Mint Twopenny Blue plate block of stamps could deliver $950,000 in Chartwell auction

We promised we'd bring you all the highlights from the latest offerings of the Chartwell collection coming up at a London auction. This part is the Chartwell Collection of Line-Engraved Essays and Proofs, part II.

Following on from last year's domination of the rare stamp markets Sir Humphrey Cripps's vast collection which we celebrated by listing a top five of our favourite stamps sold from Chartwell, and noting that one of them was the most valuable philatelic sale of the year, the collection still has six-figure rarities to offer.

We mentioned one in the form of an 1840 five column comparison experimental engraving plate, but despite being listed as worth up to £150,000 this is unlikely to be the top lot.

Penny Black Plate III block 12 Chartwell
The Plate III block of 12 Penny Blacks

Two lots which are more likely to top the sale off are blocks of Britain's first two stamp types: the Penny Black and Twopenny Blue.

Penny Blacks aren't always valuable, having been produced in such great numbers. However when you have a mint block of twelve (6x2) which just so happens to be the largest mint multiple of plate three in private hands, people sit up and take notice.

Instructions for the stamps' use run along the selvedge at the bottom: "Sheet. Place the Labels above the Addrefs and towards the right hand side of the Letter: In Wettin". With original gum, nice margins and a clean fresh appearance this is a dreamy item for a British stamp collector and expected to sell for £400,000-500,000.

Twopenny Blue Plate I block 12 Chartwell
Good enough for Burrus... The Twopenny Blue Plate I block of 12

Possibly even more valuable however is a re-united block of twelve from plate 1, rejoining a block of four to the block of eight which originally appeared to its right. This too has text at the foot: "abels above the Addrefs and towards the right hand side of the letter; In Wetting the Back be ca".

Wonderfully fresh, bearing original gum and with large margins all round, this is the largest known mint multiple of plate 1 in private hands, and was once owned by Maurice Burrus. It is listed at £500,000-600,000.

Collectors on the look out for fine block from the dawn of philately should take a look at our Rainbow Trials stock items including this colour trial block of twelve.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock