Lot 632, 1918 Mesopotamia 4an surcharge, Fountains of Suleiman invert, sold for C$34,500

One of the rarest inverted centre issues in the world:
Lot 632, 1918 Mesopotamia 4an surcharge, Fountains of Suleiman invertLot 632 Mesopotamia #N34a 1918 4a on 1¾p Surcharge with Inverted Fountains of Suleiman Centre, used, with unobtrusive “Marshalls Bridge” cancel showing part of the year date “20”. A lovely and fresh example, well centered, with the postmark leaving most of the inverted centre easily visible, very fine. This major error stamp is very rare, as there have only been 4 examples known (all of which are used) until this exciting new discovery. The last example we are aware of having been sold was a thinned stamp which was part of the famous “Robert H. Cunliffe Collection of Spectacular Inverted Stamps of the World” sale in 2009. Accompanied by a 2018 Sergio Sismondo certificate listing all of the five known examples, as well as the history behind the issue. Stanley Gibbons catalogue No. 7a, £32,000. With only five known examples, this is certainly one of the rarest inverted centre issues of the world, and worthy of the finest collection. Rsv. Scott CV U$37,500. Sold for C$30,000 plus 15% buyer’s premium.

Sale 29 Coming January 23rd-24th, 2019

Download the PDF catalogue

Welcome to Sparks Auctions’ 29th sale, to be held in our offices in Ottawa on January 23rd & 24th, 2019. The sale is now live on Stamp Auction Network.

Our September 2018 sale was our largest so far, and our January auction promises to continue this great trend. We value the participation of collectors from around the world, and are committed to providing an exceptional bidding experience. To that end, we maintain our very competitive buyer’s premium of only 15%, which remains one of the lowest among philatelic public auction firms. We also continue our commitment to industry-leading transparency, by clearly indicating with a “Rsv.” which items are subject to a minimum reserve bid.

Collectors in every field are sure to find something of interest among our high-quality offerings of Canadian, British Commonwealth, and worldwide stamps and postal history. Highlights include our usual high quality singles and sets, from the classics through to rarely offered modern varieties.

We are also proud to offer the “Azilda” collection of Canadian registration stamps and covers, including gems offered on the philatelic market for the first time in over forty years. These are identified in the catalogue with the letters AC (Azilda collection) accompanying the description.

Our British Commonwealth and Worldwide selections including another installment of desirable SPECIMEN perforated sets, exceptional never hinged Italy and rarely-seen Italian States, a collection of “Number One” stamps of the world offered in several lots, as well as early Great Britain, United States, and more.

Our postal history section abounds with diverse material, including our always-popular postmark lots, featuring a lovely collection of Canadian fancy cancellations, offered in over thirty lots. Also of note are forty-five lots of Graf Zeppelin flown covers and cards from around the world, Western Express covers, and more.

One of the highlights of this sale is a world-class advanced collection of Great Britain squared circle postmarks, consisting of over 16,000 covers and cards as well as thousands of stamps. The collector diligently sought fully legible and quality strikes, including most of the rare ones, and more common hammers are often found on better items, such as unusual usages and exotic destinations. This collection contains most of the great rarities, much of it originating from the renowned collection of Stanley Cohen. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire material from one of the best collections ever formed.

Finally, we are pleased to offer worldwide country lots from the Jack Gray collection. This collection was received in just under 100 large cartons, and is being offered principally by country, with each lot typically including more than one collection. Jack was a topicalist, and purchased country collections to extract the topical material he needed, and what remains is a very diverse offering. These lots are identified with (JG) accompanying the description. We recommend careful viewing of his material as the sheer volume of material may yield finds for the eagle-eyed collector.

As always, we are at your service if we can be of any assistance.

Enjoy the sale!

Stéphane Cloutier,
Director of Lotting & Consignments