The world's first postal order, purchased for just one shilling 129 years ago, has been sold for £4,485 at an auction.
The payment, which bears the serial number 000001, was the first to be produced by the Post Office in Lombard Street, London, in 1881.
"This was a very unique item and as such went for a lot more than predicted. There were lots of bids from enthusiasts. It's been in the same family for over 130 years so the opportunity to own something as rare as this doesn't come up very often. Collectors were always going to have to dig into their pockets to own this and clearly they did," the Telegraph quoted auctioneer Richard Beale, of Warwick and Warwick Auctioneers, as saying.
Only five other 1881 postal orders having the same 000001 number are known to have survived.
Victorians used the postal order to safely send money
through the post.
The first postal order was bought by Arthur Bull on January 1, 1881.
It was signed by a clerk named A.G. Emery but Arthur never cashed it, thinking it would become a collector's item one day.
He kept it in a leather case and locked it in his family's safe before his son, also named Arthur Bull, inherited it.
After Arthur Bull junior's death in 1953 the postal order passed to his son Brian Galpin, who kept it safe in his home in Surrey.
And when Galpin died at 72 in 2005, the postal order passed to his widow Audrey, 75, who agreed to auction it.
The Postal Order is a direct descendent of the money order which was introduced by a private company in 1792.
During World War One and World War Two, British Postal Orders were temporarily used as money to save paper and labour.
Postal Orders can be bought and redeemed at post offices in Britain, even though a crossed Postal Order must be paid into a bank account. (ANI)