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.
The stamps were issued to mark the meeting of the Universal Postal Union in London on 10 May 1929.
The £1 stamp was a late entry after it had been previously planned to issue a set of ½d, 1d, 1½d and 2½d values. It is thought that one reason for this is that it would have been embarrassing to present a special set of stamps to Congress delegates whose value was a mere 5½d.
Another reason was to generate significant income from the philatelic market, rather than normal postal use. Although circa 68,000 stamps were printed (very low for a GB stamp), it does have a very high survival rate and is not a rare stamp. First day covers bearing the £1 value are, however, extremely rare.
Did you know...
- The ‘Instructions to Artists’ for the submission of designs stipulated: ‘It is desirable that any design for the £1 stamp should be either of national significance or should be symbolic of the assembly which it is intended to commemorate.’
- The selected designs were due to be submitted to King George V for his approval, however, the King’s illness at the end of 1928 prevented this, so Queen Mary approved them.
- Original trials were made in numerous colours; black was chosen as it was felt it would sharpen the contrast and accentuate the darker parts of the engraving.
What our customers say...
“The one pound PUC of 1929 because it has a unique George & the Dragon design that is distinctly British.”
– Andrew Woodward
“£1 PUC. It is the most beautiful stamp which shows the artistry and skill of the engraver. It also shows St. George our Patron Saint with the dragon. The very epitome of England.”
– Ann Coates
“I would choose the 1929 £1 Black as it epitomises all that is English, i.e. St George and the slaying of the dragon,
the flag of St George on the shield and the crown.”
– Peter Wright
The full list of Iconic Stamps
- Penny Black – Great Britain 1840
- £5 Orange – Great Britain 1882
- “Seahorse” High Values – Great Britain 1913
- Postal Union Congress (PUC) £1 – Great Britain 1929
- “Wilding” Definitives – Great Britain 1952
- “Machin” Definitives – Great Britain 1967
- Four Annas – India 1854
- The ‘Camel Postman’ – Sudan 1898
- Five Shillings Penguin – Falkland Islands 1933
- Royal Silver Wedding – Commonwealth 1948