The first stamp ever issued, was the Black Penny in the UK.
This happened in 1840. In the first ten years, only few countries followed this idea, where the cost of sending a letter was no longer paid by the receiver of the mail, but by the sender.
Two Swiss cantons, Zürich, and later Geneva, followed by Brazil, joined the system in 1843.
In 1847, the first US-stamp was issued, and the isle of Mauritius has its first stamp too in that year.
Bermuda issued its first stamp in 1848, and in 1849, 3 European countries, France, Belgium and Bavaria (independent at that time), closed the list of the 10 countries that issued stamps before 1850.
Belgium was a relatively young country in 1849.
In 1815, after the lost of Napoleon in Waterloo, 'The Netherlands' got independent.
The forced 'marriage' between the mainly protestant, and Dutch speaking north, and the catholic, french bourgeoisie in the south, didn't last very long. In 1830 both parts split up, the north remains 'the Netherlands' while the southern part becomes Belgium.
Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (later Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) who rejected the Greek throne in 1830, became Belgium's first King in 1831.
Yes, we survived a year without king, between 1830 and 1831, as well as we survived 541 days without newly elected gouvernment in 2010-2011 (world record!)
Under Leopold I, the first railway line (Brussels-Mechelen) was established in 1835, and the first postal stamp was introduced in 1849.
|Belgium's first 1849|
The stamp was lithographed by Charles Baugniet (1814-1886) after a painting by Liéven De Winne (1821-1880).
|Leopold I by Liévin De Winne|
This first issue of Belgium's postal stamps is called 'the epaulettes' (shoulder pads).
The watermark is the monogram of the king, an intertwined letter L.
|Monogram Leopold I|
|watermark intertwined L - Belgium|
This stamp of 10 cents (brown), was followed by a 20 cents (blue).
Catalog prices for a cancelled stamp are around € 100 for a nr. 1 and € 50 for a nr. 2.
To be continued...