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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