Nissen Penny Black reconstruction sees $587,000 in Chartwell auction

The original Penny Black stamps from Charles Nissen's famed 1922 plate reconstruction have sold as part of a single lot auction in London.

Charles Nissen Plating of the Penny Black reconstruction
Nissen's publication was crucial to the specialised collecting field

Originating from the illustrious Chartwell Collection, which has been seen in a number of auctions this year, the stamps sold for £364,266 ($586,985). Another instalment of the Chartwell auctions will be held with the same auction house on December 12.

There were 12 different plates used in the creation of the 1840 Penny Blacks and, while there are several publications to assist with identifying the plates, Charles Nissen and Mertram McGowan's 1922 photographic guide is by far the most widely used.

Specialised collections of Penny Blacks are particularly popular among collectors, so the hobby relies on the ease of identifying stamps from the different plates.

The offering in the present auction comprises all of the stamps photographed for the book, with a few of the original examples replaced for better examples. All of the stamps have been remounted and housed in a philatelic album.

The stamps in the collection were originally chosen for the clarity of the position letters, so the condition and quality varies throughout the album. Nonetheless, the reconstruction remains a valuable and iconic piece of philatelic history.

Also featuring alongside the collection was a reconstructed sheet of the 1841 2d - plates 3 and 4 - plus the 1854 1d Stars perf 16 on blued paper and the original two-volume plating guide, The Plating of the Penny Black.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb selection of Great Britain rare stamps for sale, including the 1840 1d black with VR in the upper corners - one of the rarest of the Officials. Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more of the latest news from across the philatelic community.


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