Penny for your thoughts: world’s first stamp expected to fetch R122m
The Penny Black, dating from 1840 and which started the postage system, goes under the hammer soon
An example of the world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black, is being offered at auction, Sotheby's said this week, with a price estimate of up to $8.25m (about R122m).
Dating from 1840, the item is “the earliest securely dated example of the first postage stamp”, according to the auction house, which will present it at its “Treasures” sale on December 7.
The adhesive stamp, which features a profile of Queen Victoria, is attached to a document dated April 10 1840, from the archive of British postal service reformer Robert Wallace, a Scottish politician. The Penny Black, which introduced a flat rate, was used from May 6 that year. Before that, the recipient paid the postage cost...