Canadian Stamp Auctions
Stamp Market Commentary
This copy of the horizontally imperforate $1.00 Chateau de Ramzay came our attention recently when we received a fascinating brochure from the Saskatoon Stamp Center called “The Unique Collection”.
It offered an array of Canadian stamps like this one for which there is only one copy in existence.
Unitrade lists a pair of this variety for $6,000, plus a 50% premium if it is NH, bringing the total value to $9,000. Three pairs then would have a value of $27,000. It follows that to offer the plate block of six for only $25,000 is quite modest. But then, knowing that the block was lightly hinged in the top margin and on the bottom two stamps might help explain the price. Back in 1987, this same block was offered by Saskatoon Stamp in one of its brochures for $10,000. So its value has more than doubled in the past 14 years.
This block was one of 154 unique Canadian stamps offered in the brochure. What was so special about this undertaking was that each of the stamps in the brochure was one of a kind, something never previously attempted to our knowledge. Putting this brochure together and offering it to the public was something John Jamieson, owner of the Saskatoon Stamp Center, decided to do as a way of celebrating his firm’s 45th year in business. What a great way to celebrate such an occasion!
Earlier History of Scott 245a
We looked back in our files to see if there were other copies of the variety that had appeared. We found that in the past 10 years, only two other copies had been offered, a vertical pair and a vertical strip of three.
Back in 1983, R. Maresch & Son presented the block of 6 shown below in a private treaty brochure. The block was described as “the largest remaining multiple from the bottom half sheet, LH and tiny gum faults on two stamps. The price of the time was $7,500.
In 2008, H. R. Harmer Inc. offered the beautiful pair that follows for $6,187. While it was NH, the top stamp had trivial tiny inclusions.
Going all the way back to 1979, J.N. Sissons offered this unique block of 25.
It had a catalogue value at the time of $18,750 and sold for $38,000. It came with the following description:
“A rare piece which had been reported 40 years ago, but no trace of it has been seen until now. This is half of the known supply of this variety.”
A copy of this same block was shown in a 1984 brochure of the Saskatoon Coin & Stamp Center. It contained the following information about the block:
“This is the unique bottom margin block of 25, being the bottom half of the only known sheet ever discovered of this error. This is an actual error sheet and is not from the favour imperforate issues distributed from Record Proof sheets in the Post office archives from which the other imperforate issues emanate. The two individuals who originally discovered the sheet, decided to split the sheet in half, so that they could each have half. Unfortunately in doing so, they destroyed five of the 25 possible pairs that could have been cut from the unique sheet. The result is that there are only 20 possible pairs of this item. The above block represents half of the existing supply. Although we have not seen the plate block (from the top of the sheet), we are aware of its existence in an Eastern collection. We have only been able to find a record of the sale of one pair by auction in the last 20 years. Certainly, the offering of this block presents a rare opportunity to add to one’s collection one of the rarest and certainly most significant pieces of Canadian Philately.”
Chateau de Ramzay continues to exist as a museum in the Old Port area
of downtown Montreal. It is a very popular destination for residents
of the city and tourists alike.