King George VI - Malta Collection Page Scans

The Malta King George VI set of stamps includes two sets which were printed from 1938 until 1952 when it was ultimately replaced with the Queen Elizabeth set in 1956. The stamps were printed by Waterlow who also produced the stamps of Antigua, Basutoland,British Guiana, St. Helena, 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.

The pages for the 1938 set were 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.

In addition to the Potter & Shelton list, I also studied "King George VI Postage Stamps and Postal Services of Malta" by Graham Pound and Richard Lockyer. The combination of all this information is pretty overwhelming, so I created an Excel spreadsheet which attempts to tie together the details. It is also available if you want to download it. From the listings I created the little tabs that are used in the Vario pages holding the stamps from the 1938 set.

The pages are from my collection. The 1947 pages are pretty straight forward and show the Commonwealth, Gibbons and Scott numbers in that order for each stamp with the Commonwealth color shade. The Vario pages for the 1938 set add the print date with the color, paper and gum details to the catalog numbers. The stamps are listed in chronological order based on the printings. The details are from the Malta document and the Potter & Shelton listing. The stamps are associated with the Commonwealth Catalogue (CW), Stanley Gibbons (SG), and Scott (ST) catalogs. Most of the catalogs do not identify too many shades from this set, so you only need to look for one set and maybe a few shades if you are collecting by Gibbons or Scott. If you are collecting by Commonwealth, you will want to look at the printing date and description to match it up with the shades currently listed. You should note that there are many more printings than listings, so in reality multiple printings comprise the same catalog listing. There are sometimes some additional stamps included. These tend to be color shades or flaws, or in some cases duplicates.

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 not mark these stamps based on the perforation, because 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.

In every case, start with the high values - for Malta 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. You can also use the overprint set to get an idea of what the later printings look like since it is from that time period.

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.

Please be patient if it takes a few minutes for each page to load.

Malta - King George VI Collection Page Scans
Commonwealth # Stanley Gibbons # Scott # Description and Page Link
1-21 217-231 191-205 Malta 1938 Set - Page 1
      Malta 1938 Set - Page 2
      Malta 1938 Set - Page 3
      Malta 1938 Set - Page 4
      Malta 1938 Set - Page 5
      Malta 1938 Set - Page 6
      Malta 1938 Set - Page 7
      Malta 1938 Set - Page 8
S6-S20 234-248 208-222 Malta 1948 Set - Page 1
      Malta 1948 Set - Page 2
      Malta 1948 Set - Page 3
KGVIStamps Excel Spreadsheet
Attempts to tie together the various sources.
This will not open when you select it - just download it to your PC.
You need MS Office - Excel to open the spreadsheet.
Malta - 1938 Printings Spreadsheet

This article was written to help you identify your stamps.
Please feel free to ask a question, or suggest a correction.

Comments or Questions feel free to write
Malta King George VI Stamps for sale
Index to KGVI Stamps Web Sites
Links to other British Colonial Stamp Sites