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Mrs Sanderson Requests

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Keith View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 January 2013 at 05:47
Am I the only one invited to call on the 4th of next month? Or just the first to ask?

Keith
See the online catalogue of members' stamps at http://www.askmeaboutstamps.com
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Murgatroyd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Murgatroyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 08:22
I too have an invitation. The stamp bore the initials H. L&S. at either side at the top, and mine had the initials C and B in the lower left and right corners. I cannot identify the chap illustrated, but he looks as though he might well tend towards a somewhat dissolute  lifestyle. The flowers upper left and lower right might be Ipomea Violacea, aka Heavenly Blue, or Morning Glory. These plants, if I've identified them correctly, have psychoactive properties. 
Then there's the name Sanderson. Some Sanderson fabric designs were associated with artists within the group. 
So, We have Bloomsbury... Perhaps the Bloomsbury Group. It has been said that some members of the group indulged in experiments with drugs. We have the Morning Glory flowers. The beautifully gold edged card inside contains an invitation to an appointment with Mrs Sanderson to discuss arrangements for her security... 
(Quite cheered me up for a moment, as I'm looking for a good job in the security industry! I thought I'd had a reply to one of my CV's for a minute.)

So apart from the usual mystery of who's produced this lovely stamp and sent this unusual invitation, we have the implied mystery of just who was this Mrs Sanderson, and what could have been her address at the time... Not to mention the other details of the stamp, some of which I can't quite make out like whatever the thing at the top center is... my bad.
Finally the postmarks. The realworld one was Warrington, and the ficton Bloomsbury London with something I can't make out in the crossbar.

Very nice, and it's had me looking some stuff up today, so educational as well as an attractive puzzle!

"I've got twenty minutes to save the world and I've got a Post Office, and it's shut." The Raggedy Doctor.
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Steve View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 08:37
If and when I ever move house it will be to somewhere where the post does not arrive a day or two later than other people. I am, of course, hoping to receive one of these.
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Colin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 08:40
Move to Norwich Steve...  LOL
Happiness doesn't come from getting something we don't have, but through recognising and appreciating what we do have.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Colin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 08:43
btw - I am sure it is not connected but on the radio today I heard a reputed Oscar Wilde quote, recycled for a Fawlty Towers episode - 'This wallpaper is dreadful. One of us has simply got to go...'
Happiness doesn't come from getting something we don't have, but through recognising and appreciating what we do have.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joolz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 11:59
I also received one of these interesting letters from Mrs Sanderson.
 
Thank you very much to the mysterious sender.
 
Much the same as received by others, invitation in my case "to discuss representation of her media business interests", cinderella stamp as described with a Bloomsbury, London cinderella frank and JF in the lower left and right corners, Royal Mail Christmas 2012 1st Class stamp franked 08-01-2013 at Royal Mail Warrington Mail Centre.
 
Here is what I have gleaned from a little research.
 
The writing across the centre of the cinderella frank is a London postcode in mirror writing, "through the looking glass" indeed.
 
The postcode is W1T 3NG.
 
This is the postcode of the Sanderson Hotel in Berners Street, Bloomsbury.
 
The Sanderson's signature English tea ceremony is its Mad Hatter's Tea.
 
(The Sanderson achieved most recent notoriety in 2007 as the scene of an Amy Winehouse blow-out session - fourth paragraph in this article - oddly enough immediately below a reference to the Cadogan Hotel of late Victorian notoriety in the case of Oscar Wilde as immortalised in the poem by John Betjeman)
 
The Mad Hatter's Tea Party is an episode in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
 
According to the Lewis Carroll Society, the manuscript text of what was then titled Alice's Adventures under Ground was completed on 10 February 1863, 150 years ago next month.
 
Not sure if any of the above tells some part of the tale regarding these letters and I've got no leads as yet on the portrait or the initials "H. L. & S." but perhaps some others can take up the scent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 12:17
The Alice connection seems to crop up twice. I'm wondering (pun intended) if Alice's Adventures Underground may reference a link to the London tube system. I am not too familiar with this.
Or does the Looking Glass postmark transform this to Overground - street level.
Are there any Alice references on the stamps?

Originally posted by Murgatroyd Murgatroyd wrote:

I cannot identify the chap illustrated, but he looks as though he might well tend towards a somewhat dissolute lifestyle.
Could it be Oscar Wilde?

I hope I get mine tomorrow and its not solved by then
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daniel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 15:03
In 1810 Theodore Hook perpetrated the Berners Street Hoax having made a bet with a friend, Samuel Beazley, that he could transform any house in London into the most talked about address within a week. He did this by sending out thousands of letters in the name of Mrs Tottenham, a wealthy lady, of 54 Berners St. to various dignitaries, shops and tradesmen requesting that they attend the address or ordering goods and services. On Monday, 26th November the address was inundated with people responding to these letters beginning with chimney sweeps and including barbers, grocers, artists and The Lord Mayor of London.
So many people arrived that at one point it was almost impossible to move in the street. The police eventually took charge but the crowds were not dispersed until night-time. The papers were full of the story and it was soon realised that it was a gigantic hoax but it was never proved by the authorities that Hook was the perpetrator.
 
Our 'invites' are in the style of the hoax letters and seem to make specific references to our professions with the stamp bearing our individual initials.
 
It is Hook who is depicted on the stamp. 54 Berners Street ultimately became incorporated into what is now the Sanderson Hotel, a luxury spa resort. H.L. and S. may just stand for Healthy Living and Spa.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joolz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2013 at 18:48
Well done, Daniel. That's brilliant research.

Based on it, I'd guess that "H. L. & S." is "hook, line and sinker".
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