The 1948 Olympic Games

Sunday, July 29, 2012

in Commemorative,GB stamps,Sport

Whilst the world's attention is firmly fixed on the 2012 Olympic Games in London, I thought this would be an excellent time to look back at the postage stamps issued to commemorate the last time the Olympics were staged in London - The Games of the XIV Olympiad.

London Olympics 1948

London Olympics 1948

Issued on 29 July 1948 to coincide with the opening ceremony that day, these games were significantly the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin – the advent of World War II had seen a twelve year interruption, and the London Games therefore took place in a time of post-war austerity. This was the second occasion that London had hosted the Olympic Games, the first being back in 1908.

The stamps issued in 1948 were stunning in their simplicity, incorporating King George VI and the Olympic rings, and were designed by artists in a variety of fields.

  • 2 ½ d (ultramarine) – The Globe and Laurel Wreath was designed by Percy Metcalfe, a sculptor and medallist who chose to put the rings in a straight line;
  • 3 d (violet) – Speed was designed by Abram Games, a poster artist;
  • 6 d (bright purple) – Stanley Scott, a young engraver, designed the Olympic Symbols stamp;
  • 1 shilling (brown) – Winged Victory was designed by French book illustrator Edmund Dulac, who would later be one of the designers of the Wilding series stamps, the first definitive stamps of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.


Great Britain KGVI 1948 Olympic Games MH
Great Britain KGVI 1948 Olympic Games MH
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Nicaragua  1976 Olympics 3 mint stamps Michel No 1948 1950 1951
Nicaragua 1976 Olympics 3 mint stamps Michel No 1948 1950 1951
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Switzerland 1948 Olympics Cacheted Registered FDC Sc B170 73 Zum W25w 28w
Switzerland 1948 Olympics Cacheted Registered FDC Sc B170 73 Zum W25w 28w
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1948 US Olympic Committee Margin Block of 6 Mint NH Athelete Stamps w OG
1948 US Olympic Committee Margin Block of 6 Mint NH Athelete Stamps w OG
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UNITED KINGDOM 1948 OLYMPIC GAMES
UNITED KINGDOM 1948 OLYMPIC GAMES
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Great Britain 1948 KGVI 1 Olympic Games with Spot below 9 Variety MUH
Great Britain 1948 KGVI 1 Olympic Games with Spot below 9 Variety MUH
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