NSW SG287c
First Charity
New South Wales
Diamond Jubilee and Hospital Charity
June 1897 SG280 Sc-B1

First Issues - 1840 to 1849

page 1.8

The first charity stamp is one of the boldest designs ever seen (although surpassed by its companion 2/6 issue, shown on the cover of the Scott Classic catalogue). New South Wales was a postal innovator at the end of the nineteenth century, providing the world's first commemorative and charity stamps.

Spain SG-O46
First Official
1st July 1854 SG-O46 Sc-O1

The first official Official comes from Spain. Fortunately the 'unissued' VR Penny Black (at £9,000), does not count.

These categories again illustrate the advantages of the Scott numbering system over Gibbons.

There have been more than six hundred stamp-issuing countries and other entities (including changes of name and administration, occupation issues and so on) since 1840. This will take around 34 years to complete at 8 pages a time in the Bexley annual thematic competition: I should have started earlier.

In next year's competition I will show 1850-1851. The first decade of stamps saw seven countries and the three Swiss cantons issue stamps. In just two years, 1850 and 1851, eight countries and thirteen other entities (one Austrian, two Australian, two Canadian, two Italian and six German) issued their first stamps. Name those you can think of then turn over the page to check your answers.


original page March 2008
rewritten April 2013