GB Definitives

Main page - first issues - stamp notes - web page notes - bottom - image credits - pre-decimal - decimal - collecting

This page was brought on by an article on Wildings in Stamp Magazine. The aim is to show every GB definitive. This should be do-able relatively easily up to decimalisation in 1971 but the forty years of Machins might be a struggle. I will aim to acquire all the inexpensive stamps to scan but the others will be from auction catalogues, the internet and so on. I will ignore the regionals, at least at first.

As with my other stamp pages and, indeed my own collection, what most interests me is stamp design: I am not concerned about differences that I cannot see and so changes of perforation, watermarks and sorting technology (phosphor bands and the like), security measures, adhesives, even shades will not be covered. I intend to organise the display by denomination and year and show each major change. I imagine that it will be best viewed on an iPad, but time will tell. When viewing on a normal screen, Ctrl- and Ctrl+ zoom out and in.

My initial source for a quick trawl through the subject was a 1993 copy of Collect British Stamps from Dartford Library, backed up by Commonwealth and Empire for detail on the early years. I bought a copy of Gibbons' GB Concise 2007 from sg on eBay for a bargain £2.99 and that will bring the page nearly up to date.

I will include links to good sites found in my search for information and images. The first is from Ross Taylor. Then, Machin Collectors Club - MachinMania - CollectGBStamps - GBMachins, which contains a terrific album, or four. Great Britain Stamps is excellent for images. Mentions also for Andrew Vaughan Philatelics - Mark Bloxham Stamps - Rowan S. Baker - STAMP Circuit - Paul Fraser Collectibles - Warwick and Warwick - The William H. Gross Collection - Wikicollecting - world class stamps - UK Stamps and Postcards.

Please email me here with any comments or corrections.

[18th Feb 2012] I have created separate pages of pre-decimal and decimal definitive issues to help those devices (such as my phone) which struggle to load the full page.

Concept and design ©Nick Blackburn 2011, 2012. For the sources of individual stamp images, see image credits.

