One Penny Black, 1840 Stamps World London 90 Two Pence Blue. 1840

    Even if basically I am a topical stamps collector, I have always been fascinated by the stamps of the classical period. It is in the philatelic exhibitions where I admired these stamps, for their high typographic quality, their rarity, their beauty. That is the reason why I started a collection of stamps, covers and cancels dedicated to them, mostly obtained by myself in exhibitions dedicated to stamps anniversaries.
    The greatest and most beautiful of all philatelic exhibitions I have seen so far was the STAMPS WORLD LONDON 90, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the first stamp in the world, known under the name "Penny Black" and "Two Pence Blue" (reproduced in the corners of this page). Below are displayed philatelic pieces that I bought or "made" at this wonderful exhibition. A short description and explanations follow.

    On the first row you can admire the souvenir sheets (reduced to a quarter of its original size), produced in 1940 by Perkins Bacon in anticipation of a stamps exhibition to mark the centenary of the adhesive postal stamps. They reproduce a known work by the painter Chalon (for other reproductions on stamps of this painting, please click here).

Queen Victoria, by Chalon, 1940 Queen Victoria, by Chalon, 1940

The exhibition couldn't take place because of World War II. On the right there are reproduced essays for the 1940 centenary issue. Below we present the original painting (click on it for a bigger image).

London 90. Essays for the centenary issue.

    The row below, in the left, on the left shows the redesigned definitive values, that combine the portrait of Queen Victoria as seen on the first stamps with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II used on the 1990 definitives. On the right hand you can see the reproduction of the miniature sheet, issued on May 3, 1990, the opening day of the exhibition. The border of the sheet reflects the design of the further "classic" British stamps, that of the "Seahorse" high values.

London 90. Two Queens, 1990. London 90. Miniature Sheet, 5/3/1990

    See below two maximum cards, cancelled at the exhibition. On each day there was a different interesting cancel to get, day by day.

London 90. Alexandra Palace. cancels1.jpg (3926 bytes) London 90. Youth Day.
cancels.jpg (9529 bytes)

    The Isle of Man FDC reproduces the portrait of Sir Rowland Hill, the initiator of the British 1840 postal reform and the designer of the first adhesive stamp in the world. The pets FDC, cancelled on Youth Day, is particularly nice. 

London 90. Pets. London 90. Sir Rowland Hill, 1st Postmaster General.

    On this last row are shown two extracts from my copy of the "Official Passport", a very nice and original idea indeed. The passport needed a full "working" day, in order to be completed with the stamps and cancels of all present postal administrations (thanks again to my wife Michaela for this achievement).

London90. Passport. USA - Entry. London90. Passport. Germany entry.
One Penny Black, 1840.

I had the chance to visit a remarkable exhibition. My only regret is that the probability that I will be able to visit the next exhibition, dedicated to the 200th anniversary of on the left and on the right reproduced stamps (i.e. in A.D. 2040), is quite low.

Two Pence Blue, 1840.
Revised: 12/04/08.
Copyright 1998 - 2003
by Victor Manta, Switzerland.
All rights reserved in all countries.

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