STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 60


Russia, 1921, Unissued Khorezm People's Soviet Republic 500R. The unique complete pane of nine.

In 3 x 3 array on unwatermarked wove paper, the full sheet measuring approximately 77-78 x 113 mm, imperforate, with horizontal folds between each row of stamps. Inscribed in ink on reverse, "Khwarezmi postage stamps 500r 1922 issue" and signed "Abd Al-Rahmanov", plus "For remembering", all over an earlier penciled notation about this Khivan issue.

The Khorezm People's Soviet Republic was established April 26, 1920, following the abdication (in the face of public pressure) of Khivan Khan Sayyid Abdullah on February 2. In 1921, this first issue was released for domestic (intra-republic) postage. The frame, with denomination in both Cyrillic at bottom and Uzbek at top, along with the Uzbek abbreviation for Xorazm Xalq Sho'ro Jumhuriyati, was printed first in carmine (the color here tending toward a magenta), with the central vignette (a sickle and ketmen—a type of hoe—over a cotton branch) added in brown violet. The issue exists on two papers, one slightly thinner and unwatermarked, a later printing on thicker, watermarked paper. Minor differences are to be found on each frame, as the clichés were created individually.

The stamp never saw actual use, as inflation forced postal rates up first to 5000 rubles and then 10,000 rubles—while the stamps were still in production! This has led to little being known about the issue, even in Russian and Soviet philatelic circles. The first mention in the philatelic press came in 1927 and 1928, with the first listing of this stamp coming only in 1973 (!) in a catalogue-price list of A.F. Kolesnikov.

Very Fine, without gum as issued.

Perhaps the holy grail of Russian Civil War philately.

Price: $50,000; £39,215; €42,500; 500,000 SEK; HK$390,000.

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