An amazing discovery. The tatty envelope had two messages scrawled across them "5/- worth of 1d Postage Stamps, of 1881, to be kept for ten years by instructions of Mr Thewlis Johnson, July 5/81" with a further inscription added alongside "these to be put along with others already aside for keeping 100 years, as Mr Johnson wishes (signed & dated July 6/91)" folded within was the original block of sixty 1880-81 Penny Venetian Red stamps still in fresh never hinged mint condition! The envelope has the imprint of "Richard Johnson & Nephew of Alderwasley, Derby". In their time "RJN" were one of the leading steel wire manufacturers in the world and provided the cables for the first Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Founded in 1773 the firm finally succumbed in the 1980's, the Manchester City Football Stadium now stands on the last factory site.
This is the earliest example of postage stamp investment we have come across. It may well be the earliest philatelic investment 'portfolio' now in existence, with the original notes made on behalf of a grand old Industrialist, this makes for a wonderful lesson on the history of early philately!