The Ball (30 September 1847)
- 30 September 1847
- 30 September 1847
- Alternative Names
- Lady Gomm's Famous Ball
Lady Elizabeth Gomm, wife of the Governor of Mauritius, gave a fancy dress ball at Government House in Port Louis (not Reduit), Mauritius, on 30 September 1847.
A notice about the vehicular arrangements for the ball appeared on page one of Le Cernéen, 30 September 1847, and an eye witness account of the ball itself is given in volume one of The Story of a Soldier’s Life: or Peace, War, and Mutiny by Lieut.-General John Alexander Ewart.
The ball is remembered chiefly for one reason. Of the hundreds of invitations or admission cards sent out, three of the envelopes which carried them survived. These were the earliest items bearing postage stamps to pass through the Mauritian postal system. Not one of Lady Gomm's guests could have imagined that people the world over would soon be collecting these little scraps of paper, these postage stamps, and would even pay great sums for them – that one hundred and fifty years later the stamp-bearing envelopes they had chanced to keep would be worth more than a million dollars.
No invitations were found inside the envelopes now extant. It is more likely that they contained admission cards.
Related Cultural Artefacts
- de Pitray, Alfred S., The "Post Office Mauritius" and its Legend, Editions de l'Océan Indien, Mauritius, completed 1975, published 1990. [ Details... ]
- Ewart, John Alexander, The Story of a Soldier's Life: or Peace, War, and Mutiny, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, London, 1881. [ Details... ]
- Harmer, C. H. C., 'The "Thos. Jerrom" Mauritius Letter', London Philatelist, vol. 78, no. 913, January 1969, pp. 10-12. [ Details... ]
- Moens, Jean-Baptiste, 'Encore les Post-Office de Maurice', Le Timbre-Poste, no. 441, September 1899, pp. 141-42. [ Details... ]
- Morton, C. S., 'On Garnering', Supplement to Stamp Collecting, vol. 19, no. 5, 4 November 1922, p. ix. [ Details... ]
- 'The "Post Office" Mauritius: Its History', Stamp Collectors' Fortnighly, 4 September 1897, p. 250. [ Details... ]
Letter to the Editors
- Cerne, 'To Philatelists', The Westminster Gazette, 26 July 1897, p. 3. [ Details... ]
- Lady Gomm's ball
- G. V. Nash
- David Feldman SA
- Invitation and Ball of Lady Gomm (1847), 1.25 rupee stamp
Prepared by: Helen Morgan
Created: 22 March 2006, Last modified: 1 July 2006