GB Overprints Society

Great Britain postal stationery

Note: the numbering system used below is copyright © GBOS, and may not be used without permission.
This is a simplified listing. 


Parliamentary Conference

To go with the 4d adhesive stamp commemorating the 46th Parliamentary Conference, held in London, a 6d airletter was overprinted. This is of particular interest as it was the first GB airletter to bear the new "Houses of Parliament" stamp, which was shortly afterwards used for the normal 6d airletters.

Parliamentary conference airletter 200

UA1 Parliamentary Conference 6d airletter

Official postcards

Admiralty card

UC1 King Edward VII: ½d green card overprinted "ADMIRALTY OFFICIAL"


Official registered envelopes

Admiralty Reg envelope

UR1 King Edward VII: brown registration envelope (rate?) overprinted "ADMIRALTY OFFICIAL"

In 1940, because of a change in the wording of the label box at the top left of the current registered envelopes, the words showing the selling price (eg "Price 6d") were deleted by overprinting a black bar (Huggins & Baker type RP50, sizes F and H2).

GB G6 registered with obliteration box

image courtesy of Bloxhamstamps

UR2 King George VI: unit price obliterated by black box (1940), sizes F and H2


Reply Coupons

International and Imperial reply coupons were occasionally overprinted to uprate the selling price, either because of increases in postage rates or because of increases in the handling charge.

Reply coupon surcharge


Stationery packing bands

The paper strip binding together packs (eg of 10, 12 or other multiples) of postal stationery were occasionally overprinted if the selling price of the pack was increased - the unit and pack price of postal stationery was not always simply the face value of the total number of items in the pack. In the example shown here, the price of the individual envelopes has been increased by 1d each, by means of an additionally imprinted stamp, which therefore increased the pack price from 4s3d to 5s.

Band revalued

image courtesy of Cyclamon stamps

Post office training materials

Several items of postal stationery are known with "School Specimen" overprints or the "black bars" cancellation. The most common items with the overprint on the market are as follows:

1 King George VI postcard

2 Queen Elizabeth 2½d lettercard

3 ditto with one or two ½d "black bar" stamps stuck on top, see "School Specimens"
(note: the stamps can obviously be removed to fake item No. 2)

4 Queen Elizabeth 3d envelope.

And various later issues, but because of the large number of bogus overprints these are not listed or illustrated here.

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page last updated: 11 July 2006, 20 May 2012 

gbos: GB Overprints Society