Lot 1198, Newfoundland 1930 Columbia flight cover, Harbour Grace to London

Lot 1198, Newfoundland 1930 Columbia flight cover, Harbour Grace to LondonLot 1198 Newfoundland #C5 1930 Columbia Flight, Harbour Grace to London, England, Job Brothers & Co. cover mailed at St Johns on SEP.25.1930 and addressed to London England. It was carried to Harbour Grace by automobile, received an OCT.9 c.d.s. there and was then flown to England on the “Miss Columbia” and older Bellanca monoplane by Capt. J. Erroll Boyd and pilot Lt. Henry Connor. The cover is franked with a very well centered specially prepared 50c Columbia Air Post stamp (from setting position 3), of which only 300 were printed, properly tied by the St Johns slogan machine cancel. This is certainly one of the nicest examples of this scarce flight cover, and is accompanied by certificates from Giulio Bolaffi (1963), Enzo Diena (1980) and Fiorenzo Longhi (2017), and there are four expert signatures on the cover (the three aforementioned plus Alberto Diena). A lovely addition to any serious Airmail or Newfoundland collection and a world rarity. Rsv. $6,000. Unitrade $16,000.

Lot 561 — Newfoundland 1930 50c on 36c olive green Columbia FFC

Lot 561Lot 561 Newfoundland #C5 1930 50c on 36c olive green Columbia First Flight Cover. C5 stamp is tied by SEP.25.1930 St John’s slogan machine cancel. Parker & Monroe corner card cover is addressed to London England via Harbour Grace (backstamp dated October 9). Vertical and horizontal creases are away from stamp and light overall ageing. The cover is endorsed on front “Per air Mail Columbia / Harbour Grace, N.F. to London Eng. / Sept 25th 1930”. The Unitrade catalogue states that first flights from Harbour Grace command a premium of 20%. Accompanied by a 2009 Philatelic Foundation certificate. Unitrade CV$17,500

Mint Canada #CLP6, 1927 Semi-Official Airmail

We are approaching the end of lotting and input for Auction #12, with catalogue preparation to follow shortly. While we do not have a firm auction date yet, we expect a March auction and will make an announcement soon.

The first of our Auction #12 previews showcases a seldom-offered Canadian rarity.

Canada #CLP6

Canada #CLP6 1927 LONDON to LONDON FLIGHT 25 cents green and yellow. In 1927, Carling Breweries offered a $25,000 prize to the first Canadian or British pilot to fly from London, Ontario to London, England. A Stinson SM-1 was christened Sir John Carling and attempted the flight starting August 29, 1927, flown by pilot Terrance Tully and navigator James Medcalf.
Postal Authorities approved the printing of a special label to be applied to the envelopes which were to be carried on the flight. Only 100 labels were printed and approximately 87 were affixed to envelopes.

The flight had difficulties with fog and returned. It restarted on September 1 and made a landing in Maine, then later in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. On September 7 the flight set off across the Atlantic, never to be seen again. No covers on that flight survived.

The special label which was officially approved features portraits of Tully and Medcalf and shows the proposed route.

The example we offer is very well-centered, has full original gum which has never been hinged and has very fresh and deep colour, unlike some other surviving examples.

The stamp has two certificates. In 1987 it was “in perfect condition” and Enzio Diena lightly initialed the stamp on the back. Since then the stamp has acquired small stains on Tully’s forehead, a light vertical crease and very slight soiling. All of these are mentioned (accurately but somewhat harshly) in a 2006 Greene Foundation certificate.

Despite the faults this is an attractive, well-centered example of this very rare stamp of which only 13 unused examples are known. Unitrade Catalogue Value is $100,000.


Fast Communications

In past features we have remarked on the large number of cartons filled with stamps which visually dominate the auction and viewing floor. Most of these are filled with albums, collections, or even loose stamps, but approximately five dozen contain envelopes or postcards. And many of these postal history cartons will contain interesting items, perhaps even gems.

Today we feature two non-Canadian covers. First up is the cover we think will likely sell for the highest price in the postal history section.

Newfoundland #C5 Cover
Lot 1281 -- Newfoundland #C5 Cover

Newfoundland #C5 50c on 36c olive green Columbia flight on cover, tied by St. Johns SE.25.1930 slogan machine cancel to cover addressed to Pulborough, England via London. Notation at top states “Per Air Mail Columbia Hr Grace Nfld to London, England Sept 1930”. Back has a Harbour Grace dispatch cds OC.9.1930 and pencil notation “Guaranteed in every aspect by Geo. C. Ginn & Co. Small piece missing at bottom, very fine with fresh colour. Unitrade CV$17,500.

It interests us to note that when we first posted Auction #8 on our website and sent out an e-mail to Sparks customers, one sharp-eyed collector across the Atlantic noticed this lot and alerted yet another collector, who owns a Columbia Cover with some handwriting. Within about three hours of posting the auction, we had an e-mail from the overseas owner of another Columbia cover asking about our offering.

Our Canadian covers include a number of wonderful items that could be featured, but we’ll show off a letter in a remarkable state of preservation despite being more than 550 years old.

Fiume-Venice cover
Lot 1346 -- Fiume Venice cover

1459 Fiume to Venice, an entire letter mounted on Exhibit page from the Free City of Fiume to Venice with seal (shows through slightly in front) and full Guild mark. Very fine. A lovely early document which dates back to more than 550 years ago. Estimate $500.