The society for collectors of Arctic and Antarctic Polar Postal History from around the World.
A warm welcome to the website of the Polar Postal History Society of Great Britain. The aims of the Society are to promote the study of polar philately, postal history from the polar regions, and to act as a meeting place where members can exchange information and learn more about their areas of interest. We welcome members from not just Great Britain but from all around the World!
We hope that you will browse the site and learn more about the Polar Postal History Society. You can find more information about the society and society events. The website features many fine examples of polar postal history from our member's collections from which you can learn from or just admire. You can read about our informative magazine Polar Post and get online access to every issue of the magazine since the society was founded in 1953! The latest polar news is available to read, auction information from both society auctions and auction houses can be viewed, and books purchased from our polar publications section. We provide links to other polar related websites that can help you with your collecting, and show you historical polar videos that we found interesting - if you would like your website to be added to our links please send us a message!
If you are interested in the Postal History of the Polar Regions, either North and South, please contact us for more information or better still fill out the application form and join our society. Please specify your range of interests on the application form, but whatever they are, you will be most welcome. Happy polar collecting!
September issue of Polar Post added to the Polar Library 28th August 2021
The paper copies of Polar Post, September 2021, were despatched from Huttons Ambo this week. The issue has also been added to the polar library for members who might experience postal delays.
The PDF Version of the September 2021 Polar
Post in the Polar Library has an Annex that is additional material to the printed copy posted out to members.
July PPHSGB Auction Results 6th July 2021
Nine of the items sold with the number of bids received showing a strong decline from earlier auctions. This was particularly noticeable with few bids from outside the UK. The recent introduction of the new EU rules for e-commerce meant that VAT would have been added to purchases. This potentially made bidding on the auction less interesting for many members. The total sales achieved in the auction was £104 with 10% proceeds going to the Polar Postal History Society.
July PPHSGB Auction 23th June 2021
This auction presents covers postcards from the period of the discovery of the North Pole in 1909 as well as interesting commemorative covers.
June PPHSGB Auction Results 6th June 2021
South Georgia proved to be a popular subject matter with
one item attracting 23 bids. The two whaling covers reached £160 and £170 and a
French postcard featuring Sir Ernest Shackleton made £156. A Shackleton Typhoo Tea advertising card sold for £32. The total sales achieved in the auction was £666 with 10% proceeds going to the Polar Postal History Society.
June PPHSGB Auction 27th May 2021
This auction presents covers from the whaling period of South Georgia as well as some interesting Sir Ernest Shackleton items.
May PPHSGB Auction Results 24th May 2021
The latest Polar Postal History Society featuring material from the British Antarctic Territory finished on Sunday 23rd May. All 29 items in the auction sold and the auction raised £260.
The two top items were a cover from 1963 featuring the Definitive issue on a First Day Cover that made £60 and a cover with letter and photographs from Signy Base in 1965 that reached £47.
A new auction is planned for later in the week featuring South Georgia items. Watch this space for more information!
May PPHSGB Auction 13th May 2021
They're Back. No, not the Backstreet Boys nor AC/DC but the Polar Postal History Society auctions!
With eBay problems now fixed and covid restrictions easing in many places it is time to start up the auctions again!
We stick with the theme of covers from the British Antarctic Territory for the May auction and include some items from the cancelled auction as well as offering new covers. We start the new Polar Postal History Society auction on Thursday 13rd May at 19.00 - 20.00 UK time and finish on Sunday 23th May.
This auction presents covers from several members both in single lots and in groups and at various price points for all pockets. Interesting covers include one with a British Antarctic Territory Registration label number 000001 and an attractive Ernest Shackleton item.
6th International Polar Philatelic Exhibition Liberec 2022 11th April 2021
The Polar Salon is an international
“worldwide” polar philatelic exhibition that takes place in various
parts of the world every three years, mostly as part of national or
international exhibitions. Organizing Committee of European Stamp Exhibition
LIBEREC 2022, z.s. together with the clubs of polar collectors decided to
organize the 6th International Polar Salon in Liberec in 2022.
European Stamp Exhibition and Polar Salon “LIBEREC 2022” is organized by Svaz českých filatelistů, z.s. (Union of Czech Philatelists) in cooperation with club “Evropská výstava poštovních známek LIBEREC 2022, z.s.”, established for this purpose under FEPA patronage and with FIP recognition.
