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Despite the global restrictions we at David Feldman are continuing to receive excellent consignments for our October and December auctions, as well as being tasked with offering items for sale by private treaty.

With our reputation for having sold more high-quality rarities than any other auction firm, we are delighted to present these eight stunning exhibition items for sale by Private Treaty. For further details on these spectacular Italian States major rarities, read on or download the PDF brochure.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

Papal States Roman States

THE MOST VALUABLE AND IMPORTANT ITEM IN THE ISSUES OF Papal States

1852, 1 scudo carmine-rose, the extraordinary complete sheet of fifty, very fine impression, including the rare interpanneau between fifth and sixth horizontal rows, excellently margined all around, with outstandingly fresh original gum with only few light hinge remains in margins or in few marginal stamps, exceptionally well preserved for an item of this large format with only one crease resulting in a tear which has been closed in upper right corner, mentioned for accuracy as in no way is affecting the designs. A unique item in an outstandingly fine condition representing a quintessential combination of beauty and rarity, described by the highly renowned expert Enzo Diena in his certificate -in English- as “the single most valuable item in the entire area of Pontifical States philately” (then it had not been discovered yet the unissued 20 bajocchi complete sheet of 100 in private hands); one of the most visually impressive and prestigious gems of all Italian States, to be considered with the complete sheet of the 1858 20 bajocchi, as one of the two most significant items of the Papal States, the 20 bajocchi nevertheless being an unissued stamp.

186757 papal states

Note: This item was the title page illustration of the very important “Alphonse” Pontifical States and Sicily auction catalogue by Phillips, offered as lot 136 on 25 October 1990. Described then as “in perfect condition and extremely well preserved” and confirming its importance with the statement of Enzo Diena as the most valuable item of this State. It was then estimated at £150,000-200,000; in order to compare this item with another important rarity of the Italian States offered then in the “Alphonse” series of catalogues by Phillips, we can mention that the cover from Sicily including three examples of 50 grana in its franking (illustrated in Sassone on page 388), one of the most important gems of Sicily, was then estimated at £15,000-20,000. The One Scudo Sheet was sold at £200,000, which was equivalent in 1990 to around CHF500,000 (these figures do not include the 10% buyer’s premium additionally charged then).

Provenance: Baron Arthur de Rothschild

Expertise: Certs. Enzo Diena (1990), Raffaele Diena (1993)

PRICE ON REQUEST

Roman States

THE MOST VALUABLE SINGLE STAMP OF PAPAL STATES 

1858, 20 b. yellow, unissued, uncancelled without gum, good to very large margins displaying on three sides the dividing lines between stamps, refulgent color. Two complete sheets of 100 are recorded, of which one is in the Vatican Postal Museum, and only about ten single examples are known, this being probably the finest. One of the rarest and most valuables stamps of all Italian territories. The example presented here has the additional attribute of having been chosen to illustrate this issue in the Sassone catalogue.

Provenance: Discovered by Enzo Diena and Renato Mondolfo, acquired later by Alberto Bolaffi, and at present in a private collection.

Note: The Postal administration of the Papal States, intending to improve the postal service, proposed on March 12th, 1858, the issue of a 20 bajocchi stamp which corresponded to the postal tariff for franking letters to France, valid since April, 1853. For still unknown reasons the stamp produced was never issued, although a certain quantity was cancelled and later destroyed.

Expertise: Enzo Diena (1990) and Raffaele Diena (1993, described then in the certificate, when only this example was known in private hands, as the most important rarity of all Italian philately), signed A. Bolaffi.

Exhibitions: Claridge’s (1997), Monaco ’97.

Illustrated and Listed: Encyclopaedia of Rare and Famous Stamps.

PRICE ON REQUEST

Papal States

1867, 3 c. grey on chalk surfaced paper, block of 16 (4×4) from the lower left corner of the sheet, featuring one of the four panes of 16 comprised in the sheet, exceptional margins enabling to exhibit the bordering lines of the pane, with full original gum and two hinge remains in horizontal row at base only, an exceptional and very rare multiple. (Sassone €60,000+ for four blocks of four).

Expertise: Signed Colla.

PRICE ON REQUEST

papal states

Papal States

THE LARGEST MULTIPLE KNOWN OF THE VALUABLE 1868 3C. GREY-ROSE – ORIGINATING FROM THE ONLY SURVIVING SHEET

1868, 3c grey rose, the extraordinary block of 16 (4×4), including four vertical and four horizontal interpanneau pairs, very fresh and outstandingly preserving its full original gum, except for a small paper adherence impinging on one stamp and a tiny part of an adjoining one, with one horizontal pair having few separated perforations between the two adhesives in lower center of the block (with three or four perforations being also opened in other place), -mentioned for accuracy only and as usually encountered in multiples in this issue when possessing gum and consequently being fragile-, this item being outstandingly fine.

papal states

As far as we can say, the largest multiple recorded of this very difficult stamp, of which only one sheet survived, being the second most valuable single issued stamp in the Papal States and one of the charismatic stamps for its rarity in all Italian States.

