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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 83 - 17 May, 2006

The Sir Gawaine Baillie Collection of British North America
May 10, 2006

The philatelic collections formed by Sir Gawaine Baillie are in the process of being sold by Sotheby’s in ten separate auctions. These auctions started in London in 2004 and will be completed there by the end of 2006. In between, one auction is being held in Melbourne and some, like this one, in New York.

Of significance to our viewers is the sale of Sir Gawaines’s British North America material which has just taken place. We have just received the rather large catalogue for the sale and found it contained close to 450 pages. A quick glance at the images of the stamps being offered for auction leaves one in awe. The quality, quantity and rarity of the material is extraordinary.

In this commentary, we only plan to introduce the various sections of Sir Gawaine’s BNA collection. However, in the next few weeks, we will present a review of the three main sections in greater depth organized as follows:

Canada’s Provinces
Canada’s Early Stamps
Canada’s Modern Varieties

We can say, without hesitation, that this is the most impressive collection of BNA material we have ever seen. We suspect that there will be quite a few new record prices. We urge our viewers to obtain a copy of this catalogue for future reference because of the great amount of information it contains about Canadian stamps and particularly because of the unique images of so many of our very rare stamps. This can be done by contacting Sotheby’s in New York at 1-888-752-0002, (quoting ref. SGB104) and asking for Vol. VII, British North America, May 10, 2006. The cost is $50 (U.S.) and well worth it!

One of the things that impressed us about how well this auction was organized was the fact that, at the end of each day, the prices for that day’s sales had already been posted on Sotheby’s website. To get onto their website, you have to register with them, a process we found fairly simple.

The total proceeds from the sale (for only the BNA portion of the collection) were $4,612,330. All the prices in our commentary are in U.S. dollars. They also include a 15% buyer’s premium.

We will now present some of the highlights from the sale and, as mentioned above, will provide greater details in the next few weeks:

Canada’s Provinces

Vancouver Island

Lot 6
Scott 3 - SG 11

Catalogue $22,500
Estimate $40,000-45,000
Realized $86,250

New Brunswick

Lot 33
Scott 3 - SG 5

Catalogue $12,500
Estimate $12,000 – 15,000
Realized $26,450

Nova Scotia

Lot 160
Scott 6 - SG 7

Catalogue $14,500
Estimate $20,000-25,000
Realized $48,300



Lot 610
Unitrade C1i - SG 142a

Catalogue $35,000
Estimate $50,000-60,000
Realized $80,500

Canada’s Early Stamps

Lot 763
Scott 3- SG 4

Catalogue $80,000
Estimate $100,000-120,000
Realized $224,250

Lot 783
Scott 9 - SG 12

Catalogue $19,500
Estimate $40,000-50,000
Realized $86,250

Lot 797
Scott 13 - SG 23

Catalogue $8,000
Estimate $14,000-16,000
Realized $40,250


Lot 1002
Scott 30d - SG 11

Catalogue $9,000
Estimate $10,000-12,000
Realized $36,800

Canada’s Modern Varieties

Lot 1530
Scott 693d

Catalogue $3,000
Estimate $800-1,000
Realized $2,760

Lot 1555
Scott 888a

Catalogue $1,100
Estimate $400-500
Realized $805

Lot 1606
Unitrade 1376 v,vi,b

Catalogue $12,000
Estimate $15,000-18,000
Realized $17,250


As you can see from the above, this was no ordinary sale. We give much credit to the Sotheby’s auction house for the skill with which they publicized the series of sales, presenting them beautifully in a series of auctions, bringing maximum publicity before hand and, finally, making the results readily available to the philatelic community. This is a management style that merits respect.

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