Wilding series
The Wildings were a series of definitive
Definitive stamp
A definitive stamp is a postage stamp, that is part of a regular issue of a country's stamps available for sale by the postal service for an extended period of time...

 postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

s featuring the Dorothy Wilding
Dorothy Wilding
Dorothy Wilding was a noted English society photographer from Gloucester. She wanted to become an actress or artist but this career was disallowed by her uncle, in whose family she lived, so she chose the art of photography which she started to learn from the age of sixteen.By 1929 she had already...

 photographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 that were in use between 1952 and 1967 until they were replaced by the Machin series
Machin series
The Machin series of postage stamps is the main definitive stamp series in the United Kingdom, used since 5 June 1967. It is the second series to figure the image of Elizabeth II, replacing the Wilding series....



The stamps reproduced a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II taken during a photographic session on 26 February 1952 by Dorothy Wilding, who had been working at the Royal Court since 1937. 75 designs were considered to frame the portrait and five basic designs by Edmund Dulac
Edmund Dulac
Edmund Dulac was a French book illustrator.-Early life and career:Born in Toulouse, France, he began his career by studying law at the University of Toulouse. He also studied art, switching to it full time after he became bored with law, and having won prizes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts...

, Enid Marx
Enid Marx
Enid Crystal Dorothy Marx FRSA was an English painter and designer. She was born in London, England, on 20 October 1902 and died in London on 18 May 1998...

, Mary Adshead
Mary Adshead
Mary Adshead was an English painter, muralist, illustrator and designer.-Life and work:Adshead was born in London, the only child of Stanley Davenport Adshead, architect, watercolourist, and Professor of Civic Design first at Liverpool, and later at London University, and his wife Mary...

, Michael Farrar-Bell
Michael Farrar-Bell
Michael C. Farrar-Bell was an artist, stained glass and postage stamp designer.He designed pub signs, then became best known as a stained glass designer as the last head of Clayton and Bell which had been one of the most prolific and proficient workshops of English stained glass during the latter...

 and George Knipe were selected. Four symbolic flowers of each country of the United Kingdom were also depicted, imitating one of the definitive stamp designs of King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

's reign.

Dorothy Wilding's photograph depicts The Queen wearing a diamond diadem
Diadem may refer to:*Diadem, a type of crown-Military:*HMS Diadem was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line in the Royal Navy launched in 1782 at Chatham and participated in the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1787...

 made for George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 in the 1820s which was designed to be worn outside a Cap of Maintenance
Cap of Maintenance
A Cap of Maintenance is a ceremonial cap of crimson velvet lined with ermine, which is worn or carried by certain persons as a sign of nobility or special honour. It is worn with the high part to the fore, the tapering tail behind...

. This diadem was also worn by Queen Victoria on stamps such as the Penny Black
Penny Black
The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year....

. The original photograph was re-touched to bring the diadem further forward on The Queen's head.

The replacement of the Wildings was caused by stamp designers Michael Goaman and Faith Jacques. In a letter sent to the Post Office in April 1961, they expressed the difficulty of including the large Wilding portrait in their designs for commemorative stamps and the fact that the Queen was half turned to the viewer was also felt to be unsatisfactory. They proposed an image that would represent the monarchy more than the person of the queen. In 1963, comparing the Wilding portrait with Jacques' proposed design, the Stamp Advisory Committee
Stamp Advisory Committee
The Stamp Advisory Committee is a committee to advise on the design of British postage stamps.- History :The committee was originally established as an independent body under the auspices of the Council of Industrial Design...

 acknowledged the need for a replacement, and in 1967 the stamps were replaced by the Machin head
Machin series
The Machin series of postage stamps is the main definitive stamp series in the United Kingdom, used since 5 June 1967. It is the second series to figure the image of Elizabeth II, replacing the Wilding series....



In the domain of automatic mail sorting, the Wildings were also the only British stamps on which graphite lines
Graphite lined stamp
A graphite lined stamp is a postage stamp on which vertical lines of electro-conductive graphite are printed on the reverse. Graphite lined stamps were used in the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1960 as an experiment in the automation of mail sorting....

 were used between 1957 and 1960, and the first on which phosphor bands
Phosphor banded stamp
Phosphor bands were introduced on British stamps from 1959 as a replacement for the previous graphite lined stamps as an aid in the mechanical sorting of mail....

were printed from 1959.


In 1998, a commemorative booklet was produced by the British Post Office containing new Wilding stamps in decimal currency, and in 2002 and 2003 miniature sheets were issued each containing stamps in the Wilding style.

External links

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