Venue: Wellness Hotel Babylon https://www.hotelbabylon.cz/en/
Date: October 13th – 16th, 2022
Exhibition size: 1200 exhibition spaces
More information can be found in the Polar Events folder
March issue of Polar Post added to the Polar Library 25th February 2021
The paper copies of Polar Post, March 2021, were despatched from Huttons Ambo on Monday 22nd February 2021. Please note that there are still long postal delays to destinations outside the United Kingdom. The full list of contents can be viewed in the Polar Post folder.
The March 2021 issue of Polar Post has been added to the Polar Library in order for all members to be able to read without delay.
Liv Arnesen - the first Woman to reach the South Pole Solo 1; 18
Turkey Joins the “Antarctic Philatelic Club” 1; 18
Committee; Deadline for next Polar Post; Dates for your Diary; Note on Copyright 2
Contents; The Latest Antarctic News 3
Chairman’s Message; Membership News; Brian Clayton elected FRPSL; Editorial 4
The Economy of the French Southern Islands - Stamps and Postal History Part 2 5-7
More Snares; NATO Arctic Operation Mongoose 8
A Current Polar Postal Exploration; A Polar Work Horse - NGCC Amundsen 9
The Norwegian North Polar Expedition with The Maud, 1918-1925 Part 3 - Danish Sales Agents Imprints, etc. 10-15
A Visit to Roald Amundsen’s Home “Uranienborg” - September 2020 16-17
“Dome C” - Concordia Station Postcard 18
MOSAIC - The 2nd Relief of Polarstern - The Rendezvous with FS Sonne and FS Maria S. Merian 19
New Issues: Greenland - 6th November 2020 19
New Issues: The French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF) - October 2020 to January 2021 20-22
New Issues: The Falkland Islands - Mine Clearance Programme and Christmas 2020 23
New Issue: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - Royal Navy Ships 23
New Issue: Tristan da Cunha: Vagrant Species Part 2 23
New Issue: Tristan da Cunha - Modern Mail Ships Definitive Issue 24
New Issues: British Antarctic Territory - Discovering Antarctica Stamp Design Competition and Antarctic Birds 24
PDF Annex to Polar Post, March 2021
The PDF Version of the March 2021 Polar
Post in the Polar Library has a 22-Page Annex that is additional material to the printed copy posted out to members.
December PPHSGB Auction Cancelled 9th December 2020
Observant members might have noticed that the auction listings on eBay suddenly disappeared during the day.
The reason for this is without warning eBay blocked the Polar Postal History Account and sent a message that due to the impending exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union all eBay accounts registered outside the UK need to be registered for VAT in order to continue.
This is despite the fact that no items are imported into the UK and none have VAT on them!
As a result the current auction of British Antarctic Survey covers has been cancelled. We apologise for this inconvenience.
Further details will be sent out when available.
December PPHSGB Auction 3rd December 2020
After the two previous auctions of Antarctic and Arctic Postcards we switch to covers from the British Antarctic Territory for the December auction. We start the new Polar Postal History Society auction on Thursday 3rd December at 19.00 - 20.00 UK time and finish on Sunday 13th December.
This auction presents interesting covers from several members both in single lots and in groups and at various price points for all pockets.
December issue of Polar Post added to the Polar Library 29th November 2020
PDF Annex to Polar Post, December 2020
The PDF Version of the December 2020 Polar
Post in the Polar Library has a 25-Page Annex that is additional material to the printed copy posted out to members.
The original intention was to just include the full texts of the Pobjoy Stamps press releases which are not yet available at: www.pobjoystamps.com. However, a flood of new issues has been announced since the paper version of the December 2020 Polar Post went to the printers. Rather than leave these issues to be covered in restricted form in the March 2021 issue they have been included as full details in this PDF Annex.
The Annex also contains on Page 104M details of a new book to be published in January 2021 by our French Member Serge Kahn and a request on Page 104X for information concerning the RRS Discovery II stopover in Kerguelen in September 1951 from André Guyader.
The 24-Page paper issue of the December 2020 Polar Post was despatched on Saturday 28th November 2020. Thanks go to Anne and Simon Lealman, Paul Jones and Robert McMillan for their hard work during these difficult times.
