1840 2d Blues


2d Plate 1: clear profile


2d Blue Plate 1, SG5, ‘GB’:

a fine and attractive example with the orange cross leaving the Queen’s profile clear. 

The margin at the left is very close but fully clear. 

At the right is a portion of the adjacent stamp, ‘GC’.

Priced by Gibbons in this shade at £975. 

Price: £235.00

NB: There is a very small ink mark at the right above the 'B' square. 

This is possibly a transfer of ink from a freshly struck transit date marking

on the back of another letter when placed on top of this stamp in the same pile.


Leeds distinctive cross


2d in the scarcer Deep Full Blue, Plate 1, SG4, ‘FB’:

clear four margins, close but clear at the top and SE corner,

 with a very small shallow thin on the reverse. 

Cancelled by a clear LEEDS Special Cross: so often this cross is found in a smudged state. 

The 2d ‘FB’ has the listed double letter ‘F’, SG Spec j.

The Leeds cross, Spec D1vh, is priced at £3,000. 

This stamp is also printed on THIN PAPER which is not catalogued on this plate:

it is known on Plates 3 and 4 but only listed for Plate 4.  

A remarkable stamp:

in a scarcer shade, with a double letter, a distinctive cross and an unlisted paper variety. 

A very rare item with a unique combination of features. 

Price: £575.00


2d Plate 1, INVERTED Watermark, Manchester 'Fishtail' Cross



2d Plate 1, 'MJ' in a shade close to or at Deep Blue.

 Corner fault at 'M' square and a very light horizontal crease just touching

the top of the QV's head and virtually invisible on the front.

The margin at the right is clear except for just shaving the 'J' square.

The stamp is cancelled by a clear and large portion of the distinctive

MANCHESTER 'Fishtail' cross, SG spec SG spec D1Ve, leaving a clear profile.

The Queen's head shows signs of plate wear. 

The reverse clearly shows an INVERTED watermark.

2d Plate 1 with this watermark variety is a very rare stamp which

Gibbons prices at £6,000 with a 'normal' cross.

From our researches we have NOT been able to find another example

of 2d Plate 1 having an Inverted watermark with any listed distinctive cross.

An estimated Gibbon's price, based on the Manchester 'Fishtail' being a little more than twice the price of a

used 2d Plate 1 in the cheapest shade, gives the example offered here a figure in excess of £12,000.

A significant line-engraved rarity which is likely to have a unique combination of features.

An important Exhibition item.

Price: £1,685.00

NB: Few major Collections have contained a used example of 2d Plate 1 with Inverted watermark.

The famous 'Daisy Collection', sold in the 1990's, had one example: it was thinned and creased.

All were cancelled by a 'normal' Maltese Cross.

The brownish colour in the left margin is fainter than the scan suggests.


2d Plate 1: MANCHESTER

Fishtail Cross


2d SG5, Plate 1, 'IK', a fine 3-margined example

with a large portion of the MANCHESTER 'Fishtail' distinctive cross.

Gibbons, Spec D1vi, prices this combination at £1,750.

On reverse there is a portion of the original gum

and a very small paper adherence.

An attractive and very collectable example of this

rare combination of stamp and cancellation. 

Price:  £335.00 


Earliest known usage of an experimental BLACK cross on Plate 1

151383: 2d Blue Plate 1, 'FB', in a scarcer deep full blue shade,

fine/very fine 4-margined example 'FB' with the catalogued variety

'double letter 'F' illustrated in Gibbons QV Volume 1. 

Tied to a clean wrapper by a BLACK LONDON cross with a

very fine 'shield' type date stamp in red of the London Twopenny Post

for SEPTEMBER 24th 1840 on the reverse top flap which displays well when raised.

This is believed to be the EARLIEST known example of the 2d blue plate 1

used with the London Experimental BLACK CROSS:  

from our researches we cannot trace an earlier example.

The experiment using black ink to cancel the 1d black and 2d blues

began on August 31st/September 1st 1840.

The 2d blue on cover in the scarcer deep full blue is priced by Gibbons in excess of £3.000. 

A superb and extremely rare Exhibition item. 

Price: £1,785.00


Perth Distinctive Cross on 2d Blue Plate 2

15144:  2d deep blue, Plate 2, ‘BK’, SG Spec DS7:

An almost three margined example, crossed by a light filing crease, tied to a

wrapper, Perth to Dunkeld August 11th 1841, by a fine PERTH characteristic cross. 

