A Greetings from Great Heaving Picture Postcard - intrinsically attractive as such an object might be - does not normally cause a major stir in international crime or diplomatic circles. Typically purchased by an impressionable tourist and sent to an envious friend elsewhere, such mementos are generally regarded as disposable pleasantries, a notch or so above a postcode lottery flyer or an invitation to fit triple glazing, soffits and a downspout to a favourite dog hutch. Unless, of course, the recipient is a deltiologist or - worse - a deltiologist with advanced philatelic tendencies [always assuming the stamp itself to be of interest!]. In such cases both card and stamp may end up being considered "collectables" and, as such, they will suffer an inevitable and unenviable fate: life in a folder in a drawer or filing cabinet with occasional "outings" under a prurient eye, a strong light and a ridiculously large magnifying glass. Even so, that's still a long way from international infamy!
However, every now and then a perfectly ordinary card is destined to enjoy a less than ordinary fate. Perhaps it has been purchased by, or sent to, a famous person or has undergone a particularly arduous or interesting journey betwixt sender and recipient. Perhaps it has been silent witness to affairs which, could it speak, it would be able to dine out on for a month or, perchance, it has come to the passing attention of someone so interesting that its purchase price [a mere £1.20 at all good Edna's] could be recouped many fold by the avaricious memorabilia trader. Little do we know when we engage in the simple act of "sending a card" what outcomes may transpire, what adventures may ensue, what added-value might accrue!
So it is with more than a passing interest that we read that one such card [Great Heaving 2020: Science and Enterprise Park Approach: Mrs Amanda J Threadbone Boulevard] has come into the possession of the Geneva-based Les Autorités Suisses. Today a spokesperson - Philippe Philatelée - announced that the card "s’est présenté dans nos bureaux hier", adding "nous croyons qu’il peut être d’importance".
professorthrupiece.com has learned that the card originates from the UK and bears an [unfranked] English stamp, begging the obvious question of whether it was ever posted or whether it was delivered by other means. It is addressed to Professor Thrupiece [care of Ms Shelley-Lulette Sizemore] and was intended for delivery at The Hotel Cornarvin - the Professor's last known address prior to his disappearance in the Spring of 2005. The postcard is signed by a woman named Bryony and makes reference to a fourth individual "Bob" who is quite possibly the husband or not-same-sex-partner of the equally mysterious Bryony [unless Bob is Roberta in which case all bets are off]. Cryptographers in the employ of Les Autorités Suisses are understood to be working on the body of the text which implies that Bryony and Bob are up to something, notwithstanding Bob's trouble with bunions. It is not yet clear whether the message is to be understood literally or whether deeper meanings may yet be quarried from it. Our European correspondent E U Summitt says that: "Dans l’intervalle, Les Autorités Suisses restent serrés et particulièrement rétive". ["In the meantime the Swiss Authorities remain tight-lipped and peculiarly restive."]
Our European Correspondent E U Summitt writes:
Discovery of this postcard may represent the break-through for which both Les Autorités Suisses and their UK counterparts the Royal Dorset Constabulary have long been hoping. First, it might lead to the identification of Bryony and Bob [how many not-same-sex coupes in the Dorset regions have an ongoing bunion problem and how hard will that be to find out?]; secondly it might stir memories in the environs of the Hotel Cornarvin and quite possibly open up a new line of inquiry [was Room Service ever asked to attend a guest with a dodgy bunion at the time of Professor Thrupiece's disappearance?] and thirdly was Professor Thrupiece himself in direct contact with a chiropodist and might he have "popped out" to find one for a distraught Bob in the moments just before his disappearance. These are all questions the authorities will want to ask alongside another obvious one: why does the newly found Swiss postcard so closely resemble a framed postcard set offered at auction by Sotherbones in March this year?
Our Deltiology Correspondent Phi-Ling Cabinette writes
The framed commemorative postcard set failed to reach its £200 pre-sale "reserve" valuation in March 2020 at Sotherbone's Spring Auction [Corfe Mullen] and was returned to its owner - a Mr Bob Chancer of 12 Dewlish Lane, Bothenhampton. Mr Chancer was "laid up at the time with bad feet" and, therefor unable to collect the returned lot in person. It was handed over, on proof of identity, to Mrs Bryony Chancer of the same address. It was said at the time that there might be something "fishy" about the peculiarly pristine condition of the set, though its failure to sell meant further investigation was immediately suspended.