Printers by Country
E to K
= Understood to be a current stamp printer.
Printer names in italic against "Stamp printing
primarily done by..." signifies
that the printer has been seen used by that country within a mid-2011
or later philatelic magazine
new stamp issue listing. Non-italicised
signifies a recent use, but prior to mid-2011.
Companies A-D Companies L-R
Eureka Printing Company
[George E] Eyre &
The company, started in 1724
by George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswood,
became "printers to the Queen's Most
This firm of traditional
book printers went into administrative receivership
in 1995. They had produced several stamp-like
labels promoting themselves and it is assumed
that they were for use as part of a stamp
printing tender process. There is no evidence
that they ever produced postage stamps.
Format International Security
Printers Limited, London.
First stamp(s) traced by compiler:
Main printing process(es):
The catalogue for
the Format Archive sale contained everything
that was currently under the control of
the liquidator; whilst the Metropolitan
Police held a section containing St. Vincent
and her dependencies. A sad end for a well-known
British stamp printer.
Hanbury, Tomsett &
First stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1932
(postal seals) for British Forces in Egypt.
Herbert Wood Hanbury co-founded
Hanbury, Tomsett & Co. He was born in
Leeds on 22 June 1876 and died in action
on 17 September 1916.
Harrison and Sons Limited, London,
Hayes and High Wycombe.
Harrison and Co, 1839-1849, printers
Harrison and Son, 1849-1854, printers
Harrison and Sons, 1854-1920, printers
Harrison and Sons Ltd, 1920-1997, printers
stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1881. Last
stamp printed 1997.
can be traced back to Richard Harrison who,
in 1557, was recorded as a freeman of "the
mystery and art of printing". The company
was founded: by James Harrison in London
in 1750 and, until 1997, traded under the
name of Harrison. The company logo changed
over the years, but it invariably retained
the hare, rye and sun play on words.
Harrison has produced stamps
for over 100 countries, including all British
postage stamps from 1934 until the 1980s.
In 1997, the De La Rue (DLR)
group purchased Harrison’s and, almost overnight,
centuries of tradition were washed away
as the company changed its name to De La
Rue Security Print. There is clearly no
room for sentiment in big business. A press
release issued a while after take-over read:
"Harrisons gets vote
of confidence from De La Rue: Harrison &
Sons, High Wycombe, lives on in a major
reorganisation announced by De La Rue, the
giant international cash to cards group
In a massive strategy review
following De La Rue's purchase of Harrisons
in mid-February, there were fears that the
Harrison works could be vulnerable. In fact,
De La Rue is to close its Dunstable factory
and that security business will transfer
to High Wycombe which will see substantial
However, Harrisons will lose
banknote printing, which will move to Gateshead
and other world-wide currency locations.
Travellers' cheques will move from Gateshead
to Washington and Harrisons, while all personal
cheques will be manufactured at Peterborough.
Across the group there will
be 400 redundancies with a significant number
of employees transferring from the closed
Dunstable factory to High Wycombe."
It had been rumoured in the
collecting world that, aside from union-related
problems at Harrison’s which helped see
its sale, DLR were not happy at the steady
inroads being made into what they saw as
‘their’ bank note printing business. Harrison’s
are believed to have secured (stolen) a
volume of around five percent of possible
world-wide banknote printing business from
DLR. One of the first changes at High Wycombe
under the restructuring was the removal
of all banknote printing capacity to the
DLR Gateshead factory!
The last British commemorative
issue under the Harrison name was the 1998
‘Queen’s Beasts’ issue, which had been printed
in readiness the previous year. The British
definitive series of so-called ‘Machin’s’
continued to use the Harrison imprint in
the margins due to the heavy cost of changing
cylinders. They gradually changed over to
a DLR imprint from late 1998. So ended a
proud era in British security printing.
Holders Security Press, London.
First stamp(s) traced
by compiler: [when?] for Tanzania.
The House of Questa Limited, London
Founded: I June
1966 as Questa Colour Limited, then briefly
Questa Colour Security Printers Limited and
finally it was renamed The House of Questa
Limited in 1969 to bring all company subsidiaries together under
First stamp(s) traced by compiler:
1970 for Trinidad and Tobago (Carnival).
Main printing process(es):
Litho, die-cut, gravure, hexachrome.
In June 1966, Questa was born. The founding
directors were Wally Rodgers, Ken McAllen
and Charles Haswell, who started business
with a single colour Heidelberg lithographic
press and a large bank overdraft!
The name of the company comes
from "Quest" which means to seek,
to aim, to have ambition and to explore.
The balloon symbol, adopted as their logo,
encompasses that image in The House of House
Quality and reliability were
soon by-words for the company and three
more Heidelbergs were purchased. The Company’s
introduction to stamp printing apparently
came by chance, and having completed the
first contract successfully, were approached
by the Crown Agents, the British Post Office
and many other countries direct. Gradually,
they became regular suppliers to these organisations.
Their first introduction to stamp printing
was with a 1970 issue for Trinidad and Tobago
In 1969, House of Questa
moved into custom-designed offices and factory
complex and took the opportunity for a name
change, as recorded above. They had regularly
been approached with a view to take-overs
and mergers, so it came as no surprise when,
in 1984, John Waddington plc acquired the
company. House of Questa absorbed the John
Waddington Security Print division,
as there was little point in Waddington
having two printers of stamps in an already
crowded market place.
Waddington held on to House
of Questa until 1996 when they were taken-over
by the MDC Corporation of
Toronto, Canada, who have Ashton Potter of
Canada and America in their printing group.
The press release partly read "MDC
Corporation of Toronto today (April 15,
1996) announced that it has signed a non-binding
letter of intent to acquire a 100% interest
in a privately-held UK-based security printer
serving European, Asian, African and Middle
successfully for many years from its premises in Camberwell, London, Questa
moved to a new location at Byfleet in Surrey in 1998. In fact, it had installed
the above gravure press at Byfleet before it moved the balance of its printing
In September 2002, security printing giant
De La Rue announced that it had bought Questa for around £3.2 million. Questa
immediately pulled-out of the stamp tendering process that was at that time
under way with Royal Mail.
The client base of House
of Questa finished-up at in excess of
one hundred countries and territories at the time of its final take-over and eventual demise.
Howitt Printing, Nottingham.
Main printing process(es): Litho.
are known to have printed stamps under contract
for a major British postage stamp security
printer sometime during the 1970s. They
were absorbed into the large Communisis
Group of companies in 2000, and rapidly
sold on some months later in a management
When discussing with the
founder the stamp contracts, he could not
recall for what countries they printed stamps
and had no records on file.
stamp(s) traced by compiler: 1974 for Cayman
Islands and 1975 for Swaziland.
printing process(es): Litho.
The Kynoch Press, Birmingham,
England (1876-1981) was the in-house printer
for ICI (the chemical giant), but produced
work for other companies, as well –
is this actually where the stamps for the
Cayman Islands were printed? Further details
Version: 1.1, 2012. All material Copyright ©
2000-Date Glenn H Morgan FRPSL.