value 1840 1841 1847 1848 1854 1855 1856 1858 1862 1864 1865 1867 1869 1870 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1887 1890 1891 1892 1900 1902 E7 1909 1910 1911 G5 1912 1913 1922 1929 1934 1935 1936 E8 1937 G6 1938 1939 1941 1942 1947 1948 1950 1951 1952 E2 1953 1954 1955 1957 1959 1967 1968 1969 1970 Decimal 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
½d sg48 sg164 sg187 sg197 sg213 sg215 sg279 sg321 sg338 sg351 sg434 sg439
It would be interesting to know how stamps would have developed from this elegant beginning if E8 hadn't thrown in the towel.
sg457 sg462 sg485
1941 colours allegedly lightened to save ink as part of the war effort.
sg503
1951 colour changes to meet UPU standards.
sg515 sg723 ½p x841
The half-penny was discontinued in currency at the end of 1984.
1d sg1 sg8 sg43 sg166 sg170 and sg172
The July 1881 printing of the 1/- lilac has 14 dots in each corner, the December printing 16 dots.
sg219 sg327 sg341 sg357 sg435 sg440 sg458 sg463 sg486 sg504 sg516 sg724 1p x844 y1667
Not much of a change, but large elliptical perforations were gradually introduced as a security measure.
y1743
1½d sg51 sg167 sg188 sg198 sg221 sg362 sg436 sg441 sg459 sg464 sg487 sg505 sg517 1½p x848
2d sg5 sg14 sg45 sg168 sg189 sg199 sg225
The 1910 2d Tyranian Plum was printed but Edward 7th died before it was issued. A dozen copies remain and sell for around £75k.
sg266a sg366 sg442 sg465 sg488 sg506 sg518 sg543 sg726 sg727 font change 2p x849 x1000 x927  x928 x1001
The 1988 2Ps list as deep green, myrtle-green, and bright green. Probably finer distinctions than would normally concern me.
y1668
2½d sg138 sg142 sg190 sg201 sg230 sg371 sg437 sg443 sg460 sg466 sg489 sg507 sg519 2½p x851 x854
3d sg75 sg92 sg143
The 3d and 6d overprints were a security measure. Further details here.
sg159 sg191 sg202 sg232 sg374 sg444 sg467 sg490 sg520 sg729 3p x855 x930
3½d 3½p x858 x860
4d sg62 sg79 sg93 sg152 sg153 sg154 sg192 sg205 sg235 sg239 sg378 sg445 sg468 sg508 sg521 sg560 sg731 sg733 4p x861 x996 x933 y1669
4½d sg206 sg577 4½p x865
5d sg169 sg193 sg207 sg242 sg381 sg446 sg469 sg522 sg735 5p x866 x1003 x1004 x935 y1670
- 5½p x868
6d sg59 sg69 sg84 sg96 sg108 sg122 sg125, sg145 sg146
The 1873 6d was also printed in deep buff, available only used @ £175,000.
The 1883 3d and 6d overprints were a security measure. Further details here.
sg162 sg194 sg208 sg245 sg384 sg470 sg523 sg736 6p x870 x936 y1671
- 6½p x871
7d sg249 sg387 sg471 sg524 sg737 7p x874 x937 y1672 y1673
7½d 7½p x877
8d sg156 sg390 sg472 sg525 sg738 sg739 8p x878 y1674
- 8½p x881
9d sg86 sg98 sg195 sg209 sg250 sg392 sg393 sg447 sg473 sg526 sg740 9p x882 x883 y1675
- 9½p x884
10d sg57 sg112 sg210 sg254 sg394 sg448 sg474 sg527 sg741 sg829 10p x885 x886 x940 y1676
- 10½p x890 x891
11d sg474a sg528 11p x892
- 11½p x942 x893
1s sg54 sg71 sg90 sg101 sg150 sg151 sg196 sg211 sg214 sg257 sg395 sg449 sg475 sg529 sg742 12p x895 x896 12p 2006
1s3d sg530 12½p x898
1s6d sg531 sg743 13p x944 x900
1s9d sg744 13½p x945
2s sg119 sg121 14p x902 x903 14p2006
2s6d sg175 sg260 sg399 sg450 sg476 sg476a sg536 sg787 15p x947 x905 sg1467
The 1990 150th anniversary is a commemoration, but, given the format, should be included.
15p2008
5s sg126 sg176 sg263 sg401 sg451 sg477 sg537 sg788 15½p x948
10s sg128 sg177 sg265 sg402 sg452 sg478 sg478a sg538 sg789 16p x908 16p2007
£1 sg129 sg185 sg212 sg266 sg403 sg478b sg539 sg790 16½p x950
£5 sg137 17p x951 x952 x910 17p2009 y1749n
value 1840 1841 1847 1848 1854 1855 1856 1858 1862 1864 1865 1867 1869 1870 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1887 1890 1891 1892 1900 1902 E7 1909 1910 1911 G5 1912 1913 1922 1929 1934 1935 1936 E8 1937 G6 1938 1939 1941 1942 1947 1948 1950 1951 1952 E2 1953 1954 1955 1957 1959 1967 1968 1969 1970 Decimal 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
- 17½p x953
- 18p x954 x955 x913
- 19p x914 y1677 y1678
- 19½p x957
- sg830 20p x915 x959 x916 sg1469 MS1501 y1679 y1680 y1751 sg2031
Three Wildings designs, 20p, 26p and 37p, were issued in booklet DX20, .