This cross is NOT listed by Gibbons on the1840 2d blue, only on the 1d black as SG Spec A1um,

and priced by Gibbons at £9,000 on cover in the  2011, Edition of QV Volume 1.  

Rockoff and Jackson has NO recorded example of this Perth cross on an 1840 2d blue. 

A very rare and attractive item.  

Price:  £880.00

NB: see Item 152541, in the 'Other Line Engraved 1d Reds and 1841 2d Blues' Section

which would make a unique pairing with this item.


Plate 2: Leeds Crosses

151555.  2d blue Plate 2:

 very fine/superb large square margined example printed

 in the Deep Blue shade, SG Spec DS7. 

Cancelled Contrary to Post Office Regulations by a double strike,

and a small portion of a third.

The crosses are the distinctive LEEDS Cross, SG Spec SS7vd.

Priced by Gibbons in the latest, 2011 Edition, of QV Volume 1 at £3,000. 

A rarity. 

Price:  £870.00


 Leeds distinctive cross


2d plate 1, ‘PH’, full margins except just touched below ‘P’ square,

huge margin at top with part of above stamp,

some minor wrinkles and a surface scratch top right. 

QV with a clear profile and with the LEEDS characteristic cross,

Spec D1vd, priced by Gibbons at £3,000 on this issue.  

Price:  £355.00

GREENOCK distinctive cross

with RPS Cert.

152206.  1840 2d Blue SG5 'TG' plate 1: 

fine/very fine full margined example with a superb upright and complete

GREENOCK cross, SG Spec D1va, and offered with a clear RPS Certificate. 

A rare stamp and priced by Gibbons in the latest, 2011, Edition of QV Volume 1 at £2,500.

Price: £890.00


Late usage of 1840 2d Blue Plate 2 with Rare Cancellation

and paired with 2d Plate 4.

151208: 2d blue plates 2 and 4, a remarkable pairing as BOTH are cancelled by the numeral 74 in oval of bars,

type74D4A of the London District Post Chief Office.

This is given a rarity 'G' rating ie Very Rare in Parmenter's

'Barred Numeral Cancellations of London'. The cancellation is recorded in use from June 1852-March 1853. 

The 2d Plate 2 is tied to a small piece and has a NE corner fault with a light surface scatch above the 'T' of 'TWO'.

However, it is a very late usage of this plate and possibly unique with this very rare cancellation.

The Plate 4 is a superb example, huge margins with parts of three other stamps. 

Printed in a Deep Full Blue on the catalogued thin paper variety, Spec ES15q and shows a fine Ivory Head.

Plate 2 with an 1844 numeral cancellation is priced by Gibbons at £2,500. 

A unique pairing.     

Price: £390.00


An 1822 Document sent in 1842 in Wales 


A remarkable item: an official document, dated 1822 with another dated note inside for 1835, turned into a letter and

sent locally within CORWEN, Merioneth, on May 2nd 1842 and received the following day.

On the front is written 'Stamped Sunday Night': May 1st 1842 was a Sunday. 

The postage fee has been paid by a 2d blue Plate 2, SG5, and two 1d red imperfs.

The 2d blue, NL', is just 4-margined has a large portion of the Queen's head clear though with faults.

One 1d red is almost full margined and the other is only a partial stamp.

The three stamps would all have been marginal and the margins have been folded on to the back of the letter to help to seal it.

The staining on and around the stamps and on the back of the letter, appear to be largely from the gum of the stamp margins.

The partial 1d stamp was damaged when the letter was opened.

A 4d rate with an 1840 2d blue used in conjunction with the 1d red is a rare combination and especially so on a complete cover or letter.

The 'Daisy' Collection, The Dr Pichai Collection, The Chartwell Collection and the Lady Mairi Bury Collection:

none of these contained a 4d rate with this combination on cover or letter. 

The 2d Plate 2 on cover is priced by Gibbons at £3,250. 

A very rare Welsh usage.

A truly remarkable survivor which despite the faults would make a memorable Exhibition item. 

Price:  £675.00


MAY 22nd 1840: Entire with strip of three 2d Pale Blue Plate 1

152230.  2d pale blue plate 1, ‘HJ-HL’, SG Spec D1(3): 

each has full margins and tied to a legal letter from Liverpool to Manchester which would have contained a mortgage deed hence the 6d rate.

Letter dated MAY 21st 1840 and on the reverse top flap is a very fine Liverpool cds for MAY 22nd 1840 in the same orange shade as the Liverpool crosses. 

Gibbons lists the 1d black used with the Liverpool orange cross, Spec A1vg, but NOT the 2d blue.

