John Nelson

I have recently had brought to my notice a short section on perfins which is to be found in 'The Lion Roars at Wembley' by Donald R. Knight and Alan Sabey. The subject of the book is the 1924 and 1925 British Empire Exhibition and in it the authors focus much attention on the special stamps which were issued to commemorate the Exhibition.

These were the 1d scarlet and 1.5d brown bearing the date 1924 issued on 23rd April 1924 and which were reissued on 9th May 1925 with the year date on the printing dies changed to 1925. The stamps were withdrawn from sale on 19th December 1925 by which time almost the whole printing order of 17 million stamp had been sold.

The following is an extract from the book of the section relative to perfins.

"Perfins (Security initials of firms)

A number of firms decided to use the special stamps and had their initials perforated into the stamps for security purposes. The following have been identified but there are probably others.

A B C Aerated Bread Co.

A C F A. C. Fincken and Co. Ltd., Watford.

& Co

C B Coope Brothers.

F.P. Frederick Penberthy.

F.G. Frank Godden Ltd.

H W H. Williamson, London.


J D W J.D.Williams & Co. (Wholesalers), Manchester.


J S James Simpson and Co. Ltd. Grosvenor Rd,

& Co London.

M W Marconi Wireless Co.


M W & Co Mappin Webb and Co.

P. B. L. Scottish Provident Institution Mutual


S & B The Wall Papers Manufacturers Ltd.

Ld Smith Brothers, Leeds.


Spillers and Bakers Ltd.

W & S Waterlow and Sons.

also Wilkins and Sons Ltd., Tiptree, Essex.

Perfins seen but not identified

D M D.S. G L C K & G M & S S & W S M L "

It seems to me that although this listing has several apparent shortcomings it is a most useful foundation on which, with the assistance of members of the society (Perfin Society) a more comprehensive and updated review could be compiled. It is hardly for me to suggest this as an excercise that might be undertaken by someone else (perhaps one with more specialist knowledge than I of the perfins of the KGV period) so with the approval of the Editor I am having a go at it myself.

Accompanying this Bulletin is a survey form which you are invited to complete. What I have done is to list the twenty perfins mentioned in the book, leaving some space at the end for you to add any dies not included. If there is not enough room for all your new ones, please put these on a separate sheet using the same column format.

On your survey form please make any corrections to the first column particulary as to the addition or deletion of stops. In the second column you should insert the die number which appear in the Society's Illustrated Catalogue or a specification in the form utilised in the Tomkins Catalogue. (Exhibition Study Group members please note that you will be unable to fill in the second column as it is unlikely that you will have their Illustrated catalogue). Tick in the appropriate centre boxes the stamps bearing each die which you possess or positively know to exit.

The last column is for further information, if any, such as postmark details and identities. Only include identities which you can personally verify and not those you have taken from the Society's lists or have copied from other sources.

Even if you only have one example of a Wembley perfin do plese send me your completed survey form. There is no need to write a covering letter. All information will be collated for future publication but returns will not be acknowledged unless you so request or either of us should wish to raise any query.


© Exhibition Study Group 1992