1840 VR Official among headline stamps at Siegel

An 1840 British VR Official stamp could make $53,500 at Robert A Siegel in New York on December 9-10.

The VR variation of the Penny Black was intended for use on official government postage and is named for the letters that replace the Maltese crosses in the corners of the stamp.

penny black VR
All but around 21 sheets of the VR issue were destroyed

The issue turned out to be unnecessary as the Mulready postal stationary issued alongside the Penny Black proved wildly unpopular with the public.

Government departments resolved to use up the stocks of Mulreadies instead.  

As Siegel explains: "These "V.R." stamps were never officially placed into use despite being created for official correspondence, although a small number went through the mails as an oversight by postal employees.

"Additionally, some examples were used by [postal reformer and Penny Black creator] Rowland Hill to experiment with cancellations."

All but around 21 sheets of the issue were later destroyed.

Other British stamps on offer include an 1854 6p dull violet that is expected to realise around $27,500.  

The lot is unused and displays exceptional margins.

Siegel comments: "The Embossed Issue is notorious for producing narrowly margined stamps.

"Unused examples are difficult enough to obtain with clear margins all around, let alone an example featuring such massive margins."

We have a fascinating selection of postage stamps for sale, including a number of early British examples. Please click here to take a look.

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