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Collecting Stamps: The 1924/25 Empire Exhibition Stamps

GB Stamps for the 1924 and 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley The British Empire Exhibition, held at Wembley in Middlesex close to London during 1924 & 1925, was officially opened by King George V on 23rd April 1924. At the time the British Empire consisted of 58 countries and only Gibraltar and Gambia were not represented. At a cost at the time of £12 million this was the largest ever exhibition staged anywhere in the world and over 27 million visitors attended while it was open.

Stamps commemorating the exhibition were issued for both 1924 and 1925. The stamps all featured similar designs to that shown here. The penny value was red and penny halfpenny value brown. The first day of issue for the 1924 stamps was 23 April 1924 - the day King George V opened the exhibition - and the 1925 printing was issued on 9 May 1925. Apart from envelopes posted by visitors many different letter cards, postcards and souvenirs were produced commemorating the exhibition. Collectors today tend to refer to the stamp sets as being either the "1924 Wembley" or "1925 Wembley" commemorative issues.
Around 25 different special postmarks, many featuring the lion logo, were used during the exhibition in both years. The most commonly seen examples are those used on regular mail. The parcel handstamps, registered marks and specific exhibitor postal markings can be very scarce.

First Day Covers for the stamps are very collectable and, depending on condition and postmarks, prices can easily exceed a £1,000 for the most desirable. The 1925 stamps on FDC are very much more valuable than the 1924 issue as many collectors at the time did not recognise the new 1925 stamp as a proper new issue meaning far fewer were serviced with FDI postmarks.

Collectors should note that the stamps were only sold at the exhibition which means examples bearing first day of issue postmarks from other parts of the UK away from the exhibition (or London) are extremely rare. A number of forgeries bearing Rhyl postmarks on the 1924 issue turned up in the 1970s so excercise caution.

Several postal stationery items - including pre-paid postcards, envelopes and letter cards - were produced for both years of the exhibition. While First Day of use cards are very collectable, the 1925 stationery items are far more valuable than the 1924.

The stamps for both years were recess printed by Waterlow & Sons. In 1924 the stamps were normally line or comb perforated whereas only comb perforated examples are found for the 1925 stamps.

New GB postage stamps still influenced by Arnold Machin


Arnold Machin Centenary Stamps

Years after his passing in 1999, Arnold Machin is still making a huge impact on British stamp design. Perhaps the most interesting use of his iconic Queen's head design is on the latest Post and Go stamps which many collectors believe will prove to be the start of a new generation of postage stamps where services and values are overprinted at the point of sale on pre-printed stamp designs.

It therefore seems fitting that the centenary of Arnold Machin's birth was the subject of Britain's first ever commemorative Post & Go stamps.






Printing The London 2012 Olympics Definitive Stamps




Squared Circle Postmarks


Did You Know?

Did you know:  Philately is the actual study of stamps & items related to them but stamp collecting does not itself involve the study of stamps only building a collection. It is therefore possible to be a philatelist despite never owning stamps. For instance a phlatelist may study the stamps at an exhibition, in a museum, online or in books.

Recent British Stamps & Philately Articles



Get The Authorized History of Royal Mail Delivered Free
Masters of the Post is the officially authorized history of Royal Mail by Duncan Campbell-Smith. Copies of the book are now available from the British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) along with a free postage and packing offer. [...]

Guernsey Post Issue Prince William 30th Birthday Stamps
Prince William celebrates his 30th Birthday on June 21st this year and, on 8th May, Guernsey Post issued a set of six stamps to mark the milestone. [...]

Avoid Paying Too Much for Sheep on eBay
Browsing eBay today I was surprised to see that a number of collectors have been paying over the odds for the forthcoming Royal Mail Post and Go Sheep stamp issue that hasn't even been released yet! [...]

Norvic Philatelics Offering the Machin Centenary Post and Go Sets for £10
Regular readers here will know how keen I am on Royal Mail's developing Post & Go stamps and how I have tried to highlight some probable Post and Go rarities of the future. One of the issues we've previously commented on are the Arnold Machin 1911-2011 Centenary Post and Go stamps which were only issued during Autumn Stampex this year. [...]

London 2012 Olympics - Royal Mail to Issue Special Stamps for Every TeamGB Gold Medal
Royal Mail has announced that special commemorative stamps will be issued to mark every British individual and team gold medal success at the London 2012 Olympics. [...]

Medal Success for Stanley Gibbons at Indipex 2011
Stanley Gibbons have been awarded two Silver, three Large Silver and one Vermeil medals during the Indipex 2011 Literature Exhibition adding to their successes during the London 2010 Festival of Stamps. [...]

Latest Jersey Post Issue Features A Glow In The Dark Stamp
Jersey Post has issued a glow in the dark stamp on Febryary 9th 2010 as part of a set of stamps featuring children's books. [...]

