Definition of tête-bêche in English:



  • (of a postage stamp) printed upside down or sideways relative to another.

    • ‘The title is a Chinese translation of tête-bêche, which describes stamps that are printed top to bottom facing each other.’
    • ‘Three specimens of a cancelled tête-bêche block of four 10-kopeck oval stamps are known to exist.’
    • ‘One of the finest known, original gum examples of the tête-bêche pair of 1856 Finland 5-kopek stamps from the Bill Gross Scandinavian Collection will be offered by Spink Shreves Galleries with a pre-sale estimate of $50,000 to $75,000 in a public auction on May 16, 2008.’
    • ‘The design takes advantage of the tête-bêche printing format, using it to enhance the impact of the designs.’
    • ‘Normally, a sheet of tête-bêche stamps is broken up into panes for the booklets, but some of the sheets were sold to the public.’


French, from tête ‘head’ and bêche, contraction of obsolete béchevet ‘double bedhead’.