Russia 1925 definitives block tops Cherrystone auction at $28,000

A block of four 18k stamps from Russia's 1925 definitives issue has seen the highest bids at Cherrystone's July 10-11 auction in New York.

The violet-coloured stamps sold for $28,000.

Russia 1925 18k stamps
The Russian Revolution in 1917 changed the face of Russia's stamps, leading to a new definitive issue

The designs for this series of stamp first appeared in 1922, during a time when Russia's social and political climate was rapidly changing.

With the country having recently experienced a revolution, the new stamps were issued with a portrait of a worker, peasant or soldier to reflect the ideals of the Soviet Union.

Variations of these portrait designs continued to be issued throughout the 1920s.

Only around 1,000 of the 18k stamps were printed in 1925, and only two or three blocks are recorded today.

The example at auction is in particularly strong condition, boasting large margins, fresh colour and having never been hinged. With a fresh impression, the block is further enhanced by the addition of the signature of Roger Calves, a leading philatelist specialising in Russian stamps.

Further highlights from Russia included a 1961 Gagarin 6k special sheetlet of 10, which sold for $26,000.

Russia 6k Yuri Gagarin stamps
The stamps were issued to commemorate Yuri Gagarin's voyage as the first human in space

These stamps were normally issued in sheets of 30 stamps with 30 coupons, and only a small number from the first run were issued in sheets of 10. Adding to its rarity is the fact that almost all of the 10 stamp sheetlets were split or used and only a small number remain today.

Also featuring in the sale was the 1964 6d Falkland Islands HMS Glasgow error, which is one of only 17 known to exist. It sold for $24,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a stunning selection of stamps for sale, including a rare corner margin block of four of the Great Britain 1902 £1 stamp in mint, unmounted condition.

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