One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The world's first adhesive postage stamp, issued in Britain in 1840. It was printed in black with an effigy of Queen Victoria, and had a value of one penny.
- ‘Anyone that knows him will realise that is as rare as a penny black.’
- ‘Everyone knows Rowland Hill invented the penny black and the world was captivated by the idea.’
- ‘The Glasgow of Collins's youth is something preserved in aspic, a violent place where a teenage boy had to sell his stamp collection - ‘a penny black with four clear margins and a tuppeny blue’ - to buy an electric guitar.’
- ‘However, if your ‘penny black’ was printed from a rare plate then it could command a price tag of £2,500.’
- ‘They were singing about revolution and sticking penny blacks in an album.’
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