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First penny black stamp could fetch up to £6m at auction

penny black

First penny black stamp could fetch up to £6m at auction

It was less than one square inch and cost just a penny but it launched a revolution in communications. Now the first “penny black”, the postal stamp bearing an image of Queen Victoria’s profile, is expected to fetch up to £6m when it is sold at auction.

The stamp was a runaway success when it went on sale in 1840, allowing people to send a letter weighing up to half an ounce to any destination in the country for a flat rate of one penny. Eventually more than 68m stamps were sold.

The stamp to be sold by Sotheby’s in December is a pristine impression from plate 1a – the first printed sheet – and is lettered A-1. It has been authenticated by the Royal Philatelic Society and the British Philatelic Association.

It is “unequivocally the most important piece of philatelic history to exist”, said Henry House, the head of Sotheby’s treasures sale. It is “bursting with history” and represents “the very dawn of social communication … allowing people to communicate from all levels of society and business to flourish.”

Until the penny black became valid on 6 May 1840, communications were complex and expensive, with the recipient usually required to pay. Sir Rowland Hill proposed a simple pre-paid postage system using a stamp.

The chosen design used an image of Queen Victoria based on a sketch of her aged 15. The same image remained on stamps for more than 60 years until her death in 1901.

The first penny back is attached to the Wallace document, dated 10 April 1840 and named after Robert Wallace, an MP who led a commission on postal reform.

It includes a proof of the Mulready stationery, pre-stamped letter sheets and envelopes that were offered as an alternative to adhesive stamps. The design, showing images of empire, was lampooned by the public and quickly withdrawn.

The Wallace document was acquired 10 years ago by Alan Holyoake, a British businessman and renowned philatelist. “Isn’t the stamp beautiful?” he said. “The design is a world icon, a design that our current Queen still uses.

“Prior to the introduction of cheap postage, it cost a fortune to send a letter – so unless you were privileged or wealthy, communication wasn’t really possible. Suddenly, the postage stamp just took off. It was the door to mass communication.”

Holyoake said he would be sad to see the penny black sold but was planning to use the proceeds to build another collection.

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INEC Says 132, 626 Voters Cards Uncollected In Anambra

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 132,626 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) are yet to be collected in Anambra State.

The commission added that it has relocated six local government area collection centres in the state, as a result of the insecurity ravaging most parts of the country.

The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu, stated this on Wednesday, during a meeting with stakeholders at the state headquarters of the commission.

Agwu who addressed all the political parties representatives, traditional rulers and civil society groups said the local government areas where the relocation of collation centres took place include Ihiala, Nnewi South, Onitsha North, Orumba North, Awka North and Awka South.

She said:“The collection of PVCs has been extended to Saturdays and Sundays in Anambra State.

“We need enough security to carry out this function. If people fail to collect their PVC, they will be shortchanging themselves, and doing a disservice to the people of their area.

“The 2023 general elections will be free, fair and credible, not only in Anambra State but the entire country. We have done the necessary work, and we hope to deliver.”

She gave a breakdown of the figures of uncollected PVCs in most local government areas as follows:

Ayamelum – 1,960; Dunukofia – 6,222; Idemili South – 4’589; Anaocha – 885; Orumba South -6,656; Onitsha South – 12,274; Idemili North – 16,256; Aguata – 12675; Njikoka – 7,009; Ogbaru – 10,755 and Anambra East – 7,717.

Others are Nnewi South – 1,841; Awka North – 1,153; Anambra West – 1,387; Orumba North – 2,393; Oyi – 7,982; Onitsha North – 9,990; Ihiala – 4,058; Nnewi North – 8,700; Ekwusigo – 3,350 and Awka South – 4,971.

 

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Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

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I Can’t Contest For President Again; It Will Diminish Me- Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, has said he will never contest for the Presidency of the country again.

The Ex-president said it would amount to diminishing himself if he should decide to begin to lobby people and campaign for election again.

Jonathan said this in an interview published in a book, ‘My Time As Chaplain In Aso Rock,” presented to the public on Tuesday.

The book written by Nathaniel Bivan contains the accounts of the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Chapel during the Jonathan administration, Obioma Onwuzurumba.

“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I am President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control. But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns; I can’t do that again. If I do that, I will diminish myself,” the former President said.

Jonathan said he enjoyed the drama that characterised the rumour earlier in the year that he had purchased a nomination form of the All Progressives Congress to enable him to contest for the party’s presidential ticket.

Ahead of the June 2022 APC presidential primary, a group, Nomadic Pastoralists and Almajirai Community, led by Ibrahim Abdullahi, purchased the N100m nomination and expression of interest forms in Jonathan’s name.

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