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From Rare Stamps and Postal History of the World - Cherrystone Auctions - March 20-21, 2018

Lot 972 - 1922 15 PIASTRE on Expresso 25c rose, overprinted "SERVIZIO POSTALE AEREO / PIASTRE 15" in thin black font, unused, centered to lower left, large part original gum, excellent color, typical slight ageing (mentioned for accuracy only), fine and exceptional rarity. Only five (!) examples recorded (one of which is housed in the British Library collection, ex Fitzgerald). Certainly a major rarity of Aero-Philately and the rarest stamp of the Italian collecting area, signed Bolaffi, Colla, Diena and Sanabria, with 1966 Giulio Bolaffi and 2007 Giorgio Colla certificates. This stamp was prepared in Constantinople for the planned CIDNA flight from Bucharest to Paris. Due to pressure from the French Embassy in Constantinople and the Lausanne Conference calling for the closure of all Foreign Post Offices within Turkey, the issue was aborted and nearly all examples of this stamp were destroyed and burnt (In 1924, the fourth edition of Champion Air Mail Stamp Catalog reports on page 295: one air mail stamp was prepared in 1922 by Italian Post Office in Constantinople. For superior order, this special stamp was designated for air mails and used for the French air line Bucharest-Paris. At the last moment, the headquarters of the Ottoman Post Office denied the authorization to establish a regular foreign air line on its own territory. The Italian stamp was not issued and we think that all were burned). A March 2015 article by N. L. Cipriani and C. E. Manzati published in the Collectors Club Philatelist showed 10 examples of this stamp from collections/auction catalogues assembled by Messrs. Piermattei and Naddei. The stamp offered above is illustration No.4 in their article, Sass. cat. €300000 ....Cat. €300000, Est.$75,000 Currently US$ 70,000

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