Wilding Low Values from Sheets
IntroductionThis exhibit provides a detailed study of the first low value definitive issues during the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom. The title 'Wildings' given to these issues is derived from Dorothy Wilding, the proprietor of the photographic studio responsible for taking the initial portrait of The Queen.
The first stamps issued were the 1½d and 2½d values on 5 December 1952. A total of 18 different denominations were produced, the last being the 4½d on 9 February 1959. The series was replaced from 1967 with the introduction of the Machin series. Values which had not previously sold out were withdrawn from sale on 27 February 1970 and were demonetised on 1 March 1972.
As well as three different watermarks, the life of this series coincided with technology changes aimed at automation of the handling of mail. The introduction of graphite lines, fluorescent paper and different phosphor inks ensured that there is ample opportunity for study.
The structure of this exhibit is straightforward:
- general features
- analysis of each denomination in turn
- cylinders used
- sample usages.
- cylinders used
The Post Office archive at the Postal Museum in London provides an immensely important resource for researchers. This archive tells us that there were 286 cylinders produced covering the 18 denominations, printing 346.5 million panes of 240 stamps.
Items of greatest importance are highlighted by captions in red ink.
It is remarkable how little has been published on this important series of stamps. This leaves considerable scope for original research.
Allen G., "The Wildings. The First Elizabeth II Definitives", British Philatelic Bulletin Supplement No. 9, 2002.
Klempka E., The Dollis Hill Find, GBPS, Sutton Coldfield, 2013.
Muir D.N., A Timeless Classic - The Evolution of Machin's Icon, BPMA, London, 2007.
POST 52/735, "Record of storage and destruction of plates and cylinders ...", Postal Museum archives.
Rigo de Righi A. & Farrugia J., "The Wilding Designs", British Philatelic Bulletin, pp158-161, Vol. 23 No. 8 April 1986.
Stanley Gibbons Great Britain Specialised Catalogue Volume 3 Queen Elizabeth Pre-Decimal Issues, 12th Edition, Ringwood, 2006.
Walton F.L., "Wildings 1952 to 1967", British Philatelic Bulletin, series in four parts, Vol 55., Feb-May 2018.