Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Stamps - black

For this first week of Sunday Stamps in the new year we have something black
and what could be more appropriate than the Penny Black.
While I don't have an original, I do have two commemoratives, one from 1966, the other from 1970.
The first was issued for the Centenary Stamp Exhibition Cairo for the 100th anniversary of the first Egyptian stamps
Umm al Qiwain is one of the territories in the UAE. it was a British protectorate as of January 8th, 1820 and in 1971 joined its neighbours Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Fujairah in forming the United Arab Emirates.

The Penny Black was issued in May of 1840 as possibly the first adhesive postage stamp. This is significant in that it indicated a prepayment from the sender, whereas previously the recipient of the letter paid the postage upon delivery. It was only used for one year before being replaced by a Penny Red when they reversed the colours of the stamp and cancellation marks.
It featured a cameo portrait of a very young Queen Victoria at age 15. The two upper corners had star-like designs and the lower corners had letters designating the position of the stamp in the printed sheet
This stamp for the British Philympia was designed as one of three by David Gentleman (see link here for his other designs from 1970-99)

and because I will likely not be the only one to think of this stamp, I chose a second black stamp theme, this time featuring the Luna 9 - the first spacecraft to land on the moon.

Launched on January 31st, 1966, the Luna 9 became the first of the Soviet's Luna missions to make a soft landing on the moon on February 3rd 

The second stamp shows the four petals which covered the top half of the spacecraft in an open position as it stabilizes on the lunar surface. There are four spring controlled antenae with cameras that projected the very first images back to earth (to the Jodrell Bank Observatory in England)


  1. Ah, the penny black. Thank you for featuring it. Being raised on the Apollo program in the USA, I didn't hear much about the Luna program. thank you for those interesting stamps too.

  2. The Penny Balck started it all. Never seen those Luna stamps before. Jodrell Banks did great service to space exploration.

  3. Great information! I didn't realise Victoria was Queen so young. Gosh, and the black 'foretold' her long period of mourning... (I made that up). :-)

    1. Victoria was actually Queen at age 18. I think, if I understood the explanation correctly, the image of her at 15 was chosen because it was thought harder to duplicate or forge.

  4. The Penny Black seems to get everywhere but I didn't even think of it. I do like the Luna-9 stamps. They date from the days when I desperately wanted to be an astronomer and before I realised that it involved more than looking at the moon through a telescope.

  5. I like those luna-9 stamps. I remember the first soft landing on the moon - it was very exciting. I was expecting our first child in the March of that year. Good thing we didn't call her Luna - she would never have forgiven us!

  6. The Egyptian one looks as though it could be part of a parcel, what a clever idea. The Russian stamp captures the excitement of that soft landing, love those petals.

  7. See, now, all I ever want is to learn stuff. So why the heck don't I come here more often? Very informative--LOVE this.

  8. I was just wondering why a pre-accession image was chosen. Seems unusual.

  9. Very interesting. I don't think the pic looks very like Queen Vic, though. A bit flattering!


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