Welcome to Penny Black 1840

Dedicated to the world’s first postage stamp

Find the perfect gift for philatelists and stamp collectors everywhere with an elegant range of items featuring original designs inspired by The Penny Black – available exclusively in our online T-shirt store and other Penny Black apparel, badges, mugs and more in the Gift Store!

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Visit the Penny Black 1840 Thematic Stamps Blog taking a wider look at the stories behind thematic postage stamps from around the world.

Buy Penny Black posters and framed art prints in our Poster Gallery!

Browse our Penny Black posters and framed art prints of a selection of Victorian line engraved stamps in our Poster Gallery!

Find specialist philatelic literature as well as other books of interest in our Internet book stores powered by Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

‘Guide Lines to the Penny Black’ by P.C. Litchfield

Plus links to helpful web resources, Penny Black FAQs, philatelic book reviews, Live Stamp Auctions and images of the Penny Black, 1d Red, 2d Blue and other rare Victorian stamps and cancellations in the Victorian Line Engraved Stamps Blog to help you identify and plate your Victorian line engraved stamp collection.

  • Strip of 2d Blues on Piece from Plate 4
    Strip of 2d Blue stamps on piece lettered R-D, R-E and R-F, identified as coming from plate 4 using British Line-Engraved Stamps. Twopence Blue. Studies Of Plates 1 to 15 by H. Osborne. Period of use: Plate 4 was completed
  • 1d Red from Penny Black plate 11
    1d Red stamp lettered E – B identified as coming from black plate 11 using Guide Lines to the Penny Black by P C Litchfield. Period of use: The very first printings from Plate 11 were made on 29 and
  • 1d Red stamp with London Number in Maltese Cross cancellation
    1d Red stamp lettered R – J with London postmark identified using The Cancellations of the 1841 Penny Red by Goldsmith & Danzig. Period of use: 23 March 1843 – Date of issue recorded in the proof book held at
  • 2d Blue Plate 2
    2d Blue stamp lettered K -D, identified as coming from plate 2 using British Line-Engraved Stamps. Twopence Blue. Studies Of Plates 1 to 15 by H. Osborne. Period of use: Plate 2 was completed on July 18th, 1840 and put
  • Penny Black Plate 5
    1 d Penny Black stamp lettered K-J, identified as coming from plate 5 using Guide Lines to the Penny Black by P C Litchfield. Period of use: Earliest issue dated 16 June, 1840, with prints made between 8th June –
  • Pair of 1d Reds from Penny Black plate 5
    Pair of 1d Red stamps lettered M – K and M – L, identified as coming from black plate 5 using Guide Lines to the Penny Black by P C Litchfield. Period of use: 1841. Colour: Red-brown. Cancellation: Rare single