GB Overprints Society

Postal stationery

The information on these pages is a simplified version of the listings in the GBOS book on overprinted British postal stationery (in preparation, due 2013). Only the main distinguishing features are given in these listings, though there are many other differences in the settings of the overprints and of the stationery itself. Much has been discovered since the Higgins and Gage catalogue of world postal stationery, and the details on these web pages reflect the latest research.

Stationery overprinted for use outside the UK is considerably more plentiful unused than genuine postally used, with very few exceptions. Items which did not bear a change in currency could legitimately be used in the UK and appear also to have been frequently cancelled by favour with UK postmarks, which adds little to their value.

Click on the country name for a list of postal stationery. Not all countries that issued overprinted stamps also issued overprinted stationery (eg Ireland, Nauru), and conversely a couple (ie Gold Coast and issues under "Niger Coast") issued overprinted stationery but not stamps.

The images are not necessarily to scale.


Telegraph forms

Only the Gold Coast used overprinted GB telegraph forms. Stamps overprinted for use in Eritrea can often be found on telegram forms, usually perforated with the word "PAGATO" in very large letters (meaning "PAID") - see Eritrea Revenues


Parcel labels

Tangier parcel label

Parcel labels also used imprinted GB stamps, but none are recorded with any overprints for other uses. Parcel post labels printed with the name of post offices abroad are extremely scarce, but fall outside the scope of these pages.

Stationery sizes

There are many sizes in the catalogues of postal stationery. Only registered envelopes exist overprinted in different sizes; other postal stationery used for overprinting may have been issued unoverprinted in other sizes too, but only one size is known overprinted. following are the size codes relevant to the items shown above.

Registered envelopes

Note: catalogues differ as to the precise measurements for each size codes, as many early items were handmade so that many of the sizes below may vary by up to 5mm. Some of the codes were later reused for different dimensions, but no significant changes were made during the overprinting period.

The known sizes used for each overprinted item are shown in the listing, but it is important to remember that other sizes in the same design may have been issued without overprint. Other sizes exist unoverprinted. Sizes are given below in millimeters.

 F  83 * 134  
 G,G2  93 * 154
 H  127 * 204
 H2  101 * 228
 I  178 *253
 J  106 * 253
 K  152 * 291

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page last updated: 21 April 2008, 26 March 2012, 20 May 2012

gbos: GB Overprints Society