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ISWSC Stamp Answer Person Question — Is this Commemorative Stamp real?

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azcutter@comcast.net

created on:
Mar 19 2017
07:28:44 PM
I have a John Lennon and Groucho Marx official Commemorative Stamp issued by the government of Abkhazia which was purchased many years ago by my father. Is it real and could it have any value?
Thank you,
Astrida Cutter

REPLY TO POST
termini@charter.net

created on:
Mar 23 2017
03:47:59 PM
Hello Astrida,
The Republic of Abkhazia was formerly part of the Republic of Georgia, but after the fall of the Soviet Union when Georgia became independent, the Abkhazians themselves declared independence. They were supported by the Russians and today the area is essentially disputed territory. Most nations do not recognize Abkhazia as a separate country and its stamps are not listed in the standard catalogues. Nevertheless, Abkhazia has issued quite a few stamps and they are collected. I have over 50 of them in my collection, including the souvenir sheet you mention.
This sheet is one of the worst philatelic puns I have ever seen and is well known to stamp collectors. Most of the former Soviet Union admires Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, so the Abkhazians issued a sheet honoring Groucho Marx and John Lennon.
What’s it worth? You won’t be able to retire and move to Florida by selling this stamp. I looked it up on eBay and found six of them listed with asking prices between five and twelve dollars. Many of the sheets were accompanied by “Certificates of Authenticity” which are worthless. So you could probably get something there, assuming it sold.
A better idea would be to find a stamp collector and give it to him or her - they might like to have it in their collection because it makes you laugh. Stamp collectors (like me) are generally an old and grumpy bunch and can use a good laugh now and then.

Ben Termini
ISWSC Stamp Answer Person


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