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.
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
August 17, 2015 12:19 AMFrom 1967 to 2006, Royal Mail (Great Britain’s post office) advertised all new issues with posters displayed in post offices. Most of these posters had pictures of the stamps along with basic information such as the date of issue, instructions for first-day covers, etc. Some were a little more elaborate. Read More ›
August 14, 2015 09:46 AMWill the United States Postal Service issue a Christmas stamp this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic television musical special A Charlie Brown Christmas? Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the hiring of a new executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the new Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board and the upcoming APS Stampshow.
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.