Famous Vin Fiz Flyer stamp in July 7-8 Cherrystone auction
By Charles Snee
Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will present an array of United States and worldwide stamps and postal history July 7-8. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the two-day sale will be conducted online.
A total of 940 lots will cross the auction block, with offerings of “United States, European countries, including Austria, France and Colonies, German Area, Hungary, Italy and Colonies, Switzerland and other areas,” according to Cherrystone.
Also well represented are Great Britain and the British Commonwealth featuring high-denomination stamps and sets that span all reigns.
Cherrystone notes that the sale “concludes with a good selection of large lots and collections, which range from single country albums to specialized collections and multi-carton worldwide stocks and cover lots.”
Collectors with a passion for the early days of aviation will be pleased to see that among the 363 lots to be sold during the first session on July 7 is an on-piece example of the 1911 25¢ Rodgers Aerial Post airmail semiofficial stamp (Scott CL2), more commonly known as the Vin Fiz Flyer.
The uncanceled stamp is affixed to part of a Vin Fiz souvenir card, the back of which shows a portrait of pilot Calbraith Rodgers and part of his Vin Fiz Flyer biplane.
Ken Lawrence, in his Vin Fiz Flyer census in the Aug. 19, 2019, issue of Linn’s Stamp News, discusses the 13 known genuine Vin Fiz Flyer stamps in the order in which they came to the attention of stamp collectors. The on-piece Vin Fiz Flyer in the Cherrystone sale is No. 8 in Lawrence’s census.
In its description, Cherrystone says that the stamp comes with a 1991 Philatelic Foundation certificate and a 2013 Diena certificate.
Before its appearance in the Cherrystone sale, the stamp was sold for $3,080 in Christie’s Sept. 25, 1990, auction of the Aurea collection. The stamp failed to find a new owner in Siegel’s Rarities of the World sale held June 27, 2018, because no bid met the owner’s reserve.
An unused Vin Fiz Flyer stamp is valued at $55,000 in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers. Cherrystone is offering the on-piece example with an opening bid of $27,000.
For additional information about the sale, visit the Cherrystone website or contact Cherrystone Auctions, 119 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.
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