y1751m?
- 20½p x961
- 22p x962 x963 x917 22p2009 y1751n?
- 23p x965 x966
- 24p x967 x968 x969
- 25p x970 y1683 y1752 x917a
- 26p x971 x972 y1685 y1753 y1686 sg2032 y1753?
- 27p x973 x974
- 28p x975 x976 x977
- 29p x978 x1054 sg1471 y1687
- 30p x980 y1688 y1754
- 31p x981 x982 y1689
- 32p x983
- 33p x984 y1690
- 34p x985 x1021 x986 sg1473 x987 y1691
- 35p x988 x989 y1692 y1694 y1695
- 36p y1696
- 37p x990 sg1474 y1697 sg2033 y1698 y1699
- 38p y1700 y1701
- 39p x991 y1702 y1703
- 40p y1704 y1705
- 41p y1706 y1707 y1708
- 42p y1709
- 43p y1710 y1711 y1712
- 44p y1713 y1714
- 45p y1715
- 46p y1716
- 47p y1717
- 48p 48p2007 y1757f?
- 49p y1718
- sg831 50p x921 x922 y1719 ms2530 50p2007 50p2009 y1719b
- 54p 54p2007 y1719c, y1757j?
- 56p 56p2008 y1719d
- 60p y1758 60p2010 y1758a, y1719e
- 62p 62p2009 y1719f
- 63p y1720
- 64p y1721
- 65p y1722
- 67p 67p2010 y1722a?
- 68p y1723 sg?
- 72p y1724
- 75p x1023 x993 x1024
- 76p sg?
- 78p 78p2007 y1724a
- 81p 81p2008 y1724b
- 88p 88p2010 y1724c
- 90p 90p2009 y1760?' Y1742d?
- 97p 97p2010 y1724e
- £1 sg831b sg1026 sg1410 sg1611 y1725 ms2530 �1 2007 MS 2007 �1 2009 GB SG1 GB SG1
- £1.10 sg?
- £1.30 sg1026b
- £1.33 sg1026c
- £1.41 sg1026d
- £1.46 �1.46 2010
- £1.50 sg1026e sg1411 sg1612 y1800 y1726 �1.50 2009
- £1.60 sg1026f
- £1.65 sg?
- £2 sg1027 sg1412 sg1613 y1801 y1727 �2 2009
- £3 sg1613a y1802 y1728 �3 2009
- £5 sg1028 sg1413 sg1614 y1803 y1729 �5 2009
- £10 sg1658
- 1st sg1447 sg1512 sg1667 sg1789 sg1977 sg1668 sg2040 sg2077, 78, 79
The three stamps were issued in booklet DX22, Profile on Print, to illustrate printing methods.
sg2124 sg2133 sg2259 dx28
The 1st and 2nd Wildings reissues appeared in booklet DX28, A Gracious Accession.
2006 saw the introduction of Pricing in Proportion, regular and large.
sg2651 Machin Smilers 1st2009
From 2009, holes have been punched in stamps as an additional security measure. A step too far, tantamount to defacing.
DJ2 DJ1
For the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations, a new 1st class definitive colour, another Wilding and stamps showing the Queen as depicted on various banknotes and coins have been issued.
- 2nd sg1445 sg1511 sg1664 sg1976 sg2039 sg2258 sg2650 2nd2009
- 1st large sg2653 1stL2009
- 2nd large sg2652 2ndL2009
- E sg1669 sg2358 Eur 2010
- W sg2359 sg2357a
The 2003 stamp is for letters worldwide, 2004 for postcards worldwide.
WW 2010
- Recorded recorded 2009 recorded 2009 recorded 2010 recorded 2009
- Special delivery SD 2010 SD 2010
- spare
value 1840 1841 1847 1848 1854 1855 1856 1858 1862 1864 1865 1867 1869 1870 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1887 1890 1891 1892 1900 1902 E7 1909 1910 1911 G5 1912 1913 1922 1929 1934 1935 1936 E8 1937 G6 1938 1939 1941 1942 1947 1948 1950 1951 1952 E2 1953 1954 1955 1957 1959 1967 1968 1969 1970 Decimal 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013


Notes on the stamps

  1. I was expecting to add notes on specific stamps here, but so far (5th April) I have used adjacent frames in the table.
  2. Having completed the first draft of the full page, I'll delve into a little research, firstly on the definition of definitives, derived from my most admired reference works. On that basis, the selection seems largely appropriate, though the Seahorses and Castles will need some discussion, the 1990 double heads can only be justified by size, and the celebratory Wildings are an affectation.
  3. three

Notes on the web page


In April 2011 my web host moved me to a new server which caused several days of chaos and some ongoing problems - any missing images or dead links are probably attributable to that and will gradually be corrected. I would appreciate any feedback on items in need of repair. Please email me here and let me know the page(s) and element(s) affected.


Main page - first issues - image credits - pre-decimal - decimal - stamp notes - web page notes - top.

Concept and design © Nick Blackburn 2011, 2012. For the sources of individual stamp images, see image credits.


page started 13th March 2011