King George VI - Basutoland Collection Page Scans
Updated - January, 2020
The Basutoland King George VI set of stamps was printed from 1938 until 1952 when it was replaced with the Queen Elizabeth set. The stamps were printed by Waterlow & Sons who also produced the stamps of Aden, Antigua, British Guiana, and many other colonies. Generally speaking, the Waterlow stamps did not tend to have dramatic perforation changes - like the De La Rue issues, and the colors are pretty consistent. The best way I have found to sort them is by comparing the paper and gum as seen from the back.
This page was created using information presented by
W. J. W. Potter & Lt. Col. R. C. M. Shelton in their "The Printings
of King George VI Colonial Stamps" which was published by Stamp Collecting
Ltd. in December, 1952. The publication listed tables for each of the
countries' issues that were included. That listing is the starting point
for this page. It has been determined that not all of the printings were
discovered by Potter & Shelton, but they are the most comprehensive
source I have found from these stamps.
One of the theories associated with the Waterlow printings is that some of the issues can be identified by the perforation. The 1938 issues tend to be perforated 12.4, the 1943 issues tend to be perforated 12.75, and the others are about 12.5. I did mark these stamps based on the perforation, but I can tell you it is a real eye strain trying to determine the difference. You will also need a gauge like the Stanley Gibbons Instanta Gauge for this purpose.
The primary difference I have seen in all of the Waterlow
printed King George VI stamps has been the appearance of the paper and
gum as seen from the back. I like to put them against black paper and
view them under twin spotlamps. Early printings (1938) tend to have a
creamy appearance; 1940 era printings tend to be a little less creamy
and the paper appears thicker (or less opaque); 1943-1944 printings tend
to be on paper that appears thinner (more transparent) with gum that is
slightly whiter than the earlier printings; and later printings from the
late 1940's thru early 1950's tend to exhibit a brighter, whiter appearance.
This is all relative and it really helps to have multiple stamps to compare
as you are making these evaluations. I sometimes use other Waterlow countries'
stamps as I make my decision about these printings. The ones shown below
are from the St. Helena set which are a good tool because of the color
changes which are limited to specific time periods. Send me an email if
you want to know what stamps can be used to build your own paper and gum
In every case when you are trying to sort King George VI stamps by printing, start with the high values - for Basutoland that means the 5/ and 10/ issues first. There are less printings and they tend to be spaced out in terms of when they were printed. So you should see noticeable differences. When you have isolated the high values, use them to compare to the lower values. It will help you determine the stamps that were printed during the same time period. The rest is a process of trial and error. You will notice that I don't sell these stamps by printing. That is because I can't be totally sure about when they were printed. I just sell them by catalog number.
The page images were scanned in a larger
size and at a higher resolution so you can more easily see the details
used in viewing them. Feel free to select the page and let it download
to your screen and save it to your hard drive for viewing. If you are
using a PC, selecting the page will typically open it in Microsoft Photo
Viewer (or whatever you are using as your default). From there you can
enlarge the size for more close-up viewing. If you are using a phone -
go find a PC or a Mac. The images are 1200 pixels wide and you will go
mad trying to view them on your phone.
|Basutoland - King George VI Collection Page Scans|
|Commonwealth #||Stanley Gibbons #||Scott #||Description and Page Link|
|1-11||18-28||18-28||Basutoland 1938 Set - Page 1|
|Basutoland 1938 Set - Page 2|
|Basutoland 1938 Set - Page 3|
|Basutoland 1938 Set - Page 4|
This article was written to help you identify
|Comments or Questions feel free to write|
|Basutoland King George VI Stamps for sale|
|Web pages describing various sets from the British Colonies|
|Index to KGVI Stamps Web Sites|
|Web pages with links to full page scans from the KGVI Stamps Reference Collection|
|Index to KGVI Stamps Collection Page Scan Sites|
|Links to other British Colonial Stamp Sites|