GB Overprints Society



A regular public postal service was operated in Kuwait by the Indian postal administration from 1915. With the independence of India in 1947 control passed to the British GPO. For this reason the previously overprinted Indian stamps were replaced by overprinted GB stamps. On 1 February 1959 the GB postal administration was closed, control was handed over to the Kuwait postal department, and the overprinted stamps were replaced by a set inscribed "Kuwait".

All stamps are overprinted "KUWAIT" in addition to the value shown.

For similar overprints without any country name see under British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia.

Note: this numbering system was drawn up by the Society for the website, and may not be used without permission.

King George 6

First set using GB stamps (instead of Indian stamps)

1 April 1948 (except as stated)

Kuwait G6 1st set 200

Kuwait G6 Arms hv 200

1 "½ ANNA" on ½d pale green

2 "1 ANNA" on 1d pale red

3 "1½ ANNAS" on 1½d pale brown

4 "2 ANNAS" on 2d pale orange

5 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d pale blue

6 "3 ANNAS" on 3d pale violet

7 "6 ANNAS" on 6d purple

8 "1 RUPEE" on 1/- brown

9 "2 RUPEES" on 2/6d green, Arms

10 "5 RUPEES" on 5/- red, Arms

11 "10 RUPEES" on 10/- blue, Arms (4 July 1949)

overprint varieties

Kuwait G6 2&half misplaced opt 200

(image from unidentified auction)

5 v1 2½a misplaced overprint

6 v1 3a overprint (fully or partially) albino

Silver Wedding

1 May 1948

Kuwait G6 Silver Wedding 200

12 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d blue

13 "15 RUPEES" on £1 blue

overprint varieties

Kuwait G6 Silver Wedding short bars detail 300

short bars (left), normal bars (right)

13 v1 R15 short bars

Olympic Games

29 July 1948

Kuwait G6 olympics

14 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d blue

15 "3 ANNAS" on 3d violet

16 "6 ANNAS" on 6d purple

17 "1 RUPEE" on 1/- brown

UPU Centenary

10 October 1949

Kuwait G6 UPU 200

18 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d blue

19 "3 ANNAS" on 3d violet

20 "6 ANNAS" on 6d purple

21 "1 RUPEE" on 1/- brown

Changed colours and designs

The colour of the low values was changed to retain conformity with UPU requirements; the release date of these and the new high values was to coincide with the Festival of Britain.

3 May 1951 (4a 1950)

Kuwait G6 2nd set lv 200

Kuwait G6 2nd set hv 200

22 "½ ANNA" on ½d orange

23 "1 ANNA" on 1d blue

24 "1½ ANNAS" on 1½d green

25 "2 ANNAS" on 2d brown

26 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d red

27 "4 ANNAS" on 4d blue (2 October 1950)

28 "2 RUPEES" on 2/6d green type I

- type I: "2" level with "RUPEES"

29 "5 RUPEES" on 5/- red

30 "10 RUPEES" on 10/- blue type I

- type I: "1 0" slightly spaced

overprint varieties

Kuwait G6 R2 extra bar detail 200

(illustration from unidentified auction)

28 v1 R2 extra bar

Kuwait G6 R5 extra bar detail 300

image courtesy of Temple Bar auctions

29 v1 R5 extra bar

Later printings


Kuwait G6 R2 types detail 400
type I and type II

Kuwait G6 R10 types detail 400

type I and type II

31 "2 RUPEES" type II (1954)

- type II: "2" slightly above "RUPEES", 3mm between bars and "KUWAIT"

32 "2 RUPEES" type III (1955)

- type III: as type II but 2½mm gap between bars and "KUWAIT", and value further to left

33 "10 RUPEES" type II (1952)

- type II: "10" not spaced, 9mm between lines

34 "10 RUPEES" type III (date not known)

- type III: as type II, but 10mm between lines

Queen Elizabeth

Watermark Tudor Crown E2R

10 December 1952 unless otherwise stated

Kuwait QE Tudor a, 200
Kuwait QE Tudor b, 200


35 "½ ANNA" on ½d orange (31 August 1953)

36 "1 ANNA" on 1d blue (31 August 1953)

37 "1½ ANNAS" on 1½d green

38 "2 ANNAS" on 2d brown (31 August 1953)

39 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d red

40 "3 ANNAS" (in blue) on 3d violet (18 January 1954)

41 "4 ANNAS" on 4d blue (2 November 1953)

42 "6 ANNAS" on 6d purple (18 January 1954)

43 "12 ANNAS" on 1/3d green (2 November 1953)

44 "1 RUPEE" on 1/6d blue (2 November 1953)

Kuwait QE fonts 300

Note on fonts:

The 1½, 2½, 3 and 6 annas retain the font of the G6 set, in which the "U" is 1.6 mm wide; on the other values the "U" is now changed to 2 mm wide, unlike the G6 set. The wider "U" is used on all the "np" decimal overprints. There are also differences in the size of the "S" in "ANNAS". Illustrated here are the G6 ½ anna, Tudor 6 annas, Tudor ½ anna and the 40 np.

