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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Special Commentary
10 May, 2006

Part 3 - Sir Gawaine Baillie: Collection

It’s hard to believe that two months have already passed since the Sotheby auction of the BNA collection of Sir Gawaine Baillie in New York. We have returned to the catalogue many times to read it, study the images and analyze the results. What a wonderful auction it was. What a treasure trove of information.

In this Part 3 of our detailed review of the results, we look at the balance of the Canadian collection, starting with the Quebec Tercentenary set and going through to the end.

New record prices

We have identified 11 new record prices amongst the stamps in this part of the collection. This brings to 31 the total number of record prices in the sale. Of the 11, 5 are found in the Quebec Tercentenary set. Here are two examples:

Lot 1324
Scott 102a
Catalogue $900
Realized $715

Lot 1325
Scott 103a
Catalogue $525
Realized $440


There are two types of Quebec Tercentenary imperforates. The first has a lighter colour and comes with gum and the second has a darker colour and comes without gum. The 15¢ stamp above is of the 1st type and the 20¢ is the 2nd. Not surprisingly, a premium was paid for the 15¢ stamp which came with gum and had the added feature of having no hinge mark.

Modern varieties

Sir Gawaine accumulated a most impressive number of modern varieties. He had so many that it required us to use more pages than ever to transfer the results of the auction to our 10 year pricing records. While we were able to identify 11 new record prices in this part of his collection, we were surprised there were not a good deal more.

Here are some of the more notable modern varieties in the auction:

Lot 1420

Scott 163d

Catalogue $1,300
Realized $2,200

1C. GREEN IMPERFORATE - horizontal pair, fresh, original gum. RARE. It has been estimated that 50 pairs exist


Lot 1424

Scott 176a
Catalogue $2,400
Realized $3,850

50C. BLUE IMPERFORATE - marginal block of 4 from the left of the sheet with Plate Number 1, unmounted original gum. A VERY RARE PLATE NUMBER BLOCK. 75 pairs exist

Lot 1441

Unitrade 208i
Catalogue $1,800
Realized $1,100

3C. BLUE BURR ON SHOULDER - horizontal marginal block of 8 from the top of the sheet with the Wide gutter, Position 2 in the right pane with the Burr on shoulder flaw, unmounted original gum. 25 such blocks could exist

Lot 1482

Scott 219c
Catalogue $2,400
Realized $4,400
3C. SCARLET PRINTED ON THE GUMMED SIDE - horizontal marginal block of 6 from the foot of the sheet with Plate Number 2, two small pin pricks in the margin, unmounted and very fine. EXTREMELY RARE – ONLY ONE OTHER PLATE BLOCK IS KNOWN.

Lot 1522

Unitrade 537i
Catalogue $4,000
Realized $1,870

1971 “THE MAPLE LEAF IN FOUR SEASONS” 7C. GREY OMITTED - fresh, unmounted original gum. RARE

Lot 1530

Scott 693d
Catalogue $3,000
Realized $2,640

1976 ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE 8C. SE-TENANT DOUBLE PRINTING - horizontal pair, unmounted original gum. VERY RARE. The American Philatelic Expertizing Service Certificate 1991

Lot 1536

Unitrade 718i
Catalogue $950
Realized $715
1977-86 DOUGLAS FIR 20C. MISSING DENOMINATION - unmounted original gum. Illustrated alongside a stamp without the error

Lot 1540

Unitrade 726b
Catalogue $18,000
Realized $6,600

1977-86 FUNDY NATIONAL PARK $1 MISSING BLACK INSCRIPTIONS - the matched set of marginal blocks of 4 from the four corners of the sheet, unmounted original gum. A UNIQUE SET.

Lot 1550

Scott 841a
Catalogue $1,100
Realized $660

1979 CHRISTMAS 35C. GOLD OMITTED - fresh, unmounted original gum. Illustrated alongside a stamp without the error

Lot 1555

Scott 888a
Catalogue $1,300
Realized $770

1981 CANADIAN PAINTINGS 17C. FREDERICK VARLEY IMPERFORATE - horizontal pair, light wrinkles, unmounted original gum.

Lot 1563

Scott 935a
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $2,090
1982-87 NATIONAL PARK DEFINITIVE $1.50 BLACK OMITTED - marginal from the foot of the sheet, unmounted original gum. RARE. 25 exist

Lot 1570

Scott 1084a
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $2,090
1986 NATIONAL PARK DEFINITIVE $5 DEEP BLUE OMITTED - unmounted original gum. RARE. One sheet of 25 was discovered at a Post Office near Winnipeg. Illustrated alongside a stamp without the error

Lot 1588

Unitrade 1351iv
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $715
1991-98 EDIBLE BERRIES 3C. IMPERFORATE - block of 4, unmounted original gum

Lot 1606

Unitrade 1376v,vi,b
Estimate $15,000
Realized $16,500
1995 PROVINCIAL NORMAL SCHOOL – CANADIAN BANK NOTE $2 INSCRIPTIONS INVERTED - vertical strip of 3 from the upper right corner of the sheet, the lower stamp with the inscriptions inverted, the upper pair comprise the ‘white’ invert and the brown cutting guide; unmounted original gum. VERY RARE. 10 strips exist


What is most notable about this part of Sir Gawaine’s collection is its completeness. We do not recall seeing so many modern Canadian varieties in a single auction. As well, there was very little duplication.

The catalogue for this auction will be especially useful in future for providing not only excellent images of the most significant modern varieties, but also the details of the total number of each variety that exists. These numbers will undoubtedly have an impact on their values in the years ahead.

New record prices

This part of the sale had 11 new record prices.

Scott 97a
1¢ Quebec Tercentenary imperforate pair
Scott 100a $440 7¢ Quebec Tercentenary imperforate pair
Scott 101a $440 10¢ Quebec Tercentenary imperforate pair
Scott 102a $715 15¢ Quebec Tercentenary imperforate pair
Scott 103a $440 20¢ Quebec Tercentenary imperforate pair
Scott 231-236a $2,540 1¢-8¢ Multi set - imperforate pair
Scott 789c $1,870 17¢ QE II part imperforate
Scott 888a $770 17¢ Varley imperforate pair
Scott 926Bf $1,044 36¢ Parliament - part imperforate
Scott 935a $2,090 $1.50 National Park - black omitted
Scott 1084a $2,090 $1.50 National Park - deep blue omitted

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