One of the greatest rarities of Soviet philately, the 1935 Moscow-San Francisco invert, will star in an upcoming stamp auction.
Running from October 31-November 1, the New York auction will see the stamp sell with the highest-estimate of all of the world rarities on offer. Valued at $500,000, it is sure to attract global interest from collectors.
In 1935, the Soviet Union issued a stamp to mark its first flight from Moscow to San Francisco, applying a 1 rouble surcharge to its already existing 10 kopek stamp, which featured the aviator SA Levensky (also known as the Russian Lindbergh).
Just two sheets (50 stamps in total) of the invert error were discovered among the 10,000 issued, with the small "f" in San Francisco appearing only five times per sheet. This means that only 10 examples of the double error can exist.
Of those 10, just six have been recorded, two of which are part of a unique combination block of four. The example at auction is one of the remaining four stamps that feature the double error. It also bears the pencil signatures of renowned philatelists Roger Calves and Zbigniew Mikulski, among others.
The stamp was previously offered at the auction house's May 2008 sale, where it realised $603,750. Another example sold in 2008 for an impressive $718,250, suggesting the potential of excellent results for the present lot.
Examples without the double error will also feature in the sale, with estimates ranging from $500 to $750 dependant on their condition.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a remarkable collection of investment-grade stamps currently available, including the unique Black Empress.