Just over 50 years ago, at the start of a new Elizabethan era, the first stamps of the new Queen's reign were issued in time for the Christmas post in 1952. Known generally as the 'Wilding' issue after the photographer, Dorothy Wilding, whose studio produced the portrait of the young Queen, 9 of these stamps were reissued with new values last year in a miniature sheet to commemorate this 50th anniversary.
Now the remaining values of the original set (plus the later 4½d) have been reissued in a second sheet shown below.
Actual stamp values (top left to bottom right): 8p, 68p, (label), 4p, 10p, 20p, 28p, 42p, 34p, 'E'
The original 1950s stamps were issued in groups, the grouping being based on the need for particular values and availability of designs.
The 4th group, issued on 2 November 1953 consisted of the blue 4d and 1s6d stamps which resurface in the current sheet. The replica of the green 1s3d was in sheet 1.
The remaining values, originally intended to be in colours close to those of the George VI stamps, were issued in two further groups. The 3d deep lilac, 6d reddish-purple and 7d green were issued on 18 January 1954, and the 9d bronze-green, 10d Prussian Blue and 11d plum on 8 February 1954.
This Commemorative Sheet utilises the designs and colours of the 7 stamps issued in 1953/54 plus the 4½d which was not issued until February 1959, and only exists with the multiple crown watermark:
4p deep lilac (3d), 8p blue (4d), and 'E' rate chestnut (4½d) by M C Farrar-Bell.
10p reddish-purple (6d), and 20p green (7d) by G. Knipe
28p bronze-green (9d), 42p Prussian blue (10d) and 34p plum (11d) by Mary Adshead
68p grey-blue (1s6d) by Edmund Dulac.
Total face value at the time it was issued - £2.52
The sheets are printed by De La Rue in gravure, perf 15x14. The 20p stamp has one phosphor band as this is the new 2nd class inland rate.
The colour of the stamps has been matched to the originals, and a cream-coloured tint surrounds the stamps to simulate the original off-white paper. This uncoated paper has a '50' watermark (upright), as was used for the Golden Jubilee commemoratives and prestige book issued in February 2002.
Unlike those stamps which had an image size exactly the same as the 1952 stamps (18 x 22mm), the image on the stamps from this miniature sheet are various sizes! Apparently some of the stamps are not absolutely vertical either.
The images are from Royal Mail's Postmark Bulletin, and Philatelic Bulletin, and are Copyright 2003 by Royal Mail.
Norvic Philatelics First Day Cover service serviced Royal Mail FDCs for this sheet.
These postmarks were available for use on the day of issue:
| Ref FD311
Official Bureau FDI postmark depicting multiple images of the St Edward's Crown used in the 'Multiple Crowns' 3rd watermark for Wilding stamps in 1958
| Ref FD312
Official Windsor FDI postmark depicting the
E 2 R St Edward's Crown second watermark used for the Wilding stamps in 1955
| Ref E4680
Windsor Castle permanent postmark
| Ref L4666
Buckingham Palace, SW London permanent postmark
| Ref L8526
Wilding Definitives II, George Street, London W1
| Ref S8401
50th Anniversary of the first Elizabethan definitives, Edinburgh
| Ref E8408
Wilding Revival Stamps Series II, Windsor
| Ref L8503
Wilding Definitives 1953-59, Old Bond Street, London W1
| Ref L8520
The Wilding Definitives Collection, Old Bond Street, London W1
| Ref L8521
The Wilding Definitives Collection, Regent Street, London W1
| Ref L8522
The Wilding Definitives Collection, Portman Square, London W1
| Ref L8523
The Wilding Definitives Collection, King Edward St, London EC1A
| Ref L8524
The Wilding Definitives Collection, Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1
| Ref M8536
The Wilding Definitives Collection, Longford, Gloucester
| Ref E8544
The Wilding Definitives Collection, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
| Ref E8545
The Wilding Definitives Collection, Basingstoke, Hampshire
| Ref W8546
The Wilding Definitives Collection, The Octagon, Milsom St, Bath
| Ref L8527
Queen Elizabeth II Wilding Definitives Collection II, Portman Square, London
This page updated 6 August 2003. [7.2.05]
|14 January Birds of Prey||21 January Flowers Greetings Stamps Smilers Sheet||4 February Occasions/Greetings stamps and Smilers sheet||25 February Medical Science - DNA & Genome||4 March Hello SA booklet & Wales 1st reprint|
|25 March Fun Fruit & Vegetables||27 March New definitives, SA airmail booklets of 40gr stamps||29 April Extreme Endeavours||6 May 34p definitives||20 May - Wilding II miniature sheet|
|28 May Wales 2nd class, 1st class gold reprints||2 June - 50th Anniversary of the Coronation||17 June Prince William of Wales||1 July High Value Definitive reprints||15 July British Journey - Scotland|
|29 July Cartoons Smilers Sheet||12 August Pub Signs - Europa||18 September Transports of Delight - toys||30 September Christmas Robin Smilers Sheet||7 October 250th Anniv. of British Museum|
|13 October Reprints of Country Stamps||4 November Christmas: Ice Sculptures||18 December England World Cup - Rugby Winners|