Rare stamps, postal history from around the world in March 3-4 Cherrystone auction

Feb 12, 2020, 9 AM

By Charles Snee

Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will offer a diverse array of rare stamps and postal history March 3-4 at the firm’s auction gallery in New York City.

Among the more than 1,600 lots up for bids during the two-day sale are the Fred Blau collection of Palestine aerophilately and military mail, and the Canal Zone and Panama collection of Ernesto Arosemena.

Collectors wishing to learn more about the Blau collection should review the two handbooks he co-authored with Cyril Deighton: The Orient Flight L.Z. 127-Graf Zeppelin and The Egypt Flight L.Z. 127-Graf Zeppelin.

Bidders will also see hundreds of choice stamps and covers from the United States, Asia, Western Europe, Central America, South America, the Middle East, and Great Britain and the British Commonwealth.

In its description of the sale, Cherrystone draws attention to “an exceptional collection” of World War II occupation proofs and essays from Poland.

In the philatelic lexicon, a bisect is a stamp cut or perforated into two parts, each half representing half the face value of the original stamp. Officially authorized bisects have often been used during temporary shortages of commonly used denominations.

Three attractive U.S. bisect covers, each franked with a bisect of the 1847 10¢ black George Washington stamp (Scott 2), are offered in the Cherrystone auction.

One of the three covers is franked with a right vertical bisect of the 10¢ Washington (Scott 2b), which paid the 5¢ rate for a half-ounce letter mailed a distance less than or equal to 300 miles.

Multiple strikes of a circular red grid cancel tie the bisect to the folded letter. Note that the bisect is upside-down on the cover.

The cover was mailed June 7, 1851, from New Haven, Conn., to Birmingham, Conn., a scant 8 miles away. Docketing on the inside of the letter confirms the year of mailing. Today Birmingham, Conn., is known as Derby.

Collectors familiar with early U.S. postal rates will recognize that this cover represents a very late use of the 1847 10¢ issue.

On July 1, 1851, the rate for a half-ounce domestic letter was reduced from 5¢ to 3¢. This new rate applied to letters mailed a distance less than or equal to 3,000 miles, a ten-fold increase over the old distance of 300 miles. Other postal rates also were introduced on the same day.

To accommodate the new rates, the U.S. Post Office Department issued 1¢ and 3¢ stamps on July 1, 1851. The 1847 5¢ and 10¢ stamps (Scott 1-2) were demonetized and no longer valid for postage after June 30, 1851.

A vertical bisect of the 1847 10¢ Washington used on cover is valued at $30,000 in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers. Cherrystone lists the 1847 10¢ vertical bisect cover with a minimum bid of $15,000.

On May 20, 1946, Monaco issued a pair of overprinted 50-franc and 100fr airmail stamps (Scott C8-C9). The overprint was applied in blue and consists of two elements: the words “Poste Aerienne” (“airmail” in French) and an airplane. Inverted and double overprint errors are known on the 100fr airmail stamp.

The underlying stamps are the 50fr and 100fr denominations (Scott 196-197) of the 1946 set honoring Prince Louis II.

Cherrystone is offering a choice never-hinged example of the 100fr airmail stamp with a double overprint (Scott C9b). In its description of the stamp, Cherrystone notes that it is one of only 10 such errors recorded.

Although faint, the errant second overprint is most visible to the left of and slightly below the plane’s right wing. The doubling of “Poste Aerienne” is more difficult to see.

The error, which is valued at $22,500 in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, is offered with a minimum bid of $15,000.

The sale can be viewed on the Cherrystone website, with online bidding options available. Information also is available from Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers, 119 W. 57th St., Suite 316, New York, NY 10019.

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