October PPHSGB Auction Results 12th November 2020
The latest Polar Postal History Society featuring Postcards of Antarctic Expeditions finished on Sunday 10th November. The auction proved popular with members:
22 items listed, 21 items sold, 128 bids
Winning bidders 14, of which 11 were members and 3 were non-members
Total sales = £779 (Arctic auction was £694!)
Contribution to PPHSGB funds was £60
The auction received very good prices across the board with a Canterbury Times card of Emperor Penguins achieving £86.75 and a cartoon card showing the South Pole reaching £84. Ernest Shackleton was in demand with two cards making £62 and £53 and all the Captain Scott cards sold. This auction exceeded last month’s auction by £84 even though there were 8 fewer cards listed. A win for the Antarctic!
October PPHSGB Auction 29th October 2020
After the success of the previous auction of Arctic Postcards we now head South to the Antarctic. We start the new Polar Postal History Society auction on Thursday 29th October at 19.00 UK time with an auction featuring Postcards of Antarctic Expeditions.
This auction presents postcards from the classic era of Antarctic exploration and includes cards commemorating the Belgian Antarctic Expedition of 1897-99, the Scottish National Antarctic expedition of 1902-04, Captain Scott's expeditions on the Terra Nova and Discovery as well as cards featuring Ernest Shackleton and Richard Byrd.
The auction will finish on Sunday 8th November between 19.00 and 20.00 UK time.
Click on the eBay logo above to go directly to the auction or here to view the featured items in the PPHSGB auction folder.
September PPHSGB Auction Results 10th October 2020
The latest Polar Postal History Society featuring Postcards of Arctic Expeditions finished on Sunday 4th October.
There was a lot of
interest with this auction with 122 bids received. Keeping up his record of
finishing first, the card with the highest price featured Roald Amundsen and a
real photo image of the ship Gjøa from the North West Passage expedition. This
postcard fetched £206. The majority of cards achieved good totals.
An auction on Postcards of Antarctic Postcards is planned for later this month. It will be interesting to see if the Antarctic auction beats the Arctic auction total!
September PPHSGB Auction 24th September 2020
We restart the Polar Postal History Society auctions on Thursday 24th September at 19.00 UK time with an auction featuring Postcards of Arctic Expeditions.
This auction presents postcards from the classic era of arctic expeditions and from many of the geographic areas in the North. Included in the auction are cards commemorating Andree's balloon expedition of 1897, the Duke of Abruzzi's Farthest North expedition of 1899 and Roald Amundsen's North West Passage with the ship Gjøa. The Cook and Peary controversy is featured as well as early Greenland expeditions. The auction concludes with postcards from the airship expeditions of the Norge and Italia in 1926 and 1928 respectively.
The auction will finish on Sunday 4th October between 19.00 and 20.00 UK time.
Click on the eBay logo above to go directly to the auction or here to view the featured items in the PPHSGB auction folder.
Polar Philatelic research papers added to the Polar Library 16th August 2020
Several polar philatelic research papers have been added to the Polar Library this week. There are updated versions of John Youle's Postmarks and Cachets of The British Antarctic Bases and South Georgia paper, and his British Antarctic Territory First Day Covers 1963 to 2019 paper. There is also an extended version of Richard Hindle's The Norwegian North Polar Expedition with the Maud, 1918-1925, Part 1 – Background and Statistics that features in the September issue of Polar Post. These papers can be viewed directly by clicking on the images below or by visiting the Polar Library.
June PPHSGB Auction Results 29th June 2020
The final society auction before the Summer started on the 18th June and finished on 28th June. This small auction featured polar philatelic books to provide summer reading for our members. Ten out of eleven items sold with the Postal History of Svalbard from 1896 book producing fierce bidding and a final price of £67 and Fred Goldberg's book on Roald Amundsen Expedition Mail selling for £33.
Thank you to all the bidders for taking part!
The next PPHSGB auction will take place in September. If any members have items that they wish to submit for this or later auctions, the society would be pleased to hear from you.
