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Sale 1224 — 2020 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 30 June-1 July, 2020

Category — Worldwide: Switzerland including "Inverted Double Geneva"

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
348
c
Sale Number 1224, Lot Number 348, Worldwide: Switzerland including "Inverted Double Geneva"SWITZERLAND, Geneva, 1843, 5c + 5c Black on Yellow Green, "Inverted Double Geneva" (2L1b; Zumstein 3.1.1), SWITZERLAND, Geneva, 1843, 5c + 5c Black on Yellow Green, "Inverted Double Geneva" (2L1b; Zumstein 3.1.1)SWITZERLAND, Geneva, 1843, 5c + 5c Black on Yellow Green, "Inverted Double Geneva" (2L1b; Zumstein 3.1.1). Horizontal pair cut from the sheet with the two stamps transposed from their normal positions, resulting in the famous "Inverted Double Geneva," the pair in absolutely perfect condition with large balanced margins all around, detailed impression on incredibly fresh paper, cancelled by light central strike of red rosette cancel on a petite 1845 folded letter to a lady in Bourg de Four (Old City of Geneva), matching red "Geneve 6 Fevr. 45" double-circle datestamp perfectly struck to the right of the pair

EXTREMELY FINE AND SUPERB IN EVERY RESPECT. LIKELY NOT ONLY THE FINEST EXAMPLE OF THE "INVERTED DOUBLE GENEVA" IN EXISTENCE, BUT ALSO THE FINEST COVER BEARING THIS WORLD-CLASS RARITY. ONE OF THE GREATEST CLASSIC COVERS OF SWITZERLAND.

The Double Geneva was the first stamp issued by the Canton of Geneva, on October 1, 1843. The stamps were lithographed on green paper by M. Schmidt, a local printer, in sheets consisting of 50 double-stamps. The total printing was 600 sheets. As noted in Stamps of Fame by L. N. & M. Williams, a contemporary observation before the issue of the Double Geneva reads "Such labels are sold at post offices at 10 centimes each; and when required to do so stationers fasten them beforehand on envelopes, which they sell plus the cost of the ticket. People keep them ready to hand, just as they do their pens and wafers. Many are lost, but this is so much profit to the Post Office. Moreover one uses them more readily than money... it would be a savings to allow two labels to serve for a double letter, or one for every ounce."

The vast majority of Double Geneva stamps were cut from the sheets in the normal left-right configuration. There are very few "Inverted Double Geneva" pairs extant in either horizontal or vertical format. We know of no other that compares in quality to the pair on this cover. Adding to this item’s remarkable character is the fact it was mailed from a village outside Geneva and given to a postman on the city outskirts, to be put into the mail for Bourg de Four in the Old City of Geneva.

Ex Collection Kottelat (Giorgino sale, September 1998) and Investphila sale (October 2007) where William H. Gross acquired it. Displayed and discussed in the Schafer handbook, Schweiz Kantonalmarken Frankaturen (page 126). These provenance notes have been generously provided by Mr. Karl Louis of Corinphila Auctions, and we are grateful for his assistance.

With 1988 Hertsch, 1998 von der Weid, 1998 Rellstab and 2007 Marchand certificates.

E. 100,000-150,000
105,000
349
c
Sale Number 1224, Lot Number 349, Worldwide: Switzerland including "Inverted Double Geneva"SWITZERLAND, 1850, 5rp Black & Red on Dark Blue, Rayon I, Without Frame Around Cross (7a; Zumstein 15II), SWITZERLAND, 1850, 5rp Black & Red on Dark Blue, Rayon I, Without Frame Around Cross (7a; Zumstein 15II)SWITZERLAND, 1850, 5rp Black & Red on Dark Blue, Rayon I, Without Frame Around Cross (7a; Zumstein 15II). Horizontal strip of three, Types 1-3, large to ample margins all around, intensely rich colors, tied by scarce red "P.D." in circle cancels on 1850 folded letter from Basel to Vevey, matching clear "Basel 1 Oct. 1850 Nachmittag" double-circle datestamp on the first day of issue, Vevey arrival backstamp

VERY FINE. AN EXTRAORDINARY FIRST DAY COVER OF THE 1850 5-RAPPEN RAYON I ISSUE. A STUNNING CLASSIC COVER RARITY -- THE FINEST FIRST DAY COVER IN SWISS PHILATELY.

This is the only cover recorded bearing a strip of three of this stamp used on the first day of issue.

Ex Rellstab and Investphila sale (Oct. 2007), where it was acquired by William H. Gross. With 1993 Rellstab and 2007 Marchand certificates.

E. 40,000-50,000
55,000
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