First Issues - 1840 to 1849

page 1.3

Brazil SG469
Brazil airmail
1929 SG469 Sc-C17

Many first airmails (and first stamps of colonies) are overprints and while these can be attractive 'cartoons' of early airplanes, others are mundane. I therefore also include the first 'real', that is, explicitly designed airmail stamp. Brazil is a case in point with its 1929 first real airmail.

Scott Classic 2004

The Scott numbering system lends itself to this topic more easily than Gibbons as Scott has discrete ('Back of Book') lists for airmails and charity stamps and also numbers officials and post dues separately. The most useful aid for the first issue collector is Scott Classic 1840-1940, printed in colour since 2004. Neither catalogue distinguishes definitives from commemoratives, a wise decision in hindsight given the number of commemorative issues these days.


Trinidad and Tobago SG415
Trinidad and Tobago
1974 SG415 Sc218

The local postal service between San Fernando and Port of Spain (by a steamship named Lady McLeod after the Governor's wife) was reformed in 1847. This resulted in the world's first pictorial stamp, issued on or around 16th April. These sell for around £25,000 and so are represented by a Trinidad and Tobago commemorative. Trinidad's first national stamp was issued in 1851.

I am often amazed at the amounts people will pay for small pieces of coloured sticky paper and so please note that (except for the mild conceit of my initialled Penny Black) I will rarely if ever pay more than £10 for a stamp. I would rather buy part of a faded and creased USA #1 for £10 and keep the remaining £390 to buy other stamps.

And here is that USA #1...


original page March 2008
rewritten April 2013