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Home Gallery 150th Anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery (2006)

150th Anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery (2006)

In 2006, ten dignitaries appeared on a set of ten First Class stamps. Issued on 18th July, the stamps marked the 150th birthday of the National Portrait Gallery.

One of the stamps featured a recently discovered portrait of esteemed black Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole.

Amazingly, Mary’s portrait had been used as backing for another painting. When the picture was unveiled it was sent to auction, but its significance was not known until it was purchased by writer and historian Helen Rappaport, who has been researching the life of Mary Seacole. The artwork is the only known painted portrait of Jamaican-born Seacole.