1933 Balbo flight cover in Feb. 7-8 Cherrystone sale

Jan 31, 2023, 9 AM
This attractive Italy 1933 Balbo trans-Atlantic flight cover will be among the more than 1,350 lots of rare stamps and postal history of the world that Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will offer during a two-day sale Feb. 7-8 in New Jersey.

By Charles Snee

Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will serve up more than 1,350 lots of rare stamps and postal history from around the world during a sale to be held Feb. 7-8 at its gallery in Teaneck, N.J.

The two-day auction will take place over four sessions, with sessions each day at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

Airmail enthusiasts will want to take a look at the 1933 Balbo flight cover included in the offerings from Italy.

Countries represented with significant items include Albania, Austria, France and colonies, Germany, Great Britain and British Commonwealth, according to Cherrystone.

“There are rarities from Iran, including postal history, Italy and Italian Colonies, a collection of hand-painted Karl Lewis covers and more,” Cherrystone said.

The sale concludes with more than 200 large lots and collections. Here bidders will find single country albums, specialized collections and large cover lots offered intact, according to Cherrystone.

The selections for Italy include a number of impressive flight covers. One of these is a June 8, 1933, registered and flown Balbo trans-Atlantic flight cover that was mailed from Florence, Italy, to Chicago.

A colorful strip of three (Italy Scott C48) consisting of a label at left featuring the Italian flag, a central 5.25-lira King Victor Emmanuel III stamp and a 19.75-lira Allegory of Flight stamp is tied to the envelope by three strikes of a Firenze (Florence) postmark.

According to Cherrystone, the cover transited through Amsterdam and New York City before arriving in Chicago. Accompanying the cover is a 2018 certificate from Fiorenzo Longhi, a noted expert in the area of Italian airmail.

A summary of the Balbo flight is given in a footnote in the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940:

“Transatlantic Flight, Rome-Chicago, of 24-seaplane squadron led by Gen. Italo Balbo. Center and right sections paid postage. At left is registered air express label overprinted ‘APPARECCHIO’ and abbreviated pilot’s name. Twenty triptychs of each value differ in name overprint.”

The label on the Balbo cover in the Cherrystone sale is overprinted “APPARECCHIO I - BORG.”

The Scott C48 triptych on a flown cover is valued at $3,000 in the Scott Classic Specialized catalog.

Cherrystone lists this attractive 1933 Balbo trans-Atlantic flight cover with an opening bid of $900.

The catalog for the Feb. 7-8 worldwide stamps and postal history sale can be viewed and is available for download on the Cherrystone website, with online bidding options available.

Information also is available from Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers, 300 Frank W. Burr Blvd., Second Floor, Box 35, Teaneck, NJ 07666.

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