By Michael Baadke
An 1877 cover from Finland franked with 10 32-penni stamps of the 1875-82 issue (Scott 23) will be offered during the March 18-19 international auction from Postiljonen.
The franking is created from a strip of 10 that includes a gutter separating five vertical stamps on either end.
The existence of this strip is cited as proof that the 32p stamp from the Helsinki “Senate” printing was created in sheets consisting of two panes of 50, or “double sheets,” as described by Postiljonen.
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The stamps on the so-called “Gutter Cover” were postmarked with cork cancels in Abo, Finland, before traveling by ship to Westeras, Sweden. Postiljonen notes that the strip of 10 with gutter is unique and the largest used multiple recorded.
The cover is listed by Postiljonen with a starting price of €25,000 (approximately $27,600 in late February).
The auction firm, based in Malmo, Sweden (just across the Oresund bridge from Copenhagen, Denmark), will hold the auction at its Malmo offices on the ground floor at Oresundshuset, Hans Michelsensgatan 9.
The Postiljonen international auction also presents a large selection of Scandinavian classic issues, as well as worldwide stamps, covers, and collections.
Along with the international auction, Postiljonen is offering the first part of the Indridi Palsson large gold medal collection of Iceland, consisting of more than 200 lots of stamps, covers, proofs, and postal stationery.
The auction catalogs for both of these sales are available online.