STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 79

Greenland, Airmail, 1932, Rockwell Kent 10 øre essay, used on a 1933 cover.

To date, only about 8 covers are recorded.

In 1932, Dr. Fanck led an expedition to Greenland to make a film for Universal Pictures called "S.O.S. Iceberg", starring Leni Reifenstahl. WWI German ace pilot, Ernst Udet, accompanied them and flew supplies in and out of their base camp.

Rockwell Kent was living and working in Greenland at the time. He and Udet met and, it is said, during an evening of drink, hit upon the idea of making a stamp to raise money for the local community center, charging 10 ore per stamp. He hand-cut the woodblock and made between 50 and 75 impressions. Only 8 or so are known on cover.

Upon Kent's return to the U.S., the stamp was reprinted by Pynson Press in New York for sale to print collectors. There are conflicting reports that either 200 or 275 of the reprints were made; an unknown number were signed by Kent. The reprints were never flown.

Included are the following items:

1) The flown cover

2) 1934 letter from Kent to Alton Blank talking of his recollections, with a copy of the reprint tipped on.

3) The film company issued a large poster stamp to promote the film. It is known in greenish grey and brownish grey, included are in German (3 colors) and French (rare). There is an English one as well that we have never seen.

4) Two reproductions have recently appeared on eBay: black on greenish or cream paper, gummed. It is clearly not meant to fool anyone.

5) We have seen obvious forgeries offered at least twice on eBay. One is present for archival purposes. Without looking any further, the inclusion of the portion of a second stamp to the left is evidence enough. These stamps were produced one at a time.

6) To complete the story: a first edition of Dr. Fanck's book, a DVD of the film and a contemporary pictorial news report.


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