Czechoslovakia propaganda issue sold at Regency-Superior auction
By Matthew Healey, New York Correspondent
Worldwide auctions continued apace in July and August, with important philatelic holdings crossing the block in Hong Kong and New York, as well as at the American Philatelic Society’s annual Stampshow in Portland, Ore.
Here is one of five recent auctions we are recapping in our latest International Auction Roundup:
Among Regency-Superior’s worldwide offerings in its Aug. 6-7 sale at Stampshow was a local propaganda issue from Czechoslovakia at the end of the war.
The interwar Czechoslovak republic was carved up by Hitler beginning in 1938, with his annexation to the German Reich of the Sudetenland, a majority German-speaking region on the periphery of Bohemia. Examples of prewar Czechoslovak stamps locally overprinted with swastikas and the words “Wir sind Frei!” (We are free) are fairly common.
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Less frequently encountered are the reverse example: German stamps unofficially enhanced by liberated Czech towns at the end of the war. U.S. forces under Gen. George S. Patton were sweeping across Germany and entered what had been Czechoslovakia in April 1945, liberating Pilsen on May 6.
A set of seven German stamps (Scott B270, B272-B277) were privately overprinted “1.60 Kc/U.S. Army v C.S.R./18 IV 1945” in honor of the Americans’ arrival in the former Czechoslovak republic. Not listed by Scott and only footnoted in Germany’s Michel catalog, the set, with matching late-May postmarks from the town of Wildstein (modern-day Skalna, near Karlovy Vary) sold for $312, including Regency’s 20 percent buyer’s premium.
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