Two Pence Blue stamp block from the Chartwell collection delivers $660,000

Another section of the phenomenal Chartwell stamp collection went under the hammer this week in London.

The Line-Engraved Essays and Proofs, (part II) auction held some extraordinarily impressive blocks and prototypes from the dawn of philately.

One impressive result was a single 1841 Two Pence Blue stamp, one of 22 removed from the imprimatur which sported the sage marginal inscription "ove the Cement", (perhaps it's supposed to be 'love the cement').

With two wide margins aside from the giant ones which come with it being the AL corner-piece, the fresh, deep-blue stamp sold for £25,200, squeaking past its top estimate.

However, the top lot as expected was a block of 12 Two Pence Blue stamps from plate 1 which was once owned by Maurice Burrus.

Two Pence Blue stamp  Blue Plate I block 12 Chartwell
Two Pence Blue Plate stamp block from the Chartwell collection

The lot matched up a block of four to a block of eight it was previously printed with. There is also text on this, at the base: "abels above the Addrefs and towards the right hand side of the letter; In Wetting the Back be ca".

Whether it was these words of wisdom (possibly some reference to the story of Cain and Abel) that attracted collectors, or just presence of original gum and large margins on the fresh, clean stamps, it is the largest known mint multiple of plate 1 in private hands. It sold for £420,000.

Collectors who are cursing their luck that they couldn't bid in the auction will be pleased to hear that we have some rare philatelic gems one offer from the early stages of postage stamp development ourselves, including this Rainbow trial item amongst others.

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