1948 Silver Wedding Anniversary

25 years of marriage of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

Date: 1st December 1948

1948 Silver Wedding Omnibus FDC

Type: First Day Cover
Cachet: First Day Cover 25 Silver Wedding Anniversary, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth 1923 – 1948
Address: Antilles Stamp Co., P.O. Box 59, St. George’s, Bermuda, B.W.I.
Stamps: KGVI 1923-1948 1½d omnibus commemorative

1948 Silver Anniversary 1½d x 4 fdc

Type: First Day Cover
Stamps: KGVI 1923-1948 1½d omnibus commemorative block of 4

1948 Silver Anniversary 1½d x 2 fdc

Type: First Day Cover
Address: Mr. F. Martin, 39 High Street, Guernsey, Channel Isles
Stamps: 1923-1948 1½d omnibus commemorative

About the Omnibus issue

Key facts

Designer: Waterlow and Sons Limited / Bradbury Wilkinson & Co, Ltd
Printer: Waterlow and Sons Limited / Bradbury Wilkinson & Co, Ltd
Process: Photogravure / Recess-Printed
Perforation: n/a
Watermark: Multiple Script CA
Release Date: 1st December 1948

Issuing territories: 60 + 8 GB and local designs
Number of stamps: 138

The Royal Silver Wedding of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was commemorated by stamps after the Post Office had faced criticism with its failure to issue stamps for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth in 1947, and the valuable revenue lost as a consequence. There were two Great Britain stamps, 2½d, and a £1 aimed primarily at collectors. The Empire and Commonwealth issues had similar local values.

Due to the late decision, initial thoughts were to adapt designs originally developed for the Coronation of King Edward VIII showing famous landmarks, with the portraits of the King and Queen as used on their King George VI Coronation stamps. Artists were approached, and essays produced on these lines – albeit new photographic portraits had been taken – but did not find favour with the King, who referred to a simple portrait approach used by Belgium in 1935.

New designs were developed along the King’s preferred option of simple portraits and designs by Harrisons’ staff artist G T Knipe for the 2½d, and by Joan Hassall for the £1 (lack of time prevented the £1 being line-engraved) were approved.

The GB stamps were issued on the anniversary, 26 April 1948, although distribution of the £1 was somewhat restricted. Both values were overprinted for British Postal Agencies overseas (Tangier, Morocco Agencies, Kuwait, Bahrain and British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia).

List of issuing territories

  1. Aden
  2. Aden – Seiyun
  3. Aden – Shihr and Mukalla
  4. Antigua
  5. Ascension
  6. Bahamas
  7. Barbados
  8. Basutoland
  9. Bechuanaland
  10. Bermuda
  11. British Guiana
  12. British Honduras
  13. British Solomon Islands
  14. British Virgin Islands
  15. Cayman Islands
  16. Cyprus
  17. Dominica
  18. Falkland Islands
  19. Falkland Islands Dependencies
  20. Fiji
  21. Gambia
  22. Gibraltar
  23. Gilbert & Ellice Islands
  24. Gold Coast
  25. Grenada
  26. Hong Kong
  27. Jamaica
  28. Kenya Uganda Tanganyika
  29. Leeward Islands
  30. Malaya – Johore
  31. Malaya – Kedah
  32. Malaya – Kelantan
  33. Malaya – Malacca
  34. Malaya – Negri Sembilan
  35. Malaya – Pahang
  36. Malaya – Penang
  37. Malaya – Perak
  38. Malaya – Perlis
  39. Malaya – Selangor
  40. Malaya – Trengganu
  41. Malta
  42. Mauritius
  43. Montserrat
  44. Nigeria
  45. North Borneo
  46. Northern Rhodesia
  47. Nyasaland
  48. Pitcairn Islands
  49. St Helena
  50. St Kitts-Nevis
  51. St Lucia
  52. St Vincent
  53. Sarawak
  54. Seychelles
  55. Sierra Leone
  56. Singapore
  57. Somaliland Protectorate
  58. Trinidad & Tobago
  59. Turks & Caicos Islands
  60. Zanzibar

Local design – list of issuing territories

  1. Bahrain (GB overprint)
  2. British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia* (GB overprint)
  3. Great Britain
  4. Kuwait (GB overprint)
  5. Morocco Agencies – Spanish Currency (GB overprint)
  6. Morocco Agencies – Tangier (GB overprint)
  7. South Africa (2 billigual pair)
  8. South West Africa (2 South Africa billigual pair overprint)

*British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia issued early postage stamps used in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat and Qatar. Muscat and Dubai relied on Indian postal administration until 1 April 1948 when, following the Partition of India, British agencies were established there. Two agencies were opened in Qatar: at Doha (August 1950) and Umm Said (February 1956). In Abu Dhabi, an agency was opened on Das Island in December 1960 and in Abu Dhabi City on 30 March 1963. The agencies also supplied stamps to Bahrain until 1960; and to Kuwait during shortages in 1951–53.

The agency in Dubai issued the Trucial States stamps on 7 January 1961. As each state took over its own postal administration, the offices closed. Closure dates were: Qatar on 23 May 1963; Dubai on 14 June 1963; Abu Dhabi on 29 March 1964; finally Muscat on 29 April 1966.

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