Best Penny Black 150th Commemoratives – Part 2
This year was the 175th anniversary of the first issue by Breat Britain of the now-famous Penny Black postage stamp. This is the second part of an article previously published that looks back to 1990, the 150th annniversary, and some stamps issued that year in commemoration.
The stamps shown above were released by the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory whose currency is the American Dollar, in 1990. Accompanying the illustrated Penny Black, seen in the top row, are a red-brown 1d and a blue 2d, both colours used in the 1840 “rainbow trials” of alternative stamp colours. The other three stamps show different postbox designs used by the British Post Office over the years.
Turks and Caicos also released the miniature set shown below that included a facsimile copy of a block of Penny Blacks from the original Plate 1, with margin text.
Russia also released a commemorative which proved to be rather controversial. The stamp’s designer, Vladimir Koval, decided to include his initials on the bottom corners of the Penny Black shown on the 35 kopek stamp. The logo of the Stamp World London ’90 international stamp exhibition was also incorporated.
Additionally, he included his wife’s initials on the 20k and his daughter’s on the 10k stamps.
When the Russian postal authorities discovered what Koval had done they quickly proceeded to reprint two of the values with different corner letters. So there are now 20k stamps with the letters TF and 35k’s with AH as corner letters. It’s a nice conversation piece if you have any of the the designer-initialled stamps in your collection!
Russia also issued the above miniature sheet, which included a similarly-designed stamp and some recess-printed illustrations with a British feel to them in the surround.
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