Polar Post Article of the Month June 2020
For this month's "Article of the Month" we look nearer to current times and select an article from Polar Post number 203 published in December 2004. Member Aubrey Halpern writes that the "Postmaster is Only Human" as he recounts errors made by postmasters at various Antarctic bases. All is revealed in the Article of the Month folder.
June PPHSGB Auction 18th June 2020
The final society auction before the Summer started on the 18th June and will end on Sunday 28th June. This auction features something different - a small auction with polar philatelic books to provide summer reading for our members!
The books and pamphlets included in the auction featuring Antarctic and Arctic Polar Postal History can be viewed in the gallery below..
Click on the eBay logo above to go directly to the auction or here to view the featured items in the PPHSGB auction folder.
May PPHSGB Auction Results 4th June 2020
The online PPHSGB auction for May on eBay finished on Sunday 31st May. The auction featured postcards, covers and ephemera from Antarctica. Antarctic postcards performed very well with a card from the Captain Scott Terra Nova expedition selling for £87, a Keens Mustard Farthest South card selling for £133.75, a Roald Amundsen Fram card selling for £106 and a card from the Shackleton-Rowett expedition selling for £139.87. The rare incoming postcard to a member of the Swedish Magellan Expedition of 1908 expedition sold for £87.
Thank you to all the bidders for taking part!
The final society auction before the Summer will start on the 18th June and will feature something different - polar philatelic books to provide summer reading for our members!
Scott Polar Research Institute First Day Covers 31st May 2020
Earlier this year, John Shears of the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute took 100 of the SPRI 100 First Day Covers of the British Antarctic Territory issue on an epic voyage to the remote Ross Sea, Antarctica, on board the Oceanwide Expeditions vessel M/V Ortelius. The voyage included a visit to Captain Scott's historic hut at Cape Evans. During the voyage, John arranged for the covers to be signed by the Director of SPRI – Professor Julian Dowdeswell and Captain Scott’s grand-daughter – Dafila Scott. The cover has also been signed on the back by the Master of the M/V Ortelius – Captain Ernesto Barria, and stamped with the ship's cachet. There are now only 30 of these very rare signed covers still available for purchase.
The covers cost £30.00 each, including packing and postage. All the funds from the sale of the covers will be going towards the SPRI Centenary Campaign. As part of the Campaign, the Friends of SPRI are focusing on achieving a target of £250,000 to support a student fellowship in perpetuity at SPRI.
If members would like to purchase one or more First Day Covers then they can contact the Friends by e-mail and they will then make all the necessary arrangements to post out the covers and arrange payment.
May PPHSGB Auction now online 21st May 2020
The latest online PPHSGB auction is now active on eBay and finishes on Sunday 31st May. We look South for this auction and feature postcards, covers and ephemera from Antarctica. Highlights include a rare incoming postcard to a member of the Swedish Magellan Expedition of 1908 who had participated in the Swedish Antarctic Expedition from 1901/04, real photo postcards of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen, and share certificates from the Trans Antarctic Expedition of 1957 and an Antarctic Argentinian whaling company. Also featured are covers from many Antarctic regions so there should be something for everyone.
View all auction items in the PPHSGB auction folder or click on the eBay icon below to go directly to the auction on eBay.
April PPHSGB Online Auction 6th May 2020
The latest online PPHSGB auction finished on Sunday 3rd May. The theme of this small auction was Whaling - from both the North and South polar regions. Highlights of the auction included real photo postcards from Leith Harbour and Stromness in South Georgia that sold for £81.09 and £116 respectively. Two covers sent to the whaling pioneer Svend Foyn in 1863 reached £113 and £330 while a cover sent to a Dundee whaling ship in 1871 sold for £107.
Thanks to all the bidders for making this such a successful auction!
The next auction will have an Antarctic theme and is planned to start on May 21st.
April PPHSGB Online Auction 23rd April 2020
The latest online PPHSGB auction started on Thursday 23rd April at 17.30 UK time and will finish on Sunday 3rd May at the same time. The theme of this small auction is Whaling - from both the North and South polar regions.. Highlights include real photo postcards from Leith Harbour and Stromness in South Georgia, covers sent to the whaling pioneer Svend Foyn in 1863, a cover sent to a Dundee whaling ship in 1871 and limited edition Norwegian Post booklets commemorating whaling in the South Shetlands.
