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.


One London 1948 olympics George VI shilling 1 stamp USED 2012 collectable
One London 1948 olympics George VI shilling 1 stamp USED 2012 collectable
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Iceland cinderella olympics Vignette Olympia 1948 eb62
Iceland cinderella olympics Vignette Olympia 1948 eb62
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PERU 1948 OLYMPICS Sc C78 C81 Yvert PA71 74 FULL SET MARGINAL SINGLES MNH VF 70
PERU 1948 OLYMPICS Sc C78 C81 Yvert PA71 74 FULL SET MARGINAL SINGLES MNH VF 70
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1948 SG495 498 2d 1s 1948 Olympics Set 4 Mounted Mint Cat MNH 8 ajec
1948 SG495 498 2d 1s 1948 Olympics Set 4 Mounted Mint Cat MNH 8 ajec
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GB  KGVI  Olympic Games  1948  Manchester  FDI  Cover
GB KGVI Olympic Games 1948 Manchester FDI Cover
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CChad 2015 History Olympics Games Emblems 1948 1964 sheet of 5 + 5 S S MNH
CChad 2015 History Olympics Games Emblems 1948 1964 sheet of 5 + 5 S S MNH
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