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This is an introduction to the postage stamps of the Queen Victoria period of Great Britain, 1840-1901. It is my hope that the following provides viewers with  general information covering the line-engraved and surface printed issues of Queen Victoria's reign.  Since this site attempts to cover a very broad and complex area of philately it is not possible to be comprehensive, and the intent here is simply to provide a basic outline,  a touchstone,  which will guide the viewer towards a more focused study of specific areas of interest.

The line-engraved postage stamps, the Penny Black and the Penny Red,  provide a microcosm, a world when put under the magnifying glass, reveals a diverse and complex landscape of technological growth and expansion, emanating from the invention of the first postal adhesive, the Penny Black in 1840.  Within the star corners and check letters of the Penny Black and Penny Red lies unique characteristics, like fingerprints,  which allows the would be plater, an understanding of the process of their production, and the plates from which the stamps originate from.

The surface printed stamps represent a triumph of De La Rue's technology to overcome the problems that Roland Hill's Uniform Penny Postal Reform  presented as it rapidly expanded, outstripping the capability of the line-engraved  technology of Perkins, Bacon and Petch.   The British postage stamp evolved along with the growth of industry, literacy, and the colonial expansion of Great Britain.   The line-engraved printing plates were rapidly worn as Perkins, Bacon's attempted to produce the millions of stamps demanded by the public.  The surface printed postage stamps issued during  the mid to late Victorian Period not only represent the successful resolution of the technological impasse presented by line-engraved technology, but also serve as a cultural artifact, or archetype of the British Empire at the peak of its power, culminating in the Jubilee issue towards the end of Queen Victoria's reign.

Great Britain's Victorian Postal History takes us from the microcosm of the stamp and printing technology into a macrocosm of global proportions.  In a shift from magnifying glass to map, the covers and post cards of Great Britain are often a portal into a vast world of conquest and colonization leading to distant far flung lands beyond the then known frontiers of the world.  The path of Great Britain's postal history follows rail and steamship from a small island to all directions due east, west, north and south.

It is my hope to share my fascination with the postage stamps of Great Britain's Queen Victoria Period with others and and in the process learn from others.  Any contributions, links, comments or corrections are welcomed. As will become readily apparent, this site is still under construction, so please be patient and make future visits as new material will be added shortly.

Please Recommend Great Britain Web Sites by clicking here

Please also click above with questions about GB stamps or your comments.

Note: If you wish to view the following sites outside of my frames right click your mouse and select "Open in New Window"

 
Great Britain and Commonwealth Sites
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  • George VI   A Philatelic Journal for the George VI Specialist
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J K L
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Philatelic Resources on the Web
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M N O 
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Stamp Sites for Children and Beginners

 Dealers: A Select List

  • J.Barefoot  Ltd  Publisher, Philatelist, and Dealer of stamps, revenues and postal history. View his web page! (UK)
  • James McKenzie A respected specialist in GB.  Send him an e-mail inquiry! (Canada)
  • Phil Bansner                A Philatelic Literature Dealer (U.S.A.)

  • British History and Biography


 

Please send comments & inquiries to Tim Burgess