Great Britain 1953 Coronation Stamps

specialist information

Great Britain 1953 Coronation StampsGreat Britain 1953 Coronation
3 June 1953
Values: 2½d, 4d, 1s3d, 1s6d
Designers: Edgar Fuller (2½d), Michael Goaman (4d), Edmund Dulac (1s3d), Michael Farrar-Bell (1s6d)
Printer: Harrison
Sheet Size: 6 x 20 x 2 panes
Printed: 415,034,000 (2½d), 19,816,900 (4d), 8,012,800 (1s3d), 5,987,200 (1s6d)

2½d – 1, 1., 2, 2., 3, 3., 4, 4.
4d – 1, 1.
1s3d – 2, 2.
1s6d – 1, 1.


2½d – the missing pearl flaw exists from the orb above the value at column 4, row 1 of cylinder 3 panes. It also exists retouched
2½d – blade flaw recorded affecting top left of a pane
4d – the daffodil leaf flaw exists close to the Queen’s nose at column 1, row 19 of cylinder 1 panes
4d – blade flaw recorded affecting second column of a pane
1s3d – the clover leaf flaw exists near the last ‘E’ of ‘REVENUE’ at column 1, row 20 of cylinder 2 panes
1s6d – the thistle flaw can be found at column 5, row 16 of cylinder 1. panes

Some 76 essays by 28 designers were considered by the Stamp Advisory Committee. Essays and colour trials are held in the Royal Philatelic Collection. Michael Farrar-Bell design and portrait essays exist on the market.

The portrait of all but the 1s3d value are based on Dorothy Wilding photograph O 15957 E.

Legitimate covers dated 2 June 1953 exist (ie, from Buckingham Palace, the Coronation Exhibition, and those from an Army post office in Egypt). Others are date slug errors as UK post offices were closed on the day of the Coronation.

442,332,600 examples of the 2½d, the standard letter rate at the time, were printed and 415,034,000 sold (94%). Sales of the other values were 85%, 79% and 72% of the print runs respectively.

Black reprints of the set exist from the 1954 Penrose annual. They are perforated with disclaimer on the reverse.

Presentation cards (standalone or within a folder) were produced and selectively distributed by Harrison. Two versions exist with different wording.

A folder presented by the Postmaster General was issued to dignitaries.


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