One Penny Plate 1



Plate 1 is iconic, being the first plate from which postage stamps were printed. The stamps were put on sale on 1 May 1840 and available for postage from May 6. However, by this time the plate was already showing significant signs of wear. Printing was continued until May 16 after which it was replaced by Plate 4. Plate 1 was then extensively repaired by re-entering every impression, thus creating a second state for every stamp. The initial printing is known as Plate 1a and the first repair Plate 1b. Printing from Plate 1b commenced on May 26.

This display looks at the early issues from Plate 1a and how later issues developed a worn appearance necessitating the major repairs. The differences between the two states are shown and examples provided of re-entries and double letters. Finally examples in brown are shown with an impression from State 1c.

Contents of display

Page 2 looks at the development of plate wear in Plate 1a
Page 3 shows how to distinguish between Plates 1a and 1b. Page 2 also shows some Plate 1b noncoincident re-entries
Page 4 shows examples where the check letters were re-cut or are rotated between the two states
Page 5 looks at impression PA where an attempt was made to remove and replace the letters but the original letters can still be seen in Plate 1b resulting in double letters
Page 6 shows the remarkable stamp HB which contains more re-entries than any other stamp in the entire line engraved period
Page 7 shows impression FI with double 'F'
Page 8 shows some examples of printings in brown
Page 9 shows an example of a stamp from the third state, Plate 1c, and some concluding remarks


Druce, AG, Perkins Bacon Great Britain Line-Engraved Postage Stamp Printing 1840-1846, Vols 1 & 2

(The MacPherson Cup allows for entries of 9-16 sheets)


Frame 1

  1. Introduction
  2. The Development of Plate Wear
  3. Distinguishing the Two States
  4. Re-cut Check Letters
  5. Re-cut Check Letters
  6. Multiple Re-entries on Impression HB
  7. Fl showing 'F' doubled
  8. Printings in Brown
  9. Later States