David Feldman Announce Important Great Britain Philatelic Auction
Philatelic Auctioneers David Feldman say they are having more auctions on more different dates than usual during 2010 in order to to accommodate many wonderful properties that have been entrusted to them. The schedule starts with an April 13th-16th sale which will feature important GB Line Engraved lots, the Severn Collection of Victorian Imprimaturs, Houses of Parliament Envelopes and Victorian Registered covers etc. [...]

Scottish Heraldry Featured on 1987 GB Postage Stamp Issue
Issued on the 21st of July 1987, a set of four Royal Mail Stamps featured various heraldic arms from Scotland to mark the 300th anniversary of the revival of the Most Ancient Order and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. [...]




Queen Victoria Line Engraved GB Stamps 1840-1879

The earliest postage stamps issued in Great Britain used the Line Engraved printing process. Large print plates were engraved by skilled engravers. The printing process meant ink was applied on the plate with the excess wiped off before a paper sheet was pressed on to it so that impressions of the recessed, inked parts of the plate were transferred on to the paper.

For the line engraved stamps without plate numbers incorporated in to their designs it is only possible to distinguish between print plates used by studying the detailed variations of engraving, designs, repairs made and the alphabets used for corner lettering etc. This skilled aspect of philately has been made much easier for us today becuase of the many fine specialist reference books and catalogues published since victorian times.

Good quality Line Engraved stamps are always in demand. Take a look at the live online auctions for Line Engraved stamps ending shortly.



British Stamp & Philately Sites From Our Directory


Elite Stamps
US based online stamp auctions website that aims to highlight the cream of rare stamps and philatelic auctions from around the world.

Tractors on Stamps and Philatelic Covers
A page dedicated to collectors of farm tractors on stamps and covers.

Global Philately
Philatelic blog for all things philatelic, with a focus on the classics of the British Empire and Commonwealth

British Post & Go Stamps
Trace where any GB Post and Go stamp was issued from.

Aerophilately
UK Aerophilately website for airmails, first flights, Concorde covers and many other flown covers etc.

Positively Postal
I am so passionate about the postal system that I set up the website Positively Postal...

Index of GB Machin Definitive Issues at Wikipedia
A simplified listing of the iconic Arnold Machin designed definitive issues in use in Britain since 1967.

Machin Forum
The place to discuss the definitive stamp. Internet forum focused on the iconic QEII Definitive stamps featuring Arnold Machin's portrait of the Queen.

Footyphila Plus
Sports philately with an emphasis on football (soccer).

Stampex Website
The Competitions at Stampex are held under the auspices of the Association of British Philatelic Societies.

AK Philately
Adrian runs this interesting blog on all things philatelic from around the world.

GB First Day Covers
Search among thousands of British First Day Covers at FirstDayCover.org.uk


Centenary of the First UK Aerial Post

First UK Aerial Post Centenary

We wrote some time ago about the first UK Aerial Post in 1911 and how the centenary of the event was approaching. As expected the Royal Mail marked the centenary on 9th September 2011 with a special stamp issue featuring photos of the event and a miniature sheet shown above which is styled on the publicity posters which were used to advertise the original event.

BRITISH PHILATELIC POSTMARK OF THE DAY: PORTSMOUTH
Portsmouth philatelic postmark The featured GB philatelic postmark for Saturday Oct 21 2017 is from Portsmouth.

Collectors can get this special postmark applied by sending the stamped (minimum 1st Class rate) addressed envelope(s) to:

London Special Handstamp Centre
Royal Mail
Mount Pleasant
Farringdon Road
LONDON EC1A 1AA


You can ask for any date (including public holidays) to be applied to your covers provided you send them to arrive on or before that date. It is advised you send a suitable return envelope also if you want the covers sent back protected rather than individually through the regular mail service.
We feature a different UK philatelic postmark every day so check back again

Recent GB Commemorative Stamp Issue

Royal Navy Uniforms GB Stamp Set issued 17th September 2009

This set of stamps depicts the traditions and development of Royal Navy Uniforms over more than two centuries. Issue date: 17th September 2009. Find out more at the Royal Mail website.

January 2010: British Design Classics: Classic Album Covers....

GB Stamp Collecting & British Philatelic Publication News

The British Postmark Bulletin is published usually every two weeks or so by the Royal Mail. The Postmark Bulletin contains interesting articles related to postmarks together with details of current and future postmarks and how collectors can obtain them. Available by subscription from the Royal Mail Website at a current cost of £12.25 in the UK and Europe or £24.95 for subscribers outside Europe.



Discover Philately




Royal Mail Copyright & Intellectual Property: Please note that most Royal Mail stamp designs and postmarks are the intellectual property of the Royal Mail. GBStamp.co.uk has permission to display images of Royal Mail stamps and postmarks on this website. We cannot give permission to other parties to use Roayal Mail's IP and any such enquiries should be made via Royal Mail Intellectual Property.