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Great Britain 1840 1d penny black plate 1b, SG2

SKU JP2409

The largest surviving multiple of the world's first postage stamp

Great Britain 1840 1d penny black plate 1b, SG2.

The magnificent unused, with original gum, left-hand marginal inscriptional block of 18, lettered 'MA-OF' (MF Double letter, OA-OB Re-entry) wonderfully well margined all round, vibrant colour and with practically full original gum.

There is some light gum wrinkling and negligible traces of foxing often associated with this paper and characteristic of the gum.

Accompanied by an unused horizontal strip of six lettered PA-PF reforming the original block of 24, and a stunning mint penny black multiple in its own right.

After years of being separated from the original multiple, it was miraculously reunited by Dr. Pichai Buranasombati in the late 1990's and was one of the showpiece multiples contained in his Grand Prix winning collection of Line Engraved issues.

A stunning showpiece of the highest exhibition calibre and the largest surviving mint multiple of the world's first postage stamp remaining in private hands. It should rightfully be displayed in a museum being one of the most iconic pieces of GB philatelic history. The opportunity for private ownership of the top items in philately is becoming increasingly challenging as museums take key items out of the market each year.

Unsurprisingly, the largest mint block of penny blacks in existence has graced some of the finest stamp collections ever formed, with the most recent famous owner being Bill Gross, the US billionaire fund manager of PIMCO.

Provenance: Block of 18, Ex.  HCV Adams Collection; "Daisy" Grand Prix Collection of 1840-41 Line Engraved Issues; Dr Pichai Buranasombati; legendary stamp collector and investor Bill Gross. Strip of six ex. "Tes", Pichai & Bill Gross.

Accompanied with a 1996 independent certificate of authenticity issued by the British Philatelic Association.

The last time the reunited block of 24 mint penny blacks appeared for sale on the open market was in the Bill Gross Spink Shreves auction in 2007, where it realised $1,150,000.

One of the great classic rarities of Great Britain and world philately.

  • To enquire about securing the legendary plate 77, call us on +44 (0)1534 639 998, or via email


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