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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Special Commentary - 24 June, 2009

Robert Cunliffe’s International Collection of Inverted Stamps

The recent Spink Shreve’s sale of Robert Cunliffe’s outstanding collection of inverted stamps in New York on June 18th drew worldwide attention in the press and on the internet. . Mr. Cunliffe was a Pittsburg stockbroker who died last year at the age of 83. His achievement in bringing together such a large number of the inverted stamps from so many countries represented a collector’s dream. For most people, to have acquired a single inverted stamp would be unusual in itself, but to have amassed a whole collection like this is truly remarkable.

Here is a sampling of what was offered in the sale from just a few of the countries:
(All amounts are in $U.S.)


Lot 16
Scott 63e
Catalogue $4,000
Realized $57,500

Lot 21
Scott 129aP4-122aP4
Catalogue $150,000
Realized $230,000

Lot 30
Scott 295a
Catalogue $55,000
Realized $47,500
Lot 31
Scott 295a
Catalogue $60,000
Realized $35,000

Lot 36
Scott 296a
Catalogue $550,000
Realized $260,000

Lot 41
Scott 1610c
Catalogue $84,000
Realized $67,500

“Inverted Jenny”

Lot 46
Scott C3a
Catalogue $500,000
Realized $170,000

Lot 153
Scott R146a
Catalogue $25,000
Realized $100,000


Lot 1019
Scott 226a
Catalogue $21,500
Realized $65,000


Lot 1030
Scott 139a
Catalogue $67,500
Realized $130,000


Lot 1044
Scott 387a
Catalogue $12,000
Realized $6,500

Lot 1046
Scott 1181a
Catalogue $12,000
Realized $6,500
Lot 1047
Scott 1376b
Catalogue $9,000
Realized $3,750


Lot 1103
Scott 237a
Catalogue $20,000
Realized $60,000


Lot 1225
Scott 103b
Catalogue $25,000
Realized $57,500


Lot 1251
Scott 632a
Catalogue $25,000
Realized $35,000


Lot 1301
Scott 65a
Catalogue $5,500
Realized $100,000


Lot 1350
Scott 84a
Estimate $10,000
Realized $45,000

We would not expect to see a collection as unusual and rare as this offered at auction again for a long time. Looking at it makes us want to stand back in sincere admiration of the late Mr.Cunliffe for his wonderful achievement.

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