Osborn collection of U.S., Europe, South America in Feb. 7 Cherrystone auction

Jan 31, 2024, 8 AM

By Charles Snee

On Feb. 7 at its Teaneck, N.J., gallery, Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will offer the Osborn collection of unused stamps from the United States, Europe and South America.

(All estimates quoted here are from Cherrystone’s hard copy catalog for the Osborn sale. Opening bids are shown on the Cherrystone website.)

The sale will open with a fine selection of U.S. issues from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

According to Cherrystone, European countries represented in the sale include Austria, Germany and colonies, Italy and colonies, Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, Portugal and colonies, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

“Most of the individual lots are accompanied by certificates as well as excellent and comprehensive balances offered intact, with Greece, Germany, Bulgaria, and many others,” Cherrystone said.

Eight of the 10 Colombia lots are colorful lithographed airmail stamps (Scott C2-C10) issued in February 1920 by the Compania Colombiana de Navegacion Aerea.

A brief history of the stamps’ origins is provided in the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940:

“From 1920 to 1932 the internal airmail service of Colombia was handled by the Compania Colombiana de Navegacion Aerea (1920) and the Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transportes Aereos, known familiarly as ‘SCADTA’ (1920-1932).

“These organizations, under government contracts, operated and maintained their own post offices and issued stamps which were the only legal franking for airmail service during this period, both in the internal and international mails. All letters had to bear government stamps as well.”

The Scott Classic Specialized catalog also provides additional details in a footnote to the listings:

“Nos. C2-C10 were overprinted on the nine lighter-colored varieties of a set of 18 publicity labels produced by the Curtiss Co. for inclusion with packs of cigarettes. These labels were printed se-tenant, in panes of 18 (3x6).”

Cherrystone is offering an unused example of the 10-centavo stamp (Scott C9) picturing a left profile of a biplane on the ground and two individuals (one a pilot) in the foreground. Just 41 unused examples of that stamp are recorded, according to Cherrystone.

Part of a “handstamped guarantee mark” is visible in the bottom margin at left, Cherrystone said.

Against a Scott Classic Specialized catalog value of $4,500, Cherrystone lists this unused example of Scott C9 with an estimate of $2,000.

Collectors of Scott No. 1s of the world will be tempted by one of the two Norway lots: a rare unused (part original gum) example of the Norway 1-skilling blue Coat of Arms (Scott 1) issued Jan. 1, 1855.

Accompanying the stamp are 1957 Royal Philatelic Society London and 2020 Finn Aune certificates.

The stamp also bears the signature of noted expert Alberto Diena, Cherrystone said.

In its lot description, Cherrystone provides a partial translation of Aune’s findings, “I can find no traces of repair or manipulation of any kind, and had signed the stamp on the back in pencil.”

The Scott Classic Specialized catalog offers important information regarding Norway’s first issue:

“Only a few genuine unused examples of No. 1 exist. Stamps often offered have had pen-markings removed. The unused catalogue value is for a stamp without gum. Stamps with original gum sell for much more.”

Scott values the stamp in unused condition at $4,500, with the value italicized to indicate an item for which limited market data is available.

Cherrystone is offering this unused Norway 1855 1sk blue Coat of Arms with an estimate of $2,500.

The auction concludes with 39 large lots and holdings from the Osborn collection.

One particularly colorful offering is an 1884-1919 German colonies collection neatly arranged on 14 Scott album pages.

Cherrystone describes the collection as “mostly complete,” with strength in German offices in China, Morocco and the Turkish Empire.

This handsome German colonies collection is offered by Cherrystone with an estimate of $4,000.

The catalog for the Feb. 7 Osborn collection 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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