GB Overprints Society

GB overprints on stamps on stamps

Very few "GB Overprints" have been illustrated on other postage stamps.

Bechuanaland, Botswana

Bech centenary 300

The 3d Queen Victoria "Jubilee" stamp overprinted "Bechuanaland Protectorate" is reproduced on the 15t value of the Botswana stamp centenary stamps issued on 24 June 1985. It is a strange choice since this stamp was not issued until 1898 and was therefore not in use at the time of the anniversary that this issue marks: the 1885 stamps comprised only overprints on Cape of Good Hope stamps.

British East Africa

BEA Kenya 200

The ½ anna / 1d is reproduced on the 6s50 value of the Kenya stamp centenary set issued on 5 September 1990, and the 1 anna / 2d is reproduced on the 50c value of the Rowland Hill centenary set issued by Kenya on 27 November 1979.


Greek area issue

Cyprus minisheet 200

Cyprus centenary 200

The centenary of the 1880 launch of Cyprus postage stamps was marked by both postal administrations. The Greek-language area issued a miniature sheet on 17 March 1980 showing mint copies of the ½d (plate 15), 1d (plate 215), 2½d (plate 14), 4d, 6d and 1s overprinted "CYPRUS". The main set showed just three of the values, this time with simulated postmarks - ½d (Nicosia 969) on the 40m value, 2½d (Kyrenia 974) on the 125m and 1s (Larnaka 942) on the 175mm value.

Turkish area issue

Cyprus turk 300

A different 6d is shown on the L.7½ value of the Cyprus Turkish posts commemorative set issued on 16 August 980, for some reason without its perforations.


Stamp anniversary set

Nauru cent set

The designers of the Nauru commemoratives for the 60th anniversary of the first issue (6 May 1976) showed more philatelic awareness than any of the others commemorating overprints on GB stamps.

The set depicts the following GB stamps overprinted "NAURU":

- 10c stamp - 3d and 9d, the former with the "short N" variety;

- 15c stamp - 6d and 1s, the former with the broken R "NAUP.U" variety;

- 25c stamp - 2/6d stamp possibly intended to be the De La Rue (yellow brown shade) though the image has been edited somewhat;

- 50c stamp - 5s stamp with "specimen" overprint, presumably intended to be the De La Rue stamp.

Progressive proofs (imperf) of the set are available on the market.

Rowland Hill anniversary

Nauru minisheet 200

Later, on 27 February 1979, Nauru issued a set to commemorate the centenary of the death of Sir Rowland Hill. Various stamps were depicted, including on the 15c stamp (and the accompanying miniature sheet comprising one of each value in the set) a rather blurred image of a 10s seahorse; in this case the image was not modified to give a cleaner print image and is more easily identifiable as the De La Rue stamp by the typical "broad tooth". The miniature sheet also exists imperforate.

(Further information in Gibbons Stamp Monthly September 1997, p.79-80, where noted philatelist Kenneth R Lake describes how he chose the designs for the stamps in collaboration with other Nauru specialists, and the problems with some of the colours.)


Postal anniversary set

Qatar commemoration of GB overprint

In 1968 Qatar issued a set of 6 stamps to commemorate 10 years of the Qatar postal service. Most of the stamps showed methods of transporting the post, but one showed the 1np on 5d GB overprint, issued in 1957.

Other issues

The other countries which used GB overprints are unlikely to commemorate such usage for a variety of reasons, related to the GB overprints not being seen as their first national issue:

- BOIC were occupation issues;

- issues for Levant, Morocco or the Gulf were seen as foreign post office agencies rather than national stamps (apart from the Qatar issue above);

- Oil Rivers and Zululand are now part of a different national constitution (though South Africa did celebrate stamp anniversaries of other constitutent parrts of the Republic).

- the Eire 50th anniversary stamp of 6/12/72 depicts the first inscribed 2d "map" stamp rather than the overprints, possibly for political reasons.

- the "Tristan da Cunha" cachet is illustrated on an anniversary set in 1971.

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page last updated: 4 August 2006, 5 January 2015

gbos: GB Overprints Society