Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp market commentary

Report No. 8 - 17 May, 2000

Spring is usually a busy time for stamp dealers and auctioneers and this one is no exception. There is much excellent material available today for those who are willing to look around. During the months of May and June, virtually all the major auction houses in Canada will be having auctions. As well, stamp dealers such as Saskatoon Stamp Centre and Gary J.Lyon are sending out their catalogues.

The Stamp Dealers

Saskatoon Stamp
The current catalogue from Saskatoon Stamp Centre contains many beautiful items. As usual for this dealer, there are plenty of imperforate pairs and blocks in excellent condition. We note in particular, a 15 cent Mountie [Scott 614a] in an imperforate gutter block of eight, priced at $2,950. Also noted are two modern varieties that we have not previously seen. Lot 254 [ Scott 1358b] is a 42 cent flag definitive imperforate horizontally in a block of 8 offered at $1,900. Lot 272
[ Scott 1703 var.] is a 46 cent imperforate coil pair offered at $150.  Finally, lot 257 [ Scott 1360gii ] is the 43 cent flag definitive, imperforate vertically, which is offered at $950. It is not unusual for this dealer to be offering these rare modern items as there seem to be a number in each of his catalogues in recent years. A copy of the catalogue can be obtained by calling 1-800-205-8814 toll free in North America.
Saskatoon Lot 197
Lot 197
Saskatoon Lot 254
Lot 254
Saskatoon Lot 272
Lot 272

Gary J. Lyon
The offerings from Gary J. Lyon, of Bathurst N.B. are relatively new to us and have come as a pleasant surprise because of the 'rare items' section in the middle. Included in the May, 2000 edition are a number of high priced VF NH items with prices which are, for the most part, in line with current market conditions. For example, lot V1509 , a nice looking 1 cent Numeral VFNH [ Scott 75 - Cat.$37 ] is offered at $99. To see if this is reasonable, please refer to our 10-year Summary of VF NH Auction Prices where you will see that the price isn't bad. Or try lot 1528, a choice 3 cent brown Admiral VFNH [ Scott 108- Cat. $22 ] offered at $95.  This price seems slightly on the high side when compared to the auction prices in our data bank 10-year Summary of VF NH Auction Prices.  But it isn't the highest price by any means and it is described by Mr. Lyon as a "choice item". A copy of this catalogue can be obtained by calling 1-800-667-8267 toll free in North America.

Those are two well known Canadian dealers with good reputations. Why deal with them when you can deal with one or more of the Canadian auction houses who may have a greater selection?  There is no right answer as both dealers and auction houses have their advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of dealers is that their materials are readily available and you will know in advance exactly what price you will pay. Furthermore, there is no 10% premium which the auction house normally charges the buyer. Therefore, as long as you are dealing with a reputable dealer whose material is as described, you will have more certainty and, if available, you can buy an item for immediate delivery.

The Stamp Auctioneers

The auction houses have been particularly busy. This usually means that a lot of choice material is being shown to the public in their catalogues. In recent years, improved technology has permitted these catalogues to clearly show the stamps as the beautiful masterpieces they are in many cases, particularly the early stamps that were engraved on steel.

Jim A. Hennok
One of the more interesting prices we noted at a recent sale was the one realized in lot 691 at the Jim A. Hennok Auction held on April 22, 2000 in Toronto. An 8 cent Admiral imperforate pair [ Scott 115a - Cat.$1500 ] in VF NH condition realized $1,800. Why should this price attract attention?  For one thing, it is the highest price we have seen realized for this pair since 1982. For another, it is more than double the last price we have recorded which was $800 at an Eastern Auction sale in 1996.
Jim Hennok's email address is

Longley Auctions
The Canadian Stamp News of May 9, 2000 contains an advertisement for Longley auctions. According to the advertisement, this is a new auctioneer operating out of Waterdown, Ontario. Bill Longley may be reached at 1-905-690-3598. We will be keeping an eye on this new development and will provide further information after we have contacted Bill to find out more about his business.

R. Maresch & Son
The Maresch sale held on May 16, 2000 seems to have been very successful. We are impressed by the fact that this auctioneer published the prices realized on the internet for the sale very shortly after the event. Clearly, Bill Maresch and his team understand that his clients are interested in having this information as soon as possible after the sale and he is able to deliver.
Bill Maresch has one of the better Web Sites in the business. We note a number of high realizations at his auction:

Maresch Prices Realised 
Lot No.
Cat. No.
1/2¢ Small Queen
2¢ Small Queen
3¢ Small Queen
6¢ Small Queen
8¢ Small Queen
8¢ Jubilee
5¢ Numeral
20¢ Tercentenary
50¢ Admiral

Lot 1892
Maresch 1935
Lot 1935
Maresch 1969
Lot 1969

Apart from the above, there was one outstanding stamp offered (Lot 1630 - Scott 13, used, the 6¢ Prince Albert perf. 12 on wove paper, catalogue $4,250) which fetched a price of $16,000.00.

Maresch 1630
"The finest copy of this stamp in existence",
according the the Auction House

We would caution our readers that not all the prices realized at this sale were in this outstanding category. The prices shown above are the ones that we dream of. However the majority of prices at auctions such as these are generally very mixed. Some items that would be considered of a very high quality receive only average prices. This is strictly the result of supply and demand that changes from day-to-day and from auction to auction. Many of the more common material that is offered at these auctions and, in particular, the more modern material, often sells for far less than its estimate or its catalogue value. This is what makes the auctions so unpredictable and therefore so exciting.

There are a number of other auctions taking place this Spring which we will cover in our next Commentary.

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