U.S. CIA Invert, Basel Dove and more in June 29-30 Cherrystone auction

Jun 21, 2021, 8 AM

By Charles Snee

Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers will present more than 1,500 lots of United States and worldwide stamps and postal history during a sale to be held June 29-30 at its headquarters in Teaneck, N.J.

The two-day sale will be conducted over four sessions, with sessions each day at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

Cherrystone describes this 1,525-lot auction as offering strength in United States, Austria, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany and colonies, Italy and Italian areas, and Poland. Russia highlights include rare numeral dot cancels and offices in China.

“British Commonwealth is well represented with strength in Victoria and George V singles and sets,” according to Cherrystone.

Other important areas include Colombia SCADTA issues, other South and Central American countries and selections of Ethiopia. The auction concludes with almost 200 large lots and collections, “which range from single country collections to multi-carton worldwide groups of stamps and covers,” according to Cherrystone.

One of the more notable U.S. offerings is a mint, never-hinged 1979 $1 Rush Lamp and Candle Holder with the engraved brown inverted (Scott 1610c), popularly known as the CIA Invert because a single pane of 100 of the error was discovered and purchased at the McLean, Va., post office by a CIA employee.

Of the original pane of 100, 93 examples found their way into collector hands.

A mint CIA Invert is valued at $17,000 in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers. The value is in italics to indicate that limited market data is available to establish a value.

Cherrystone is offering this CIA Invert with an opening bid of $13,500.

A highlight of the worldwide selections is one of the great rarities of Switzerland: a used 1845 2½-rappen black, crimson and blue stamp from the canton of Basel (Scott 3L1).

This iconic cantonal issue, the first stamp to be printed in three colors, is known as the Basel Dove because of the embossed white dove set against the crimson crest in the vignette.

This used Basel Dove includes a partial strike of a red Basel circular datestamp that leaves most of the design visible.

Cherrystone draws attention to the stamp’s “incredibly bright colors and full embossing” and notes that the accompanying 2020 certificate from expert Jean-Claude Marchand “mentions a pinpoint speck at bottom …, in our opinion just a natural translucent spot.”

Against a Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 value of $15,500, Cherrystone lists this Basel Dove with a minimum bid of $7,000.

Had the stamp been on its original cover, the minimum bid would have been higher. The 1845 Basel Dove is valued on cover at $35,000 in the Scott Classic Specialized catalog.

The catalog for the June 29-30 U.S. and worldwide 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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