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Home Gallery The rival to the Penny Black (March 1840)

The rival to the Penny Black (March 1840)

This original woodblock was carved by John Thompson as a design for pre-paid postal stationary known as Mulready envelopes and lettersheets. The design was commissioned from the Irish artist William Mulready and became valid for postage on 6 May 1840, at the same time as the Penny Black. The design of the 'Mulready' was considered so fanciful it was heavily ridiculed, and these particular pre-paid envelopes did not endure.a