GB Overprints Society

Useful paradigms

Sometimes it is difficult for the collector of British stamps to find a way of easily distinguishing between some issues: good examples of this are the ordinary / chalky papers of King Edward VII, or the various printings of the King George V "Seahorses".

Overprinted stamps can be extremely useful in some cases such as those mentioned above, as only a particular type of paper, or a particular printer, was used for overprinting one or other issue. So a collector who has difficulty differentiating such stamps can buy some overprinted examples and know for sure which they are. Some examples of this are shown below.

King Edward VII

Ordinary paper only:

3d, 5d, 6d, 2/6d Levant (sterling)

(note: 3d & 6d "Specimen" exists on chalky paper)

5s Morocco Agencies (Spanish currency)

Chalky paper only:

3d, 4d (green & brown), 6d Levant Turkish currency (either value)

2d, 4d (green & brown), 6d, 1s Morocco Agencies (sterling)

1½d, 2d, 4d (green & brown), 5d, 10d, 2/6d Morocco Agencies (Spanish currency)

De La Rue printings only:

Any official overprints.

½d, 1d, 2½d Bechuanaland Protectorate

1d, 1½d, 2d, 2½d, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 10d, 1s, 2/6d Levant (Sterling)

3d, 4d, 6d Levant (Turkish currency)

½d, 1d, 2d, 4d, 6d, 1s Morocco Agencies (Sterling)

½d, 1d, 1½d, 2d, 2½d, 4d, 5d, 10d, 2/6d, 5s Morocco Agencies (Spanish currency)

Somerset House printings only:

1s Bechuanaland Protectorate


King George V

Block watermark ordinary paper only:

6d Morocco Agencies (Sterling - either overprint size)

Waterlow Seahorses only:

5s Morocco Agencies (Spanish currency)

Bradbury Wilkinson Seahorses only:

2/6d Levant (Sterling)

2/6d, 5s, 10s Morocco Agencies (Spanish currency)

5s Morocco Agencies (British currency, excluding the re-engraved Waterlow issue)

2/6d, 5s Morocco Agencies (French currency, excluding the re-engraved Waterlow issue)

All Ireland overprints (excluding the re-engraved Waterlow issue)

Postage due

1d chalky paper: Bechuanaland Protectorate

King George VI

The fine detail of the King's hair on the pale red 1d King George VI was modified from cylinder 174 onwards. However it may be easier to find overprinted examples showing the difference than to find unoverprinted stamps with the cylinder number attached: the Eritrea and Tripolitania stamps listed below make a good pairing for this, though the overprint may obscure part of the detail.

Head type I only:

Bahrain, British Postal Agencies, Kuwait, EAF, BMA Eritrea, BMA Tripolitania, MEF, Tangier

Head type II only:

BA Eritrea, Morocco Agencies (British currency), BA Tripolitania

Queen Elizabeth

Waterlow castles only:

5s Bahrain (either type)

2/6d, 5s, 10s Kuwait (either types)

2/6d, 5s, 10s Qatar (either types)

2/6d, 5s, 10s Tangier & Tangier centenary

De La Rue castles only:

2/6d, 5s British Postal Agencies multiple crowns watermark

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Page last updated: 18 June 2006