Gaertner auction highlights specialized Togo

Mar 16, 2018, 8 AM
The unique unused example of Togo’s 1915 5-mark slate and carmine stamp issued under French occupation will be offered during the April 7 special auction by Christoph Gaertner.

By Michael Baadke

The Christoph Gaertner auction firm in Germany will conduct three auction sessions April 7 to offer international rarities, specialized Oldenburg (the grand duchy now part of northwestern Germany), and specialized Togo under British and French occupation.

The auction will take place at Schlosshotel Monrepos in Ludwigsburg, a short drive from the Gaertner offices north of Stuttgart.

The Oldenburg and Togo material comes from the collections of Peter Zgonc. Gaertner describes the Togo collection as the most important ever formed.

The international rarities auction at 9 a.m. includes more than 400 lots of truly worldwide material, including postal history of Antarctica.

An unused block of four of Great Britain’s 1840 Penny Black, the world’s first national postage stamp, is offered with “full to large margins at all sides, with parts of neighboring stamps at right and fresh color.”

Bidding on the block begins at €38,000 (approximately $46,685).

The Oldenburg collection presents 317 lots, with material from a collection built by a descendant of composer Richard Strauss, and more from the 1964 Burrus collection, all incorporated into the Zgonc collection.

The final auction session of the day brings together some of the top rarities of Togo, the former German protectorate in West Africa occupied by Great Britain and France during World War I.

“The majority of the stamps in this sale are either unique or have miniscule print runs,” Gaertner notes. Items in the sale have been recently certified by Pascal Scheller of Paris.

The 1915 5-mark carmine and black stamp from the French occupation (Scott 175) is unused with original gum. Only three stamps were printed, according to Gaertner, and the unused example is unique.

The starting bid is €150,000 ($184,285). The stamp is accompanied by the 2018 Scheller certificate and a 1960 authentication by the Philatelic Foundation.

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Catalogs for all three sessions of the April 7 auction are available online, with online bidding options.

Additional information is available from Auktionshaus Christoph Gaertner, Steinbeisstrasse 6+8, 74321 Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany.