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12th September 2022

Someone, somewhere, may know how many postage stamps the Queen's head has appeared on over the last seventy years, and the number must be phenomenal. Now, after so long as part of our everyday visual culture, this philatelic presence will change. Many of the stamps which appeared during the Queen's long reign have been designed by women, an aspect of their work which is rarely acknowledged and celebrated. Mary Adshead (1904-95, see also Post 31 July 2017) is best known today for her large-scale murals, but she also worked on a miniature scale, and submitted numerous designs to the General Post Office, some of which were accepted. This 11d stamp is one of her definitive - as opposed to commemorative - stamps and uses the famous three-quarter pose portrait taken by photographer Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976) which remained on stamps until 1967.

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