Stamp Printers

Printers of Bermuda Stamps

Here are the main security printing companies which produced Bermuda stamps in order of first issue.

De La Rue & Co. (D.L.R.)

The company was founded by Thomas de la Rue, who moved to London in 1821 and set up in business as a stationer and printer. Working as a ‘boy of the streets’, in 1831 he secured his business a Royal Warrant to produce playing cards. In 1855 it started printing postage stamps and in 1860 it began printing banknotes. De La Rue printed postage stamps for the United Kingdom and some of its colonies and produced famous stamps such as the Cape of Good Hope triangulars. The first Bermuda stamps produced by Del La Rue were the 1865 Victoria definitives.

Queens Printer, Donal McPhee Lee

Attributed to the 1875 “One Penny.” surcharge printing by Stanley Gibbons.

Bradbury Wilkinson & Co. (B.W.)

Bradbury Wilkinson & Co were an English engraver and printer of banknotes, postage stamps and share certificates.

The original company was begun in 1856 by Henry Bradbury (1831-60). In 1873-74 they built an imposing six-storey workshop, for engraving printing plates, in Holborn, London at 25 and 27 Farringdon Road, which is now a Grade II-listed building. In 1917 the company was established at New Malden in Surrey where it remained until 1986 when it was acquired by De La Rue.

The first Bermuda stamps produced by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co were the 1936 King George V pictorials.

Waterlow and Sons

Waterlow and Sons Limited was a major worldwide engraver of currency, postage stamps, stocks and bond certificates based in London, Watford and Dunstable in England. The company was founded as a family business in 1810. It was acquired in 1961 by De La Rue. The first Bermuda stamps printed by Waterlow and Sons was the 1935 King George V Silver Jubilee issue.

Williams Lea & Co

Contractor to De La Rue after their premises were bombed on 29th December 1940. William Lea & Co printed the Bermuda high value stamps during 1941.

Harrison and Sons (Harrison)

Harrison and Sons Limited was a major worldwide engraver and printer of postage stamps and banknotes. The company was established in 1750 by Thomas Harrison and it obtained its first Post Office contract in 1881. The company won the contract to print the single colour United Kingdom Edward VII stamps in 1911 after the Post Office decided not to renew its contract with De La Rue. Initially, using printing machines manufactured by Timsons of Kettering it went on to produce most of the British stamps over the 60 year period from the 1930s until the 1990s, including the first UK stamp using the photogravure method in 1934 and the first photogravure commemoratives in 1935 for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The first UK Christmas issue in 1966, on the specially designed Jumelle press, was also printed at Harrison and Sons. They printed their last British commemorative issue, referred to as ‘Queen’s Beasts’ issue, in 1998. The stamps actually being printed one year before they were issued to the public.

The company (abbreviation H&S) also printed stamps, banknotes, passports and gift vouchers for over 100 other countries from 1881 until 1997 when it was acquired by De La Rue security printers.

The first Bermuda stamps printed by Harrison and Sons was the 1962 Buildings of Bermuda Queen Elizabeth II definitive issue.

House of Questa Ltd. (Questa)

Questa were formed in 1966 and first produced stamps by chance for Trinidad & Tobago after which many other countries became regular customers. In 1969, Questa expanded into a new custom-designed factory complex and in 1980 the first stamp contracts for Britain were secured – the 2p, 5p and 75p definitives and Sports commemoratives.

In 1984 Waddington acquired Questa and withdrew from printing stamps under its own name. 1996 witnessed the sale of Questa to MDC Canada (who also owned Ashton Potter) and a move to new premises in Byfleet was followed by De La Rue’s acquisition and closure of Questa in 2002.

The first Bermuda stamps produced by Questa were the 1970 350th Anniversay of the Bermuda Parliament commemoratives.

J. W. Dunn Printers Limited

J. W. Dunn were a printing firm based in Surrey. The first Bermuda stamps produced by J. W. Dunn Printers were the 1973 Tree Planting Year commemorative issue.

Walsall Security Printers Limited

Established in 1963, Walsall Security Printers developed, printed and produced the world’s first self adhesive stamp in 1964. Walsall have progressed their business producing billions of stamps every year for numerous countries around the world.

The first Bermuda stamps produced by Walsall Security Printers was the 1977 Bermuda Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee commemorative issue.

Joh. Enschedé

Royal Joh. Enschedé  is a printer of security documents, stamps and banknotes based in Haarlem, Netherlands. Joh. Enschedé specialises in print, media & security. The company hosts the Museum Enschedé and has branches in Amsterdam, Brussels and Haarlem.

The first Bermuda stamps produced by Joh. Enschedé were the 1980 Death Centenary of Sir Rowland Hill commemorative issue.

BDT International Security Printing Ltd

Security printers based in Ireland. The first Bermuda stamps produced by BDT were the 1987 Centenary of thr Bermuda Telephone Company commemorative issue.

Cartor S.A.

Formed in 1974 originally to print embossed metal-foil Camembert cheese labels, not stamps. Its name derives from Carte d’Or (gold card, an indication of quality). Cartor has specialised in the printing of high-quality stamps since its inception.

The first Bermuda stamps produced by Cartor was the 1999 30th Anniversary of the First Manned Moon Landing miniature sheet.

Lowe-Martin, Canada

Formed in 1908, Lowe-Martin has been manufacturing commemorative stamps for Canada Post since 2002. The first Bermuda stamps produced by Lowe-Martin were the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing commemoratives.

See printing techniques

Bermuda Stamps