Color me simple, but each plate was only used to print 1 sheet of stamps? If not, how does anyone know that this in fact is **THE** first penny black? Yes there's collateral accompanying the stamp, but that still doesn't prove that it was the first one (and wouldn't there actually be potentially multiple "first ones" given that an entire sheet was printed)?
Seems more puffery than substance. What am I missing?
Documentation. Perkins, Bacon & Petch archives.?
See the other thread on this topic. It contains a link to Sotheby's website: https://www.sothebys.com/en/press/s...-penny-black
The Wallace Document has the following annotation by Mr. Wallace.
"1st Proof of Penny Postage Stamp Cover, presented to Mr Wallace by Mr The Right Honble The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Francis Thornhill Baring — April 10th 1840."
"Universal Penny Postage Fly or Loose Stamp, presented to me Mr. Wallace as above."
"These come into public use on the 6th of May."
The "as above" may refer to the Penny Black being from a "1st Proof of" and "presented to Mr Wallace by Mr The Right Honble The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Francis Thornhill Baring — April 10th 1840."
Since plate 1 was not registered until 15 April 1840, the date of 10 April would be consistent with a proof printing. That is unlikely to have been a print run.
From the articles, it appears the provenance and maybe the history have been researched and confirmed.
It might very well have been established this stamp presented on 10 April 1840 came from a first printing of the stamp from that original plate.
If so, it would indeed be one of the first adhesive postage labels ever printed that was issued as such.
I agree it, at best, will have been one of the first. As I remarked in that other thread, if the direction of printing was one way, it does not even make the top 228.