Andrew Zbigniew Szydlo


Andrew looking at stamps

My passionate interest in philately for over 60 years has recently led me to a remarkable discovery. Its brief story is as follows: As a result of a home clearance some 40 years ago, I was given a bundle of 82 envelopes with worthless Victorian penny red stamps on them. Each envelope contained one or more letters which I had not had the time to examine. It has now emerged that their author was the first ever Jewish Senior Wrangler at Cambridge University: Numa Edward Hartog. Tragically he died of smallpox at the age of 25. His letters give a remarkable insight into the life and times of mid-Victorian England.

A penny red Victorian stamp

Penny red, plate 86. Cat. value: £5.00

Edward Numa Hartog

Numa Edward Hartog, a year before his death

Numa's letters

Letter. Cat. value: priceless. Note that the script is written on two perpendicular lines, superimposed on one another, each clearly legible. This popular practice was employed when the writer ran out of space

Watch this space for further developments!

Back to top