Cherrystone’s April 24-25 auctions offer major rarities

May 3, 2021, 9 PM
This mint example of China’s 1941 $2 black and blue Sun Yat-sen stamp with center inverted is being offered in the April 24-25 auction by Cherrystone.

By Michael Baadke

Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers of New York City has issued catalogs for two consecutive sales taking place April 24-25.

A key rarity on offer is the unique United States 1851 1¢ dark blue Benjamin Franklin stamp from position 7R1E.

The 688-lot sale of United States and worldwide stamps and postal history will take place Tuesday morning, followed by the 266-lot sale of the David Mace collection of United States on Wednesday morning.

Both sales include some startling rarities, starting in the Tuesday auction with a mint example of China’s 1941 $2 black and blue Sun Yat-sen stamp with center inverted (Scott 461a). The stamp is from a pane of 50 bought by a Chungking schoolboy in 1945, the only pane of this invert ever discovered.

The stamp is described as showing “deep rich colors, post office fresh, characteristic centering frame to bottom, never hinged.”

In the 2018 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, the $2 invert shows a $180,000 value, listed in italics to denote an item that can be difficult to value accurately.

Cherrystone has listed this example with an opening bid of $150,000.

A different type of invert comes from Newfoundland: the 1933 surcharged $4.50-on-75¢ bister airmail stamp prepared for the Gen. Italo Balbo flight.

The black overprint showing the surcharge is upside down in relation to the stamp design (Scott C18a). The never-hinged stamp is listed at $150,000, again in italics, and is offered by Cherrystone with a $100,000 opening bid.

David Mace of Sydney, Australia, built his U.S. stamp collection over the course of 20-plus years, according to Cherrystone, including “virtually every single Scott Catalogue Number, including Reprints, Reissues and Special Printings ([Scott] 203, 205C, 211D); most of the rare Coils (314A, 389, 482A and others), complete Bluish Papers, Washington-Franklins with special perforations (423A, 423C, 544, 493) and the 1923 2¢ Harding (613).”

One additional stunner is the unique 1851 1¢ dark blue Benjamin Franklin from position 7R1E, a color variety of Scott 5 that is listed in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers without a value.

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The catalog notes “Only one example of No. 5 in the dark blue shade is recorded.”

The stamp is struck with a town cancel, and signed and plated by acclaimed philatelic researcher Stanley B. Ashbrook.

When the stamp was last auctioned, by H.R. Harmer in 2007, it sold for $82,500, including commission.

The auction catalogs can be viewed here, with online bidding options available.

For more information contact Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers, 119 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019.