Argentina invert, unissued PRC rarity, more in Jan. 9-10 Cherrystone auction of rare worldwide stamps and postal history

Dec 14, 2023, 7 AM

By Charles Snee

Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will tempt bidders with more than 1,500 lots of rare stamps and postal history from around the world during a Jan. 9-10 sale at its gallery in Teaneck, N.J.

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

During the leadoff session on the morning of Jan. 9, an exceptional error rarity of Argentina will cross the auction block: an unused block of 10 of the 1899 5-peso orange and black Allegory of Liberty with the vignette (central image) inverted (Scott 140a).

As shown in the first picture, the block retains its margin selvage at left and right. According to Cherrystone, six of the 10 stamps are never hinged; the remaining four stamps are lightly hinged.

Cherrystone notes that only 50 examples of the error were printed, the block of 10 being the largest existing multiple.

South America expert Victor K. Kneitschel (1930-80) once described the unique block of 10 as one of the “Piezas Notables” (notable pieces) of Argentine philately, Cherrystone said.

A Philatelic Foundation certificate issued in 2002 accompanies the block.

An unused (previously hinged) example of Scott 140a is valued at $2,750 in the 2024 edition of the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers, 1840-1940.

Cherrystone is offering this magnificent block of 10 of the 1899 5p Allegory of Liberty with inverted vignette with an opening bid of $15,000, as listed in the printed catalog.

Also to be offered during the Jan. 9 morning session is a People’s Republic of China 8-fen Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution stamp that was prepared in 1968 but never officially issued.

The stamp features an illustration of “Chairman Mao [Zedong] and Lin Bin Piao before a Victory celebration in the countryside,” according to Cherrystone.

As illustrated nearby, the top right corner sheet margin single is encased in a plastic holder, known to collectors as a slab. A tag, also housed in the slab, states that the mint, never-hinged stamp has been graded very fine-extra fine 85 by Authenticated Stamp Guaranty, a philatelic grading service with locations in Sarasota, Fla., and Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.

“This issue is known to have been released early by the post office in Hebei,” Cherrystone said, “which sold the stamp before the officially anticipated date of issue.

“Therefore, prior to the cancelation [sic] of this issue, a few examples actually came on the market before the entire supply of stamps was returned to Beijing.”

The unissued 1968 8f Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution stamp is illustrated (but not listed) and valued at $300,000 in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. A second unissued 8f stamp picturing a map of China and workers is also pictured with the Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution stamp in the Scott Standard catalog; that stamp is valued at $1.15 million.

Cherrystone lists this unissued Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution stamp with a starting bid of $200,000.

During the Jan. 10 morning session, an eye-catching piece of Haiti postal history will be up for bids.

The Austria 2-krone postal card illustrated above was mailed June 8, 1884, from Graz, Austria, to Cap Haitien, Haiti.

When the card failed to reach the addressee in Cap Haitien, it was sent back to Graz. The return postage was paid with the first three stamps of Haiti, issued in 1881: the 1-centime vermilion Liberty Head on yellowish paper (Scott 1), 2c violet Liberty Head on pale lilac paper (2), and 3c gray bister Liberty Head on pale bister paper (3).

Cherrystone notes that the card is signed by Austria specialist Albert Matl. A certificate from Latin America expert Brian Moorehouse (1949-2017) issued March 31, 2000, states the card is genuine in all respects and that it is “A fine and rare 3-colour first issue franking and the only known such combination of values.”

Cherrystone is offering this postal card with an Austria and Haiti combination franking with an opening bid of $7,500.

The catalog for the Jan. 9-10 worldwide stamps and postal history sale can be viewed and is available for download on the Cherrystone website, with online bidding options available through Cherrystone and Stamp Auction Network.

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

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