Stamps from Lithuania's war tell their remarkable story at Cherrystone

As we've reported New York auction house Cherrystone is shaping up to provide an auction of Russian stamps centred on the Communist era, based on the remarkable Ivanov collection. There are some particularly fascinating surcharges available

However, this is not the only major auction that the company is presenting.

They're proudly offering a single owner sale - their first exclusively featuring the Stamps and Postal History of Lithuania (1919-1941).

Formed by the late Charles Matuzas, this collection represents a lifetime's dedication to the philately of his homeland. The truly specialised collection includes mostly errors and varieties, proofs, drawings and essays, local issues, air post and postal history.

Lithuanian Vilnius overprints
Military message: the Vilnius overprints

Matuzas also amassed a superb holding of German Occupation of Lithuania (all recently studied by Gerhard Krischke). He was one of the founders of the New York Lithuanian Philatelic Society as well as honorary member of the Chicago Lithuanian Philatelic Society.

In 1978, along with other noted collectors, Matuzas published "The Postage Stamps of Lithuania" - the most comprehensive handbook to date on classic stamps of Lithuania.

The items in the sale include a handful of very early stamps and covers, some of which are stampless. These include an 1857 Russian cover to Riga with a stamp familiar from the other auction: a 10k brown & blue with margins all around

This is tied by a "9" in an oval of dots on FL from Tauroggen (today Taurage) to Riga, with a boxed 1858 departure datestamp. This is a fine and attractive Russia Number One on cover from Lithuania. This is bidding at $4,500.

Lithuanian se-tenant stamp block
All the sights - the Lithuanian se-tenant stamp block

The German WWII Occupation of Lithuania section contains a 1941 Vilnius overprint, 5k-1r complete set of nine sheet corner margin blocks of four, never hinged with handstamped guarantee marks.

The 80k has naturally dried gum but they are in general a fine-very fine and rare set of blocks, with a 2011 Krischke certificate for the 1r sheet.

Even better is a 1941 Pavilions se-tenant combination block of four from the "heart" of the sheet, first printing (Azerbaijan + Armenia + Tajikistan + Kyrgyztan). Very fine and one of only four recorded, this has a catalogue value of $12,000.

The auction takes place on September 13 in New York and online.


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