By Michael Baadke
An outstanding stamp rarity, just recently discovered, will be offered at the 57th auction of Aix-Phila Briefmarken in Aachen, Germany, Nov. 27-28.
The 1920 mint condition stamp is Germany’s 2-mark carmine and blue Germania, printed on paper with the quatrefoils (crucifer flower) watermark. The stamp is unique in mint condition.
Only three examples of this stamp, all used and canceled, were known prior to this new discovery, according to Aix-Phila.
The 2015-16 Michel Deutschland catalog identifies the stamp as Michel 152Y with a value of €50,000 (approximately $55,000) in used condition only. The variety is not listed in the 2015 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers.
The 1920 2m Germania was normally printed on paper with the lozenges watermark. That fairly common issue is Scott 131 (Michel 152).
The quatrefoils watermark was intended exclusively for use on German revenue stamps, but a small number of postage stamps printed on the quatrefoils watermark paper are known.
Among these is a close relative of the 2m stamp: the 1920 1¼m vermillion and magenta Germania, which is listed as Scott 210 (Michel 151Y). The 1¼m stamp with the quatrefoils watermark is scarce, though nowhere near as rare as the 2m. The 1¼m stamp has Scott catalog values of $450 for unused examples and $975 for used examples.
The 2m stamp being offered by Aix-Phila was discovered “when a local collector came across one which had been slumbering in his collection for many years,” according to Andreas Kaufmann of Aix-Phila.
The stamp was examined in Germany by expertizer Dieter Weinbuch, who issued a photo certificate on Aug. 17 identifying the stamp as a genuine and unique mint example of Michel 152Y, in very good quality, with a small production-related printing and gum flaw.
The stamp is offered by Aix-Phila with a starting bid of €20,000 (approximately $22,000).
The Aix-Phila auction begins Nov. 27 with a selection of German-area and worldwide coins and collections. The auction continues with German-area stamps and covers, including the 2m Germania variety.
The sale continues through Nov. 28 with worldwide stamps and covers, collections and large lots.
Additional information about the auction can be found online, or write to Aix-Phila Briefmarken GmbH, Lothringerstrasse 13, D-52062 Aachen, Germany.