Ascension 1938-53 King George VI Definitive Stamps

The design of this King George VI issue repeated for the vignette the same pictorial scenes as for the previous 1934 King George V definitive issue. However, during the life of this issue there were many variations of colour, colour shade, perforations, inks and paper which in the early years were due to wartime difficulties.

The issue was printed by De La Rue & Co., on paper watermarked Multiple Script CA in sheets of 60 (10 horizontal rows of 6 stamps per row). Values perforated 13½ and 13 x 12¾ utilised a comb machine and perforation 14 was by a line machine. A line machine only perforates one line at a time and therefore two operations are required to do the horizontal and vertical perforations which gives an irregular shaped hole where they intersect. A comb machine perforates three sides at a time giving a single hole at the corner intersections.

The perforations in the sheet margins encompass three distinct types:

Type A B C
Top margin Full Full Full
Bottom margin None None Full
Right margin 1 hole Full 5 holes
Left margin 1 hole Full 2 holes

13½ and

13 x 12¾

13 x 12¾ 14

The various printings, frame colours and perforations for each value are tabulated below.

½d "Georgetown"

Printing Frame colour (shade) Perforation Notes
12/05/1938 Violet 13½
17/05/1944 Paler Violet 13 x 12¾
17/02/1949 Brighter Violet 13 x 12¾
02/1952 Reddish Pale Violet 13 x 12¾
25/02/1953 Reddish Pale Violet 13 x 12¾

1d "Green Mountain"

Printing Frame colour (shade) Perforation Notes
12/05/1938 Green 13½
08/07/1940 Yellow 13½
05/1942 Yellow 13 x 12¾
17/02/1949 Yellow 14

1d "Three Sisters"

Printing Frame colour (shade) Perforation Notes
01/06/1949 Green 13 x 12¾ New vignette and duty plates were made for this value. The plate numbers appear under stamp no. 60, whereas on all other “Three Sisters” and “Green Mountain” plates the numbers appear under nos. 56 and 59


  1. Ascension. The stamps and postal history, J.H. Attwood, 1981