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Barbados Britannias are still stunning after 170 years

Barbados SG3 Britannia strip of four mint stamps

The seated Britannia stamps of Barbados are iconic.

Originally issued in 1852, just 12 years after the Penny Black was issued in Britain, this distinctive stamp remained in use until the early 1900’s. In fact it was only with the issue of the Victorian Keyplate design in 1882 that the islanders had an alternative stamp design to use.

For 30 years the seated Britannia design ruled and during that time, millions of stamps were issued and used. As such, the stamps are not rare and you can find them on all the major auction websites and in pretty much every schoolboy Commonwealth collection.

What is rare though, is finding multiples of these stamps, either mint or used.

Recently, we were delighted to acquire this strip from a dealer as it is a relatively large multiple of SG3, the imperforate, blued paper 1d stamp issued between 1852 and 1855.

Of particular interest is the way the stamp printing fades from left to right.

Barbados SG3 Britannia strip of four mint stamps

Now, it’s unclear whether this is a printing error or something that has happened after the stamps have come off the presses but either way it makes for an interesting study and an unusual strip.

If you have any strips or blocks of the Britannia stamp and would like them shown here, feel free to drop us a line.

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