The History of Stamp Collecting Part 13 – Edward Pemberton

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stamp collectors handbookIn the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 13 – Edward Pemberton.

Edward Loines Pemberton is a name that pops up everywhere in the early days of stamp collecting. In the previous episode, you would have seen that he played a big part in the production of the first stamp magazine.

Who was Edward Pemberton and what was his significance to philately?

Edward was born on December 10, 1844 in the United States, but was orphaned at an early age and brought up by an aunt and uncle in England. Along with his cousins, from an early age he began collecting stamps and had even placed an advertisement in the previously mentioned ‘Boy’s Own Magazine’ to exchange stamps.

By 1862 he was already a stamp dealer. In 1863 he worked briefly with J. Wood from Hartlepool and from1871 he dealt under the name of James R. Grant & Co.

His importance to philately, however, lies mainly in his philatelic studies and publications. His contributions can be found in all philatelic magazines between 1862 and 1878.

Click on the image above to view the handbook’s content.

He was a connoisseur of the Australian stamp magazine “Sydney Views”. He imported large quantities of the magazine in 1868 via merchants Young & Stockall from Liverpool.

His most famous work is shown above, the “Stamp Collector’s Handbook”.

Click on the image above to read the content.

Another important work was this publication: ‘Forged Stamps: How to Detect Them’. This was the first published booklet on the subject and was co-written with Thornton Lewes.


Lewes was the son of the famous English author George Eliot (her real name was Mary Ann Evans, b.1819-d.1880). See above a Europa stamp from 1980 featuring Eliot.

Click on the image above to read the content.

He is perhaps best known for his magazine ‘The Philatelic Journal’.
Pemberton suffered bad health and by 1871 he was having difficulties keeping up with his work on The Philatelic Journal. He died after a long illness on December 12, 1878, aged just 34.
However, the Pemberton family connection with philately continued via the magazine ‘The Philatelic Record’, published by Sefi, Pemberton and Company.
The Pemberton concerned here was Percival Loines Pemberton, a son of Edward, who was also a philatelist and stamp dealer. In 1956 the company Sefi-Pemberton was acquired by the famed collector and dealer Robson Lowe, London.

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