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Hugo Fleury

 

 
 

Hugo Fleury

stamp and banknote designer, artist

(1893-1983)


Hugo and Hettie Fleury

Photographs kindly provided by Phyllis Levy

 
 
 

Hugo Fleury (my great uncle) was born at 252 Whetley Lane, Manningham, Bradford, Yorkshire on 23rd January 1893. His father was Hermann Fleury, a portrait painter born in Frankenthal, a town near Mannheim, Germany. His mother was Margaretha Schalck who was born in Wicker, a small village near Frankfurt. Hugo was the youngest of seven children, the eldest three of which, including my grandfather Robert, were born in Germany. The family had emigrated to England in 1876.

By 1901 the family were living in north London (apart from Hugo's married brother Carl, who remained in Bradford). The census has them at 88 Pellatt Grove, Wood Green, with Hugo aged 8. Hugo's brothers, Robert (27) and Hermann (24), are present as Art Students, while brother Frederick (23) is Wood Carver. Their father, Hermann senior, is described as Artist Picture Painter. The father and these three older sons are all described as occupied "at home", so the house must have been quite crowded and busy.

It was around this time that Hugo's brother Hermann Fleury junior began producing artwork for postcards, which were published by the companies Misch & Stock's, and G.D.&D. of London. The postcards were signed "H. Fleury junior".

I know nothing of Hugo's education, or how he faired in a German family in London in World War I.

At age 30, Hugo was married to Henrietta Levy, on 14th April 1923, at Edmonton Register Office. My mother described her Aunt Hettie as a German woman who was very deaf. I think it likely that Hettie's father was, in fact, London-born, while her mother was born in Holland (although I have not confirmed these details yet). Her father was described as Cigar Maker in Hettie's marriage document.

Hugo was employed as a printer's designer at Waterlow & Son. A design of his was used for stamps which commemorated the Silver Jubilee of the reign of George V in 1935. In the same year (1935) his design was used for a 1000 escudos banknote of Portugal. In 1938 his design was used for Cayman Islands stamps. He designed Czechoslovakian banknotes circulated from 1945. In 1949 his design was used for one of a set of Great Britain stamps commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union.

Hugo Fleury's wife, Henrietta, died on 30th January 1963, at 69 Pembury Road, London N17. Hugo Fleury died on 26th November 1983 at the same address.

The notices below regarding Hugo's fifty years service (with Waterlow's) and his retirement have come from my friend Fabrizio.

 
 


Hugo Fleury fifty years service notice

 


Hugo Fleury retirement notice

 
 

The British Postal Museum & Archive website (for which click here) says this about Hugo:

"HUGO FLEURY was first apprenticed to Waterlows as a lithographic artist in 1907. As well as designing banknotes, he designed nearly 200 foreign and colonial postage stamps, most famously the 1935 Silver Jubilee issue with the view of Windsor Castle. The UPU 6d was, however, his first successful British postage stamp design, a fact he recorded as giving him much pleasure. Sadly, although he worked on many issues for the GPO from the PUC stamps of 1929 up to and including the 1953 Coronation, it was to remain his only success in this field."

 
 


Hugo and Hettie Fleury on the beach with dog

 

 

 
Hugo Fleury stamps and banknotes
 
 


The Postal Union Congress 1929

The design of this 2½d stamp commemorating the Postal Union Congress of 1929 was by Hugo Fleury of Waterlow and Sons, and was submitted on 10th December 1928, and rejected two days later by the Stamp Advisory Committee.


The Silver Jubilee stamps 1935

 
 


The same Windsor Castle design was used on sets of stamps for each colony of the British Empire. Each colonial set had a different colour scheme. The denominations of the stamps reflected the local currency and postal charges applicable.
 

   
   
       


The stamp is of considerable interest to serious stamp collectors because of the small printing errors which crept in affecting the picture of the castle and other features of the stamp. The design was used for a large number of stamps because there were so many colonies at the time. For a website which specializes in the 1935 Silver Jubilee stamps click here.
 


The Portuguese 1000 escudos banknote 1935

 

The figure on the banknote is Mestre de Avis (or Aviz) who was born in 1357 and became King John I of Portugal, reigning 1385-1433.
 
