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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Special Commentary
10 May, 2006

Part 2 - Sir Gawaine Baillie Collection

Canada's Early Stamps

We continue our coverage of the Sotheby’s auction in New York of the outstanding collection of British North American stamps assembled by the late Sir Gawaine Baillie. In Part 1 of our review, we looked at the stamps of Canada’s Provinces. In Part 2, we focus on the early Canadian stamps in his collection from Scott 1-122. As noted earlier, the quality of the material is outstanding. As a result of the publicity that surrounded the sale and its acceptance by the stamp community as representing a very special event, the participation of bidders was strong and an impressive number of new record prices resulted.

We present below examples of some of the best material, as described by Sotheby’s, followed later by our comments.

Lot 763

Scott 3
Catalogue $80,000
Realized $224,500

12D. BLACK - Large margins, rich deep colour, crisp impression, part original gum. A PEERLESS EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S RAREST STAMPS. A TRUE ICON OF CANADIAN PHILATELY. R.P.S. Certificate 1959. As with the one shilling ‘Pence’ stamps of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, the Canada ‘twelve pence black’ is a very rare stamp. Unlike the shilling stamps of the Maritime Provinces, which were used to make up many complicated multiple postage rates to distant destinations, the Canadian twelve pence stamp pre-paid specific postage rates to just a few destinations; hence its use was limited.

Raymond and Roger Weill 1989

Lot 781

Scott 9
Catalogue $6,500
Realized $17,600

7½D. DEEP YELLOW-GREEN - Very large margins, rich colour, large part original gum. ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN.

Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred F. Lichtenstein 1968
The “John Foxbridge” Collection 1987

Lot 783

Scott 9
Catalogue $19,500
Realized $

7½D. PALE YELLOW-GREEN - Horizontal marginal strip of 3 from the left of the sheet, large margins, exceptional colour, light crease, original gum. ONE OF THE FINEST MULTIPLES OF THIS STAMP AND THE PENCE ISSUES. UNIQUE AS AN UNUSED STRIP OF THREE

The “Hart” Collection 1977
The “John Foxbridge” Collection 1987

Lot 786

Scott 7
Catalogue $5,750
Realized $14,300
Clear to large margins, rich colour, large part original gum. A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF THIS RARE STAMP. Friedl Certificate 1976 and David Brandon Certificate 1977

Lot 795

Scott 5d
Catalogue $10,000
Realized $30,800

6D. GREY-LILAC - Clear to large margins, good colour, part original gum. VERY RARE. Expertising marks on the reverse including ‘Brun’

Lot 797

Scott 10
Catalogue $13,500
Realized $38,500

6D. REDDISH VIOLET - Clear to large margins, exceptional colour, part original gum. A SUPERB EXAMPLE – ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN. THE RAREST STAMP OF CANADA UNUSED. R.P.S. Certificate 1968.
Few have been able to include this stamp in unused condition in their collections as it is almost unobtainable. It ranks as the rarest stamp of Canada in unused condition and in this peerless condition there are probably fewer than six recorded

General Robert Gill 1965
Lars Amundsen 1967
The “Consort” Collection 1977

Lot 800

Scott 13
Catalogue $8,250
Realized $26,400

6D. BROWNISH GREY - Horizontal marginal pair from the left of the sheet, part of the imprint at the upper left, exceptional rich colour, large part original gum. PERHAPS THE FINEST UNUSED MULTIPLE OF THIS RARE STAMP. The Philatelic Foundation Certificate 1980

Maurice Burrus 1963

Lot 877

Scott 17b
Catalogue $800
Realized $1,540

10C. BROWN PERFORATION 11¾X11¾, - Good colour, well centred, part original gum. The Philatelic Foundation Certificate 1979

Henry S. Schneider 1996

Lot 891

Unitrade 18i
Catalogue $1,350
Realized $1,430

12½C. OLIVE-GREEN PERFORATION 12X11¾, - Rich colour, fresh, marginal dot at the left, part original gum. Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation Certificate 1986

Lot 892

Scott 19
Catalogue $825
Realized $2,640

17C. DEEP BLUE PERFORATION 12X12 - Horizontal pair, rich colour, large part original gum. R.P.S. Certificate 1968

Colonial & Foreign Stamp Company 1983

Lot 909

Scott 20
Catalogue $1,800
Realized $7,700

2C. ROSE-RED PERFORATION 12X12 - Block of 4, exceptional colour, full original gum – probably unmounted. EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY. B.P.A. Certificate 1971

Colonial & Foreign Stamp Company 1983

Lot 913

Scott 20b
Catalogue $2,500
Realized $2,200
2C. BRIGHT ROSE IMPERFORATE - Horizontal pair, Positions 77-78, including Position 77 Engravers slip at the lower left, fresh, ungummed. Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation Certificate 1987

Lot 966

Scott 23
Catalogue $4,000
Realized $4,620
1C. PALE ORANGE-YELLOW - Horizontal strip of 5, lovely colour, some uncleared perforations particularly at the right, fresh, part original gum. A RARE MULTIPLE.

Lot 973

Scott 24a
Catalogue $2,250
Realized $3,300
2C. BLUISH GREEN WATERMARKED - Well centred, rich colour, light gum crease, large part original gum. This stamp shows the complete watermark letter ‘B’ of ‘BOTHWELL’

Lot 978

Unitrade 25ii
Catalogue $8,000
Realized $8,250

3C. ROSE-RED - Marginal block of 4 from the left of the sheet, exceptional colour, lightly strengthened split perforations, fresh, large part original gum.

