FIRST Issues & Classic Stamps

First Issues - Often the most cherished stamps in any collection are those wonderfully naïve, often imperforate stamps which began it all. The first was the Great Britain 1840 Penny Black with its strange alphabet combinations in the lower corners, next the Canton of Zurich on 1st March 1843, although collectors of Brazil argue that their “Bullseye” issues were the second truly national stamps issued on 1st August the same year. A lot of those early classics didn't mention the countries name, it was all new after all. The man tasked with organising the first Russian stamps travelled around Europe and came home to recommend circular stamps as the rectangular ones he’d seen tended to catch against letter boxes; the authorities at the Cape of Good Hope suggested triangular stamps to avoid confusion with British stamps, and so it goes, so many stories from a time that literacy soared and one of the greatest ideas in human communications was a small gummed label.





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