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175th Anniversary of The Penny Black and the Birth of Stanley Gibbons

Collection Issue Date: 17th February 2015

The historical significance of the birth of the modern British postal system.

The Isle of Man Post Office is very pleased to celebrate this landmark postal and philatelic anniversary in collaboration with the world's longest established rare stamp merchant Stanley Gibbons Ltd.

This collection was the winner of the Best Stamp Topic Selection Award and runner up in the Best Stamp Design Award in the China Best Foreign Stamp Poll.

Issue Information

Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present its latest stamp issue produced in collaboration with Stanley Gibbons marking the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black, the world's first adhesive posting stamp used in the public postal system, and the birth of Edward Stanley Gibbons.

Six stamps have been produced and include depiction of the Penny Black, the Penny Red which replaced the Black and the TwoPenny Blue. In addition, there are three stamps each with a key individual - William Mulready, Rowland Hill and Edward Stanley Gibbons whose portraits are featured on the stamps next to their associated contribution.

The stamps are available in mint condition and Cancelled to Order as well as featured on a collectable First Day cover and in a presentation pack. There is also a commemorative crown, which features an image of the Penny Black showing Wyon's classic portrait of the teenage Queen Victoria.

Postage rates on the Isle of Man and the rest of the British Isles had risen to a very high level by 1830 and as a result a campaign to reform these was led by Roland Hill with the main aim of lowering the rate to one penny per half ounce. This in addition to introducing a method to signify if a letter had been pre-paid was developed by William Mulready. The first step towards a change in the postal system then occurred on December 5, 1839 when the rate was reduced to four pence. This was a success and the penny rate was introduced January 10, 1840. At first the postage paid or due was written in ink on the letter by the postmaster and then on May 6, 1840 a new method of paying postage was introduced and the famous Penny Black was born, followed by the TwoPenny Blue on May 8, 1840.

A number of devices were incorporated in the designs to prevent forgery including stamps being printed by the recess method, paper specifically made with a small watermark on each stamp, a machine used to make intricate background patterns, and the use of unique corner letters with each stamp on the printing plate of 240 stamps having a different combination of corner letters.

The Penny Black and TwoPenny Blue were resounding successes. The 1840 stamps were found to be easily cleaned of the red cancellation and reused and this prompted a colour change to Red for the Penny Black stamp with new stamps issued in 1841.

Technical Information

Art & Design Leanne Sherliker
Text IOM Stamps & Coins
Printer BDT
Process Offset Lithography
Colours 4
Paper 110gms
Perforations 14 per 2cm
Set Format Sheets of 20
Stamp Size 38 x 30.56mm
Date of Issue 17th February 2015

Collection Products

175th Anniversary of The Penny Black Sets and Sheets
175th Anniversary of The Penny Black Sets and Sheets

Product Code: TE31

Available in mint condition or Cancelled to Order sets, as well as 20-stamp sheets, Isle of Man Post Office’s tribute to the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive posting stamp used in the public postal system, and the birth of Edward Stanley Gibbons, show the Penny Black, the Penny Red which replaced the Black and the TwoPenny Blue alongside William Mulready, Rowland Hill and Edward Stanley Gibbons whose portraits are featured on the stamps next to their associated contribution.

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175th Anniversary of The Penny Black First Day Cover
175th Anniversary of The Penny Black First Day Cover

Product Code: TE91

All six stamps produced in collaboration with Stanley Gibbons marking the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black and the birth of Stanley Gibbons feature on this highly-collectable First Day Cover, cancelled with the first day of issue and accompanied by an illustrated information card detailing the history of the postal system in the Isle of Man.

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Price: £7.13

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175th Anniversary of The Penny Black Presentation Pack
175th Anniversary of The Penny Black Presentation Pack

Product Code: TE41

This special set of six stamps which marks the birth of stamp collecting is contained in a four-sided mini-folder featuring the story of the issue.

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Price: £7.18

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175th Anniversary of The Penny Black Commemorative Sheetlet
175th Anniversary of The Penny Black Commemorative Sheetlet

Product Code: TE64

Perfect for collectors, this exclusive 20-stamp sheet, available in mint condition or Cancelled to Order, combines the Penny Black, Penny Red and the TwoPenny Blue, framed by a Mulready design and featuring Stanley Gibbons logo as a symbol of our collaboration which celebrates the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black and the birth of Edward Stanley Gibbons as well as the 150th Anniversary of the first Gibbons catalogue.

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