cddstamps on stamps

my thoughts on stamps, stamp collecting, philately in general and maybe a few other topics !

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hello, I would like to do one more piece on the George VI stamps, this time on the 1939 – 48 high value definitives and with a focus on stamp condition.

An interesting issue with 6 values issued at various times between September 1939 and October 1948.

First some trivia to the stamps themselves.  As noted in the SG Specialised Catalogue, courtesy of SG: Edmund Dulac’s was responsible for the design of the 2/6d and 5/- stamps, and George Bellew for the 10/- and £1 value.  As was the case for the low values definitives, which I wrote about a few days ago, the colours were changed during the Second World War. The 2/6d was changed from brown to green, and the 10/- from dark blue to ultramarine.

I think these make for an interesting set of 6 to have in your collection, and especially to have fine used copies. I say this because it seems to me the majority of the copies one comes across are from parcel usage and with heavy to extremely heavy parcel cancels.  Cancels which basically ruin the stamps from a collectors’ perspective.

These stamps are also worth studying as there are numerous varieties or flaws to find. You can see these described in the SG Specialised catalogue. They are too numerous to cover here but they include various marks or gashes to the Kings crown on the 2/6d brown value to various re-entry marks on the other values, with of course the flaw I wrote about in my first piece on GVI issues on the 10/- dark blue.

My main theme though is the condition of the stamp. I have seen so many of this issue across the various auction sites and philatelic portals described as good used or fine used that I sometimes despair. The seller should know better but I feel more for the collector who may not be experienced enough to know when the seller is, shall I say “overstating” the condition. The above, SG 478 was described as Fine Used,  derrgghhh   note it even has a short corner perforation.

SG does a brilliant job describing stamp condition in their catalogues. I recommend reading their material if you have access to it. They use SG 476b in the description of condition and I reprint their interpretation of Superb, Very Fine, Fine, Average and Poor.

They miss the condition quality we frequently see for sale on various auction sites and philatelic portals!  “RHPC PIG”  -  Really Horrible Parcel Cancel  Put in Garbage”   My own little joke.   Of course it might be collectible as a spacefiller until such time you can afford or come across a better copy. But I suggest you do not pay good money for these.

Another example just to prove my point. this set of six, described as Very Fine Used. Like get real dear seller. And you should see some listed as Superb. Enough of my rantings J  but seriously I hope this is useful for the collector.

Enjoy your stamps and especially those in lovely condition after being postally used 

Best wishes.....Michael   ......  where, as you must know by now, you can fill a few gaps in your GB GVI collection, and where I try really hard to correctly described the stamp condition. PS  If you want a RHPC  for free just write to me at and I will send you a  better version of those I have (of the 200 plus copies of have) for free, so you have a spacefiller at least.  And one final plug, my online store has a 10% discount on all GB for Friday 13th and the weekend ahead.  Just click here 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Hello, continuing with the George VI stamps I thought it worth talking about the basic low value definitive. Three issues spanned the years from 1937 with various additional issues through to 1951. All are easily collectible as there is no significant catalogue value to them but if you have a number of these stamps it is always worth looking at the watermarks as there are sideways and inverted watermarks on many of the lower values, and some of these can be hard to find and of a higher catalogue value.

All issues were printed in photogravure, perf 15 x 14 with the Block GVIR watermark however there are three sources of printing as I understand it: This is simplified for the purposes of this piece:  Stamps printed in sheets of 240 with upright watermark,  stamps printed for booklets from which you can find inverted watermarks, and stamps printed in coils from which you can find sideways watermarks. The SG Specialised  Stamp Catalogue Great Britain Volume 2 should be referred to for more detail.

The three stamps shown are, left to right; SG 462 from the 1937 issue, SG 485 from the 1941 issue and SG 503 issued in 1951, showing the colour changes for the ½d value.

Finally, to whet your appetite if you have a just won the lottery, this tete-beche example will set you back £18,000, courtesy the SG web site,  - “1937 1/2d Green. Superb unmounted o.g. horizontal imperf strip of four tête-bêche imprimaturs” – (head to tail with official approval for printing)

Sometimes just seeing these make philately just so enjoyable.

Enjoy your stamps and those special finds you make.  Michael  where, as you must know by now, you can cheaply fill a few gaps in your GB GVI collection, just not with tete-beche pairs!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Hello, tonight another George VI variety. This from the 1939 – 48 issue of what is termed the High value definitive issue. Perhaps you all have copies of the basic set of 6 but the ones I think are worth having in your collection are the varieties of the 10s dark blue.

There are a few varieties or stamps with printing flaws as more commonly referred to.  This one is SG 478ac, scratch on stem flaw. The image from the SG catalogue shows the flaw. This copy is lightly mounted mint so the “value” is reduced considerably from the catalogue value of £350. Still it is a nice copy I think and one I am happy to own.

A little bit of trivia about the stamp.  SG478 was a recess printed stamp by Harrisons with a GviR crown watermark ,  issued in September 1939 and designed by The Hon. George Bellew.  Sadly for him I expect, he was tasked with overseeing the State Funeral of the King in 1952,

One quite noticeable feature of this issue is that the word Revenue is not on the stamp. If you look at previous GVI,  GV and QV  stamps I think you will find, with a few exceptions for the high value definitives, that the word Revenue always appeared. Perhaps interesting  how the word Revenue is included or excluded on future issues. Anyone know any rationale?

Enjoy your stamps


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Hello and welcome to 2017. Happy New Year everyone. My best wishes to you all and I hope it is a great philatelic year for you all.

Let’s start the year with George VI and this nice pair which includes one copy of SG 461a, the colon flaw variety.  These were issued nearly 80 years ago. In fact in May this year it will be the 80th Anniversary of George VI’s Coronation.

You might not know it but there were two designs submitted to the King for this stamp. The one we are very familiar with of course, but also this one.   I think he made a very good choice.

More George VI over coming weeks. And something else you might not know…… cddstamps has over 200 GB GVI stamps in our online store.    Visit us here    and see if you can fill a gap or two in your collection.

Best wishes enjoy your stamps….. Michael

Friday, December 23, 2016

Hello, one final Christmas stamps image before I sign-off for a few days break over the Christmas weekend.  These as you can see are from Australia and are the 2016 issue, from a miniature sheet.

They are reported to present the theme of Biblical stories. I am not going to pass comment on these. I will leave to judge and enjoy as you may.

Have a wonderful Christmas break.  I have family visiting soon so lots to do.  Best wishes, Merry Christmas and do try to make some time to enjoy your stamps, perhaps even show to family or friends and let them see the pleasure one gets from philately.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tonight two stamps se-tenant from the 1977 Royal Mail issue "The Twelve days of Christmas"

There were 5 of these 7p stamps in a horizontal strip along with a 9p stamp. Lovely issue I think

Enjoy your stamps... Michael

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tonights Christmas stamp, just one tonight. GB SG 1172, from the 1981 Royal Mail issue. Quite wonderful image in my view
This issue was designed from paintings by children. These paintings were commissioned by Blue Peter (a TV show for children back then). The theme was Christmas through the eyes of a child.

Enjoy your stamps     Michael   where you can easily fill a gap or two or more in your collection at a very competitive price - well 227 sales today  proves my point I think........

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