it’s an appropriate time to think of money. For example, that Christmas goose in “The Blue Carbuncle” cost 7/6 (that’s seven… Continue Reading

A Sherlockian Visits the Currency Exchange (1986)

A Sherlockian Visits the Currency Exchange (1986)

“Sold his soul to the devil in exchange for money” – The Adeventure of Wisteria Lodge (WIST) Seven hundred and fifty pounds, Dr. Grimesby Roylott had as the annual income of his late wife’s estate. The reader of The Speckled Band is supposed to understand that £750 is a lot of money, but that £250, which… Continue Reading

Data! Data! Data! – The Man with the Twisted Lip

Data! Data! Data! – The Man with the Twisted Lip

“‘Data! Data! Data!‘ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’” – The Adventures of The Copper Beeches (COPP) This column is composed of material (Data!) developed for a short course called Appreciating Sherlock Holmes that I teach twice a year in the Community Education Life Enrichment Program for a local community college.  It is… Continue Reading

The 17 Steps: The Man With the Twisted Lip

The 17 Steps: The Man With the Twisted Lip

Seventeen thoughts for further ponderance of the case at hand – The Man with the Twisted Lip (TWIS) WATSON’S LONDON GOSSIP COLUMN “Isa Whitney, brother of the late Elias Whitney, D. D., Principal of the Theological College of St. George’s, was much addicted to opium,” this tale begins. While the Hounds have often discussed Watson’s protecting… Continue Reading

The 2018 140 Varieties of Tobacco Ash Dinner Medal

The 2018 140 Varieties of Tobacco Ash Dinner Medal

” I have, as you know, devoted some attention to this, and written a little monograph on the ashes of 140 different varieties of pipe, cigar, and cigarette tobacco.” – The Boscombe Valley Mystery (BOSC) The attendees of the 2018 140 Varieties of Tobacco Ash Dinner Violin players. Bicycling enthusiasts. Coin collectors. There are numerous Sherlockian groups out… Continue Reading

Bob Fritsch Issued His Second Sherlockian Wooden Nickel

Bob Fritsch Issued His Second Sherlockian Wooden Nickel

“… I see a Chinese coin hanging from your watch-chain …” – The Red-Headed League (REDH) Robert F. Fritsch, the 7th Garrideb aka The Coiner (by the zinc and copper filings in the seam of his cuff), issued a Sherlockian wooden nickel during last summer’s World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia. This is Bob’s second Sherlockian wooden… Continue Reading

In for a Penny, In for a Pound – British Money as Holmes Knew It

In for a Penny, In for a Pound – British Money as Holmes Knew It

“I’d like two shillin’ better” – The Sign of the Four (SIGN) Some Sherlockians are puzzled by references to money in the Sherlock Holmes adventures – “a fifty-guinea watch” in The Sign of Four, a pipe that cost “seven-and sixpence” in “The Yellow Face.” The British monetary system was undoubtedly complicated. A pound was divided into 20 shillings,… Continue Reading

British Royal Mint Now Selling 2019 Sets With Sherlock Holmes Coin

British Royal Mint Now Selling 2019 Sets With Sherlock Holmes Coin

“… a work which had been specially designed to please him.” – The Sign of the Four (SIGN) On January 1, 2019, the British Royal Mint released the designs of their 2019 dated coins and began selling the annual sets to collectors. As we predicted in our earlier post about the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50 Pence coin,… Continue Reading