Timbres Postales or Postage Stamps of France are very distinguished in appearance. Since their first issue, the French Postage Stamps have exhibited correctness in designs and delicacy in execution.
Issued on 1st January 1849, the Ceres series was the first postage stamp series of France. This first series came into the light just after the revolution of 1848. Under the regime of Etienne Arago, two stamps with the denominations of 20 centimes and 1 franc were released on the first day of the year 1849.
Of the two first issued stamps, the 20 c. made its appearance in black, and the one franc in vermilion. The Ceres Series of stamps depicts the left facing effigy of Ceres, goddess of growing plants in Roman mythology. She wears a garland of wheat and a bunch of grapes in her hair.
Designed by Jacques-Jean Barre – the general engraver at the Paris Mint - the first two stamps were taken out of circulation in short a time. The 20 Centime black stamps were replaced with the 20 centimes blue and the 1 franc red were replaced by the 40 centimes orange to be issued by the end of the year.
The 1 franc red is counted among the choicest rarities in a collection which is currently fetching $ 75,000.
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