Great Britain 1840 1d intense black, plate 1a, SG1
Great Britain 1840 1d intense black, plate 1a, horizontal strip of four with four margins lettered 'FF-FI', showing plate flaw double 'F', cancelled by four fine strikes of red Maltese Crosses, SG1.
A fine and beautiful four margin strip attractively cancelled with the red Maltese Cross. An outstanding penny black multiple and extremely fine as rare in this quality.
The first printing plate (plate 1a) of the penny black was put to press on 11 April 1840 and registered on 15 April 1840. In the rush to meet the deadline, the plate was not hardened before use and soon showed signs of wear.
A second sheet was recorded as having been registered on 27 April 1840. The plate was later withdrawn, extensively repaired and then hardened. It is customary to refer to the plate in its original state as 'Plate 1a' and to its repaired state 'Plate 1b'.
Early impressions of plate 1a are most desirable as they are known to be among the first printings of the world's first postage stamp. Furthermore, examples of the intense black impression are of great aesthetic appeal.
GB Specialised Catalogue No: AS1.
Accompanied with a British Philatelic Association (BPA) certificate of authenticity (2010).
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