Overprint varieties

Kuwait 93 mispl 300

As with the Bahrain ½ anna stamp, on the first printings the "½" was applied in a separate print run and can therefore be found misplaced in all directions. However, unlike the Bahrain issue, no examples are known with it completely missing. The above examples of the Kuwait stamp show extreme examples of misplacemend to the left, the right and upwards. These illustrations also show the two types of small "2" - large and pointed in the left and centre image, more stumpy in the right hand one; it is not known whether this is a difference between the two methods of printing, or is merely a variation within the sheets.


3 June 1953

Kuwait QE coronation 200

45 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d red

46 "4 ANNAS" on 4d blue

47 "12 ANNAS" on 1/3d green

48 "1 RUPEE" on 1/6d blue

Watermark St Edward's Crown E2R
Castles High Values (Waterlow)


Kuwait QE EdE2R low values 200

Kuwait QE castles type I 200

49 "½ ANNA" on ½d orange (8 June 1956)

50 "1 ANNA" on 1d blue (10 August 1956)

51 "1½ ANNAS" on 1½d green (8 June 1956)

52 "2 ANNAS" on 2d brown (25 April 1956)

53 "2½ ANNAS" on 2½d red (8 June 1956)

54 "4 ANNAS" on 4d blue (9 October 1956)

55 "6 ANNAS" on 6d purple (16 November 1956)

56 "12 ANNAS" on 1/3d green (25 July 1956)

57 "1 RUPEE" on 1/6d blue (22 August 1956)

58 "2 RUPEES" on 2/6d brown, type I (23 September 1955)

- type I: bars close and long

59 "5 RUPEES" on 5/- red, type I 23 September 1955)

- type I: bars close and long

60 "10 RUPEES" on 10/- blue, type I (23 September 1955)

- type I: bars close and long


stamp varieities

60 sv1 R10 weak entry at bottom of right edge (row 1, stamp 2)

Later printings

type II: bars further apart and shorter

10 October 1957

Kuwait QE R2 types detail 400

type I and type II

Kuwait QE R5 types detail 400
type I and type II

Kuwait QE R10 types detail 400

type I and type II

61 "2 RUPEES" type II

62 "5 RUPEES" type II

63 "10 RUPEES" type II

stamp varieities

63 sv1 R10 weak entry at bottom of right edge (row 1, stamp 2)

Change to decimal currency

100 naye paise ("new pies") = 1 Rupee

1 June 1957

Kuwait QE np 200

The position of the values varies so as to cover up the original value; the "20" had to be higher to remain visible against the dark background, and presumably the "NP" on the 1 np and 40 np is higher than on the 15, 25 and 50 np to more fully obscure the words "five", "six" and "pence" wheras on the latter it had to be low to cover up the original value. Plus of course the extra bars on the 50 np and the different layout on the 75 np. Considerable thought must have been put into these factors!

Note: "KUWAIT" is now in the same font on all values (see above).

64 "1 NP" on 5d brown

65 "3 NP" on ½d orange

66 "6 NP" on 1d blue

67 "9 NP" on 1½d green

68 "12 NP" on 2d brown

69 "15 NP" on 2½d red, type I

70 15 np type II (diadem top line complete) (November 1958)

71 "20 NP" (in blue) on 3d violet

72 "25 NP" on 4d blue

73 "40 NP" on 6d purple

74 "50 NP" on 9d green

75 "75 NP" on 1/3d green

2½d type I and type II

Wilding 2.5d types 300

In die I (left) the top of the central cross is incomplete, in die II (right) it is complete; there are other less obvious differences due to the change in the tilt of the portrait within the frame (see below). The diadem is unfortunately often covered up by the word "KUWAIT", so if it is not easy to see check the tilt: on the above scans you can see that the right vertical line of the central cross points to the left of the right-hand edge of the "knot" in the top of the wreath in die I, whereas in the die II it points to the right of it; the portrait has been rotated about 0.3mm clockwise. The left side of the main central cross is also much more distinct on die II.

If that too is obscured check the bottom (though that is often obscured by the surcharge!):

Wilding 2.5d types bottom 1200

The back of the Queen's neck points to the middle of the second leaf (from the bottom) in die I, and at the bottom of the leaf in die II. The right-hand edge of the dark border on the shoulder of the dress points to the red line in a "knot" in die I but to the middle of the knot in die II. The thick red line on the left of the dress points to the edge of a leaf in die I and to the gap between two leaves in die II. And so on...

Scouts jamboree 1957

Kuwait QE scouts 2 1/2d 200

Kuwait QE scouts 4d 200

Kuwait QE scouts 1s3d 200

(images courtesy of British Postal Museum and Archive who also own the copyright on these images)

The Scouts jamboree was not issued overprinted "Kuwait", for political reasons, though the decision not to issue the stamps came at the last minute, after supplies had been overprinted. The only surviving copies are in the British Postal Museum and Archive.

Some covers with the British Postal Agencies set are known used in Kuwait, but they were philatelic.

76 "15 NP" on 2½d red

77 "25 NP" on 4d blue

78 "75 NP" on 1/3d green

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page last updated: 27 August 2007, 6 April 2016

gbos: GB Overprints Society