Allen Jones, ‘"MAIL ORDER" from CULTURE CARRIERS STAMP OUT ART" (SIGNED), Provenance: The Collection of Art Critic Anthony Haden-Guest’, 1971, Alpha 137 Gallery
Allen Jones, ‘"MAIL ORDER" from CULTURE CARRIERS STAMP OUT ART" (SIGNED), Provenance: The Collection of Art Critic Anthony Haden-Guest’, 1971, Alpha 137 Gallery

As a consequence of the prolonged strike by the Royal Mail postal workers in the United Kingdom, Allen Jones, along with a group of top British Pop artists of the era including David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, Derek Boshier, the poet/activist Christopher Logue and Richard Hamilton, published ''Culture Carriers Stamp Out Art''to raise funds for the striking workers. The "stamps" were published in a limited edition of only 250 each (some artists, like Paolozzi and Allen Jones created more than one design), with the artists signing each by hand in blue ink with his initials on the lower right. Allen Jones "Mail Order" is an especially clever take on the project; it is at once a postage stamp (hence the title "Mail Order"), but it also refers to the popular mail order catalogues of the era. It was a particular preoccupation of Jones, who, separately, created a large lithograph called "Janet is Wearing" -- referring to his wife Janet, but playing upon the advertising jargon of the day, used in mail order catalogues. For this particular project - creating a stamp to raise money for mail carriers - Jones' MAIL ORDER double entendre could not be more apropos.

The stamp itself measures 3.75 inches (H) by 2.25 inches (w), and it is affixed to a franked (postmarked) envelope which measures 6 inches by 9 inches, bearing the stamped text "Culture Carriers 23 Feb 1971" on the top left, and the stamp "CULTURE CARRIERS STAMP OUT ART" on the lower left (front). and the stamp "STRIKE ISSUE" lower right front of the envelope. Very desirable as an ensemble. these were known as The Post Office Worker's Strike Commemoration Stamps. This particular piece has superb and interesting provenance, as it came from the private collection of the American art critic Anthony Haden-Guest. As additional provenance, we will furnish the buyer with a xerox copy of the receipt from Flair Magazine, and a list of buyers of the stamps -- as Haden-Guest was apparently tasked with collecting funds from collectors for their purchased works through Flair magazine.

This will look terrific when framed. An unusual and memorable gift for any Allen Jones fan - and a great piece of art historical ephemera - and a cool piece of 1970s British Pop (and Royal Mail) - history!

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Signature: Signed in blue ink by Allen Jones with his initials on the lower left of the lithographic stamp, affixed to the envelope. The artwork consists not just of the signed, limited edition Allen Jones postage "stamp", but also the franked envelope, which it is affixed to, with the stamps as described above. The entire mixed media piece is far more desirable than the stamp alone.

From the private collection of art critic Anthony Haden-Guest, who was tasked with selling some of these to collectors on behalf of Flair magazine

About Allen Jones

Controversial painter and sculptor Allen Jones is best known for his trio of fiberglass figures: Hatstand, Table, and Chair from 1969. The forniphilic series, which rocketed Jones to fame and made him an enemy to feminists, depicts women as furniture. They are placed in poses of submission and vanity, and clad in rubber BDSM costumes. Jones’s style reflects a desire to explore the representation of “the figure” in the context of 1960s minimalism and the decline of figural representation in art. He is fascinated by the effort and fakery people put into presenting themselves, and strives to personify the human condition in his pieces. Jones studied painting in art school but turned to sculpture as a means of giving his forms a true, physical presence. He returned to painting in the 1970s, producing works inspired by mail-order fetish-wear catalogues.

English, b. 1937, Southampton, United Kingdom