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CAUTION: Bengt Bengtsson, a philatelic judge from Sweden, has prepared an "undesirable list" -- including stamps which should be avoided because they are from countries that have issued stamps in too large quantities or with overly high values. Stamps of Bhutan since 1964, appear on that list.

BHUTAN

Northumberland Hotel
(Hound of the Baskervilles)
with Holmes silhouette

1990

souvenir sheet, Scott #915
October 9, 1990


Part of the Penny Black (first British stamp) 150th anniversary set, 894-917, it was designed by Dr. William R. Hanson (designer of the 1991 Dominica sheet) who writes:
"I also designed the Bhutan SS #915 of 1990, which shows a Tally-Ho! mail coach pulled up in front of the Northumberland Hotel, of Hound of the Baskervilles fame. I show the hotel as it appears today*, with the Sherlock Holmes head on the trim board alongside the name. Actually, other than the name board, and concrete sidewalks, the Northumberland looks no different today that it did when Holmes and Watson visited it.

This sheet deserves inclusion in the Sherlock Holmes philately list because:

  1. Sherlock Holmes, complete with deerstalker and curved pipe appears in gold in silhouette on the trim board above the windows, alongside the name "Northumberland Hotel"; the hotel exterior as it appears today is exactly the same as Holmes and Watson knew it;
  2. The Northumberland Hotel figures prominently in what many feel is the best of the novels, "The Hound of the Baskervilles";
  3. Holmes and Watson would have looked on the same view of the hotel, street "paved" with mud and horse dung, and mail coach as I've painted, every time they visited Nevill's Turkish Bath, at the corner of Northumberland Avenue and Craven Passage, or when Holmes visited the "select" hotels in the Noble Bachelor.
  4. The Sherlock Holmes pub downstairs, and the reconstructed Baker Street sitting room and restaurant upstairs, with its original Conan Doyle SH manuscripts framed on the walls, are magnets which draw Sherlockians visiting London second only to 221B Baker Street itself."
    (*personal communication, May 11, 2000)

photo from William S. Baring-Gould's Sherlock Holmes: A Biography
(click to enlarge)
 

The Northumberland Hotel has become the Sherlock Holmes Pub.


Set in a quiet corner at the end of Northumberland Street is the Sherlock Holmes Pub. Formerly the Northumberland Hotel, mentioned in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tale, "The Hound of the Baskervilles,"

The Philatelic Sherlock Holmes