Stevengraph Dating

Approximate dating of Stevengraphs can be done by looking at the Type Style (Font) that was used to print the title on the front of the mat that surrounds the silk and then comparing it to the following table.

Also if the Stevengraph has a label pasted onto the back of it, you can check the London Office address and then compare it to the following table.

Dating by Type Style (Font).

  • A - Corner Stevens Credit 1879 (rare)
  • B - Fancy Curly Type Late-1879
  • C - Large Shaded Type 1888
  • D - Upright Mat 1886
  • E - Thin Script Type1893
  • F - Thick Script Type 1906
  • G - Thick Plain Type 1910
  • H - Late Scenic Subjects 1930's

Dating by London Address.

  • 1879 if 1 - 8 Titles on Back-Label.
  • 1879 thro 1884 if London address is 114 Newgate St.
  • 1884 thro 1891 if London address is 34 Paternoster Row.
  • 1891 thro 1902 if London address is 17 Paternoster Square.
  • 1902 onwards if London address is 32 Newgate St.

Ships Postcard Codes

In order to catalog and compare the Stevens postcards that were sold on many of the passenger liners in the early 1900's, it is necessary to apply a code to the different known versions. They were generally available in two styles.

The more expensive postcard had an image woven of the actual ship and would sometimes have statistics of the size and capacity of the ship printed below.

The less expensive version would have two flags representing the countries of origin and destination for the particular voyage. Above the silk were printed the words "Hands Across the Sea" (HATS). Under the two flags would be a pair of hands clasped in a handshake representing the friendship between the countries.

Austin Sprake (in his book) differentiates between the National Flags on each postcard. I have taken the liberty of extending the codes used by Austin Sprake and have adopted the following:-
  • 62 Union Jack / USA
  • 63 Union Jack / Merchant Navy Service
  • 64 USA / Scottish Royal Standard (Yellow with red lion)
  • 65 USA / Sweden (Blue with yellow cross)
  • 66 USA / Norway (Red with blue cross)
  • 67 USA / early Ireland (Green with yellow harp)
  • 68 USA / early Ireland with Union Jack inset
  • 69 USA / pre-war Italy with Royal Coat of Arms
  • 70 Spare number

    He also differentiates between the tassels on each flag:-
  • Design A MF:- 2 tassels above flags plus 2 tassels behind hands.
  • Design B MM:- 2 tassels above flags plus 2 tassels behind hands.
  • Design C MF:- 2 tassels only behind hands.
  • Design D MM:- 2 tassels only behind hands.
  • Design E MF:- 2 tassels above flags plus 2 tassels at far end of sleeves.

    The two hands woven into the silk are either two male hands or a male hand on the left and a female hand on the right.
  • Male-Male (MM)
  • Male-Female (MF)

    The ropes and poles are usually yellow. However the following rope colors also exist on a few postcards:-
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black

    For the even more seasoned collector the Flagpoles can terminate in three places.
  • Outside the clasped hands (Pole)
  • On the Cuff of each hand (Cuff)
  • Slightly beyond the cuff on the Sleeve (Sleeve)

    Note that other differences exist such as blue Sea, rigging on ships (Type I or Type II (less rigging), sea roughness, mat embossing and flagpole color.

    Here is an example of using the codes:-

    HATS 62B MM Red Cuff
    This would have the Union Jack and USA flags with two Males shaking hands, two tassels above the flags, two tassels behind the hands, red ropes and poles and the poles would terminate on the cuff.

  • You can click on most images to see larger images or more information.

    We wish to buy Stevengraphs. One at a time or collections. We also seek photos, brochures or any item of related history.
    • Malcolm J Roebuck,

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