Monday 17 July 2023

Terry Pratchett's Discworld - 10 August 2023

Sir Terry Pratchett, OBE (1948–2015) is regarded as one of the UK’s greatest fantasy writers. His defining work is the Discworld series, which spans 41 novels that have been translated into over 40 languages, with more than a hundred million copies sold worldwide.

A flat, circular planet supported by four elephants, revolving atop a vast star turtle called the Great A’Tuin, Discworld is the fictional setting of Terry Pratchett’s iconic series and inspiration for this Royal Mail special stamp issue.

Royal Mail celebrate Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and the 40th Anniversary of the publication of the first Discworld book, The Colour of Magic, with eight new stamps featuring artwork by Terry Pratchett’s illustrator of choice, Paul Kidby, who has been illustrating Discworld for 30 years

The stamps

Set of 8 Terry Pratchett's Discworld stamps issued 10 August 2023;  Rincewind, The Librarian, Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, and Great A’Tuin, as well as specially commissioned artworks of Death and Mort, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig.

The characters:

1st class - RINCEWIND
Rincewind the failed wizard is now the Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography at the Unseen University. He has a natural ability with languages and is usually seen running away.

1st class - MOIST VON LIPWIG
Moist von Lipwig was a con artist who, when caught, was given the option of sudden death or becoming Postmaster General. He took the job, transformed the postal service and was given a splendid golden postman’s hat.

The Librarian is a super strong orangutan. A former wizard, he was transformed by a strong wave of magic and found that this made it much easier to get around the multidimensional Unseen University Library.

Granny Weatherwax is the most powerful witch on Discworld and uses magic only as the last resort. Usually she relies on ‘headology’ and common – and even uncommon – sense.

£2.00 - SAM VIMES
Sam Vimes once patrolled the streets of Ankh-Morpork as a lowly copper. He is now Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, but he still likes to walk the beat when he can.

Death is a black-robed skeleton who usually carries a scythe. He has become frustrated with the unfair inevitability of death, but it is a job only he can do. Death takes on Mort, a gangly young man, as his apprentice.

Tiffany Aching is a young witch who grew up in a farming family in an area called the Chalk. She was just nine years old when her talent in magic was discovered. She is also an excellent cheesemaker.

£2.20 - GREAT A’TUIN
The Great A’Tuin is a vast star turtle, which moves through the universe propelled by its massive flippers, avoiding meteors and other hazards. The Great A’Tuin carries the spinning disc of Discworld.

Technical Details and Acknowledgements

The 35 x 37 mm stamps were designed by So design consultants and printed by Cartor Security Printers in litho, with ordinary gum in sheets of 60 se-tenant pairs.  Perforations are 14.5 x 14.

DISCWORLD® and TERRY PRATCHETT® are UK registered trademarks of Dunmanifestin Limited. All trademarks used under licence. © Narrativia Limited. Illustrations © Paul Kidby.

UPDATE 10 August - Phosphor 

A reader wrote that he could see no phosphor bands, and I wondered if despite what we'd been told, these were patch or all-over.  

Holding horizontally to the light in the traditional way I see nothing.  However, using the FDC, holding in two hands and then tipping the hand nearest the window/light down, you can see a distinct edge.

Collectors Sheet

This includes 10 stamps with additional illustrations of the characters. The sheet is self-adhesive making 8 more stamps to collect - the 1st class stamps are featured twice each with different accompanying illustrations.

Terry Pratchett's Discworld Collectors Sheet issued 10 August 2023

Products available

Set of 8 stamps, first day cover, presentation pack, stamp cards, collectors sheet, framed set, framed sheet, limited edition prints of the Death, Tiffany, and von Lipwig artwork signed by the artist. (Limited to 100, price £139.99 each.)

Discworld fans would enjoy using the new on their letters and as an avid reader of the books I think it is an excellent tribute to Terry Pratchett.  It certainly has more merit than the stamp subjects with more tenuous connections to this country.  ***** rating!

Wizard Rincewind previously appeared in the March 2011 Magical Realms set along with Nanny Ogg: at that time I was able to show pictures in August 2010.  How times change - although the format is exactly the same because the same consultants were used.  Not much effort there, then!

Rincewind from 2011 Magical Worlds set.

UPDATE 17 August

Despite the increased number of stamp issues the Northern Handstamp Centre in Edinburgh, and that in London have managed to do a same-day service for my covers and cards: I sent them on Tuesday and they were back here today.   I don't do many maximum cards these days, but this one has an absolute concordance to me.  

Rincewind Maximum card, Terry Pratchett's Discworld card published by Psygnosis Worldwide, with artwork from
Discworld II - Missing Presumed...!?, advertising the new computer game.


  1. What is the reason for the issue apart from the obvious?No significant anniversary of his birth or his death and even if one of those was the case it would not say on the stamps anyway.

    1. It is the 40th Anniversary of the publication of the first Discworld book.

  2. I am contacting customer services later to ask why the charge for Discworld has been taken 18 days early, are RM hard up?

    1. I received my invoice today as well. It won't be paid until it should be paid. I have asked for Accounts to be advised of the error.

  3. CS said they are aware of a hiccup in the accounts system it has been dealt with I got my money back today .

  4. Is the picture of the Collectors' Sheet a Royal Mail mock-up or an actual photo? Because it looks as though the four copies of the two 1st Class stamps show the head of the late Queen instead of the King! A second consecutive set with an error if it's not just the picture!
    Ian, County Durham

  5. I was surprised that there was not a PSB with this issue, I assume there will be one for Harry Potter otherwise there will be no 2023 MPIL KC III, shame .

    1. There are PSB's planned for Shirley Bassey on 21/09/2023 and Harry Potter on 19/10/2023

    2. RM Advice Note received for Shirley Bassey. PSB priced at £22.50 (YB114)

  6. Got mine today. Unfortunately, the phosphor is correct!


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