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.

Merry Christmas from the Penny Black 1840 Blog!

GB stamps

Merry Christmas from the Penny Black 1840 Blog! To read more about the featured stamps read The Twelve Days of […]

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1975 Polish Mountain Guides Anniversary Stamps

Commemorative
1975 Polish Mountain Guides Anniversary Stamps

These four stamps were issued as joined pairs as part of a six stamp set – sadly I don’t have […]

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Italian postage stamps featuring other stamps!

Commemorative
XX National Philatelic Convention in Rome

Here’s an interesting example of a vintage postcard design issued on the occasion of the XX National Philatelic Convention in […]

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International Day of No Tobacco – Slovakia 1994

Commemorative
International Day of No Tobacco - Slovakia 1994

This very curious and hard hitting message stamp was issued on May 31, 1994 in Slovakia on the occasion of […]

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Amelia Earhart and U.S. Air Mail Stamps

Famous People
US Air Mail Stamps

On this day 20th May, in 1932, Amelia Earhart the American aviator, set off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland on the […]

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Italian Anna Magnani Postage Stamp – 1997

Famous People
Anna Magnani

Nobody living in Italy could have failed to notice that 2008 is the centenary year of the birth of one […]

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1959 Ceylon – Institution of Pirivena Universities

Commemorative
1959 - Ceylon Postage Stamp

This commemorative stamp from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was issued in 1959 to celebrate the Institution of the Pirivena Universities, […]

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Winston Churchill at Race Track

Animals
Winston Churchill at Race Track

World leaders have always been an obvious choice as subjects on commemorative stamps but this stamp issued on 25 November, […]

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Crazy GB stamp mixture on one envelope!

GB stamps
Crazy mix

This crazy envelope surely has to win some kind of prize for its eccentric mix of British commemorative and definitive […]

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Amphibian philately!

Animals
Amphibian philately!

Did you know that 2008 is The Year of the Frog? Zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums around the globe are […]

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