The “Firth” Collection 1971

Lot 985

Scott 28
Catalogue $2,600
Realized $4,180
12½C. PALE DULL MILKY BLUE - Block of 4, fresh, good colour, part original gum.

Lot 999

Scott 26
Catalogue $6,000
Realized $6,050
5C. OLIVE-GREEN - Vertical block of 6, good colour, large part original gum. A RARE LARGE MULTIPLE.

Lot 1002

Scott 30d
Catalogue $9,000
Realized $35,200
15C. GREY-LILAC SCRIPT WATERMARK - Well centred, good colour, large part original gum. A MAJOR RARITY OF THE ISSUE. B.P.A. Certificate 1982 and a photocopy of the Vincent Graves Greene Research Foundation Certificate 1985

Lot 1011

Unitrade 30iii
Catalogue $1,375
Realized $3,300
15C. SLATY BLUE POSITION 10 ‘PAWNBROKER’ FLAW - Horizontal pair, Positions 9-10 with Position 9 Plate scratches and Position 10 ‘Pawnbroker’ flaw, well centred, fresh, slight crease, large part original gum. Canadian Philatelic Expertizing Services Certificate 1998

Lot 1138

Scott 34b
Catalogue $1,350
Realized $2,090
½C. GREY-BLACK IMPERFORATE BETWEEN - Horizontal strip of 4 with a double vertical perforation between the second and third stamps and both pairs imperforate between; fresh, part original gum.

Lot 1176

Unitrade 43vi
Catalogue $1,000
Realized $1,045
6C. DEEP CHESTNUT IMPERFORATE - Horizontal pair, unmounted original gum.

Lot 1265

Scott 84a
Catalogue $2,500
Realized $2,200
20C. OLIVE-GREEN IMPERFORATE WITHOUT GUM - Horizontal pair with the official blue cancellation cachet; fine. 50 pairs without gum can exist

Lot 1296

Unitrade 113b
Catalogue $1,000
Realized $1,430
7C. STRAW - Marginal block of 4 from the foot of the sheet, fresh, unmounted original gum.

Lot 1353

Scott 24b
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $2,475
50C. BLACK-BROWN IMPERFORATE - Horizontal pair, fresh, original gum. It is reported that the single sheet of 100 of this error was handled carelessly, leaving 35-40 sound pairs

Lot 1662

Scott F3
Catalogue $2,800
Realized $5,280
8C. DULL BLUE - Vertical marginal block of 8 with part of the imprint and ‘8’, good colour, light creases, a few strengthened split perforations, original gum. A SUPERB MULTIPLE OF THE ISSUE.


One of the things about preparing a commentary for a sale as large as this is that one has to leave out so much. Space did not allow us to cover the rare proofs and essays, not to mention the rare large blocks of Canada’s earliest stamps that only appear in public view once or twice in one’s lifetime. On occasion, we found it difficult to identify the various varieties as the auctioneer used the Stanley Gibbons catalogue numbers rather than the ones we are more familiar with in North America. If our viewers spot any errors as we converted from the Stanley Gibbons numbers to the Scott and Unitrade numbers, we would be grateful to hear from them so that corrections can be made.

We congratulate Sotheby’s for having produced such a beautiful auction catalogue which displayed Sir Gawaine’s collection so well. Not only did it show the stamps well but we found the descriptions very informative and helpful. It is appreciated that the prices were quickly available after the sale and were easily accessible on the firm’s website. It is interesting to see how an experienced auction firm approaches the sale of valuable stamps. Not unexpectedly, this sale produced a good number of new record prices, the details of which are outlined below.

New Record Prices

There were 20 new record prices in this part of the sale of Sir Gawaine’s early Canadian stamps:

Scott 3
12d black on laid paper
Scott 5d $30,800 6d Albert on wove paper
Scott 9 $17,600 7 1/2d deep yellow green
Scott 10 $38,500 6d Albert on thick soft wove paper
Scott 14 $880 1¢ pale rose
Scott 14a $6,050 1¢ deep rose imperforate pair
Scott 17a $2,420 10¢ dull violet
Scott 19a $1,760 17¢ slate blue
Scott 20 $935 2¢ bright rose
Scott 24a $3,740 2¢ green watermarked
Scott 27a $1,430 6¢ yellow brown
Scott 29 $605 15¢ dull violet grey
Scott 30d $35,200 15¢ grey violet script watermark
Scott 44d $1,380 8¢ pale bluish grey imperforate nh
Scott 74a $605 1/2¢ black imperforate pair nh
Scott 77e $13,750 2¢ rose-carmine imperforate tête-bêche booklet of 12 ungummed
Scott 80a $1,650 6¢ Numerical imperforate pair nh
Scott 82a $1,210 8¢ Numeral imperforate pair nh
Scott 84a $2,200 20¢ Numeral imperforate without gum
Scott 90c $14,850 2¢ pale rose-carmine imperf. tête-bêche booklet of 12 ungummed

Sotheby prices

We have had to convert all the prices reported by Sotheby’s in two ways. First, we had to convert the prices from $U.S. to $Canadian at the rate of $1 U.S. = $1.10 Canadian. Second, we had to reduce the prices to eliminate the 15 % auctioneer's premium. Using the formula ($1.10/115% x the price) means that a reported price of $1,150 U.S. for a particular lot would become $1,100 Canadian.

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©2006, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada