The George V Silver Jubilee Issue (6 May 1935)

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In 1935, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reign of George V was honored by the issue of commemorative sets of stamps. The British Solomon Islands Protectorate issue was the Crown Colony Windsor Castle design by Harold Fleury. [Gibbons] This beautiful design is a twentieth century classic! The official description of the design states:


"The design of the casement consists of a profile portrait of His Majesty wearing the Imperial Crown. The portrait is framed by the Collar of the Order of the Garter superimposed on the Royal Sceptre, the Dove Sceptre, and the State Sword. Above the portrait is a ribbon bearing the dates 1910 - 1935. In the top left hand corner is the Orb. The left lower corner has a duty tablet with the words 'Postage and Revenue' in the base. The name of the Colony is set across the sky of the vignette.

The design of the vignette consists of a view of Windsor Castle from the opposite side of the river." [Gisburn]


Donen provides us with a diagram of the various parts of the Castle. Water color essays, portraying His Majesty in both regal and civilian dress, as well as die proofs of the blank design without values or country names, are in the Royal Collection. [Gisburn]

Frame Plate Die Proofs of the Silver Jubilee Issue

Place mouse on stamps - Images thanks to Sotheby's Jan 2007 Sir Gawaine Baillie auction
The item with these four proofs sold for 4,025 GBP incl. buyer's premium

Here is the original lot description by Sotheby's:

" Set of four stamp size Die Proofs in black, mounted separately on quadrille paper, each with a manuscript 'tick' and the 1½d. endorsed 'appd for Dies, (initials), 5/12', fine. A very rare - and probably unique - set."


Due the the monumental size of the task -- 250 stamps were issued -- the work was divided between the usual three colonial stamp contractors. Waterlow prepared the dies and supplied rolled-in duplicates to De La Rue and Bradbury, Wilkinson. De La Rue used these duplicates to prepare the plates for printing the British Solomon Islands issue. [Gisburn]

Everyone seems to agree that only one frame plate was used for the Colony, but, Gisburn and Ainscough disagree on which vignette plates were used. (See the table below.) The plates consisted of ten rows of six stamps for a total of 60 impressions. Plate numbers appear below the bottom row, with the frame plate number beneath the second stamp from the left, and the vignette plate number below the second stamp from the right. The paper is watermarked Crown and Multiple Script CA, and the sheets were comb perforated 13 x 14. [Gisburn]


Vignette Plates (Gisburn)

Vignette Plates (Ainscough)


2A, 2B, 4

2A, 4/


2A, 4

2A, 4, 4/


2B, 4

4 **


2B, 4

2A, 4, 4/ **

** Donen indicates 2B was also used

Gisburn reports that there is a shade variation in the 1/- from Vignette Plate 4, "where the frame appears in a somewhat colder shade of purple than the others."


Only one frame plate was used for the Jubilee issue, the frame plate number "1" is printed below the second stamp from the left as can be seen here (alignment cross at right). Image thanks to Sotheby's Jan 2007 Sir Gawaine Baillie auction

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Or here: Plate 2A : Pos. 10/1 and 10/2 flaw "Diagonal Line by Turret".
Image thanks to Sotheby's Jan 2007 Sir Gawaine Baillie auction

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Specimen Stamps of the Silver Jubilee Issue

Place mouse on stamps - Images "Tikopia" collection


Specimens were created using the Samuel D19 semi-circular perforation device. Curiously, every copy of specimens from the Colony seen by your webmaster has had the top hole of the I in SPECIMEN missing. Neither Samuel nor Bendon  mention any such "missing pin". If any visitors to this site have any information on this subject, it would be greatly appreciated.

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This is the way the "I" should look (from a Northern Rhodesia stamp). But I can see that the upper hole of the "I" is smaller than the others:

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Despite the excellent work generally done by the printers involved, this issue includes a number of constant plate flaws, and some printing errors. Several of the flaws have been given catalog status by Gibbons. Donen has developed a very detailed classification system for tracking the various varieties of this issue. The Gibbons-listed flaws and errors for the Colony's issue include:

Flaw or Error




Frame printed double, one albino



6d, 1/-

Frame printed triple, two albino




Diagonal line by turret **


R10/1, R10/2

1d, 3d, 1/-

Dot by flagstaff




Dash by turret




Spot above King Edward III 




** The occurrences of this flaw are inconsistent with the plate number usage cited by Gisburn, but are consistent with Ainscough.
Ainscough reports this flaw occurs for the 6d, also.
Listed by Ainscough, not Gibbons.

Diagonal Line by Turret

Dot by Flagstaff

Dot by Flagstaff

Dot by Flagstaff

6 May 1935 FDC
[35MY06] - old Miller site

8 November 1935
[35NO08] - "Tikopia" coll.

20 April 1936
[36AP20] - "Tikopia" coll.

First day covers for the issue are relatively common, and, of course, most are philatelic in nature. The issue was available at post offices until December 31, 1935. All remainders were then destroyed. [Gisburn] (from the old Charlie Miller website)


Registered set cover to England backstamped Sydney 16DE35 and Darthmouth 20 JA 36. Tulagi registration label on reverse. ("Tikopia" coll.)


"Normal" use of this issue. ("Tikopia" coll.)



17 February 1937
[37FE17] - "Aore" coll.

Cover to U.S.A. with circular datestamp TULAGI BRITISH SOLOMON IDs 17FE37 (day unsure) and a circular taxstamp TULAGI BRITISH SOLOMON IDs TAX. (3d) and T 3d in manuscript. Additionally a Chicago Ill. Postage Due 6 cents mark. ("Aore" collection)