A 1840 Penny Black that features the Maltese Cross cancellation is to provide the highlight of the Great Britain section of an upcoming US stamp auction.
The California sale will take place over three days, on November 8-10, and features the Dr Royal S Schaaf postal history collection of the world and the US.
The Penny Black in the auction originates from plate 11, featuring the O D position letters. A scarce plate number, the stamp is also cancelled with the Maltese Cross, which was the first cancellation used to prevent the world's first adhesive stamp from re-use. Boasting full to wide margins and in extremely fine condition, it will sell with a $6,000-8,000 estimate.
Also featuring is an example of the Penny Black that was printed with an inverted watermark. Originating from plate 1B with clear margins, it is expected to bring $750-1,000.
We are currently offering a mint example of the 1840 1d VR Official, which is one of the rarest of its type.
Elsewhere in the Great Britain section will be the 1882/1883 £1 stamp, which sports a nice strike of the "Borough B O/High Street SE" cancellation. With just some trivial perforation faults affecting its otherwise fresh condition, it will sell for $3,000-4,000.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a very fine, unused example of the 1884 £1 stamp currently available.
For US collectors, the sale will also feature a nice example of the CIA invert - one of the best known error stamps in the nation's postal history. The example at auction is post office fresh with unblemished original gum, and will sell with a $10,000-15,000 valuation.
The estimate given appears accurate; another example of the CIA invert brought $15,000 to an auction in June.