Lot 704 — Great Britain penny black with black Maltese Cross

With three sessions today, we begin at 10:00am EDT. Worldwide stamps and Postal History follow British Commonwealth, which sees this classic in the first few lots.

Lot 704Lot 704 Great Britain #1 1840 1d intense black Queen Victoria with black Maltese Cross Cancel. SG values the black Maltese Cross on this stamp at £525. Extremely fine and fresh, from position GF. Scott CV$300.

Beautiful Blue

The postal reforms initiated in Great Britain lowered rates significantly when the first postage stamps were issued. The two values of one penny and two pence were adequate for most mail within Great Britain. When a higher rate was indicated, usually a pair or a strip was sufficient. Blocks are scarcer than strips of four or more. Used blocks of the Penny Black are scarce, but any block of the two pence is rare indeed. The result is a very high catalogue value for this block, likely destined for an Exhibition Collection.

Great Britain #2 used block of fourLot 603 Great Britain #2 Used 1840 2p blue Victoria, block of four, with Maltese Cross cancels. Margins are large to clear all around and bright colour. A rare block with Bühler and Calves signatures on back. Very fine. Scott CV $22,500