Great Britain Stamps, Thematic Stamps

1951 GVI Postal Rate Combinations – Stamp Collecting Niche

1951 GVI Postal Rate Combinations – Stamp Collecting Niche

King George VI 1950 Colour Change Definitive Stamp Combinations

In this article, we are looking at one of the potential spin-off niches that you can collect from this set. This idea came about for us after picking up a small lot of stamps still on paper (kiloware) from the era.

In the past, they would have gone straight to a basin of water to soak them off however we decided to do something different. We have started a fledgling collection of rate combination pieces – where more than one stamp was used to make up the postal rate.

The postage rates at the time

From 1st May 1940 until 1st May 1952 the following rates applied to domestic mail…

2½d – 2oz
3d – 4oz
3½d – 6oz
4d – 8oz
4½d – 10oz

Although there were individual stamps available for each rate on occasions people used a mix of lower values. However, finding these combinations is not as easy as you would think. Fortunately, there is still a fair amount of unsorted GVI kiloware on the market and from a small 250g bag, we were able to assemble the following…

2½d Rate 20z or below

GVI 1950 stamp combinations

The Above three items are more unusual being three or 5 stamp combinations. The final stamp on the second piece looks like a booklet stamp too.

GVI 1950 GB stamps

The Top strip includes a vertical pair that seldom turns up while the two below it are a more typical combo. The 2d on its own is unusual and probably meant the recipient has a bit extra to pay before receiving it.

3d rate – below 4oz

GVI 1950 Stamps

We are still looking for a 1d & 2d combination but a vertical strip of three is quite hard to find.  There are also definitive and commemorative combinations as with the “Festival of Britain” low value. The bottom combination pair also has a nice East Anglian TPO cancel which would have been lost had we gone straight for the soak. The 3 1/2d combo pair below has this cancellation too.

Other Rates

GVI GB 1950 stamp combinations

These are our  3½d, 4d & 4½d combinations. Still plenty more to go at here.

Booklet Stamps

GVI Booklet Stamps

The left 1/2d and the right 2 1/2d both appear to be booklet stamps given their trimmed bottom perforations. Some of the booklet stamps have watermark variations (inverted or sideways)  which could only really be checked by soaking them off. However, they will be staying as they are as the variations are not expensive.


GVI 1950 booklet stamp

It pays to be eagle-eyed when checking though as we nearly missed this one as the top was folded over.

So there we have it a small cheap to assemble niche collection to build upon.

Looking for more collecting ideas

We will be looking at more niche collecting areas in the future but in meantime, we have plenty more articles on thematic stamps and even some quizzes about the subject to test your philatelic knowledge. Go on have a go you know you want to…


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