March PPHSGB Online Auction 6th April 2020
The latest online PPHSGB auction focused on postcards from the Arctic Island of Spitsbergen and finished on the 5th April. One highlight of this auction was a postcard sent from the Captain Bade tourist expedition to Spitzbergen and Franz Josef Land in 1900 - this achieved £84. Other highlights of the sale included three cards showing early mining that reached £68, £52 and £63.10 and a real photo card showing the Norwegian explorer Hjalmar Johansen during an overwintering expedition to Spitsbergen in 1908 - this achieved the excellent price of £171.
Thanks to all the bidders!
PPHSGB Annual General Meeting and Society Meeting Cancelled 25th March 2020
The Secretary, Robert Hurst, announces that, in light of the cancellation of the London 2020 stamp exhibition and the cancellation of our booking at the Royal Philatelic Society due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the annual general meeting of the society is cancelled. Further details will follow when the situation becomes clearer. We wish the best of health to our members and their families at this time.
New Polar Post added to the Polar Library 18th February 2020
The March 2020 issue of Polar Post has been added to the Polar Library. Members can read articles on diverse polar subjects from the EcoNelson base to Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, from the Mawson Station to Captain Scott. And details of new issues of polar stamps in full colour!
Is your favourite polar postal history subject featured? If not, write down some words, add some images and contact our editor who would be pleased to hear from you!
Polar Postal History Society featured in Stamp Collector 17th February 2020
The March 2020 issue of Stamp Collector features the Polar Postal History Society and an article on "How to Start a Polar Postal History Collection".
Read the full article in the PPHSGB in the News folder!
Collector gives you all the information, news, expert advice, market
insight and inspiration you need to build your stamp collection and get
the most from your hobby.
Every issue features in-depth collecting guides giving you the
lowdown on classic stamp sets, new stamps, postal history, first day
covers and much more.
Our stamp stories shed light on intriguing stamps and why they were
produced, and our stamp sidelines pages provide an insight into
postmarks, first day covers, Cinderellas, Post & Go and Europa
Check it out at your local newsagent or subscribe here!
Polar Post Article of the Month January 2020
Sixty years ago this month in January 1960, the second part of the Volo Transpolare 1926 article from LH Harris was published in Polar Post. No man had ever succeeded in penetrating the vast region that lay between the North Pole and Alaska. Read more about the Norge airship expedition of 1926 in our latest "Article of the Month" feature!
December 2019 Polar Post added to the Polar Library 20th November 2019
The December issue of Polar Post has been added to the Polar Library - another excellent issue from our editor, John Youle. Curl up by the fire and enjoy reading!
All final prices can be seen in the PPHSGB auctions folder here
The second online auction of the society finished on October 27th. The stationery from Scott's Discovery expedition sold for £260, a signed postcard from Fridtjof Nansen sold for £155 and several better Falkland Islands and British Antarctic Expedition covers found new homes!
There were seventy six bids and eight winning bidders. The total value of the auction was £507.
Members of the society are invited to submit polar material for selling in future PPHSGB auctions. Please read more on the Members Section here!
Remember that the Polar Postal History Society receives 10% of the proceeds.
The first online auction finished today and the results showed strong demand for polar postal material. Of the ten items listed all sold. There were one hundred and four bids and eight winning bidders. The total value of the auction was £1149. Due to the popularity of this initial auction a new auction is planned for next month, provisionally starting on 17th October. More information to follow!
If any member of the society wishes to submit any polar material for selling in future PPHSGB auctions please read more on the Members Section here!
The first online auction from the Polar Postal History Society started on Thursday September 12th and ended on Sunday September 22nd .
Postal History and philately from the Arctic and Antarctic from many polar collecting areas featured and the
PPHSGB received get 10% of the net proceeds!
John Youle has created an updated version of his excellent book on postmarks and cachets of these popular polar collecting areas. You can read the full version of the book in the members' polar library by clicking on this link
Results of the Colour Competition announced! 31st July 2019
Fifteen members submitted entries for the colour competition and the winning entry chosen by Steve Allen, the webmaster, and the editor, John Youle, is shown on the front cover of the September 2019 issue of Polar Post. The winning entry was submitted by our Australian member Peter Cranwell. Congratulations to Peter!
