Definitive British stamps for the reign of King Edward VII first appeared in 1902. Only 24 major-type definitive stamps were issued during the short reign of King Edward VII. For the average stamp collector, acquiring one example of each of the major-types is a bit expensive, but it is relatively easy.
For the specialist, however, the issues of King Edward VII and King George V can be complex and very challenging. For specialization in this area, it is strongly recommended that one use the Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Specialised Catalogue, Volume 2 -- King Edward VII to King George VI. In my 1980 edition, the analysis of the issues of King Edward VII take-up the first 100 pages of the book!
The early bi-colored issues of King Edward VII were printed using fugitive inks for security purposes. Environmental exposure and improper soaking causes the colors to bleed or to fade badly. This is especially true with used condition examples. Stamps that have such attributes are worthless.
All of the definitive British stamps of King Edward VII have the following technical attributes in common.
WMK 30 Large Crown
Printers: De La Rue, Somerset House, or Harrison & Sons. For detailed information concerning the stamps produced by these printers, and the characteristics of the different printings, please refer to the Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Specialised Catalogue.
Printing Process: Typography.
Portrait: Left Profile.
Perforation: Perforated 14 (1902-1911), Perforated 15 x 14 (1911).
Watermark: WMK 30 -- (See image above).
The sixteen King Edward VII definitive postage stamps shown above were issued in 1902, with later printings continuing through 1911. These stamps are perforated 14.
The colors noted below are the major colors, as listed in the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue. There are many more shades of these British stamps listed in the Stanley Gibbons specialized catalogs.
3 P. (1911 - Sc. #149) - Violet on Yellow, Gray on Lemon.
4 P. (1911 - Sc. #150) - Orange.
There has been some confusion, as to the Scott catalog presentation of these five British stamps. Harrison & Sons produced these five major stamp types throughout 1911.
These stamps, produced after September 1911, were perforated 15 x 14.
These same stamps, produced earlier in 1911, were perforated 14.
There are a multitude of collectible varieties of
most of the British stamps described on this page, including essays, die
proofs, plate proofs, color trials, plate markings, cylinder numbers, paper varieties, printing varieties, shade varieties, booklet panes etc. For details, please refer to the Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Specialised Catalogue, Volume 2 -- King Edward VII to King George VI.
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