STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 71


France, 1907-41, Look Left: The 30c Cameo Sower. A specialized, two-volume study of the stamp in all its glory

This collection, on 113 exhibit pages, was painstakingly created over many, many years, and focuses on the 30c "cameo". Beginning with an unfinished épreuve d'atelier, without numerals of value but in the issued color, we are shown the great diversity this denomination has to offer. The longest serving value of the series (introduced in 1907, retired in 1941), the 30c shows the greatest variation in official colors (eight) and one of the greatest in die types and sub-types (seven). The stamp appeared in three colors (orange, rose and red) and in purple, black and red as postal stationery. The stamps were printed both by flat and rotary plates, and were sold in sheet format, coils, booklets and precancels—all of which are represented.

The stamps are presented with paper (normal, striated-gum "X" and wartime "CG" types) and color varieties, test prints (orange on bristol with simulated perforations, for example), imperforates, mis-perfs, millésimes, overprinted (regular, varieties and "ANNULÉ" for training school use), booklets, Specimens, printing on both sides, incredible fold-overs, etc., etc., etc., while stationery includes postal cards and letter cards.

While this breadth and depth of coverage is in itself awe-inspiring, it is enhanced by the jaw-dropping array of postal history and usages presented. From triple-rate to single-rate letters (as postage rates increased), telegrams, pneumatic post, domestic and international usages, on parcel tags, on newspaper piece, and much, much more, with numerous Airmail, Registered and Censored covers—even a couple Rural Carrier covers (one Registered). Overseas destinations range nearly as widely as the stamp varieties, and include Indochina and French Guinea, Russia and Trinidad, Egypt and New Caledonia, and Madagascar and Siam. There is a cover franked with Andorre-overprinted Sowers, several Interrupted Flight or Crash Covers, even covers addressed to Carroll Chase (at the Paris branch of the Chase Bank), AC Roessler and Georges Lamy.

Several items accompanied by Gautré or Behr certificates.

A simply stunning monographic study of a single issue that must be seen to be believed. Visit our website, where the collection is imaged in full.

* * *

La Semeuse was a beloved symbol of the French Republic long before she graced her first envelope. Created in 1897 by Oscar Roty for use on coins of the Third Republic, "The Sower" represented France planting her ideals and seeds of peace. And those seeds needed to take root as the Twentieth Century dawned.

France issued three new series of stamps in 1900—Blanc's "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", Mouchon's "Rights of Man" and Merson's high values—none of which proved popular. The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, looking for a new motif, turned to Roty and his numismatic design for salvation.

Introduced in 1903, the Sower was an immediate success with the public. She served the French on their definitives for the next 38 years, appearing in three design varieties, on multiple denominations, with numerous color changes and in every format possible.

Price: $20,000; £15,685; €17,000; 200,000 SEK; HK$156,000.

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