Great Britain 1841 1d pale red brown Plate 71, SG9.
A magnificent mint four margin block of 60 with original gum (majority are unmounted mint) lettered NB-SK showing considerable plate wear and portions of no less than 24 adjoining stamps.
Vertical folds between D & E and H & I columns and a horizontal fold between the O & P rows as to be expected with such a multiple, nevertheless this magnificent block is without doubt one of the finest surviving pieces of the issue and a splendid philatelic showpiece.
Sheets from plate 71 were used in 1848 by Henry Archer, an Irish-born London businessman, for experimenting to find an easy method to separate stamps. Such a solution was in high demand as Post Offices needed a more effective way of separating stamps than the crude tearing, slicing with a blade or cutting with scissors. Archer developed two rouletting machines which effectively created a form of perforation around the margin of the stamps. After a number of failures, Archer’s experiments were eventually approved and his patents were purchased in June 1853.
The Stanley Gibbons catalogue value is £40,500+.
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