World Stamps

Spirited bidding for Czechoslovakia Butterfly panes in recent auction

Mar 29, 2023, 8 AM
A set of nine unfolded mint panes of 10 of the 1961 Czechoslovakia Butterfly stamps, one of which is shown here, recently sold after spirited bidding in an online auction for multiples of the already high Scott catalog value.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

On Nov. 27, 1961, Czechoslovakia issued a set of nine stamps showing eight butterflies and one moth (Scott 1082-1090). The moth is an underwing, and the butterflies are orange tip, Zerynthia hypsipyle Sch., Apollo, swallowtail, peacock, mourning cloak, red admiral and brimstone.

Despite being an Iron Curtain country for most of its later existence, Czechoslovakia issued stamps known and appreciated for their varied and interesting topics and high production and design qualities. This beautifully engraved set is very popular with butterfly topical collectors.

The Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set in mint, never-hinged condition at $17.70. The mint set is a good buy in the $10 to $13 price range. A set of unaddressed, cacheted first-day covers is a good buy at around $20.

The stamps were issued in nine panes of 10. The Scott catalog values a complete set of nine mint panes at $400. If you are looking to buy the stamps in this format, it is important that the panes have not been folded and do not have any perforation separations.

A mint set of unfolded panes recently sold in an online auction for $1,250, with multiple serious bidders vying for it. It is not often that something that is already expensive sells for multiples of Scott catalog value.

If you find a set of nine mint panes offered in the United States market, you might be able to buy it well below the international market price.

Keep in mind that Czechoslovakia marketed most of its issues in canceled-to-order condition. A set of nine panes in CTO condition is only worth about $100.

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