A noticeable characteristic of the Jan. 13-14 sale from Cherrystone Auctions is that it includes a broad and varied selection of material from all over the world, including some items that are not frequently seen.
Collectors can choose from stamps, proofs, postal history and collections. The material is particularly strong for United States, Germany, British Commonwealth and Russia, but attractive items from many other areas are also on offer.
The auction, at Cherrystone’s New York galleries, begins with a selection of U.S. stamps and covers, starting with the 1845 5¢ black New York postmaster’s provisional without signature (Scott 9X1e), and leading into the 1847 first federal issues, the 5¢ red brown Benjamin Franklin (1) and the 10¢ black George Washington (2). Most of the 1847 issues are offered on cover with a variety of postmarks and manuscript cancels.
One later cover from the selection of U.S. classics is particularly nice: a Civil War-era three-color Union patriotic mailed from Louisville, Ky., to the German territory of Baden.
The cover sports a handsome Eagle and Shield cachet at left, with the word “Union” spelled out below it in blue.
It is franked with three stamps from the 1861-66 issue: the 1¢ blue Franklin (Scott 63), the 3¢ pink Washington (65) and the 24¢ lilac Washington (78), with each stamp struck by a black circular Louisville datestamp dated Feb. 18, 1863.
The cover is endorsed “Via Prussian Closed Mail” with an “Aachen Franco” marking in red and, according to the auction description, additional markings on the back (with part of the back flap missing).
The cover is listed with an estimated net realization of $2,500.
An infrequently seen offering among the British Commonwealth material comes from the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean: the 1961 semipostal set for Tristan relief (Scott B1-B4).
These semipostals were created from four stamps from Tristan’s 1961 pictorial issue, then overprinted with the country name for St. Helena and surcharged with added values.
The intention was to provide support for Tristan, which was ravaged by a violent volcanic eruption in October 1961. The surtax collected from the sale of the semipostal stamps was to benefit the St. Helena fund for Tristan.
But there was a hitch.
The British Library notes that the St. Helena governor authorized the stamps without realizing that he did not have the authority to do so, and the semipostals, though well-intentioned, were withdrawn after only 434 sets were sold.
The unused set of four has a value of $7,600 in italics in the 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, the italics indicating that these particular stamps trade infrequently.
Cherrystone lists this set, described as very fine and never hinged, with an estimate of $6,000.
Another stamp in the auction that is infrequently seen is Italy’s 1945 Allied Military Government overprinted issue for Venezia Giulia (Zone A) on the 1929 10-lira purple stamp with fasces symbols at lower left and lower right.
The stamp has the “A.M.G.” “V.G.” overprint for the stamps issued jointly by the Allied Military Government of the United States and Great Britain for civilian use in areas under Allied occupation, as the Scott catalog explains.
The 2014 Sassone specialized catalog of Italy identifies this stamp as No. 11A and notes that only 50 examples of this variety were printed.
The same overprint on the redesigned (but very similar) 1945 10-lira stamp without fasces (Scott 1LN7) is common.
The overprinted stamp with fasces is valued at E24,000 in the 2014 Sassone catalog, which converts to more than $29,000 as of mid-December. Sassone values this stamp only in unused condition.
The unused stamp on offer is described in the auction listing as very fine and never hinged. Cherrystone has this unusual find listed with an estimate of $5,000.
The four sessions of Cherrystone’s Jan. 13-14 auction may be viewed online, and bids can be placed at www.cherrystoneauctions.com.
Additional information is available from Cherrystone Auctions, 119 W. 57th St., Suite 316, New York, NY 10019; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.