Auction review: Penny Black first-day cover brings £45k

A first-day cover of Great Britain’s iconic Penny Black—the world’s first postage stamp—realized £45,600 (nearly $75,000 Cdn.) at an auction hosted by England’s Spink and Son yesterday.

The cover, which is dated May 6, 1840, was offered as Lot 2137 of Spink’s Great Britain Stamps and Postal History Sale featuring the Charles Hamilton Collection. It had a pre-sale estimate of between £25,000 and £30,000 (upwards of $49,725 Cdn.).

The Penny Black franked to this cover was described by Spink as “grey-black shade, slightly worn plate, just touched a (sic) right, good to very large margins other sides and showing a portion of the adjoining stamp at left, tied by a crisp red Maltese Cross cancellation of entire letter dated 6 May 1840 (first Official day of use) to Doctors Commons, red ‘T.P. /Cornhill’ on front and octagonal “6ev/pd/6my/1840/6ev” datestamp on reverse and opening well for display.”

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