The 4d Jubilee of Queen Victoria



This single frame traditional exhibit presents the 1887 GB 4d adhesive issue with its printings including proofs, imprimatur and overprints. A completely new design with a new head and separate duty plate creating a bicolour, which required a new mill sheet. The 4d had an innovative fringe design in the perforation margin, which was copied for the 9d and later 4½d and 10d values in the series. The display spans the full period at press, introducing what became known as Jubilee lines and the marginal print settings. Highlighted by the unique marginal lines' proofs signed by Warren William De La Rue. Examples are shown of 4d usage in the Post Office services, together with the major varieties. The stamp was overprinted for postal services in the new territories in Africa.


Issued to replace the problematic 1883-84 '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 4d with 1½d, 2d, 5d & 9d were introduced together as the first bicoloured GB postage stamps. This new definitive series also included five mono-coloured values, which were issued coincidentally in the Golden Jubilee year of 1887. The stamp's success led to a long life until replaced by the similar stamp for King Edward VII.

Personal study seeks more understanding of varieties, plate characteristics and shades. The exhibitor has published on the split frame variety K33h with key pieces in this display. Study notes are shown in italics – expertised items identified with e.


Rare & significant material is highlighted. Items are rated based on publications by W.A. Wiseman FRPSL and the exhibitor's ten years research.


'Sheet Position of the 4d QV Jubilee Variety K33h' by P. Waud, The GB Journal, Vol.55, No. 1, 2017.

'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. Weiss, RPSL, 1994.
'Printing Inks of the GB QV Surface Printed Era' by M.R. Fox, The GB Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1975.
'Phillips Collection' Vol. XLI-XLII, The Postal Museum, London.
'Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth & British Empire Stamp Catalogue' 2021 Edition.


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Stamp Development, Ink & Shades
  3. See sheet 2
  4. Paper
  5. Early Printings
  6. See sheet 5
  7. Print Setting 3 & 4
  8. See sheet 7
  9. Last Printing Setting 5
  10. See sheet 9
  11. Usage
  12. See sheet 11
  13. Varieties
  14. Colonies Overprints
  15. See sheet 14
  16. Printing Ends