Mauritius Ball Covers Together at The British Library

Michael Sefi (left) and David Beech of the British Library with the three "Ball covers"

David Beech, Curator and Head of the Philatelic Collections at the British Library, provided the following information about a philatelic first. 

“In February, Michael Sefi, the Keeper of The Royal Philatelic Collection, visited the British Library Philatelic Collections. The occasion for his visit was to bring together the only three known Mauritius “Ball” envelopes, one from the Royal Philatelic Collection, one from the British Library’s Tapling Collection, and one that is currently on loan to the British Library that belongs to Mr. Vikram Chand. The “Ball” covers are so called because they each bear an example of the Mauritius 1847 “Post Office” issue 1d orange-red and are understood to have been used to send invitations or admittance cards for a Ball being given by Lady Gomm the wife of the Governor at Government House, Port Louis on 30th September 1847. This is the first time that all three surviving Ball covers have been together in the same place.”

A closer view of the Mauritius Ball cover in the British Library’s Tapling Collection.