The main form of communication today may be email, text and social media, but many still hold a soft spot for old fashioned, handwritten letters – and then there are the stamps that are placed upon the envelopes in which these letters are securely sealed.

Stamp collecting or philately, the study of stamps, has been one of the world’s most popular hobbies since the late 19th century. Stamps can say a lot about a place or period in time, which is reflected in a stamp’s distinct style, colour and markings. Stamps are often collected for these reasons alone: because of the subjects depicted on them. However, of course stamps are also collected for their intrinsic, extrinsic and historical value.

Corbitts, the UK dealers, auctioneers and valuers, of postage stamps – alongside coins, medals, banknotes, cigarette cards and autographs – have a huge variety of stamps available at their online shop at any given time. We’ve rounded up a few exciting lots for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

This exciting lot is an 1840 2nd May Mulready One Penny Letter Sheet Stereo removed, addressed to Bromley, bearing a fine strike of 'Portugal St.1py P.Paid' in black and a clear dated stamp 'P.D/MY 2/1840' with a superb strike on reverse of the shield type MY 2/1840 h/stamp in red (central vertical crease & some light soiling).

This particular item is a very good example of this early date, particularly as only 18 covers have been recorded.

This 1870 (May) Die Proof is black is on thin white paper (34 x 30). It is depicted in brilliant, sharp impression. Spec.DP62b and RPS Cert. 1982.

This is an 1878-79 Trials for Lighter and more Fugitive Colours 2nd Plate 15 in pale ultramarine lettered AB from the top of the sheet showing the current number ‘227’ and part of the marginal inscription, ‘Price 2nd Per Label’, 2s Per Row of…’ cut into at foot with close to good margins on other sides.

This incredibly rare inverted WMK strip of five plate 1 LH-LL horizontal strip is slightly cut into at left o/w close to very large margins on other sides. It has red MC cancellations, LI with vertical crease, bright colour and fine appearance.

Discover all items available at Corbitts directly on Barnebys