Thematic postage stamps

Welcome to the Penny Black 1840 Thematic postage stamps blog looking at the stories behind postage stamps and taking a wide look at philately and stamp collecting around the world.

Whilst leafing through some old stamp albums from childhood recently I suddenly felt a renewed interest in some of the postage stamps that I had long ago dismissed as a merely juvenile collection of jumbled commemorative issues from around the world, in favour of my adult interest in Victorian line engraved stamps. With a jolt I realised that most of these stamps had been issued in the late 1960s and early 1970s and that I’d hardly looked at them in last thirty years! Although none of them were particularly rare some them of them were actually rather interesting…

I’m now in the process of scanning and researching the stories, anniversaries and events behind the postage stamps in my collection and will post them here regularly.

Fellini, Gassman and Sordi – Italian Cinema icons

Famous People
Italian Cinema icons

The fifth edition of the International Rome Film Festival recently closed in Italy’s capital city and as with previous editions, […]

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First transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh

Commemorative
First transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh

On this day 21 May, 1927, American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh made history when he successfully completed the first nonstop […]

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy – The Eternal Flame

Commemorative
John Fitzgerald Kennedy - The Eternal Flame

John F Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States was assassinated on this day – 22 November – in […]

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Sika Deer on 1970 USSR tourism stamp

Animals
Sika Deer on 1970 USSR tourism stamp

I’ve always loved the dramatic design of this 10 kopeks stamp issued in 1970 by the USSR. Using only two […]

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Apollo 8 and Earthrise United States postage stamp

Commemorative
Apollo 8 and Earthrise United States postage stamp

This United States postage stamp (Scott #1371) was issued on 5 May, 1969, just months before the Apollo 11 mission […]

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Bruce Lee miniature sheet

Famous People
Bruce Lee stamps

This Bruce Lee miniature sheet was issued by Abkhazia for the China ’96 9th Asian International Philatelic Exhibition. China ’96 […]

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Utagawa Toyokuni on 1971 Hungarian postage stamp

Famous People
Utagawa Toyokuni on 1971 Hungarian postage stamp

With 19th century Japanese artists of the floating world very much in vogue this spring with two major exhibitions running […]

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The Rebirth of Industry in the Republic of Korea 1955

Commemorative
The Rebirth of Industry in the Republic of Korea 1955

I’ve always liked this rough cut South Korean stamp with its strong central motif of a germinating seed cupped in […]

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Happy Darwin Day!

Animals
Happy Darwin Day!

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around February 12, the birthday anniversary of […]

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Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose – Bengali polymath

Famous People
Jagadish Chandra Bose

Whilst the rest of the world took decades to begin to acknowledge the importance of the pioneering work of Sir […]

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