This item is recorded in Jackson’s Book of May 1840 dates where it is described as a ‘divided strip of three’. 

As seen in the images the stamps have been partially divided in a vertical direction but not separated. 

Such a method was used in the post offices at the time by the postal clerks to speed up the separation when the stamps were needed. 

Jackson mentions ‘creasing/wrinkling’ but there is NO evidence of creasing and the only wrinkling is perhaps in the NE square of ‘HL’ and is very minor. 

It would appear that the creasing/wrinkling refers to the inside of the letter as seen in the scan.

He records ONLY SEVENTY examples of the 2d blue used in MAY 1840 on covers and pieces including combinations on Mulreadies.

This compares with  EIGHTY SIX examples of the 1d black used on the First Day of Issue, May 6th 1840! 

Of the SEVENTY 2d blue May 1840 items: TWENTY FOUR examples have faults to the stamp(s) and/or are not 4-margined: each of ‘HJ-HL’ has full margins.

 Only one other 6d rate is recorded between May 6th and May 21st and with that example the 2d blues are touched and or torn/damaged. 

In the latest Edition, 2011, of QV Volume 1,Gibbons prices a SINGLE 2d blue used on a May 1840 cover at £17,500 before allowing for the Liverpool orange cross:

this would rise to an estimated Gibbons price in excess of £30,000 if included.

A superb and extremely rare item and one of Exhibition importance.     



A UNIQUE Quartet of Items: May 22nd 1840.


15146:  A unique quartet of items all used on the same date - MAY 22nd 1840. 
1.  1d Mulready Envelope, A153, from Great Yarmouth to Norwich, overall fine with clear date stamp on the reverse.

2.   2d Mulready wrapper, from Wellingborough to the Rev Harold Browne, Emmanuel College,Cambridge together with his biopic.

Superb deep orange cross, very fine address panel, faults on the reverse but with a clear Wellingborough date stamp.

Jackson records a total of ONLY FIFTY May 1840 usages of the 2d Mulready

which includes both letter sheet and envelopes. 

The rarity of these is emphasised by Jackson recording 86 1d black covers used on the First Day of Issue, May 6th 1840!

3.  1d Black, Plate 2, ‘MD’, very fine 4-margined example tied to clean entire from London to Marlborough by a

fine red/orange cross. London date stamp on reverse top flap: unrecorded by Jackson Code ‘O’ for evening duty.

4.  2d Blue, Plate 1, ‘JA’, not full margined but tied to a wrapper from London to Truro by a very fine and superb red/orange cross. 

Appears to be the broken points London cross, unrecorded on the 2d blue.  London date stamp, Code ’R’, (evening duty), on reverse.

Jackson records ONLY 70 examples of the 2d Blue used in May 1840

which includes pieces as well as full covers, but 86 1d black First Day of Issue examples.

Neither this 2d Mulready nor the 2d Blue wrapper are recorded in Jackson’s book of May 1840 usages.  

The prices from Gibbons latest, 2011, QV Volume 1, Edition for these May 1840 dates are: 

1d Mulready - £1,200.

2d Mulready wrapper - £17,000.

1d Black - £2,800.

2d Blue - £17,500.

A total Gibbons price of £38,500 and offered at less than 18% of this figure.
A truly remarkable and unique grouping. 

Price:  SOLD

NB: variable condition but each item is in better condition than the scan suggests.


Superb pair: 2d Blue Plate 1


1109. 1840 2d blue plate 1 (SC-SD):

exceptionally attractive pair, with very large to just clear margins at the left,

tied to a small piece by lightly applied red/orange crosses. 

Priced by Gibbons in the latest, 2011, Edition of QV Volume 1, from £2,000.


Price:  £975.00   


2d Blue Plate 2 Deep Full Blue.

1110. 1840 2d plate 2, 'DF', Deep Full Blue:

a superb example with good to huge margins and partial double black crosses.  

Margin at left with large portion of stamp ‘DE’ which has the listed variety ‘double letter ‘E’ ‘. 

Printed on unlisted thin paper and showing plate corrosion in and around ’POSTAGE’. 

An exceptional stamp and priced by Gibbons at a minimum of £1,300. 

A rare item of Exhibition quality.

Price: £750.00   


Plate 1: a deep shade

151556.  2d blue Plate 1: deep blue shade.

A fine 3 plus margined example with a complete black cross. 

Priced by Gibbons at £1,100. 

Price:  £220.00


Plate 1 with Worcester numeral


2d 'EK' Plate 1: fine 4-margined example, some blue marks on the reverse.

