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Recent Auction Highlights

30 August, 2008 - Eastern Auctions Ltd.

Like most of you, we have been watching the financial turmoil out there, affecting the stock markets and financial institutions around the world. The values of our retirement funds, real estate and all our possessions become in question. Presidents and Prime Ministers are doing their best to keep things calm and heading in a positive direction.

So far, the stamp market has not been affected, but it could be and we will keep an eye on this. Unlike other markets, the stamp market moves slowly, but when it changes direction it doesn’t turn back quickly.

This Eastern public sale was one of the last to take place before the unsettling events of this September. The material offered was excellent and the prices were strong. But we couldn’t help noticing that there were only 3 new record prices in this Eastern sale, compared to 22 in their sale last June.

The sale started off with a couple of beautiful and rare early Canadian stamps:

Lot 218
Scott 7a
Catalogue $2,250
Realized $3,750

Lot 226
Scott 14a
Catalogue $5,000
Realized $4,500

The 10p blue Jacques Cartier is used. Apparently it has a light pen cancellation, but we couldn’t see it in the catalogue image. What is especially remarkable about this stamp is its huge margins. Eastern called it “One of the finest examples we have seen and a superb stamp for the perfectionist”. Now there’s a vote of confidence. We can only agree!

The 1¢ rose imperforate pair is ungummed as issued. The price is the 2nd best price in the past 10 years which is not surprising in view of its excellent margins.

½¢ Large Queen – a stunningly beautiful copy

Lot 241
Scott 21 NH
Catalogue $100
Realized $1,200


This is the quality of stamp all collectors dream of. The previous owner must have hated to part with it and the new owner must be so happy.

It is well centered and NH, the perforations are excellent (we checked every one), the surface is clean and clear. It has a 2008 Sismondo rating of only 90. What this reflects is possibly the fact that it is not quite perfectly centered, but you don’t really notice this because of all its other positive attributes. What a lovely stamp!

It sold for a record price of $1,200, well up from the $800 previous record.

5¢ Large Queen

Lot 248
Scott 26
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $2,900

It is one thing to see a ½¢ Large Queen perfectly centered, we’ve seen a number, but quite another to see the same attributes in a 5¢ Large Queen. This rarely happens. For this reason, a fairly well centered copy like this one, very lightly hinged and with full streaky gum will attract very strong bidding from knowledgeable collectors. The above stamp came with two certificates and was classed as an “85”. We have long admired this stamp because it is so elusive. The harder the chase, the greater the prize, as they say!


15¢ Large Queen – This Variety Rarely Seen or Offered!

Lot 251
Scott 29c
Catalogue $6,000
Realized $6,250


Here’s a bit of a surprise. The stamp is way off center, the perforations on the left are somewhat rounded, it looks a bit muddy, it has disturbed gum and yet it sold for a record price of $6,250, up from the previous $5,500 .

We can only assume that the nice clean copy like this is so rare that perfect centering and nice even perforations don’t matter that much. Wouldn’t it be nice if this applied to all our stamps! In the past 10 years, only 4 mint copies have sold.

This is one of few Large Queens that were printed on watermarked paper. A quick look at the Scott values for the watermarked varieties on this stamp over the past few years gives us a good idea of the demand there must be for them.

Scott 77d – Old Time Bargain


Lot 281
Scott 77d
Catalogue $3,600
Realized $2,200

These rare die II varieties of the 2¢ Numeral imperforates have been doing very well these days. In a recent Eastern sale, a pair sold for $1,800, a new record. Now in this sale, a block has sold for $2,200, or $1,100 per pair. Put it another way, this block sold for only 61% of catalogue. Not only is it a block, but it is a bottom margin block in XF condition. This is good news for the buyer, but not the seller. This doesn’t happen often and, when it does, it just proves once again that the stamp auction market is not a mature market. Sometimes anything can happen, and it does.

Scott 79ii and 82ii – Two Lovely Blocks


Lot 284
Scott 79ii
Estimate $5,000
Realized $3,500


Lot 286
Scott 82ii
Estimate $5,000
Realized $3,500


Each of these attractive plate blocks was given an estimate at $5,000 and sold for $3,500 apiece. We have a record of these or similar blocks selling in 2004 and 2007.

12¢ Sailing Vessels

Lot 322
Scott 747b
Catalogue $3,500
Realized $2,900

This beautiful block of stamps is, in our view, one of Canada’s most beautiful modern issues. It is so well designed, and the vessels so majestic. According to Eastern, only six partially imperforate blocks like this are known to exist. Although the above price realized is less than catalogue, it does represent a new record price. Lucky buyer! You have a treasure.

For more details of the sale, please click on the highlights button.




This sale had 3 new record prices:

Previous NRP
1/2¢ Large Queen
15¢ Large Queen - watermarked
12¢ Vessels - part imperforate

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