The Basil Rathbone Gallery


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"Legendary Sleuths of the Silver Screen," issued by the Commonwealth of Dominica in 1996. The nine sleuths portrayed on this set of stamps are: 

  1. Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart)

  2. James Bond (Sean Connery)

  3. Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty)

  4. Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone)

  5. Nick Charles (William Powell)

  6. Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler)

  7. Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers)

  8. Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum)

  9. Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov)

This cartoonish stamp of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes is part of a set entitled "Hollywood: Official Stamps of the Stars and Studios," First Series, 1947. Includes stamps of Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers, Virginia Mayo, Marie McDonald and Olga San Juan.  These are "Cinderella" stamps, or faux postage (i.e. privately made stamps, not official U.S. postage).

Famous Sleuths on Cinema: a set of five stamps from Guernsey. The famous sleuths are:

  1. Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe

  2. Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau

  3. Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

  4. Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple

  5. Warner Oland as Charlie Chan

This set of stamps was designed by Robin Ollington in 1996.

This is a $2 stamp issued by Turks & Caicos Islands.  Each stamp is part of a single sheet measuring approximately 2.5 x 3.5 inches and featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (in magnifying glass), Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce along with a list of Conan Doyle titles. 
In 1999, the United States issued a six-stamp set titled "Legends of American MusicHollywood Composers." I'm including this set on this page because of the First Day Covers associated with two of the composers: Alfred Newman and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

The six composers honored in this set are: Max Steiner, Dimitri Tiomkin, Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, Alfred Newman and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

Alfred Newman composed the score for The Mark of Zorro, a scene from which is depicted on this First Day Cover (left). The cover was designed, drawn and painted by artist Bob Knapp. It depicts the climactic duel between Don Diego de la Vega (Tyrone Power) and Capt. Esteban Pasquale (Basil Rathbone).

Erich Wolfgang Korngold composed the music for The Adventures of Robin Hood (starring Errol Flynn, Olivia DeHavilland, and Basil Rathbone). Below are three different First Day Covers highlighting that film.

This First Day Cover was hand-drawn by artist Fred Collins.

This cover, produced by Mystic Stamp Company, features an Italian poster for The Adventures of Robin Hood.

This is a "silk cachet" produced by the company Colorano. A silk cachet is an envelope with a piece of fabric fused to it to give it a silky look and feel.

These stamps were issued by the Republic of Guinea in 2010 to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The set features three images of Arthur Conan Doyle as well as images of Michael Caine, Basil Rathbone, and Robert Downey Jr.

There are two glaring errors on this set of stamps:

1) 70th Anniversary (French: 70E Anniversaire) is printed on the stamp set, but 2010 was actually the 80th anniversary of Doyle's death. (He died in 1930. Do the math.)


2) Basil Rathbone is incorrectly identified as "Peter Cushing."

These are four different images of Basil Rathbone featured in an Australian stamp series called "British Film Legends." The year of issue is uncertain possibly 2013.

In 2013 the Congo Republic issued several sets of stamps honoring "Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective." Some of them feature actors who played Sherlock Holmes, including Basil Rathbone (left).

Below are some of the other Sherlock Holmes images appearing on the Congo stamps. These stamps may also be faux postage.

Basil Rathbone's image appears in a set of stamps called "Faces of Sherlock Holmes," issued in 2000. These are "Cinderella" stamps created by artist Dennis Jordan.
The following stamps honor the great detective Sherlock Holmes but do not feature an image of Basil Rathbone:
The Channel Island of Alderney, part of Guernsey, apparently issues its own stamps! This set, issued in 2009, promoted a new Sherlock Holmes mystery called "Sherlock Holmes and the Curious Case of the Alderney Bull," written by illustrator Keith Robinson, who also designed the stamps.
This set of "Sharlock Holmes" stamps was issued by East Timor in 2000. Like the "Faces of Sherlock Holmes" above, this set of stamps is also faux postage.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birth, Monaco issued this stamp in 2009.

Another stamp issued in 2009 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birth is this one from Great Britain. Edinburgh? It is part of a set featuring Eminent Britons (right).
This is a set of five 24p Sherlock Holmes stamps issued by Great Britain's Royal Mail 12th October 1993. The stamps depict:
  • Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in The Reigate Squire

  • Sherlock Holmes and Sir Henry in The Hound of the Baskervilles

  • Sherlock Holmes and Lestrade in The Six Napoleons

  • Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft in The Greek Interpreter

  • Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty in The Final Problem

The strip of five Sherlock Holmes stamps contains a mystery:
The name DOYLE (the creator of Sherlock Holmes) is hidden on the stamps, one letter on each stamp.

For more Sherlock Holmes stamps, visit "The Philatelic Sherlock Holmes."




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All original content is Marcia Jessen, 2017