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Ugly stamps

very ugly Elvis stamps

Hunchback Lady Di stampYou have possibly seen certain stamps and wondered: “Who gave the authority for these stamps to be released?”
Stamps whose design or illustration is so poor that you think they might even make an amusingly-collectible topic.

The king of ugly stamps

Below are some examples we have discovered. “The King of Rock n’ Roll”, Elvis Presley, seems to have suffered quite a bit when his features have been placed on stamps!

very ugly Elvis stamps
St Vincent & The Grenadines celebrated the 100th anniversary of cinema in 1995 with coloured pencil drawings oftheKing, set against a background depicting Gracelands, his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. Pretty good drawings for an amateur cartoonist maybe, but to feature them on a stamp set?


more ugly Elvis stamps
In 1995 Albania issued these two stamps to honour the 60th anniversary of Elvis’s birth. On the left, the King as we all know him, but on the stamp on the right he appears as he might have looked in 1995 – but in an embalmed state.
Ugly Elvis Presley on stampblock
Stamp block from Guyana. The King was kind enough to pose for this stamp despite recently-performed root-canal treatment.

In 1977, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her silver jubilee.  Maldives Post dedicated this stamp set to the occasion.


Ugly Queen Elisabeth stamps
But it seems that the designer/illustrator of these stamps used a painting-by-numbers set to arrive at this result.

Some people might find these stamps not too unattractive, but perhaps the only reason they were considered as a subject was the fact that the paintings featured on them were made by a former President of the Philippines, Cory Aquino.

Ugly flower stamps

And then this. The cake on the stamp is at least recognisable. Maybe more so than the lady with the champagne glass next to Elvis. It’s film star Bette Davis.

ugly famous people on stamps

The stamp below, released by Mali in 1976 to commemorate the invention of the telephone.

Failed Graham Bell stamp
Inventor Graham Bell, pictured on the stamp, appears to be blowing away the satellite pictured in the top right-hand corner.
perspective stamp fail
The designer of these stamps from Tajikistan had a little bit of difficulty with perspective.
Princess Diana hunchback stamp
In SaoTomé E Principe they decided to use the then-new computer program Photoshop to create this result. When you tear out the stamp, you still see a piece of the headdress of Mother Theresa, almost making Princess Diana look like a hunchback.

Naturally this is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you know of a good example of this kind? Send us a scan or photo and we will publish it.


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  1. Spain has some of the worst stamps I have ever seen. If anyone’s interested in starting a collection of ugly stamps, I recommend you start there.

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