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.


Peru 1948 London Olympics 4v  miniature sheet ovpt MELBOURNE 1956 MNH
Peru 1948 London Olympics 4v miniature sheet ovpt MELBOURNE 1956 MNH
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1948 Olympic Games Illustrated FDC Wembley CDS +Olympic Games Slogan CAT 120+
1948 Olympic Games Illustrated FDC Wembley CDS +Olympic Games Slogan CAT 120+
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GB GEORGE VI1948 Olympic Games 3d in corner blockCrown Flaw SG496a MNH
GB GEORGE VI1948 Olympic Games 3d in corner blockCrown Flaw SG496a MNH
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Stamps GB FDOI Olympic Games Ware Herts 29th July 1948
Stamps GB FDOI Olympic Games Ware Herts 29th July 1948
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1948 Olympics 3d Cylinder 1 dot U M
1948 Olympics 3d Cylinder 1 dot U M
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king george VI 1948 Olympic Stamps Ref3
king george VI 1948 Olympic Stamps Ref3
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