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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 164 - 17 March, 2013

Scott 9 - High and Low Prices

In this Commentary, we show examples of Canada's 7½p Victoria stamp, issued in 1857. It was beautiful and one of the last stamps issued before perforations were introduced. The prices for this stamp vary widely according to their condition as will be seen below. We think this will be of interest to collectors who like to note the different prices realized at auction for a similar stamp.

H. R. Harmer
May 22, 2008

Sothebys
May 10, 2006


$25, 740
Full OG
$17,600
Part OG

Cherrystone
January 9, 2008

Charles G. Firby
April 4, 2008


$15,150
Large part OG

$8,080
Almost Full OG

Eastern
June 6, 2009

Spink Shreves
January 27, 2011


$8,000
NG
$7,952
Part OG

Sothebys
May 10, 2006
$6,820
Small part OG

Spink Shreves
November 19, 2009
$42, 400
Full OG

Sothebys
May 10, 2006
$82,500
OG

As we look at these stamps that were issued 156 years ago, we think back to the collectors of the day who would have cut them from sheets to put in their albums. Obviously, some did it lot more carefully than others. We’ve made no reference to hinge marks as these stamps have all been hinged. What distinguishes some from others is the extent to which they have retained their gum. Some are described as small part OG and others as large part OG.

There are other important aspects that distinguish these stamps from one another. Of utmost significance to collectors is the size of the margins around the central image and how well balanced they are. Another feature is how carefully the margins have been cut. There are many other factors that would affect the prices at which they sold. For example, they would attract a higher price as they were part of a well known collection. Similarly, they would attract a high price if there was strong competition between bidders at a particular auction.

Our purpose in showing the prices for which the stamps were sold is to show that sometimes you can acquire a superior stamp at a reasonable price if you participate at auctions on a regular basis. The high or low prices do not always reflect the quality of the stamp, but could sometimes depend on who was at the auction and whether they were paying attention!

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