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]