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.


1948 King George VI Olympic Games SG76 to SG79 set Fine Used KUWAIT
1948 King George VI Olympic Games SG76 to SG79 set Fine Used KUWAIT
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SCHWEIZ ZRICH 1 Kauft Olympia Marken OLYMPIA 1948 ST MORITZ NACHTRGL
SCHWEIZ ZRICH 1 Kauft Olympia Marken OLYMPIA 1948 ST MORITZ NACHTRGL
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GB 1948 Olympics SG495 498 unmounted mint set as blocks of 4 stamps
GB 1948 Olympics SG495 498 unmounted mint set as blocks of 4 stamps
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Monaco 1948 Olympic Games Wembley JEUX OLYMPIQUES 1948 Set Used
Monaco 1948 Olympic Games Wembley JEUX OLYMPIQUES 1948 Set Used
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KUWAIT 84 87 Mint Lightly Hinged 1948 OLYMPIC GAMES Surcharged
KUWAIT 84 87 Mint Lightly Hinged 1948 OLYMPIC GAMES Surcharged
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GREAT BRITAIN 271 274 Mint Hinged 1948 OLYMPIC GAMES Complete Set of 4 CV 804
GREAT BRITAIN 271 274 Mint Hinged 1948 OLYMPIC GAMES Complete Set of 4 CV 804
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