Skip to product information
1 of 2

Brixton Chrome

Lot 52 Ascension SG#45 2/6d Carmine and Black, 1938-1952 Pictorial Definitive Issue, a VFNH Example of the 1938 Printing, Cat 42 GBP = $71.40

Lot 52 Ascension SG#45 2/6d Carmine and Black, 1938-1952 Pictorial Definitive Issue, a VFNH Example of the 1938 Printing, Cat 42 GBP = $71.40

A just barely VFNH example of the 2/6d carmine and black from the 1938-1952 pictorial definitive issue, perf. 13.5. This is the 1938 printing with the 1938 style gum. Gibbons cat. 42 GBP = approximately $71.40 at today's exchange rates.

Est. net is $35.

A Note About Printings, Grading and Estimates for King George VI Material


The stamps of the King George VI period were re-printed as many as 15 or 16 times between 1938 when they were first issued and 1952. Not all values in the sets had the same numbers of printings, but the low values generally would have been represented in each printing.

These printings can be differentiated by carefully comparing the gum, and the shades of the stamps. Generally speaking, the printings can be broken down into 3 groups:

1938 Printings:

Generally these will be easily distinguished by the gum first and the shades, which will both vary depending on the printer. De La Rue gum on 1938 printings is thick, yellowish and cracky, or yellowish and dry looking in some cases. Bradbury Wilkinson gum is smooth and somewhat matte, or somewhat crackly, with the watermark often appearing "indented". Waterlow gum is yellowish and crackly. Papers are usually cream. On the Gold Coast issue the perforation is a line perf, which makes them easy to distinguish.

Wartime Printings Made Between 1940 and 1945:

These will generally have crackly white gum and the paper will usually be cream or white. The 1944 printings for De La Rue and Bradbury often have a smooth, satin yellowish gum that makes the watermark stand out boldly, and is quite distinct. On the Gold Coast issues the perforation chages from line to comb and this is critical to identifying them.

Postwar Printings Made After 1945:

These will have smoother, white gum and the paper will be very white. Late printings from 1951 or 1952 will often have duller gum and the paper will sometimes show a distinct cross-hatch mesh when viewed against backlighting. On some issues for Bermuda and Nigeria, for example the perforation becomes a comb perf, and this aids in their identification.

Generally speaking most mint stamps from this period are from the wartime and post-war periods. The 1938 printings in mint condition are always scarcer and better than the later printings. Gibbons lists them in cases where the colour is distinct from later printings for colonies like St. Helena, Gibraltar, Ascension, Nigeria etc, and in every single case, they are valued at between 30 and 80 pounds a stamp for NH. Even LH examples will be worth a high proportion of this amount. The other values from these printings should be worth almost as much, as the prices for the Gold Coast set and the Virgin Islands sets show.

The later 1950-1952 sets for some colonies like Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos and Virgin Islands also had 2 printings usually, but they are difficult to distinguish.


I have not graded every stamp in these sets, but have instead elected to say either VF, where all the stamps are clearly VF or F/VF where some are fine and some are VF. It is commonplace for centering to be highly variable with British Commonwealth material, and you will seldom find entire sets where all the stamps are VF. Where they are fine this will generally be because of the centering, or because there are 1 or 2 short perforations, for perf. 12.5 and issues with 11.5 perforations.


The Stanley Gibbons catalogue is used for these listings. Gibbons prices stamps for this period in NH condition, with the proviso that some of the printings which are scarcer are very difficult to find NH and will sell on LH conditon for close to the catalogue price. We have generally estimated that a VFNH set or single will sell for close to the Gibbons price, but in CAD. So a set listing for 100 GBP in Gibbons should sell for about $100 CDN. If it is fine NH, it should sell for $50-$75 depending on how scarce the stamp or set is. Some items are seldom found with VF centering and these will be closer to 75% than 50%, but for most sets 50% of the VF price is a goo rule of thumb.

Please note that these are very conservative values and most of this material cannot be bought in bulk for much less than this. So, you should tailor your bids accordingly.

View full details