Iconic Stamps Barbados 1906 1d Olive Blossom

Barbados has issued plenty of attractive stamps over the years but most philatelists would agree that one stamp stands out. We continue our series of posts on Iconic stamps with such an item…

The 1906 Barbados 1d Olive Blossom.


The 1d Olive Blossom was issued on 15th August 1906 to commemorate the Tercentenary of the ship’s arrival at the island. Technically it should have been issued in 1925 to commemorate the 3o0th anniversary however this doesn’t detract from the beauty of the stamp.

It was printed using intaglio engraving and unusually for the time the process involved three colours which again adds to its significance. Most stamps of this era were printed in one or at most two colours. It would take until the 1960s for Barbados to print another multicolour stamp.

The stamp itself was designed by American born artist Gertrude Carter (later Lady Gilbert-Carter) who won the design competition. She was the wife of the wife of the island’s Governor at the time having previously resided with him in The Bahamas.  She also submitted a design for the earlier issued Lord Nelson Commemorative too but that was unsuccessful.

Specifications wise it is perf 14 and on Crown over CA watermarked paper. It was printed in large quantities and used copies are quite common. Finding one in MNH condition without toned gum is a challenge though.

Expanding The Collection

Although the stamp is quite common there are rarer items that could be added to a more specialist collection. The most obvious would be to acquire a Specimen overprint example and these do turn up fairly frequently.

Basrbados Olive Blossom Specimen Overprint

Blocks or multiples also turn up from time to time and we have seen the stamp used on both postcards and commercial covers. However, the latter seems scarce, which is surprising given the ease of acquiring a used copy.

We hope you found this interesting and if you have another five minutes spare why not have a look at our other Iconic Stamp articles or try one of our quizzes. We even have stamp related ones!


Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar