The GB Bicoloureds of Queen Victoria


This frame presents the 1887-1900 Great Britain bicoloured adhesives that were a printing innovation by De La Rue & Co. Completely new designs in two colours needed separate head and duty plates developing . The display presents their development starting from the 1884 Stamp Committee period a nd includes trials, proofs and imprimaturs through to the issued adhesives. Highlights are the unique marginal 'Jubilee lines' proofs signed by Warren William De La Rue which were approved by the Inland Revenue. Three later bicoloureds followed the initial five 1887 values and examples of all are shown. This includes the 1900 bicoloured new shilling adhesive with a selection of trials and the approved shilling essay.


The 1887 definitives were issued to replace the problematic 1884 'Lilac and Green' definitives, which the British Post Office found difficulties with. A Stamp Committee formed in 1884 to expedite a radical new improved design for Great Britain with printers De La Rue & Co. The 1 ½d, 2d, 4d, 5d & 9d were introduced together as the first bicoloured GB postage & revenue adhesives. This new definitive series also included five mono-coloured values that were issued coincidentally in the Golden Jubilee year of 1887. The stamps' success led to a long life until replaced by the similar adhesives for King Edward VII.


Study notes are shown in italics ~ expertised items identified (e)

'Great Britain Specialised Stamp Catalogue, Volume 1 Queen Victoria' Stanley Gibbons 16th Edition, 2011.
'Great Britain: The De La Rue Years 1878-1910' Volume 2, by W .A. Wiseman, 1990.
'Great Britain -1887 Jubilee Issue & its Derivatives' by J.K. W eis s, RPSL, 1994.
'Phillips Collection' Vol. XLI-XLII, The Postal Museum, London.


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Small Head Development
  3. 2d Duty Tablet Development
  4. 4d Development
  5. 2d Green & Red
  6. See sheet 5
  7. 4d Green & Brown
  8. See sheet 7
  9. 1½d Purple & Green
  10. 5d Purple & Blue
  11. See sheet 10
  12. 9d Purple & Blue
  13. Later Issues 4½d & 10d
  14. ½d Colour Change 1900
  15. Shilling Colour Change 1900
  16. Shilling Colour Change 1900