Stamps for Cooks


In 1885 De La Rue submitted essays for a cheque book style booklet to the Post Office containing panes of 15 blank labels, fixed in place by their selvedge on the left.

Some 84 years later, in March 1969, the idea to produce a cheque book style booklet containing panes of 15 stamps came up again, but this time the booklet was to have a theme, and with adverts on the covers and interleaves related to the theme. Several themes were considered including cooking, gardening, art and sport.

A market survey was carried out using nine mock-up booklets based on the suggested themes. The survey found that cooking had the most appeal, and a further seven mock-up booklets were produced by Stuart Rose of the Post Office Illustration Studio. The contents showed a simple representation of a recipe with a photo cut from a magazine, and panes of 15 stamps drawn in blue.

Pane of "blue heads" produced by the Post Office Illustration Studio.


Proof booklets were produced, with recipes and illustrations taken from "The Dairy Book of Home Cookery" published by the Milk Marketing Board. The 4d and 5d panes were made by attaching blocks of counter sheet stamps to printed stubs, and the se-tenant pane made with either the space for the stamps left blank or with counter sheet stamps gummed onto the blank paper.

Pane from a proof booklet with counter sheet stamps attached to a printed stub with a strip of transparent gummed tape (reverse shown).


Pane from a proof booklet with counter sheet stamps gummed onto a full width interleaf. Note the different order from the issued booklet.


Pane of dummy stamps made from coloured paper which was perforated by Harrison and sent to the advertising contractor Stan Hills who made them up into booklets for presentation to prospective clients. 1d, 4d, and 5d stamps were represented by yellow, orange, and blue labels.

Stamps for Cooks was put on sale on 1 Dec 1969, and became the first of the "prestige" or sponsored booklets.








£1 Booklet Series 11: ZP1


Date: Dec 1969
Editions: (1)
Printer: Harrison
Watermark: none
Makeup: FC, UB20, int, UB16, int, UB17, int, UB2, int, BC

Initially booklets were bound with staples, but this proved to be too slow, and the large majority were stitched. An inch wide strip of black passe-partout was wrapped around the spine in order to extend the booklet's usefulness as a recipe book.

ZP1: stapled
ZP1s: stapled, Specimen 14mm (40 issued)
ZP1a: stitched
ZP1as: stitched, CDS "8 Jun 71" (8 issued)
ZP1at: stitched, Specimen 72mm (10 issued)


Pane with 14mm handstamp from booklet ZP1s, for use by the advertising contractor.


Pane date stamped "8 Jun 71" from booklet ZP1as, for use by the advertising contractor
when the next £1 booklet was being planned (1972 Wedgwood).



Pane with 72mm handstamp from booklet ZP1at, for use by the advertising contractor
when the next £1 booklet was being planned (1972 Wedgwood).


An Advertisers Voucher Copy, stitched but without the black binding and without stamps.


There was no official Post Office first day cover, but the Milk Marketing Board produced an illustrated cover in connection with their exhibition at Thames Ditton.





Booklet Panes

Booklet panes of 15 were printed in photogravure on unwatermarked chalk-surfaced paper. All have perforation Type I, PVA gum, and Machin Head B.

All panes also exist on uncoated paper, but not in the same booklet. Similarly, all panes exist without phosphor,
but not in the same booklet.



Phosphor bands: two per stamp on inner columns, side band on outer columns (UB2).

Phosphor bands: centre band (UB16, UB17).

Phosphor bands: two per stamp (UB20).



UB2: two bands, side band on 4d; PVA; Head B; Booklets ZP1; Perfs I; Cyls* F7 (1d), N8 (4d), R5 (5d)



UB16: centre band; PVA; Head B; Booklets ZP1; Perfs I; Cyls* N9




UB17: centre band; PVA; Head B; Booklets ZP1; Perfs I; Cyls* N9




UB20: two bands; PVA; Head B; Booklets ZP1; Perfs I; Cyls* R6


* cylinder numbers do not appear in the finished booklets.




Adverts & Interleaves

From the inside front cover:
  1. Cream of Potato Soup
  2. Creamy Carrot Soup
  3. Portuguese Plaice
  4. Stuffed Cucumber
  5. Pork with Fried Peaches
  6. Braised Shoulder of Lamb
  7. Cheese Platter Salad
  8. Ham Club Sandwich
  9. Baked Stuffed Haddock
  10. Apple and Walnut Salad
  11. Peaches Mistral
  12. Cream Meringues
Recipe 8 "Ham Club Sandwich" missed Ham from the list of ingredients.

From the inside back cover:

Recipes extracted from the Dairy Book
of Home Cookery by permission of
the Milk Marketing Board.