tradition and experience in classic philately since 1919

Pressrelease Novembersale 2016

Even the boldest expectations of prices realised were surpassed with record online participation in the Corinphila auction series from 24 to 26 November 2016 in Zurich  

The Corinphila auction series 210 to 212 in Zurich came to an end on Saturday 26 November 2016 with results that had to be seen to be believed. First and foremost the specialised classic Swiss and French material from the “BESANÇON” collection (Part II) broke records and left no wishes unfulfilled. Further offers of high-quality philatelic and postal history material, single lots and collections enjoyed impressive demand, and across all collecting areas the results of many lots show that bidders literally got carried away. In the end, Corinphila recorded the highest sales ratio in a major international auction for many years. The total realisation was 172% of the total starting prices of all the auction lots on offer. The ratio for sold items only was even more convincing amounting to 201% of starting price.

The "online factor": Internet bidders from around the world cause a sensation

The fact that the Corinphila auction set new standards is shown by the record participation of online bidders who actively took part in the auction from home. A total share of almost 40% of successful realisations of lots for which bids were submitted from around the world using the proven inhouse “online live bidding” system shows how amazingly this innovative system has developed. With an attractive new “feature”, the live broadcast of the auction room and auctioneer in sound and vision, virtual presence in the room is further optimised. The feeling of being there in the room seems to have inspired many of the customers, because time and again the room- or telephone bidders looked up towards the online bidders who were ever active. Certainly, a consignor could not fail to be delighted by such sensational participation and the many highly exciting “bidding battles” and top realisations.

Fabulous France, spectacular philatelic material from all around the world and Swiss “fireworks”

The sale of the first part of the specialised “BESANÇON” collection of France, within the framework of the auction in June this year, had already been overwhelming. The second part (Catalogue 211) seamlessly followed this success and many lots from this exceptional collection literally went through the roof. Increases of 100%, 150%, 200% and more were not uncommon with both stamps and covers that already had five-figure starting prices. The fifth lot in the auction, an unused block of four of the first issue of 1849, the Ceres 15 centimes green, increased from a starting price of CHF 50,000 to CHF 100,000. An unused block of four of the Ceres 40 centimes increased to CHF 22,000 (Lot 3016 - starting price CHF 8,000), and an unused block of four same issue, now the 1 franc (Lot 3020), climbed from a  starting price of CHF 20,000 to a realisation of CHF 50,000 after a fervent bidding battle. And as the auction progressed the competition for the rarities became even more intense: the auction reached its highpoint with the top item in the collection, a block of four of the 20 centimes Ceres stamp of 1870, from the lithographic printing as an emergency issue of Bordeaux during the encirclement of Paris by Prussian troops during the war of 1870-71 (Lot 3102). Here, after a starting price of CHF 40,000 the hammer only fell at a sensational CHF 150,000! You could have heard a pin drop, it was so quiet in the auction room, as auctioneer Antoine Clavel knocked down the lot “to the third party”. A similar increase took place with an unused block of four of the 1876 Sage type 1 centime: the rare colour variety on Prussian blue paper (Lot 3134) - a relatively "modern" rarity of France. From a starting price of CHF 30,000, the realisation was a fabulous CHF 95,000. “This price level is not of this planet...” a participant breathlessly commented.

The demand for rare and high-quality philatelic material was also similarly strong with the collecting areas that followed. Among others, Italian States and Italy showed impressive realisations. A beautiful cover from Parma with a vertical strip of four of the 40 c. blue of 1857 sent to France (Lot 706) was knocked down at CHF 38,000 (starting price CHF 20,000). A no less attractive cover from Sicily to France (Lot 723) with a beautiful mixed franking went for CHF 34,000 (starting price CHF 20,000). Saudi Arabia  was also sensational, with a set of the rare “Boeing stamps” of 1966-75 in unmounted mint condition (Lot 1334) that went from CHF 1,000 to an incredible CHF 21,000 (!). The bidding battle just did not want to end...

The latter part of the auction, the traditional Switzerland and Liechtenstein section, was again a real firework display! A rare “Vaud 4”, with intense colour and good margins all round, on a beautiful folded letter to Meyrin in the canton of Geneva (Lot 4087) went for CHF 42,000 (starting price CHF 15,000) to a telephone bidder sitting in a train while on holiday in Asia. A “flour sample without value” (Lot 4094), despite its name proved highly valuable and increased from CHF 15,000 to CHF 46,000. The “crowning glory” of the last day of the auction was a Zurich 4, the first postage stamp of Switzerland as an example of late usage on an 1851 cover (Lot 4200). No later usage of this stamp is known. There was therefore much competition for the lot and after a starting price of CHF 40,000 the rivalry ended in a sensational CHF 120,000. The room applauded the successful bidder.

Corinphila customers have an advantage thanks to innovative technology

This latest auction series has again shown that the Corinphila company’s unique concept is crowned with the greatest success. Especially in the online sector Corinphila, with its Internet presence and the innovative system of “online live bidding”, is in the absolute top rank of philatelic auction houses. The statistics also show that in this auction the online live bidding sector was the most active and at the same time the most successful group of bidders. Still well ahead of the room bidders and the agents, far behind are the postal bidders. Online live bidding has become an indispensable standard. Also the participants in the auction, first and foremost the consignors, agreed: those who have neglected this technical development are fast falling behind and will be struggling to assert themselves in the market in future. This is probably the most important consequence of this Corinphila auction.

The full list of prices realised is available online. The next Corinphila auction series will be held from 7 to 10 June 2017 in Zurich (closing date for consignments 31 March 2017).

More information at: Corinphila auction AG, Wiesenstrasse 8, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland, telephone: +41 (0) 44 389 91 91, fax +41 (0) 44 389 91 95, Email:,