Webb & Webb designs Jane Austen stamps

Webb & Webb has designed a series of Jane Austen stamps for Royal Mail marking the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice’s publication.

Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice

The book was Austen’s second novel, published in 1813.

The consultancy began work on the project in September last year, creating designs for the six stamps – one for each of Austen’s published novels.

Illustrator Angela Barrett was commissioned to create the imagery, which depicts key scenes from the books.

Mansfield Park and Emma
Mansfield Park and Emma

Illustrations from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are shown for the first class stamps, with other stamps showing scenes from Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.

James Webb, Webb & Webb co-founder, says, ‘[Royal Mail] wanted to look at all six books, starting with a focus on the main stamp, Pride and Prejudice. They wanted to look at the content of the books, but the direction was up to us.’

Persuasion and Northanger Abbey
Persuasion and Northanger Abbey

Webb & Webb worked with an editor to decide on the featured scenes. Webb says, ‘Each stamp is quotable as it were, and when we were sending off the preliminary stuff each drawing would come with the relevant chapter and quotation underneath it. They’re not just pretty pictures, but pretty pictures with meaning.’

The consultancy also designed a first day cover and presentation pack, featuring words by author and Austen fan P.D. James wrote the words and further illustrations by Barrett.

Letters posted in Austen’s birthplace of Stevenson, Hampshire, and final home of Chawton, also Hampshire, will bear a special postmark for a week with the Pride and Prejudice quote ‘Do anything rather than marry without affection’.

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