By Michael Baadke
Germany’s Christoph Gaertner auction firm is on the road in August, traveling first to the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 9-12, and then making the journey to Prague in the Czech Republic for Praga 2018, the specialized world stamp exhibition taking place Aug. 15-18.
Gaertner will hold a full international auction in Prague, the first time the firm has conducted a public sale in the Czech Republic. The sale will take place at the Clarion Congress Hotel on Aug. 16-17.
Five different auction catalogs have been prepared for this sale: Two feature worldwide rarities, plus specialized sales of Peter Zgonc’s Sudetenland collection, Italy and related areas, and Austria.
The Austria catalog presents a significant postal history rarity from more than 160 years ago, a cover franked with the left one-third only of the 1850-54 9-kreuzer blue stamp, machine-made paper type III.
The cut stamp representing 3kr postage payment correctly franks a complete folded letter mailed from Torna and addressed in Latin to Bishop Stefan Kollartsik in Rosenau.
The stamp is tied to the letter with a single Torna circular postmark dated 28.8, or Aug. 28 (1857), and carries an arrival postmark of 29.8, according to the Gaertner firm, which notes that it is the only known example of a cover franked with one-third of the 9kr stamp.
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The stamp segment has wide margins on all three sides and is fresh, according to Gaertner.
The discovery of the cover was first reported in 1936, and the cover has since been widely documented in specialist literature, according to the auction firm.
Certification includes a 1960 authentication from the Friedl Expert Committee, and a detailed 2017 photo certificate from Ulrich Ferchenbauer.
The cover is offered with a starting bid set at €250,000 (approximately $291,000 in late July).
The five Gaertner catalogs for the auctions at Praga 2018 can be viewed online, or contact Auktionshaus Christoph Gaertner, Steinbeisstrasse 6+8, 74321 Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany.