Vignette (philately)

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The central pictorial vignette on this 1948 stamp of British Honduras is in blue. The frame is green.

In philately, the vignette is the central part of a postage stamp design, such as, a monarch's head or a pictorial design, which often shades off gradually to the edges of the stamp.[1][2]

The central vignette is often surrounded by a frame which may be printed separately and is normally of a different colour. The plate from which the vignette is printed is known as the vignette plate.[3]

Printing errors have sometimes led to the vignette being inverted. Perhaps the most famous example is the Inverted Jenny.

Alternative meaning[edit]

A different use of the term vignette in philately is to describe publicity labels or poster stamps which do not have postal validity,[4] such as those produced in France during World War One by Delandre.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carlton, R. Scott. The International Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Philately, Krause Publications, Iola WI, 1997, p.275. ISBN 0-87341-448-9.
  2. ^ vignette, 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  3. ^ Patrick, Douglas & Mary. The Hodder Stamp Dictionary, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1973, p.261. ISBN 0-340-17183-9.
  4. ^ Mackay, James. Philatelic Terms Illustrated, 4th edition, Stanley Gibbons, London, 2003, p.165. ISBN 0-85259-557-3.