Unused Newfoundland airmail stamp tops $60K at auction

A 1927 Newfoundland airmail stamp (Scott #C4), one of only 33 unused examples believed to have survived to the present day, was among the top highlights of a June 2-3 sale by New York’s Cherrystone Auctions.

Offered as Lot 6483, the 93-year-old airmail issue was produced using Newfoundland’s 1897-dated 60-cent Henry VII stamp, to which a red overprint reading “Air Mail / DE PINEDO / 1927” was added. One of 300 overprinted examples, it was intended for use on airmail flown aboard the double-hulled Savoia-Marchetti seaplane “Santa Maria II” by Italian aviator Francesco de Pinedo.

While 230 overprints were used on correspondence, 66 examples were presented to De Pinedo and other dignitaries (with another four damaged and destroyed), according to auctioneers.

The example offered this June was described by auctioneers as never-hinged and “post office fresh, perfectly centred with wide margins all around,” and signed in pencil by philatelic experts Giulio Bolaffi and Alberto Diena. Accompanied by a 2020 Philatelic Foundation certificate identifying the stamp as genuine, it realized $45,000 US (about $61,180 Cdn.) on an opening bid of $30,000 US.

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