Saturday, September 15, 2012

Penny Black Stamp - 150 Year Anniversary 1990

Here are two maximum cards commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first postage stamp. The above card and stamp were issued by the Soviet Union. The Russian words 150 лет первой в мире почтовой марке translate as 150 years of the world's first postage stamp.

The first stamp was issued in Great Britain in 1840 and is known as the "Penny Black." It was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. The stamp was used to indicate pre-payment of postage. Before that, the recipient normally paid postage on delivery.

The design of the Penny Black has a picture of a young Queen Victoria with a delicate engraved pattern as the background. The two lower corners have small alphabet letters that tell the position of the stamp in the full sheet of 240 stamps (20 horizontal rows of 12 stamps each). The word POSTAGE is at the top of the stamp, while ONE PENNY is printed along the bottom. The name of Great Britain does not appear on the stamp. Traditionally, British stamps do not show the country's name, but include the image or cypher of the ruling monarch somewhere in the design.

The maximum card below is from Germany. The large image shows the first German stamp. The special cancellation on the card says Tag der Briefmarke 1990 which translates as Stamp Day 1990.

The German commemorative stamp issued in 1990 shows the first German stamp along with the British Penny Black and a modern German stamp.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog


  1. The German commemorative stamp is great!

  2. the invention of stamps simply rules! where would we have been today without them :)

    thanks a lot for sharing this! real gems!

  3. I like the wonderfully ornate Russian commemoration, suitably imperial. The German stamp is a nice contrast of stamps.

  4. I have seen images of the penny black before (never in person!) How interesting to see the first German stamp. The Russian contribution is neat too!

  5. I hadn't seen the Russian stamp with the penny black before, it makes you wonder how many countries have depicted the penny black over the years.

  6. I was at the Postal Museum in Ottawa and got to see a Penny Black (and even took an illicit photo before getting a warning!)

  7. Thanks for this post. I never knew about thhe letter on the Penny Black and its position on a sheet. I hadn't seen either of the German and Russian stamps before.

  8. Thank you for sharing the information. I didn't know that it's been 150 years since the world started to use stamp.
    My Sunday Stamp:Everything Postal


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