Last Wenesday Kelleher Auctions offered a single-owned Zemstvo holding from a New York collector. 186 lots covering a large spectrum of districts. The collection was not very strong on postal history, as only a small selection of covers or postal stationaries were offered, none of them being particularly of great interest. It appears that the collector focussed primarly on Russian Zemstvo stamps, and the quality was in general rather attractive and above the usual standard.
There were a few items of great interest: a beautiful copy of the provisional from Borovichy (hammer price 5500$ against an estimation of 1500-2000$), definitely rare in such quality (figure 1). Novaya Lagoda district was graced with a nice lot including the rare transfer bloc error from 1867 (lot 98, hammer price 5605$). Figure 2
Figure 1 - Lot 25: Borovichi 1876, 3 kopek bronze on white paper. Mint large part OG.
I have also noticed the rare and rather unknown revenue stamps from Simferopol: two attractive copies of these interesting issues (1878) that finally reached a hammer price of 443$ (lot 139). Figure 3
Figure 3 - Lot 139: Simferopol 1878, two fine copies of the Revenue Stamps.
The auctioneer broke down some districts by offering intact parts of the holding. That was the smartest thing to do, and as expected some of those lots went above their maximum estimation. Lot 46 was of particular interest to me: a nice section of Gadiach including a scarce selection of blocs (among them a very rare bloc of 6 of Schmidt 5 - possibly the second largest known). This lot was finally sold to yours truly (hammer price: 1600$ against an estimation of 1000-1500).
Overall, this sale was a nice experience and the Kelleher team was very reactive both in promoting the sale, and dealing with their communication with potential buyers. And it is always nice to see a constant flow of Russian stamps, and Zemstvo adhesives, coming to the market!