CORONATION TRANSFERS

(1950 to 1994)


The Coronation transfers originally consisted of three separate transfers for the down tube, seat tube, and top tube. The transfers were not popular, and the top tube transfer in particular was not well received (as it quickly rubbed off in its exposed position on the top tube). The down tube and seat tube transfers were often fitted without the top tube transfer. At some point the down tube and seat tube transfers ran out and were not re-ordered. This left an unknown number of original top tube transfers still in existence. Down tube transfers were later duplicated, and remaining stocks of original top tube transfers were occasionally retro-fitted to seat tubes, but this is not strictly correct. The top tube transfer is narrower than the seat tube one and so does not meet at the back. The two can be distinguished by the figures in the centers: the top tube transfer shows a circle with the vibrant stays on a black field, whereas the seat tube transfer shows the crest with Olympic color bars.

The designation 'Coronation' is of uncertain origin. Three frames have been positively identified by frame numbers and correlated with sales ledger entries, all bearing original transfers, all predating the death of George VI (and therefore any inkling of an impending coronation). George VI died in February 1952; Elizabeth's coronation took place in June 1953. One of the three frames bearing an original set of transfers is from 1950, predating the Festival of Britain in 1951, so speculation that they may have been designed for the Festival now seems implausible. Click here to see one of the early frames with the full set.

The current speculation is that these transfers were designed to compliment the Latin Series of lugs introduced in 1950. Whether they had a special designation is uncertain.

There has been a report of correspondence mentioning the transfers as 'Coronation', but I have not been able to confirm this. However, in conjunction with another report, also as yet unconfirmed, the designation seems to make sense. The other report claims that Hetchin sought a royal warrant ('by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen'), and, although the application ultimately failed, it is possible that Hetchin decided to start calling the transfers 'Coronation' to honor his hoped-for patron.

The down and seat tube transfers were reproduced for the Anniversary Hetchins frames, produced in 1994 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the patent on the curly stays.






         


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