1942-44 Bantam War Effort Stamps

The most immediate detail that one notices about this issue is the dramatic way the size of the stamps is reduced to save paper during the war. The result is very small stamps, probably some of the smallest British Commonwealth stamps issued since Queen Victoria’s reign. Because of the size of each design, the stamps are perforated using a combination of a regular pin perforator and a roulette perforation. Hence the stamps are formed into units of two or three.  The collector should note that while catalogues such as Stanley Gibbons list the units complete, most of the issues have the bilingual stamps alternating similarly to the regular sized issues. Therefore to show the possible language combinations it may be necessary to find multiples of the units, or at least look for both units separately.

For the more specialised collector and lovers of varieties, this issue offers a huge range of additional interest. There are constant varieties to be found throughout the sheets, from minor plate scratches to large blobs.  Look out for missing or misplaced roulettes, the latter appear regularly on the 2d and are not too expensive. Also blocks with the marginal inscriptions intact are very popular. The inscriptions come in a range of slogans and colours, these helping to identify the different printings.