Story: Postage stamps

Full-face queen and side-face queen

Full-face queen and side-face queen

New Zealand's first stamps featured portraits of Queen Victoria. The first New Zealand stamps, issued in 1855, are called full-face queens as they feature a front-on view of Queen Victoria, based on a painting by Edward Chalon of the queen when she was just 19. The image came to be known as the 'Chalon head' (left above) and also appeared on stamps in Queensland, Tasmania, Canada, Nova Scotia, Natal and the Bahamas. From 1873 stamps of the queen in profile were issued (right above). By this time she was aged over 50, and a side-on representation was chosen. These were known as the side-face queens.

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New Zealand Post
Reference: 1855 Full Face Queens stamp issue; 1874 Queen Victoria First Sidefaces stamp issue

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Postage stamps - Stamps, 1855 to 1940', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 September 2023)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 20 Jun 2012