Note: See the book of the philatelic exhibition held in Palazzo Braschi in Rome “I Primi Francobolli a Roma”, on 9-14 May 1978 -its organising committee was formed by distinguished philatelists such as G. Bizzarri, G. Craveri, Enzo Diena or R. Mondolfo-. This item is illustrated on page 167 (before it had been separated from the complete sheet) in one of the color plates dedicated to “Rarità di Prima Grandezza” (rarities of the first degree). This block of 16 is located in the centre of the sheet, and is the only multiple available to show the crossing of the vertical and horizontal interpanneau (“interspazi di gruppo”), this being the most prestigious and valuable location in the sheet. (To be noted the single perforation in the interpanneau space between panes, in contrast to other few multiples known which possess double perforation).

Expertise: Cert. Bolaffi (2008)

PRICE ON REQUEST

Sardinia

THE UNIQUE LARGEST KNOWN BLOCK OF THE FIRST PRINTING 1851

THE “CASPARY” BLOCK OF SARDINIA

THE UNIQUE LARGEST KNOWN BLOCK OF THE FIRST PRINTING

1851, 40c. carmine rose, first printing, block of twenty (5×4), including four complete horizontal rows of the pane of 25 (the top row missing), showing a prominent misalignment of transfer in position 17 of this block, with margins ranging from large to huge, very fresh with original gum and still preserving eight examples as never hinged, the rest only showing light hinge remains.

Negligible traces of small age stains on back of no importance and not mentioned in the certificate. The largest multiple known of the first printing (this being the most significant state of impression) and, after the “Rothschild” complete sheet of 50, representing the second largest multiple recorded of this value, a museum showpiece combining the fascination of its great rarity and the great beauty of its delightful color and design.

Note: This multiple, presented in one of the auction sales of the Caspary collection, was sold in January 1957 for US$18,000 (the seventh highest hammer price reached at auction in the whole long run of Caspary sales); as a reference, US$20,000 were paid for the famous Baden 9kr. error of color on cover.

Provenance: Alfred H. Caspary

Expertise: Signed (“per esteso”) G. Bolaffi and A. Diena, cert. Bolaffi (1993, as without imperfections)

PRICE ON REQUEST

Sicily

A VERY RARE AND INTRICATE FRANKING

1859, 50 gr. brown-lake, wide to very large margins showing part or complete frame lines on all sides, deep shade, used together with 2 gr. sky blue, plate I, touched at right, ample margins in other respects, used on February 6, 1859 folded cover from Messina to Civitavecchia, each tied by “ferro di cavallo” handstand, with fine strikes of “Mesa1859/7Febo” two-line datestamp on dispatch and “Civitavecchia/Dalla/Via Di Mare” at top right, charged “48” baiocchi for the internal postage on arrival. 

Sicily PT

One of only six covers recorded bearing this franking, this being unique addressed to the Papal States; (four covers were reported to bear this franking in the census by Gatto-Natoli ).

Expertise: Signed Emilio & Alberto Diena and G. Bolaffi (“per estesso”), as well as A. Bolaffi.

PRICE ON REQUEST

Tuscany

60 CRAZIE SINGLE FRANKING ON COVER

1851-52, 60 cr. deep scarlet on grey, a very fine example with exceptional margins for the most part displaying part of the neighboring frame lines on three sides, just slightly touched in part of the left margin, used on large registered cover from Livorno (Leghorn) to Milan, tied by “3 Mar 1858/Livorno” ornamental datestamp, with “P.D.”, “Per Consegna” straight-line and “Dopo/La Partenza” two-line handstands, with receiving c.d.s. on reverse. 

186788 Tuscany PT

One of the finest of only about five covers recorded bearing a single franking of the highest first-issue denomination and rarest stamp of Tuscany before the Provisional Government period.

Expertise: Signed Enzo Diena and Alberto Bolaffi (“per esteso”).

PRICE ON REQUEST

Tuscany

3 LIRE MINT

1860, 3 L. ocher-grey, mint example, touched at bottom and top and clearly including part of the frame line all along the base, clear margins on other two sides, fresh with original gum and slight trace of hinge usage. A very fine example of this very difficult stamp, of which very few examples are recorded in sound condition, very desirable as one of the great “aristocrat” stamps of European philately. (Sassone €525,000)

Expertise: Cert. Enzo Diena (1992) and Bolaffi (1993); signed A. Diena, Oliva and M. Raybaudi (“per esteso”).

PRICE ON REQUEST

186788 Tuscany PT