All entries can be viewed on the slideshow at the top of the competition page in the Members Section or downloaded from the pdf added below.
Thanks go to everyone who participated.
MIDPEX 2019 PPHSGB and FIPSG stands 6th July 2019
The PPHSGB and the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group had stands at MIDPEX 2019 in the Warwickshire Event Centre, The Fosse, Fosse Way, near Leamington Spa, CV31 1XN on Saturday 6th July 2019 from 10:00 to 16:30. The event was run by the Midland Philatelic Federation and the Association of
British Philatelic Societies. It is sponsored by Cavendish Philatelic Auctions Ltd. Read a report in the Polar Events section.
STOCKHOLMIA 2019 joint FIPSG and PPHSGB meeting 31st May 2019
The joint FIPSG and PPHSGB meeting took place during the Stockholmia 2019 exhibition, which was from 29 May to 2 June 2019 in central Stockholm. The exhibition celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society of London. Find out what happened in the separate Stockholmia 2019 folder!
York in 1929: an Interrupted Polar Flight Saturday 1st June 2019 10:00
Serge Kahn gave an informative and well attended lecture Stockholmia entitled "
York in 1929: an Interrupted Polar Flight". If any member missed the lecture you can see the full presentation in the Stockholmia folder.
New to the Polar Library! Polar Philatelic Books, Polar
Research and Polar News Articles Sections 11 May 2019
With the complete history of Polar Post magazines available in the Polar Library and more Polar Books added, three additional new sections have been created in the Polar Library:
Discussion Board added to the Members Section! 3rd March 2019
A discussion board has been added to the Member's Section of the Website. Do you
need to find out more information about a polar item in your
collection? Do you have a cover that you want to feature? Post your
question or item and start a discussion here!
Several discussions have already been started. Can you provide the answers!
Polar Postal History Society of GB Annual General Meeting & London Spring Meeting 16th February 2019
The Polar Postal History Society held its AGM at Spring Stampex on Saturday 16th February with a good number of members in attendance. Further details of the meeting will follow on the website and in Polar Post.
Gold Medal for "Operation Tabarin" publication at Spring Stampex 16th February 2019
It is with pleasure that we announce the award of a Gold medal to our president, Gerry Pearce, for his book "Operation Tabarin and its Postal History" in the Philatelic Literature class at Stampex. Well done Gerry!
The book looks at the Operation from the aspect
of the political importance of the special stamps produced, and mail
sent and received through the operation of Post Offices at the
permanently occupied Antarctic bases.
The book is available to order in the Polar Publications section.
Membership renewal form
18th November 2018
To make it easier for UK and overseas members to renew their subscriptions an online membership renewal form has now been added to the website. Payment can be made electronically so you do not have to leave you house to renew your membership of your favourite polar society!
Addition of Polar Books to the Polar Library 18th November 2018
To make the
library more useful a new category has now been added – Polar Books - with copyright restrictions over, many polar books from the classic period of
polar exploration have been uploaded to the Library and are available for all
members to read. Find out what Antarctic Penguins really get up to, discover
why Robert Falcon Scott lost out to Roald Amundsen or just read a polar
literary masterpiece such as Apsley Cherry Garrard’s “The Worst Journey in the
World”. You can read all these books and more online in the Polar Library or
download to your PC or tablet and read later. More books will be continually
added over the next few months so check back regularly to discover new polar
Remember that to log-in to the Polar Library you just enter the e-mail address that you are registered with by the membership secretary, and password featured in the latest issue of Polar Post, into the Library log-in page accessible through the Members Section of the website.
19th – 21st October 2018 The Polar Postal History Society Cambridge Residential Weekend with the theme of "Americans in the Polar Regions" was enjoyed by all who attended. Some images of society members "in action" are shown below. Several of the displays featured Richard Byrd and some polar items from Byrd's expeditions to the Antarctic and Arctic are featured on the left. A full report of all member's displays appears in the December issue of Polar Post.
The Polar Postal History Society is pleased to announce the launch of the online Polar Post Library. The Polar Postal History Library includes all issues of Polar Post from 1953 with lists of contents (where available) – that is over 250 issues!
Members can go directly to the Polar Post library here or click on one of the 250 Polar Post front covers to go directly to a specific issue.