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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

26 September, 2007 - Eastern Auctions Ltd.

Many collectors today think only of collecting mint never hinged stamps. But to tell the truth, there’s a lot more to collecting than this. Trying to assess the properties of a stamp that has been cancelled is more challenging and often much more interesting. This is particularly true in the days of Canada’s early stamps when things weren’t quite so regimented by the central post office and local post masters could do their own thing. Sometimes it got them into trouble.

In the early days, the post office had this great fear that people would reuse their stamps by rubbing off the cancellations. Hence, the strict requirement that stamps be cancelled with strong black ink and further, that the cancel be centered squarely on the face of the stamp. Consider the “killer strikes” that were applied to the high value Jubilee stamps. That did the job of practically ruining them forever. But fortunately you can’t force everyone to comply with the rules and regulations. Hence we end up with many of the interesting cancellations that are so collectible today. Here are a few:

Interesting Early Cancels

July 2, 1862
Fancy Oshawa “B” Cancel
“Red Orange”
July 27, 1871

Lot 748
Scott 14
Catalogue $100
Realized $55

Lot 759
Scott 25
Catalogue $100
Realized $105

Lot 781
Unitrade 35iv
Catalogue $75
Realized $48


Green (Ottawa)
July 14, 1894

Lot 785
Unitrade 36i
Catalogue $50
Realized $25

Many collectors are attracted to these nicely canceled stamps, three with clear dates and one with a “fancy” cancel.

The prices realized are mostly less than the estimates which surprised us a bit.

Scott 42 – Two Striking Examples


Lot 794
Scott 42
Catalogue $120
Realized $90

Lot 795
Scott 42
Catalogue $120
Realized $350


Two similar stamps, but notice the very different prices. The first one has many qualities, post office fresh, well centered and with part of the plate imprint on the selvage. But it was lightly hinged and the margins on the side are quite narrow. So why is the price only $90. This one beats us because this is a lovely and choice stamp.

The second stamp is never hinged and, although not perfectly centered, it has some lovely margins. It went for 3x catalogue, not a bad price. Eastern notes that the stamp has a “natural gum bend” and this may explain why it didn’t get closer to its $600 estimate.

So, doesn’t this just prove once again how hard it is to predict prices!

5¢ Numeral – Imperforate pair

Lot 836
Unitrade 79ii
Catalogue $900
Realized $650


Here’s an excellent example of a 5¢ numeral imperforate pair with vivid colours and large margins. This pair comes without gum. The price is particularly strong and has only been beaten once in the past 10 years.

2¢ Admiral Coil – new record price

Lot 874
Scott 124
Catalogue $420
Realized $525


Talking of strong prices, the $525 realized for this coil pair is a new record price, beating the $475 set back in 2002 The Admiral coils are in great demand these days.

How great? Well there are 12 coils in all ( Scott 123 – 134) and in the past two years 7 of them have set new record prices. This is significant.

War Set – Imperforates

Lot 969
Scott 249d
Catalogue $300
Realized $420

Lot 975
Scott 255a
Catalogue $300
Realized $420


Lot 973
Scott 253a
Catalogue $300
Realized $420


It is likely a single buyer successfully acquired each of the above three lots, because each went for the same price. For each imperforate pair, the price was 40% above catalogue. Not bad. These are strong prices for stamps from a modern set.

How do they know this?

Lot 995
Scott 715b
Catalogue $375
Realized $375


There must be something about this blank piece of paper that tells collectors that it belongs to the 14¢ Parliament stamp issued in 1978. The clue is in the Unitrade catalogue which states there is an imprint embossed on the paper. Very curious! The stamp came from the Sir Gawaine Baillie Collection, which was put up for auction by Sothebys in the spring of 2006. This pedigree certainly helps give credibility to the stamp. The price is exactly equal to the catalogue value. This doesn’t happen too often

For further details, please click on the Highlights button.


This sale had 1 new record price.

2¢ Admiral - coil pair



©2007, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada