Cherrystone's auction this week (December 7-8) includes a truly spectacular variety of rare stamps with highly regarded examples hailing from just about everywhere.
"The Santa Fe Collection represents a lifelong accumulation of worldwide rarities [...] There are countless other rarities included in the collection, such as the famous 'Solferino' of Greece and two Vineta Provisionals from Germany.
The 1871-72 40L lilac rose on greenish paper, known as the 'Solferino' is indeed available. It is in used condition, with three large margins, uneven to just touching at upper left. The stamp is fresh, shows excellent colour, and is signed by Peter Holcombe, with his 1988 certificate ("the stamp has an extremely fine and fresh colour and is without defects").
The unobtrusive cancel dates to 12 July 71 in Piraeus. It is one of the finest of the very few known copies of the most popular and rare stamps of Greece.
This is a truly legendary stamp, of which only 13 have been recorded (of these, one is on piece, another on cover. Two are in sound condition, while all others have varying degrees of faults).
Once a part of the Herbert Bloch collection, the Solferino got its name after the infamous battle, where it was rumoured that the blood on the dead soldiers uniforms had this particular colour. It is expected to sell for up to $30,000.
There are two covers sporting the 'Vinetta'. The provisional was used aboard the Vineta for sailors who wished to send newspapers documenting the Kaiser's birthday back home to Germany. The more expensive of the two has a double-use of the split stamp.
This example of the 1901 use shows a 3pf surcharge on the left half of the 5pf green. The two copies are tied by a single "Kais. Deutsche Marine Schiffspost No.1 17/4/01" postmark on a picture postcard (showing native huts) from Pernambuco, Brazil to Stuttgart, with an arrival postmark at the lower left.
It is in very fine condition, and a rare example of a double 'Vineta' actually used from Pernambuco rather than the ship. It is expected to sell for around $10,000.