Iconic stamps of Great Britain and the British Empire

December 20, 2016 by Stanley Gibbons
Who knew that the first ever adhesive stamp, the Penny Black, would not only instigate a communications revolution but also a much loved global hobby? It is estimated that there are 60 million stamp collectors worldwide. Stamp collections and the passion for stamp collecting have been passed down from generation to generation and they now form part of our history. But what makes a stamp iconic for the collector? Is it the design, the story behind the stamp or simply the value? [Read more…]

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Royal Silver Wedding – Commonwealth 1948

May 25, 2016 by Stanley Gibbons

Part of the Iconic Stamp series. Click here to see the full list of Iconic Stamps.

King George VI had never expected to become King, but acceded to the throne upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII, in 1936 (the ‘year of the three Kings’). He turned out to be a popular monarch, having been a staunch figurehead during the years of the Second World War, and his Queen Elizabeth was also held in high regard. [Read more…]

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US Postmasters’ Provisionals, 1845-1847

May 24, 2016 by Stanley Gibbons
The extract below is from a November 2011 article in Gibbons Stamp Monthly. It explores the American uniform postal rates of the 19th century. These early US stamps, which were produced by individual postmasters and were valid in their local areas, and are now some of the most sought after items in American philately.

The complete 5 page article is free to download as a PDF. [Read more…]

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Filed Under: Guides

Five Shillings Penguin – Falkland Islands 1933

May 23, 2016 by Stanley Gibbons

Part of the Iconic Stamp series. Click here to see the full list of Iconic Stamps.

In the 1920s and especially 1930s the British colonies around the globe increasingly moved away from basic functional designs for their postage stamps, and a growing vogue for pictorial stamps developed. The remote Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic were no exception. [Read more…]

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The ‘Camel Postman’ – Sudan 1898

by Stanley Gibbons

Part of the Iconic Stamp series. Click here to see the full list of Iconic Stamps.

When General Sir Herbert Kitchener was leading the campaign that would eventually reconquer the Sudan from the brutal Mahdist regime, at the battle of Omdurman on 2 September 1898, one might think that providing new postage stamps would not have been a top priority. But that is to underestimate the thoroughness of that great soldier and administrator. [Read more…]

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Four Annas – India 1854

by Stanley Gibbons

Part of the Iconic Stamp series. Click here to see the full list of Iconic Stamps.

Although the provision of adhesive postage stamps for use in India was considered as early as 1850, and local issues for distant Scind province were introduced by its Governor Sir Bartle Frere in 1852, no serious progress was made in the capital, Calcutta, until early 1854. [Read more…]

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“Machin” Definitives – Great Britain 1967

by Stanley Gibbons

Part of the Iconic Stamp series. Click here to see the full list of Iconic Stamps.

The Machin series was a definitive stamp series that followed the Wildings.

The Stamp Advisory Committee expressed a desire for a designer to focus on the Queen as a person, as opposed to a symbol of the Monarchy. Arnold Machin was commissioned for this work. Born in Stoke-on-Trent, he was a renowned artist, designer and sculptor, notable for his simple interpretations and designs. [Read more…]

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Postal Union Congress (PUC) £1 – Great Britain 1929

by Stanley Gibbons

Part of the Iconic Stamp series. Click here to see the full list of Iconic Stamps.

Issued in 1929, the £1 PUC stamp was the second commemorative stamp to be released after the British Empire Exhibition stamps of 1924/25. Designed by Harold Nelson, the £1 is regarded as one of the most striking stamps ever to have been issued – it features an intricate design of Saint George and the Dragon accompanied by a portrait of King George V. [Read more…]

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