Monday, 18 November 2013

Mag 194 Penny Black

Thanks go to Tess Kincaid who hosts this writing meme.
To: Messrs Lea and Gibbs


I am indebted to you for your correspondence of 9- M- 1840 and am honoured to be the recipient of the first adhesive postage stamp in the world (or one thereof)

I beg to suggest that the stamp hereafter referred to as the ‘Penny Black’ should be conserved with care. It is unfortunate that some have already been ‘cancelled’ though I understand the red ink used in the cancellation may be easily removed, allowing them to be re-used, thus permitting some economising.

As an amateur philatelist I would be interested to know if there are any sheets of six or more available.

I remain, Sirs, Your Servant,

Daniel Cooper

There follows his (supposed) correspondence with a young lady.
My Dear,
I am currently engaged in communication with Messrs Lea and Gibbs with a view to acquiring a sheet of ‘Penny Blacks’ which I surmise may be of considerable value in years to come.
Philately is an interesting pursuit and I am convinced it could become lucrative.
I remain, etc, etc

From Wikipedia: The Penny Black is not a rare stamp. The total print run was 286,700 sheets with 68,808,000 stamps and a substantial number of these have survived, largely because envelopes were not normally used: letters in the form of letter sheets were folded and sealed, with the stamp and the address on the
obverse. If the letter was kept, the stamp survived. However, the only known complete sheets of the Penny Black are owned by the British Postal Museum. Though not rare a Penny Black in mint condition might fetch £3 – 4,000.
From Wikipedia: Cooper was a founder and the first president (1869–78) of the Philatelic Society of London, the predecessor of today's Royal Philatelic Society London. His Australian postage stamps, sold to Judge Frederick Philbrick in 1878 for £3000 (the first four-figure price for a collection), became part of Ferrary's celebrated collection. The Sir Daniel Cooper Lectures, sponsored by the Royal Philatelic Society, are in his honour.
He was knighted in 1857, created a baronet in 1863, KCMG in 1880 and GCMG in 1888.


  1. Lovely. I felt like I had taken a trip back in time.

  2. Now I have to check the stamp collection I got from my grandpa, lol !

  3. This is absolutely brilliant!!!!

  4. I used to have a stamp collect - but no Penny Blacks!

  5. Probably the most creative take on this prompt today. Well done.


  6. How interesting the story you penned to go with the image, and appreciate the bit of history included about this particular stamp. One of my uncles was an avid stamp collector. He would be first in line whenever new stamps were issued at the P. O. He could recite the ones he needed, the special ones he already had, and the value of each! Thanks for sharing this and bringing back the memories!

  7. Two interesting letters, one from a philatelist prescient enough to spot that the Penny Black would have value in the future. Also, I think your decoding of the addressee is probably correct. "Messrs" and "&"
    Well done.

  8. As a one-time collector of stamps I found this very entertaining...

  9. I remain, etc. etc. great close, and by golly I just may be one to own that stamp as well! This two for one was very clever. Very, very clever.

  10. How fascinating! I love a post that informs as yours has, while doing so in such a creative way.


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