Great Britain

Queen Victoria

Ascending to the throne in 1837 aged 18 she is most notably associated with Britain’s age of the Empire, as well as the country’s industrial expansion and economic progress. Rare Queen Victoria stamps are arguably the most valuable or sought-after stamps as the world's first adhesive stamp - The Penny Black - that features a portrait of the Queen was released in 1840. The stamp revolutionised the British postal system and made it affordable for anyone to send letters safely and securely. 

The Two Penny Blue went on sale a week later and it was designed to be used on parcels that weighed more than half an ounce. Less than a year later, the Penny Red was released to replace the iconic Black due to concerns the colour of the stamp could enable its re-use.

1870 saw the release of the Half Penny stamp which is most famous for being heaving criticised for its poor design. Although not as valuable as the earlier stamps it’s still a great addition to any collection and quite expensive in the right condition.

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GB 1900 SG213 Cover - the first day of issue

Stock Code: P212015332

GB 1883 SG180 Mint - unmounted o.g. example

Stock Code: P212015254

GB 1883 SG178 Mint - unmounted o.g. example

Stock Code: P212015016

GB 1881 SG169 Mint - unmounted o.g. example

Stock Code: P212015015

Victoria’s marriage to beloved husband and close confidant Prince Albert in 1840, resulting in nine children, was said to have played an integral role in constitutionalising the monarchy as it is viewed today, with influence superseding the political power utilised by previous monarchs.

Following the passing of her husband in 1861, Victoria was said to have sunk into depression, rarely appearing in public until after the mid-1860s. Widely criticised for living in seclusion, she returned to performing public duties by opening Parliament in 1866. Victoria’s interest in foreign policy during the middle years of her reign was generally used to support peace and reconciliation and, in 1864, influenced her ministers not to intervene in the Prussia-Denmark war; additionally, her correspondence with the German Emperor aided in averting a second Franco-German conflict.

Following the Indian Mutiny of 1857, Victoria became Empress of India in 1877 and was subsequently recognised as a symbol for the British Empire. Despite maturing in age, Victoria continued to remain active in her duties until her death on 22 January 1901, ending a reign which lasted almost 64 years.