Bitter Grounds Magazine

espresso fueled ramblings

Rupert the Bear’s special 100th birthday

Written by catpaw

December 14, 2020

Hard to believe but much-loved Rupert the Bear is now 100. First appearing Nov 20 1920, Rupert has entertained young and old alike over the decades. I remember mom scouring bookstores looking for Rupert for me when I was younger. They were extremely hard to find in small town Ontario back in the 60s, but she managed to find a few that were treasured and read until they fell apart.

Isle of Man’s Rupert the Bear tribute

The Isle of Man stamps are usually attractive offerings, and their Rupert compendium is no different. Check out them out at the Isle of Man’s Post Office (iompost.com) store and splurge on a set for a bear loving soul in your life.  It’s a bit pricey at £65, but you get a lot in return, including a copy of the Rupert Annual. Might be a little too late to order for Christmas, but you could put it away for a special day. Face it, no one is too old for Rupert.

Photo of Isle of Man's Rupert the Bear's 100th birthday package

A book, stamps & some coins to celebrate Rupert’s birthday

I tried to find just the sheet of stamps for sale at the online store, but it doesn’t look like they are sold separately, just as part of this pack. Either that, or they simply sold out.

Rupert the Bear Postal Cancel

Isle Of Man's Rupert cancel

Rupert the Bear Stamp sheet & cancel.

The special hand cancel is good fun on the covers and is almost as fun as the upcoming Japanese Moomins.  Almost.

However, if you are a Rupert aficionado, track down Royal Mail’s wonderful Sept releases – Rupert the Bear’s 100th birthday stamps. Royal Mail outdid themselves with this set. But, then again, the subject makes an easy study.

Rupert the Bear on Royal Mail stamps

Rupert the Bear stamp

Then with a terrifying roar / The water bursts through the door.

Rupert the Bear

The bath is rocked from side to side / And Pompey quite enjoys the ride.

Rupert the Bear

Then Algy looks a trifle glum / “I’m going home,” he tells his chum.

Rupert the Bear

The large bird says “Our king will know; climb on my back and off we’ll go”

Rupert the Bear

“There’s something puzzling all of you,” / Says Rupert. “So please tell me too.”

Rupert the Bear

“My cuckoo is back again – hooray! / He didn’t really go away.”

Rupert the Bear

Though Rupert searches all around, / There’s not one spruce tree to be found.

Rupert the Bear

The tree is such a lovely sight, / Then Rupert’s chums gaze in delight.

The 8 stamps are taken from 4 adventures – Rupert’s Rainy Adventure (1944), Rupert and the Mare’s Nest (1952), Rupert and the Lost Cuckoo (1963), and Rupert’s Christmas Tree (1947). I vividly remember when I received the Lost Cuckoo adventure. I read it until the cover fell off.  Oh, the memories. Click on each stamp to see a large version. The details harken back to the classic advertising stamp designs of the early 1900s. Crisp colours, amusing, and full of whimsy. I think of the two sets, the Royal Mail’s is superior.

Each of the stories, displayed in this set, was written, and illustrated by Alfred Bestall, who penned over 200 of the best Rupert adventures.

Photo of Alfred Bestall, writer & illustrator

Alfred Bestall  14 December 1892
 to  15 January 1986 (aged 93)

It was Bestall who dressed Rupert in his iconic red sweater and yellow checked pants, after assuming the mantel of official illustrator. If you’re interested in reading more on him, check out Comicopedia’s entry Alfred Bestall – Lambiek Comiclopedia.

Rupert the Bear in a presentation pack, FDC, sheets & framed.

Rupert the Bear Presentation pack stamps

Rupert the Bear Presentation package

Royal Mail’s presentation packs are eye catching. I don’t tend to collect them, but this is one I’d like to get my hands on. These colourful brochures tend to be chocked full of interesting details about the subject and design. I looked through the online store and didn’t any info on the stamp designer. A shame really. They should be commended for this excellent collection.

As usual, full sheets of 60 stamps and half sheets of 30 are available through the online shop. My favourite is the framed stamps.

Framed set of Rupert the bear stamps

Looking for something different? Think about the framed set

This is an excellent set of Rupert the Bear memorabilia to have. If you collect comics, bears or Rupert, this is a must have set.  If you enjoy stamps like the Rupert set, don’t forget to check out the Moomins from Japan.

Calling all Moomins! 2021 will be a great Moomin New Year

Enjoying the content? Click cup on the left and buy me a coffee

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright
©2020
Bitter Grounds Magazine
All Right Reserved

Design by Catpaw Computer Consulting

Previous post
Check out the list of post offices from around the…