Printed in the scarce Deep Full Blue shade and with the variety 'Double Letter K', Spec DS1j. 

This double letter is illustrated in the latest Edition of QV Volume 1.

The stamp is cancelled by the '918' numeral of WORCESTER. 

In the cheapest shade with an 1844 cancellation, Gibbons prices this stamp at £2,000.

but allowing for the scarcer shade and letter variety this increases to approx,£2,700.

An attractive and very scarce/rare stamp in fine condition with an 1844 cancellation. 

Price:  £685.00


Sample of Engine Turning: similar to that used on the 2d Blue.

151410.  In the 'Story of the Penny Black' by Rigo de Righi, p.15, he notes that J B Bacon (Perkins, Bacon & Co),

had patented a machine - the Rose Lathe, a type of geometrical design lathe. 

This was used for engine turning on the back of watches.

Bacon's proposed to use engine turning as the background on the 1d black and 2d blue and

in the 'POSTAGE' design part of he Mulready as a protection against forgeries.

This was agreed by Rowland Hill and Henry Cole. 

The example offered here is an engine turned sample, circa 1838/9, no. 5D (ex Plate 'D'). 

This item would make an excellent addition to the early part of a 1d black,

2d blue or Mulready Collection as well as a general Line Engraved Collection. 

The first such sample we have been able to offer. 



FIVE Drogheda Vivid Red Crosses on a 2d Blue

151386. 2d Blue Plate 1, 'PI' on dated piece from DROGHEDA to the STAMP OFFICE in DUBLIN, September 18th 1840:

a two plus margined example, affixed over a pronounced watermark line in the paper,

and tied by FIVE bright vivid red MX's of DROGHEDA.

This cross is illustrated in Rockoff and Jackson Volume 2 page 324

on a 1d black cover, September 8th 1840.

We have never seen FIVE MX's used on any value and therefore this item is believed to be UNIQUE

One can only speculate as to why the postmaster/mistress decided to cancel the stamp in such a dramatic fashion

but philatelically speaking, very pleased they did!

A truly remarkable line engraved rarity  and a memorable Exhibition Piece.

Price: SOLD

NB: the apparent yellow/browning around the MX's is far fainter than the scan suggests.


Scarce 4d rate: 1d reds and 2d Blues

151327.  TWO pieces each showing the scarce 4d rate:

a). 2d blue, SG 5 Plate 2 ‘FL’, almost 3-margined, in a RARE combination with a fine/very fine 4-marginen PAIR,

close to just clear in a couple of places, from Plate 5, ‘SA-SB’ with both stamps in a REPAIRED STATE, SG Spec AS33,

1841 Provisional Repair. Black MX’s and handstruck ‘TOO LATE’ in red – possibly applied in London.

A multiple of Plate 5 showing a Repaired State is rarely found especially used in combination with an 1840 2d blue.

b). 2d blue SG15, Plate 3, ‘EA,’ 3-margined with guide line NE corner, in a very scarce/rare combination with two 1d reds,

‘NF’ and ‘BA’, both full margined and both from Plate 24 with black MX’s on front and part back.

On the reverse top flap is a part Congleton cds for 1843.

Offered as a very rare/unique pairing which would make an attractive display item showing

the different plates used from both the 1d red and 2d blue issues to make up the 4d rate.    

Price the pair: £550.00


2d DEEP BLUE Plate 2.

151207: SG 4, 'SK' Plate 2: superb 4-margined example, in a DEEP BLUE shade.  The partial double

strikes of the MX leaves QV with a clear profile allowing the deep blue to be seen to advantage. 

Spec DS7 and priced by Gibbons at £1,300.  



DUBLIN Cross: constant break variety.

15195.  2d deep blue Plate 2, ‘RD’: large margins but just clear to shaved NW corner.

Very small shallow thin on reverse at top left but cancelled by

a very fine/superb strike of the characteristic DUBLIN CROSS, Spec DS7vj. 

This cross clearly shows the constant break in the outer frame which is illustrated by Rockoff,

Volume 1, p 92/3, between March 1843 and March 1844 with

only 3 out of 41 covers showing this variety all on 1d reds.

As far as we are aware, the example offered here of this variety

is the only one known on the 1840 2d blue and is a late usage within the MX period.  

The characteristic Dublin cross, without the rare break, is priced

by Gibbons in the latest, QV Volume 1, at £2,500. 

A considerable rarity.    

