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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Unique Columbian cover leads rare stamp auction

It will go up for sale alongside fine pieces from the British Commonwealth and Rest of the World:- Next week, Cherrystone Auctions is offering a wide range of rare stamps - a staggering 1,266 in total - from the United States, British Commonwealth and around the world.

The New York auction house is offering the sale based around two significant collections: an excellent selection of World Classics offered by an unnamed gentleman, and the Commonwealth stamps from Dr Maurice Kendal's estate.

The American section includes a particularly fresh, unused example of the familiar 1847 10c Black. Bearing George Washington's image, this classic piece is on offer with an estimate of $15,000.

From the other side of the world, and a century later, some very fine inverted overprints from Carpatho-Ukraine are on offer: a '40-on-5f' red (one of only 17 known) and a '60-on-4f' dark brown (one of 15) have never been hinged and are offered at $4,000 and $4,500.

Carpathro-Ukranian stamp overprint
Carpatho-Ukrainian stamp overprint (40 on 5f red)

Perhaps the greatest strength of the sale, however, at least for the first day, is in the selection of Columbian covers.

The ten pieces on offer range in value between an expected $9,500 and $29,000. The highest price is for a cover bound for Medellin, with the 10c orange yellow, horizontal pair, tied by the blue oval "Santa Marta Franca" cancel.

Columbian Cover with rare stamp pair
Columbian Cover with rare stamp pair ($29,000)
(Click to enlarge)

The piece is the only known 10c First Issue pair on cover, and has therefore been at the centre of some well-known collections, including those of Neuberger and Hubbard.