GB Overprints Society


In 1924 an agreement between France, Spain and the UK set up Tangier as an "international zone". Until then the town had used British stamps overprinted "Morocco Agencies" or Spanish currency overprints (along, of course, with issues by the French and Spanish postal agencies for their own offices). However it was not until 1927 that British stamps overprinted "Tangier" were issued, and until 1948 the issues were confined to the lowest values. On 1st April 1957 the GPO issued the full definitive set up to 10s to celebrate jointly the centenary of the opening of the first British post office, and also the closure of the final office at the end of the same month.

From 23 August 1950 the GPO permitted the use in the UK of any overprinted stamps (of any vintage) which did not alter the face value. Morocco Agencies and Tangier stamps can easily be found with UK postmarks, and are fully legitimate items, but sell for much less than those with postmarks from the relevant area.

All stamps overprinted "TANGIER"

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

King George V

Watermark block cypher

The overprint is higher on the 2nd value presumably so that it did not cover up the value or the King's head whilst keeping the face value visible.


Tangier G6 block 200

1 ½d green

2 1d red

3 1½d brown

4 2d orange

overprint varieties

1 v1 ½d overprint double, one albino

2 v1 1d overprint double, one albino

4 v1 2d overprint double, one albino

stamp varieties

2 sv1 1d, flaw on "O" of "One", looks like "Qne"

Photogravure set


Tangier G5 photo (small) 200
small format

Tangier G5 photo (large/int) 200

1d & 1½d large format, ½d and 1d intermediate size (missing illustration: 1½d intermediate).

5 ½d green, intermediate format (Feb 1935)

6 ½d small format

7 1d red, large format (1934)

8 1d intermediate format

9 1d small format

10 1½d brown, large format (1934)

11 1½d intermediate format

12 1½d small format

Note: the ½d, 1d and 1½d unoverprinted stamps have several sizes, all of which can be found overprinted "Tangier"; the small format is quite distinctive, but it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the large format from the intermediate format.

overprint varieties

7 v1 1d overprint misplaced (large format) - see illustration above

Silver Jubilee

Unusually Tangier only used the first 3 values of this set, in keeping with its pattern of only overprinting values up to 1½d (after the initial 2d value), a policy which lasted until 1946.

8 May 1935

Tangier G5 jubilee 200

13 ½d green (overprint in blue)

14 1d red (overprint in blue)

15 1½d brown (overprint in blue)

King Edward VIII

26 October 1936

Tangier Ed8 200

16 ½d green

17 1d red

18 1½d brown

King George VI


13 May 1937

Tangier G6 coronation 200

19 1½d brown (overprint in blue)



Tangier G6 1st set 200

20 ½d green (overprint in blue) (11 June 1937)

21 1d red (11 June 1937)

22 1½d brown (overprint in blue) (4 August 1937)

Note: the 1½d could not be issued in June with the other two values, as it was not released unoverprinted until July (the unoverprinted ½d and 1d appearing in May).

Stamp Centenary

6 May 1940

Tangier G6 centenary 200

23 ½d green (overprint in blue)

24 1d red

25 1½d brown (overprint in blue)

Paler colours and higher values

1944 (½d, 1d), 1 January 1949 (others)

Tangier G6 pale set 200Tangier g6 Arms 200

26 ½d pale green (overprint in blue) (3 May 1944)

27 1d pale red (3 May 1944)

28 2d pale orange

29 2½d pale blue

30 3d pale violet

31 4d green

32 5d brown

33 6d purple

34 7d green

35 8d red

36 9d green

37 10d blue

38 11d purple

39 1/- brown

40 2/6d green, Arms

41 5/- red, Arms

42 10/- blue, Arms

Note: there appears to have been a change in policy in around 1948 (possibly linked with the issue of the commemorative sets, and also, possibly, to increase philatelic revenue), and the overprints were extended to values above 2d for the first time (and no 2d value had been issued since the 1927 set).

A single example exists of a 3/- stamp booklet for Tangier stamps, which appears to have been unofficially prepared (though probably with the assistance of the PO staff there as there is an official post office handstamp on the cover). The only stamps remaining are 3 copies of the ½d pale green; there were two other panes of 6, which (in order to make up 3/-) were presumably 6 @ 2½d and 6 @ 3d. See The Overprinter Sep 1976, 1989/1 p.35, 1998/2, the latter illustrating the cover and contents.


11 June 1946

Tangier G6 Victory

43 2½d blue

44 3d violet

overprint varieties

Tangier G6 Victory partially omitted 200

43 v1 2½d, large part of overprint omitted/albino

This is believed to be a unique copy, possibly caused by some foreign matter intruding during printing; illustration © Muscotts.

Silver Wedding

26 April 1948

Tangier G6 Silver Wedding 200

45 2½d blue

46 £1 blue

overprint varieties

45 v1 2½d overprint omitted (top row) in pair with normal

45 v2 2½d overprint misplaced (same sheet as the above)

Note: the misplaced overprint should be at the top, left of centre; other versions, eg with the overprint at top right, are (otherwise rather convincing) forgeries.

46 v1 £1 overprint misplaced

Olympic games

29 July 1948

Tangier G6 Olympics 200

47 2½d blue

48 3d violet

49 6d purple

50 1/- brown

UPU centenary

10 October 1949

Tangier G6 UPU 200

51 2½d blue

52 3d violet

53 6d purple

54 1/- brown

Changed colours, and new design of high values

The colours of the low values were changed to conform with UPU requirements for standard rates of postage. The new design high values were released to coincide with the Festival of Britain.

