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1933 Balbo Triptych of Italy

19 Jan 2019  Sat

Balbo Triptych stamps of 1933 of Italy are the lesser known worldwide item. The stamp fetched an eye catching price in Harmers Auctions of Lugano, Switzerland, held in Nov. 14-15, 2014.

Gen. Italo Balbo was a key figure in Italy’s fascist regime, a mastermind of the 1922 March on Rome, although he later opposed the anti-Jewish racial laws and the alliance with Hitler. Balbo established the Italian Royal Air Force in the 1920's. To promote Italy’s air prowess, he led a squadron of seaplanes on a trans-Atlantic flight to the Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago during the summer of 1933.

Italy issued two se-tenant triptychs to commemorate the flight, consisting of a registered air express label, a regular postage stamp and an airmail stamp. For Balbo’s return flight, 500 examples of the 44.75-lira airmail stamp were overprinted “Volo di Ritorno/New York-Roma”.

A mint, never-hinged return-flight triptych in the Harmers sale was hammered down for the equivalent of $24,400.

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