WORLD : 'Penny' Stamps Fetch $442,680

From Times Wire Services

A block of "penny black" postage stamps, issued in 1840, were sold at auction today for about $442,680, an auction house said.

The 36 stamps, depicting the young Queen Victoria and originally selling for one pence each, were bought by the Royale Stamp Co. for a private collector who was not identified.

When the set last changed hands in 1934, it sold for about $2,400, said Ray Haffner of the Harmers auction house.

The "penny black" and the "two-penny blue" were the first British postage stamps.

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