James Bond novels on stamps
This collection of six postage stamps celebrates the world of James Bond novels written by their originator, Ian Fleming. Each stamp includes an original Cape book cover, as well as three others from later editions.
The first-ever Bond novel, Casino Royale, is featured, and Dr No, Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, For Your Eyes Only and From Russia with Love are also part of this very special collection. In 1952 Ian Fleming sat at his desk and created a character that 55 years later has reached mythic status. That character was James Bond, hero of 12 novels by Fleming, as well as two volumes of short stories. This first special stamps issue of 2008 celebrates 007's earliest incarnations within works of fiction.
Variety of products
For each issue of stamps, Royal Mail produces a variety of products - from First Day Covers to luxurious Prestige Stamp Books. Ian Fleming's James Bond offers a fantastic range of products suitable for gifting, or to add to your own personal collection.
1st Class Casino Royale
In Casino Royale (1953), James Bond comes up against Le Chiffre at the gaming table. In this 1st Class stamp, Ian Fleming's own design for the original edition of the novel is shown alongside contrasting covers from further editions. It wasn't until 2006 that Casino Royale came to the big screen, although a spoof version of the film was made, as well as a TV episode. The stamp is a fitting celebration of the first Bond novel ever published.
1st Class Dr No
Ian Fleming pits his greatest character, James Bond, against the scientist Dr Julius No in his 1958 novel which went on to become the first 007 movie in 1962. This long landscape stamp features covers of four editions of Dr No (1958), including the first Cape edition jacket by Pat Marriott. The compelling book covers contrast strikingly against a crisp white background.
This eye-catching stamp evokes the glamour, adventure and romance of Goldfinger, Ian Fleming's 1959 novel. The film followed in 1964 with Sean Connery, a Scot like Fleming, making his third appearance as the British agent. Richard Chopping was the Cape book jacket designer, Barnett Plotkin illustrated the Jove edition and the Penguin edition was by Roseanne Serra and Richie Fahey. The Pan edition artist is unknown.
54p Diamonds Are Forever
Gangsters, diamond smuggling, glamour and classic 007 stunts are the territory of Fleming's 1956 Bond adventure. This 54p stamp features the covers of four editions of the novel starting with the Cape first edition illustrated by Pat Marriott. The stamps provide an interesting comparison of typography and design over the years.
78p For Your Eyes Only
For Your Eyes Only (1960) was the title story, from a volume of five short stories. The remaining titles were From A View to a Kill, Quantum of Solace, Risico and The Hildebrand Rarity. When made into a film starring Roger Moore in 1981, elements were taken from For Your Eyes Only and Risico.
78p From Russia With Love
This 1957 classic was the fifth Bond novel written by Ian Fleming is often regarded as the best of his 13 full length titles. It even appeared on the US President John F. Kennedy's top ten favourite books. As a special issue, this stamp is currently less elusive than the British secret agent but who knows what can happen in 50 years?
Miniature stamp sheet and FDC
A border taken from one of Ian Fleming's notebooks surrounds a powerful display of the special issue stamps. All six postage stamps are featured, each one depicting four different covers for a single Bond novel. The novels are Casino Royale, Dr No, Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, For Your Eyes Only and From Russia with Love.
This First Day Cover bears the Miniature Sheet created for the Bond novel stamps special issue. All six stamps are included and set in a border taken from one of Fleming's notebooks. The envelope and insert capture the excitement of the Bond lifestyle through the film poster style graphics of Mike Bell.
Presentation Pack and Prestige Stamp Book
All six James Bond novel stamps are included in this fully illustrated presentation pack. Designed as a fold out poster, the pack features the work of film poster artist, Mike Bell. Fleming's life as a journalist writer, gambler, romantic and intelligence operative is told through an action-packed montage of bold illustrations and the biographical writing of novelist and film critic, Kim Newman. A very desirable pack for collectors and Bond fans alike.
The Prestige Stamp Book compares the life of the author with the career of his main protagonist as played out in Fleming's novels. Six postage stamp panes feature the James Bond stamps, two Union Jack and two White Ensign stamps which celebrate Fleming and Bond's wartime service in the Royal Navy Intelligence and a mixed Machin pane.
Ian Fleming's own extraordinary life suggests that his own experiences in exotic locales inspired the 007 character and lifestyle.
Ian Fleming was born in 1908 and as the son of Conservative MP, Valentine Fleming, and the grandson of a Scottish Banker Robert. Educated at Eton and the Royal Military College Sandhurst, he took a diplomatic posting in Moscow with Reuters news agency. In 1933 he reported on the trial of six British engineers charged with spying and plotting against the Soviets. A writing assignment that got him noticed. It is widely believed that a Russian secretary charged in this case was the inspiration for Tatiana in From Russia With Love. In 1939 Ian Fleming was recruited by the Royal Navy's intelligence unit to work on assignments as personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, top spymaster, Admiral John Godfrey - said to have been one of the inspirations for 'M'. In this role Ian Fleming traveled widely and had access to classified information - all potential sources for characters and story lines.
Undoubtedly his personal experience provided an abundant source of material to exploit as Ian Ian Fleming embarked on his writing career.
More information Postage Stamps
Postage Stamps 2008
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National Portrait Gallery