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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

15 November, 2007 - Colonial Stamp Company

We thought the auctions for 2007 were all over, but recently we were able to obtain the prices realized for this auction. Colonial Stamp Company is an auction house located in Los Angeles, headed up by George Holschauer. It specializes in stamps from the British Commonwealth. This was their 107th consecutive auction and it contained some very interesting Canadian material, including 4 new record prices.

Choice 1851 Beaver - Canada’s first stamp

Lot 350
Scott 1
Catalogue $950
Realized $6,615

Canada’s first stamp is not all that rare and appears regularly at auction. But as with most of our earliest stamps, very fine copies like this are rare and much sought after. Seldom do we see an example with a complete bottom margin like this one.

Over the past ten years, most of the finest used copies of Scott 1 have sold for between $1,000 and $1,600. In 2005, a used copy with huge margins sold for $3,531.. This background allows us to appreciate how remarkable the above price was. It was definitely a new record.

For more information on Canada’s first stamp, please visit our Commentary No. 93.

Unitrade 2b – 6p Albert, brown purple

Lot 352
Unitrade 2b
Catalogue $2,500
Realized $6,860

We have recorded just as many used copies of Unitrade 2b as Scott 1, but, over the past 10 years, the prices were generally stronger for Unitrade 2b. On a number of occasions, they surpassed the $2,000 mark and in 2006, a copy sold for $3,672. In this sale, bidders took the above copy, with its unusually wide margins, to a new record price of $6,860.

Interestingly, we have no record of an auction sale of a mint Unitrade 2b in our pricing records, nor in our research records.. There may have been some mint copies sold, but not of the investment quality we keep track of in our records. This definitely surprises us. We can only guess that copies have appeared at auction that may not have been identified as such. Not to worry says Unitrade and it gives all the colour varieties of this stamp the same price.

Scott 4d - An amazing price

Lot 356
Scott 4d
Catalogue $200
Realized $1,960


The price for this used copy of Scott 4d beat the prices for many mint copies that have appeared at auction in the past 13 years. Scott 4d was printed on thin paper. The way Colonial described the stamp and its particular colour leads us to think it has properties only a specialist could understand, and this may explain why it attracted such a high price.

Scott 5b - A Gem!

Lot 361
Scott 5b
Catalogue $1,250
Realized $5,880

This variety with its greenish gray colour is not that rare. Scott gives it the same price as a Scott 5 which has a slate gray color. We were surprised when we discovered we hadn’t tracked the price for this stamp over the years. But we compared the above price to the prices paid for used copies of Scott 5 and found that the price above is well beyond the best price previously paid for that stamp which is $4,059.

What makes the above stamp exceptional is the combination of the white paper on which it was printed, the light cancel, the portion of the adjoining stamp at the top and, most particularly, the huge even borders. Colonial called it a gem and it certainly is!

Scott 76a – 2¢ Numeral on thick paper

Lot 397
Scott 76a
Catalogue $290
Realized $1,862

If ever there was a stamp to be proud of, this is it. This is the “thick paper” variety that turns up every once in awhile in Canada’s stamps. But seldom does it get catalogue recognition. This one does, with a catalogue value that is 6 times that of the regular stamp.

The best price for the stamp in the past ten years was $1,100 at an auction in 2005 and that was about 3 times the previous best price. Now, in 2008, the price jumps to $1,862. It is quite extraordinary what people will pay for a stamp like this.

Colonial pulled out all the stops when they described it as: “phenomenal… of exceptional quality ….. large centered margins…. the choicest example extant….OG NH SUPERB.“ What more could one possibly say!

Well, this certainly was an exciting auction for Colonial. We will keep an eye out for their future auctions.

This sale had 4 New Record Prices:

Previous NRP
1 (u)
3d red beaver
2b (u)
6d Albert - laid paper
5b (u)
6d Albert - wove paper
2 Numeral - thick paper


The prices in the sale were converted at the rate of $1 US = $0.98 Cdn.

©2008, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada