Isle of Man has issued stamps marking the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive posting stamp used in the public postal system, and the birth of Edward Stanley Gibbons. Six stamps have been produced and include depiction of the Penny Black, the Penny Red which replaced the Black and the TwoPenny Blue. In addition, there are three stamps each with a key individual – William Mulready, Rowland Hill and Edward Stanley Gibbons whose portraits are featured on the stamps next to their associated contribution. The stamps are available in mint condition and Cancelled to Order as well as featured on a collectable First Day cover and in a presentation pack. There is also a commemorative crown, which features an image of the Penny Black showing Wyon’s classic portrait of the teenage Queen Victoria. Postage rates on the Isle of Man and the rest of the British Isles had risen to a very high level by 1830 and as a result a campaign to reform these was led by Roland Hill with the main aim of lowering the rate to one penny per half ounce. This in addition to introducing a method to signify if a letter had been pre-paid was developed by William Mulready. The first step towards a change in the postal system then occurred on December 5, 1839 when the rate was reduced to four pence. This was a success and the penny rate was introduced January 10, 1840. At first the postage paid or due was written in ink on the letter by the postmaster and then on May 6, 1840 a new method of paying postage was introduced and the famous Penny Black was born, followed by the Two Penny Blue on May 8, 1840. A number of devices were incorporated in the designs to prevent forgery including stamps being printed by the recess method, paper specifically made with a small watermark on each stamp, a machine used to make intricate background patterns, and the use of unique corner letters with each stamp on the printing plate of 240 stamps having a different combination of corner letters. The Penny Black and TwoPenny Blue were resounding successes. The 1840 stamps were found to be easily cleaned of the red cancellation and reused and this prompted a colour change to Red for the Penny Black stamp with new stamps issued in 1841.
Issue Date: 17.02.2015 Designer: Leanne Sherliker Printer: BDT Process: Offset Lithography Colours: 4 Colours Size: 38 x 30.56mm