The history of Stanley Gibbons

Stanley Gibbons is a renowned name in the world of stamp collecting, known for its high-quality catalogs and expertise in philately. The company has a rich history that spans more than 160 years, and it has played a significant role in shaping the hobby of stamp collecting as we know it today.

The company was founded in 1856 by Edward Stanley Gibbons, a young stamp dealer who started his business in Plymouth, England. Gibbons had a passion for stamps, and he quickly gained a reputation for his knowledge and expertise in the field. As the popularity of stamp collecting grew in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so did the demand for Gibbons' catalogs, which became the go-to source for collectors looking to identify and value their stamps.

In 1863, Gibbons published his first stamp catalog, which included detailed descriptions and prices for every stamp issued by the British Empire. The catalog was an immediate success, and it established Gibbons as the leading authority on British stamps. Over the years, the catalog grew in size and scope, expanding to include stamps from all over the world.

In the early 20th century, the company expanded its operations beyond stamp dealing and began publishing a range of reference books and collecting supplies. In 1914, the company moved its headquarters to London, where it remains to this day. During the First World War, Stanley Gibbons played an important role in the war effort, supplying stamps to the military and helping to raise funds for the war effort through the sale of war stamps.

Throughout the 20th century, Stanley Gibbons continued to grow and diversify its business, acquiring other stamp dealerships and expanding into the auction market. In 1970, the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange, and it became the first stamp dealer to be publicly traded.

In recent years, the company has faced a number of challenges, including the decline of stamp collecting as a popular hobby and the rise of online marketplaces for buying and selling stamps. However, Stanley Gibbons has adapted to these changes by expanding its online presence and developing new products and services to meet the evolving needs of collectors.

Today, Stanley Gibbons remains a leading name in the world of stamp collecting, known for its expertise, quality, and commitment to the hobby. With a history spanning more than 160 years, the company has played a significant role in shaping the hobby of stamp collecting and preserving the history and culture of the world's postal systems.

About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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