Lenin could rule New York as great Russian stamp collection goes up for sale

As we've reported, Cherrystone is holding a stunning sale of rare stamps of the world next month with an example of the most famous stamp in the world, the Inverted Jenny, going under the hammer alongside great Chinese and Russian rarities.

Naturally Russian stamp collector will not want to miss the sale which features a 1k orange invert pair which was formerly owned by the House of Fabergé and the Bond King himself, Bill Gross. But they should also be aware that the sale is Cherrystone's third that week with the second offering the collection of Patrick Eppel.

Patrick Eppel was well known in Russian philatelic circles and formed the better part of his collection well before the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was able to put together close to 700 different 'fantails' (varieties which are imperforate on one side or between the stamps).

This was in addition to his 'regular' Russia collection with rare imperforate items from the 1930s, the always popular back of the book items including Cinderella collections, exceptionally strong Zemstvo and a rich philatelic library.

Although there is no representative of air postage quite as spectacular as the Inverted Jenny (which was intended to show a Curtiss JN-4, or Jenny, carrying mail), there are two related directly to flight.

Firstly there is a Russian air post 1934 10k Vasenko - one of the fantails - of the variety imperforate at the bottom. It has been cancelled to order and is very fine and rare, with a catalogue value of $10,000.

1926 Lenin Russian stamp set
1926 Lenin Russian stamp set
(Click to enlarge)

Referencing a more particular air journey is a set of 1938 Trans-Polar Flight, 10k-50k imperforate horizontal pairs. The four pairs have never been hinged, and overall are a very fine, rare and striking set, catalogued at $18,000.

Finally there is a set of very striking 1926 horizontal pairs depicting Lenin which we think will make a particularly strong investment. In 1r brown, 2r dark violet, 3r green varieties the imperforate stamps are very fine, have never been hinged and are very rare indeed, and catalogued at $29,333.

Collectors should probably expect to pay over the estimates for some of the items given the recent performance of Russian stamps at auction, but equally they are likely to prove to be sound investments. The sale takes place in three sessions from December 14-15 in New York and online.


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