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1d Black Record Sale

The 1d black. The first GB postage stamp

The Penny Black was the world\'s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in Britain on 1 May 1840, for official use from 6 May of that year. It features a profile of Queen Victoria. In 1837, British postal rates were high, complex and anomalous. To simplify matters, Sir Rowland Hill proposed an adhesive stamp to indicate pre-payment of postage. At the time it was normal for the recipient to pay postage on delivery, charged by the sheet and on distance travelled. By contrast, the Penny Black allowed letters of up to half an ounce (14g) to be delivered at a flat rate, regardless of distance. Postal delivery systems using what may have been adhesive stamps existed before the Penny Black. The idea had at least been suggested earlier in Austria, Sweden, and possibly Greece.[1]


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