From today's Times (of London):

First Penny Black stamp offered for £6m at Sotheby’s auction

The Penny Black has acquired such legendary status among stamp collectors that it has become a byword for rarity and value.

Now a London auction house is offering the penny black of Penny Blacks.

The first Penny Black ever produced is being offered by Sotheby’s with an estimate of up to £6 million. This would match the world record for a stamp, set by the British Guiana 1c, which sold for $8.3 million (£6 million) this year and $9.5 million (£5.6 million) in 2014.

Henry House, head of Sotheby’s Treasures sale on December 7, described the lot as an object “bursting with history” that was the earliest known example of a globally recognised design that had been “produced by the highest levels of technical excellence”.

“This is the first ever stamp, the precursor to all stamps, and unequivocally the most important piece of philatelic history to exist,” House said. “Though there are many hugely important stamps in collections both public and private around the world, this is the stamp that started the postage system as we know it.”

The Penny Black, the first stamp to feature glue on its back, inspired tens of thousands of stamps around the world and created the template for a form of communication still in place today.


I have a Penny Black that I amprpared to sell for the bargain price of £5m

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Comment by Bradford on October 28, 2021 at 7:29pm

There was a specialist in Cinderella stamps based in Scotland, David M. Stirling, who was head of a club devoted to this specialty. He once (dryly) posted that he collected Mauritius first-issue, FDCs (First Day Covers). His eBay handle was "chalmerston". I attempted to make a fake one from images online of these now multi-million-dollar/pound stamps to send to him. You're tempting me.

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on October 28, 2021 at 7:08pm

Katerina: ok, $4.5m for you (plus VAT, insurace, package; transport, etc. Probably about  another $1m)

Bradford: I tried the watermark fluid thingy but the water washed away the black colouring, and it is now a 1d Light Grey(-ish) stamp

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on October 28, 2021 at 8:08am

only 5 million? hmmmm...

Comment by Bradford on October 27, 2021 at 8:04pm

Please post the scan and a watermark fluid photo of your stamp for proper evaluation.




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