Welcome stamp enthusiast’s to My Stamp Haven, a veritable cave of brilliant British Stamps for your collection and enjoyment. Did you know, the penny black was the world’s first postage stamp, which fittingly bore the image of a young Queen Victoria. Before the first postage stamp was established, deliveries were paid for by the recipient, meaning that if the recipient wanted or could not afford to pay the fee for the letter, the letter was taken away and disposed off. The Post Office Reform happened with the passing of the Postage Act in 1839, a vision of a universal, prepaid penny postage system which was implemented on the 6th May 1840 with the issue of the first Penny Black and Two penny Blue stamps. The design was based on an 1834 sculpture of the then 15 year old Princess Victoria. The resulting Penny Black, despite having a print run of over 286,700 sheets and almost 69 million individual stamps was replaced by the Penny Red stamps as black was the least commonsensical choice of colour for stamps due to the difficulty of finding cancellation marks within the Penny Black.

A brief history of British Stamps

The Victorian Era

The Victorian Era from 1847 saw an explosion of experimentation in Britain. Surface-printed stamps were printed in 1855 and we the standard type of stamp issued. In 1870 1/2d and 1 1/2d engraved stamps were the last engraved stamps featuring Queen Victoria until 1913. The same profile of Victoria was utilized throughout the 1860s and 1870s across a different choice of frames, colours, watermarks and corner lettering. The £5 Stamp came about in 1882 whilst the era of Penny Reds were phased out. Britain launched lower value stamps – the first surface-printed stamp being a Venetian-red which was issued in 1880. 1881 saw the introduction of the Penny Lilac, which was entwined with the introduction of the Postage Revenue in Great Britain and 1883-1884 saw the introduction of the Lilac and Green Issue stamps. The Jubilee Issue stamps of 1887 was the last major issue of Victoria stamps.

Early 20th Century

Edward VII’s succession to the throne launched a new issue of stamps with the issue of King Edward’s profile. As King Edward had a relatively short reign period, major changes of design were not forthcoming however a new surface paper effect was introduced, chalk-surface paper which is detectable by rubbing the surface of the paper with a silver coin and seeing whether any black mark or residue is left behind. George V stamps however were exciting and innovative from the first issue, which were the ½ d and 1d values, sporting the previous reign colours and an ornamental frame and a three quarter portrait profile, which featured for the first time. Further designs featured the standard profile.

The British Empire Exhibition of 1924 saw the launch of the United Kingdom’s first commemorative stamps, featuring a lion. Before Edward VIII renounced the throne, a set of four stamps was issued in 1936 and the coronation of George VI saw a launch of an omnibus issue of stamps, which displayed George VI, and a solid background of colour. In the 1940s, a stamp displaying Victoria and George VI was launched in order to celebrate the century of the postage stamp.

Modern era

New stamps were issued in 1952 upon Elizabeth II’s succession of her father – the Wilding Issues collection were based on a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II taken by Dorothy Wilding, used until 1967 when the Machin design came into play. The extremely popular Machin design is still the standard British Stamp of 2013 – the design features a profile of Queen Elizabeth on a background of solid colour.

Browse our website

We have amassed an exciting collection of stamps over the years of the finest British stamps to attract every level of enthusiast. Browse through our site for a review of hundreds of stamps with scans of the actual stamps for you to browse and buy. We have different types of category for your perusal – from line engraved imperforate, used and unused to surface printed and miscellaneous. You can either order a collection of stamps or a stamp by post, or purchase a stamp to add to your Virtual Album. The Virtual Album is a groundbreaking feature in stamp collecting, allowing you to add to your collection at any time. Virtual Albums can be accessed by Registered Users upon sign in. Furthermore, should you wish to sell back your entire Virtual Album or simply items from the Album then we will credit you back up to 60% of the value usually within 24 hours – you can also opt to have your entire Virtual Album securely shipped to you upon request. Please refer to our terms and conditions for full details and delivery terms and conditions.

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