New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

Queen Victoria First Sidefaces

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In 1871 it was decided to replace the Queen Victoria full face stamps with a more appropriate image of the Queen. 

Issue information

The existing stamps depicted the Queen as a young woman of 19, but by the 1870s she was over 50 years of age and had been a widow living in comparative seclusion for nearly ten years.

The new stamps depicted a side face portrait of Queen Victoria set within various shaped frames, the design by the stamp printer Thomas De La Rue & Co. of London was similar to several other colonial issues produced by the company.

Printings continued of these new stamps depicting a side face portrait of Queen Victoria through until 1881.

With the intended introduction of an inland parcel post system in 1878 stamps of 2s and 5s denominations were issued on 1 July 1878. These stamps, designed by W R Bock, were the first postage stamps to be designed and wholly produced, as well as printed, in New Zealand.


New Zealand Post would like to acknowledge the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this stamp issue:

Historical information included on this page sourced from The Postage Stamps of New Zealand published by the Royal Philatelic Society of NZ. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link:

Product Listing for Queen Victoria First Sidefaces

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp Single 1d 'Lilac' gummed stamp. 1d
Single Stamp Single 2d 'Red' gummed stamp. 2d
Single Stamp Single 3d 'Brown' gummed stamp. 3d
Single Stamp Single 4d 'Maroon' gummed stamp. 4d
Single Stamp Single 6d 'Blue' gummed stamp. 6d
Single Stamp Single 1s 'Green' gummed stamp. 1s
Single Stamp Single 2s 'Red' gummed stamp. 2s
Single Stamp Single 5s 'Grey' gummed stamp. 5s

Technical information

Date of issue: 2 January 1874
Designers: Thomas De La Rue, England
Printers: Government Printing Office, Wellington
Stamp size: 21mm x 25mm
Sheet size: 1d - 1s: 240 stamps per sheet;  2s and 5s: 120 stamps per sheet (Panes of 60 separated by gutters)
Process: Surface printed - Typography
Perforation gauge: Various
Paper type: De La Rue, NZ and star watermark and Perkins Bacon large star watermark.