Rare Balbo Flight Newfoundland stamps swoop into Cherrystone Auctions

Cherrystone's exciting sale of Rare Stamps and Postal History of the World - anchored by the exceptional Santa Fe Collection - is almost upon us, but there's just time for one last look.

As we've reported, auction highlights include great Chinese rarities and a classic CIA invert stamp block. But we shouldn't ignore the Commonwealth section either and there are two examples of a particular Newfoundland stamp which many collectors will be intrigued by.

This is the 1933 Balbo Flight, $4.50 surcharge on 75c bister airmail. These stamps were issued in connection with the return flight from Chicago to Rome by General Italo Balbo's squadron of Italian Seaplanes.

A full 8,000 stamps were issued and four checkers were appointed to ensure that no errors were sold. The "DO-X" Surcharge of 1923 produced 50+ inverted surcharges and efforts were made to avoid the same mistake.

1933 Balbo Flight double-surcharge stamp
1933 Balbo Flight double-surcharge stamp

Several invert blocks were actually discovered and subsequently torn up (four of these "torn varieties" are known to have reached the market).

Nevertheless, Cherrystone's auction has two examples of variations from the issue.

Firstly, there is an example with the surcharge slightly doubled, type 1 of the setting, well centred and wonderfully post office fresh in very fine condition. A major rarity, it is one of only two known, but its price is relatively untested and it is listed here at $35,000.

1933 Balbo Flight inverted surcharge stamp
1933 Balbo Flight inverted surcharge stamp

Despite the specific crackdown on inverts, one intact inverted block of four did reach public hands and was subsequently split into four singles, and the position 1 example of the setting is offered here.

Of the four sound singles, only two are in never hinged condition and this example is expected to sell for $100,000.

Cherrystone's Josh Buchsbayew told us: "The Santa Fe Collection represents a lifelong accumulation of worldwide rarities and the two Newfoundland stamps are representative of the collection.

"In fact, both are one of only two known in that condition (only two inverted overprints exist in never hinged condition and only two double overprints are known)."

Great rarities of the British Empire and Commonwealth have always been coveted. It is partly for this reason that we are offering Hong Kong's unique 96c olive-bistre block of four with our 120% guarantee.

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