3 May 1951 (4d 1950)

Tangier G6 1951 set 200

55 ½d orange

56 1d blue

57 1½d green

58 2d brown

59 2½d red

60 4d blue (2 October 1950)

61 2/6d green

62 5/- red

63 10/- blue

Queen Elizabeth

Watermark Tudor Crown E2R

The position of the overprint varies so as not to obscure the face value.


Tangier QE Tudor 200

The position of the overprint was carefully chosen so as to leave the face value clear yet not obscure too much of the Queen's portrait.

64 ½d orange (31 August 1953)

65 1d blue (31 August 1953)

66 1½d green (5 December 1952)

67 2d brown (31 August 1953)

68 2½d red (5 December 1952)

69 3d violet (overprint in blue) (18 January 1954)

70 4d blue (2 November 1953)

71 5d brown (6 July 1953)

72 6d purple (18 January 1954)

73 7d green (18 January 1954)

74 8d purple (6 July 1953)

75 9d green (8 February 1954)

76 10d blue (8 February 1954)

77 11d purple (8 February 1954)

78 1/- brown (6 July 1953)

79 1/3d green (2 November 1953)

80 1/6d blue (2 November 1953)


3 June 1953

Tangier QE coronation 200

81 2½d red

82 4d blue

83 1/3d green

84 1/6d blue

Watermark St Edward's crown E2R

Castles 23 September 1955 (Waterlow printings), other dates as noted.

The position of the overprint varies so as not to obscure the face value.

Tangier QE Ed2R 200Tangier QE Castles 200

85 ½d orange (21 March 1956)

86 1d blue (13 April 1956)

87 1½d green (22 October 1956)

88 2d dark brown (25 July 1956)

89 2d light brown (10 December 1956)

90 2½d red (19 December 1956)

91 3d violet (overprint in blue) (22 October 1956)

92 4d blue (25 June 1956)

93 6d purple (22 October 1956)

94 1/3d green (26 November 1956)

95 2/6d brown

96 5/- red

97 10/- blue

stamp varieties

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

Centenary of Tangier British post office

Overprinted "1857-1957 TANGIER"

This is a newly set overprint, not merely dates overprinted on stamps already overprinted TANGIER. As before, the position of the overprint varies so as not to obscure the face value, but this is more drastic in this case because the date has to be shown at the top. The space between the date and "TANGIER" varies very slightly in some cases, and does not correspond exactly to the underlying design (for example the 4d has the same spacing as the 5d, not - as might be expected - the 2½d and 3d). The word "TANGIER" is also in a different font from the previous definitives (eg it has no "foot" to the "G"), and is nearer to the font used in the castles and the commemoratives.

Tangier QE Centenary low vals 200Tangier QE Centenary castles 200

1 April 1957

98 ½d orange

99 1d blue

100 1½d green

101 2d brown

102 2½d red

103 3d violet (overprint in blue)

104 4d blue

105 5d brown

106 6d purple
(Note: this is in the "deep claret" shade, that was otherwise not issued until 1959; it may therefore have been a special printing)

107 7d green

108 8d purple

109 9d green

110 10d blue

111 11d purple

112 1/- brown

113 1/3d green

114 1/6d blue

115 2/6d brown

116 2/6d: type II (longer bar on "5" in "1957")

Tangier QE centenary short 5 300

note: this was from a new printing plate for a later (third) printing to meet philatelic demand.

117 5/- red

118 10/- blue

The Post Office considered adding an overprinted £1 value, but felt that would reduce sales and therefore reduce the level of overall takings they would expect for a set up to 10/-.

overprint varieties

109 v1 9d "TANGIER" omitted - printed on reverse of adjacent stamp edging instead.

Tangier QE centenary missing hyphens 300Tangier QE centenary short 7 (b) 300

(left) missing hyphens; (right) short "7" in "1957 - top scan shows the corrected version.

116 v1 2/6d hyphen omitted in 1857-1957 (row 9 stamp 2)

116 v2 2/6d hyphen inserted (only identifiable in positional block of 4 from bottom left corner)

Note: the position of this variety also has a short arm to the "T" but this also occurs in other positions.

116 v3 2/6d short "7" in "1957" (row 9 stamp 3)
(Note: this is not always easy to see as it falls on a dark part of the design)

116 v4 2/6d short "7" in "1957" corrected (only identifiable in positional block of 4 from bottom right corner)

117 v1 5s hyphen omitted in 1857-1957

117 v2 5s hyphen inserted (only identifiable in positional block)

117 v3 5s short "7" in "1957" (row 9 stamp 3)

117 v4 5s short "7" in "1957" corrected (only identifiable in positional block of 4 from bottom right corner)

118 v1 10s hyphen omitted in 1857-1957

118 v2 10s hyphen inserted (only identifiable in positional block)

118 v3 10s short "7" in "1957" (row 9 stamp 3)

118 v4 10s short "7" in "1957" corrected (only identifiable in positional block of 4 from bottom right corner)


stamp varieties

117 sv1 R5 major re-entry above crown (row 8, stamp 1) 

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

The post office closed on 30 April 1957. It is reported that the office was only kept open till this date to enable it to reach its centenary and justify the above commemorative set.

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page last updated on: 7 August 2006, 6 March 2013, 21 August 2017

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