George V stamps

Our collection of King George V stamps reflects the fact that his reign saw many "firsts" for British stamps.

These included:

  • The first commemoratives
  • The first stamps printed by photogravure
  • The first ‘postage due’ labels

We also hold a number of temporary or provisional printings. These were the result of two important changes. Firstly new printers (Harrisons) were employed. Secondly, responsibility for the production of stamps was transferred from the Inland Revenue to the Post Office.

The design for Britain’s first commemorative stamp, issued to mark the opening of the 1924 British Empire Exhibition, came about as the result of a competition. We hold all the submitted artwork in our collection, as well as the artwork and essays for all subsequent commemorative issues. This also applies to British stamps overprinted for use overseas in the Levant, Morocco Agencies, Bechuanaland and Nauru.

Postage Due labels were designed and printed to collect any postage due on mail. Our collection holds the following material for the new labels introduced in 1914:

  • some of the metal dies
  • some of the rollers and plates
  • imperforate registration sheets

They can be found on our Online Catalogue here.

You can also find our KGV Black Proof Sheets on our Online Catalogue here.


If you have a question about the collection or would like to see material in person please send your enquiries to [email protected]

  • George V Definitives

    When King George V became King on 6 May 1910 new photographs were needed as the basis for coins, medals and stamps.

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  • British Empire Exhibition

    Great Britain's first commemorative stamps were issued on 23 April 1924 - the first day of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley.

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  • Postal Union Congress

    The ninth Postal Union Congress was opened in London on 10 May 1929, with special stamps released on the opening day.

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  • Silver Jubilee

    Commemorative stamps were issued to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V on 10 May 1935.

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  • Proposed Memorial Issue

    Following the death of King George V a memorial stamp was proposed, but never issued.

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