Price:   £560.00 

NB: This would make a unique pairing with item 15196 from the 1841 2d blue Section ie:



15196.   2d blue plate 3, ‘IH-II’ pair,:

‘II’ full margins, just clear SE square, with a contemporary written date of 1844, and tied

by two superb strikes of the DUBLIN characteristic cross to a piece. 

Both crosses clearly show the constant break in the outer frame which is recorded by

Rockoff, Volume 1, p 92/3, between March 1843 and March 1844 with only 3 out of 41 covers

showing this variety and all on 1d reds. 

None are recorded on the 2d blue and as far as we are aware, the examples offered

here of this variety are the only known strikes on the 1841 2d blue.

The characteristic Dublin cross, without the constant break, is priced on a single 2d blue

by Gibbons in the latest, 2011, QV Volume, at £700, Spec ES11ul.  

A rare and attractive item.   

Price:  £385.00    

2d Blue Plate 1: exceptional example on cover.

15181.  2d Blue plate 1 ‘JI’, SG5:

superb full margined example tied to a clean wrapper – much cleaner than

the scan suggests – and used within London. 

The orange-red cross leaves most of the Queen’s head clear. 

 On the reverse is a London date stamp for June 24th 1840 in the same shade of ink as the Maltese cross. 

Plate 1 on cover with a red cross priced by Gibbons at £3,000.   

 A superb item and one of the most attractive 2d blue covers we have offered.  

Price:  £1,150.00


2d Plate 1: cross similar to DUMFRIES.

15167:  2d Blue plate 1, ‘HG’:

fine full margined example tied to small piece by an almost

complete small black cross reminiscent of that of Dumfries. 

Shade close to, or at, deep blue. 

Price:  £235.00

Greenock Cross on 2d Blue Plate 1 STEEL BLUE shade

15142:  2d blue plate 1, pair ‘KJ-KK’, printed in the rare STEEL BLUE shade, SG Spec DS4. 

Full margins, large to close but clear, and placed across a light fold in the paper prior to posting. 

Tied to a commercial letter from Greenock to Edinburgh, September 10th 1841,

by THREE strikes of the characteristic GREENOCK CROSS, Spec D1va. 

A single 2d blue on cover in the cheapest shade with this cross is priced in

the latest, 2011, Edition of QV Volume 1 at £7,500

and an estimated catalogue value (ECV) single of this rare shade is £17,000 with this cross on cover. 

A pair in this shade on cover with this cross has an ECV in excess of £30,000. 

The first example we have seen of this cross on a 2d in this rare shade and it is

believed to be the EARLIEST KNOWN EXAMPLE of this cross on a 2d blue - Rockoff and Jackson

record only two earlier usages of the characteristic Greenock cross and these are on 1d black covers.  

Each of the three crosses show a black ‘circle/dot’ between the outer and inner arm of the cross at the right,

 especially visible on the right hand bottom cross going onto the letter and possibly caused by a holding pin in the cross. 

This constant variety was NOT recorded by Rockoff and Jackson.  

A superb line engraved rarity.   


NB: the scan does not do justice to the steel blue shade.

May 18th 1840



1205.  2d blue plate 1 (GC)  4-margined example, just shaved corner of NW letter square,

tied by a double strike in red of the characteristic Worcester cross to an entire to Stourbridge. 

Letter dated May 18 1840 and on reverse is a partially struck Worcester date stamp for this same date.  

This rare May 1840 letter is recorded in ‘May Dates’ by Jackson.   

In The Maltese Cross Cancellations of Great Britain and Ireland  Volume 2,

no example of this cross is listed on other than the 1d black and 1d red and this example 

at May 18 1840 is the earliest recorded usage.  Offered with a 1d black plate 1a on matching dated piece for May 18 1840. 

This May 1840 date for the 2d blue is priced by Gibbons in the latest, 2011, Edition of QV Volume 1, at £17,500.  


 2d Plate 1: May 20th 1840


2d plate 1,‘TK-TL’, on dated piece with an almost full-margined pair in a rich blue and well tied by MXs in an unusual deep orange-red. 

Edinburgh date stamp for MAY 20th 1840.  Stamp ‘TK’ clear/barely touching at ‘K’ square and ‘TL’ just into at the ‘T’ square. 

A pair with a red cross in the cheapest shade priced by Gibbons in 2011 in excess of £2100 on stamps alone. 

Stamp ‘TK’ has the listed variety guide line in the NW corner. 

All May 1840 usages of the 2d are rare on cover or piece and multiple usages rarer still,

 a single 2d on a May dated cover priced by Gibbons in the latest QV Volume 1, 2011 at £17,500.  

An attractive and rare item.  


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