MaltaPost has announced that on 1 December it will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Malta Stamp - the Queen Victoria Half Penny which was first issued for local use in December, 1860.
The engraver of the stamp die was Jean Ferdinand Joubert de la'Ferte, and the stamp was printed by Thomas de la Rue in UK. Following the introduction of inland deliveries, the Halfpenny Yellow was introduced and covered the cost of a letter up to 1/2 oz. in weight. The Halfpenny Yellow was used between 1860 and 1885 and due to different issue dates the Halfpenny Yellow comes in a variety of shades, watermarks and perforations.
MaltaPost will be holding an exhibition featuring these unique first Malta stamps together with various postal items that have been used in these last 150 years and a number of artworks by various Maltese artists that were produced for stamp designs. The exhibition will be held at the Malta National Library and will be open to the public till the beginning of January. Additionally MaltaPost will issue a philatelic commemorative miniature sheet entitled '150th Anniversary First Malta Stamp 1st December 1860' to mark the event.
A number of expert talks will also be given at the Malta National Library focusing on the Halfpenny Yellow Malta Stamp. The other activities include MaltaPost's participation, for the first time, in the Malta National Book Fair being held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta between today and 14 November.
Today MaltaPost is also launching the Postage Stamp Design Competition at the Book Fair with the theme of 'Forests', open to Form 1 to Form 5 secondary school students in Malta and Gozo. The two winning designs may feature on the 2011 EUROPA stamp issue which will commemorate the International Year of Forests 2011. One of the winning stamps may also represent Malta in the Best EUROPA stamp contest among all EUROPA official stamps.