‘Exceptional’ unused 1930 Newfoundland airmail overprint expected to bring $13K

An unused 1930 Newfoundland airmail stamp with original gum (Scott #C5) is expected to bring between upwards of $10,000 US (about $13,000 Cdn.) at the Sept. 27 sale of the 672-lot Loth Collection by Connecticut’s Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions.

To be offered as Lot 151, the stamp is described by auctioneers as an “exceptional” example of the 1930 “Miss Columbia” 50-cent-on-36-cent Newfoundland Air Post overprint.


This stamp owes its name to the monoplane “Miss Columbia,” which was piloted by Captain Errol Boyd and Lieutenant Harry Connor, who made the trip from Harbour Grace to Croydon Airport, London. Only 300 copies of the 35-cent Caribou stamp were overprinted to mark the flight of the Columbia from Harbour Grace, N.L., to the Scilly Isles off the southwest coast of England. It’s believed at least half of the overprints were used.

At the insistence of the postmaster, a bag of mail was carried on the flight. Of the 300 overprints, 48 examples were reserved for mail to be posted at Harbour Grace while another eight (two blocks of four stamps) were given to the pilots. The remaining 244 stamps were placed on sale at St. John’s on Sept. 25 with the proviso that only one example could be purchased by each person.

“It was written that all 244 stamps were sold within 15 minutes,” reads the auction catalogue. “It is now known that 100 stamps were used to frank mail carried to Europe on this flight. It is assumed that the remaining 192 stamps were kept in unused condition.”


Described as Fine to Very Fine, the example to be offered by Kelleher later this week is signed “A. Diena” and accompanied by three certificates of authenticity (2014 Weiss, 2003 Rendon and 1962 Diena).

With a pre-sale estimate of $7,500 US to $10,000 US, the stamp has an opening bid of $3,750 US.

For more information, visit kelleherauctions.com.

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