Hugo's original artwork for this banknote is shown on the right.


The Cayman Islands stamps 1938

 


The subject of the stamps is the Cayman Schooner. The stamp shown on the left is the 5s stamp in crimson. The same design was used for the 2½d stamp, which was bright blue until 1947, when the colour was changed to orange. Hugo's design was adopted with correction of spelling of Caymen to Cayman. Hugo's original artwork is shown on the right.


The Czechoslovakian banknotes 1945


Hugo designed this 20 Korun banknote which was currency in the Czechoslovak Republic in the period 1945-1953. The man whose picture appears on the 20 Korun note is Karel Havlicek Borovsky, who was a nineteenth century liberal Czech journalist.
 


On the 50 Korun note, also designed by Hugo, is a picture of General Milan Rastislav Stefanik, who was a Czech astronomer and astrophysicist. He became a minister in the Czech government after the first War, but was killed in an aeroplane crash in 1919.


The Universal Postal Union stamps 1949

A set of four Great Britain stamps were issued in 1949 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union. The UPU was founded in 1874 with headquarters in Bern, Switzerland. It is the primary forum for cooperation between postal services, and now has 191 member countries. Hugo Fleury's design was used for one of these stamps - the 6d denomination.

The subject of this stamp is Goddess Concordia, Globe and Points of Compass.


The royal visit to New Zealand 4d stamp 1953

 


After the coronation, as part of a world tour, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited New Zealand. This was the first time a reigning monarch had visited that country. Two stamps were issued in commemoration of the visit - a 3d and a 4d stamp. Hugo did artwork which appears to be the basis of the 4d stamp, although the couple appeared head-and-shoulders in the stamp rather than full length. Hugo's artwork is on the right.

 
 

 

 
Hugo Fleury paintings and sketches
 
 

The first five images below are watercolours owned by me and signed "H. Fleury". I bought these some time ago and believe them to be by my great uncle, Hugo Fleury.

The remaining images are of works which were sold in recent years at various auctions. Some are signed, some not. I think they are by Hugo Fleury, but I have no provenance.
 

 
Forest (1)
 
Forest (2)
 
Woman in green dress
 
Fishing Boats, Leigh on Sea
 
Nightfall, Leigh
 
Funfair
 
Chingford Fair
 
Merry-go-round
 
Timber Ship Ionic Crest
 
Baboons
 
Dancer
 
Classical Figure
 
Farmhand (pencil)
 
Female Nude (1913 pencil)
 
Female Nude (2)
 
Female Nude (3)
 
Female Nude (4)
 
Female Nude (5)
 
Male Nude (pencil)
 
Male Nude (2)
 
Young Man (pastel)
 
Young Man (pencil)
 
Haystacks (oils)
 
The Hunter
 
Ecclesiastical Figure
 
Waltham Abbey Farm 1965 (1)
 
Waltham Abbey Farm 1965 (2)
 
Avey Lane, Waltham (1965)
 
Country House (1969)
 
Surrey Docks (1)
 
Surrey Docks (2)
 
The Maid
 
Boats at Low Tide
 
At the Theatre
 
Romney Marsh and the Military Canal
 
Ship
 
Boatyard
 
Victoria Dock
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (1)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (2)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (3)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (4)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (5)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (6)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (7)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (8)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (9)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (10)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (11)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (12)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (13)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (14)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (15)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (16)
 
Artwork for Waterlow & Son (17)
 
Advertising card artwork (1)
 
Advertising card artwork (2)
 
Advertising card artwork (3)
 
Advertising card artwork (4)
 
Advertising card artwork (5)
 
Advertising card artwork (6)
 
Advertising card artwork (7)
 
Advertising card artwork (8)
 
Advertising card artwork (9)
 
Advertising card artwork (10)
 
Advertising card artwork (11)
 
Advertising card artwork (12)
 
Advertising card artwork (13)
 
Advertising card artwork (14)
 
Advertising card artwork (15)
 
Advertising card artwork (16)
 
Advertising card artwork (17)