Cherrystone Auctions in New York offered the Igor Gorski specialized collection of Russia Feb. 20.
After the Czar Nicholas II was overthrown, the provisional government held a contest to design new stamps. One of the participating artists was Rihards Zarins, a Latvian trained in western Europe who had previously designed Russian stamps, including the 1913 Romanov series (Scott 88-104) and the 1914 semipostals depicting the Russian knight Ilya Murometz and other subjects (B5-B8).
Zarins’ design for a new definitive showing the knight was not adopted, although die proofs exist. A combination die proof of this design, together with the 1918 Severing the Chain of Bondage design in an unissued denomination of 15 kopecks, fetched $29,900 (all Cherrystone results include 15 percent buyer’s premium).
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic existed as a sovereign state for five years, from the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 until the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922.
Russia issued some 200 stamps in that chaotic period, with postage rates changing an astonishing 23 times. Not surprisingly, the Russian post office struggled to keep up, and some stamps became obsolete before they even reached the public. Errors and unique varieties abound, and the Gorski collection contained many of them.
The standout item was a 1922 pane of 25 imperforate 100-ruble Red Army Soldier stamps, in which one cliche was mistakenly replaced with the 70r stamp of the same design (Scott 237a).
Dubbed “one of the greatest rarities in Russian philately,” the item, pictured here, is one of just four full panes known, including one in a St. Petersburg museum. It sold for $126,500.
The next highest realization, at triple its presale estimate, was $83,375 for a handsome proof of Russia’s first airmail stamp, the 45r black and green Fifth Anniversary of the October Revolution stamp overprinted with a red airplane (Scott C1). Endorsed by the postmaster, it is unique.
In 1921, a set of semipostal stamps was prepared to raise money for Volga flood and famine relief. However, because the authorities could not provide paper to print the stamps, employees of the State Printing Office worked in their free time to print them on marginal scraps left over from other stamp printings.
An imperforate block of four of the 2250r+2250r brown stamp (Scott B16), printed on the margin of a block of fifteen 200r definitives (182), went for $25,300.
blogI see examples of reused stamps on a regular basis while sorting through subscription-reply mail sent to the circulation department of Linn’s parent company, Amos Media. For the most part, the reused stamp has been carefully and closely cut from its original envelope and either glued or taped in place. Read More ›
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke reports on a new Charlie Brown computer-vended postage stamp that is sold only through post office self-service kiosks.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.