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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

1 November, 2008 - Eastern Auctions Ltd.

Once again, Eastern has presented an outstanding auction. The strongest sections were the Large Queens, Admirals, imperforates and pre-cancelled stamps. There were some real beauties.

As we have noted recently the top grade stamps in Canada’s stamp auctions continue to attract record prices, but everything else is experiencing softer prices. This seems to be the case, not only for stamps, but for other collectibles as well.

Large Queens – Rare stitch watermarks

We find it remarkable that this is the first time we have had any record of the following three Large Queens with stitch watermarks:

Lot 205
Unitrade 25vi
Catalogue $600
Realized $325

Lot 211
Unitrade 27vii
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $900


Lot 221
Scott 29v var.
Estimate $500
Realized $240

Our pricing records cover the past 10 years. Our stamp research records go back 20–30 years. But in them, we have no record of these stamps being offered at auction. This comes as a surprise to us.

The first two of the above stamps are found in the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue, but not the third. We must say that the fact that these rare stamps sold for such low prices surprised us. But that’s what we love about auctions. Sometimes, as in this case, the buyers get a huge break. We hope these buyers realize how fortunate they were.

A gorgeous Quebec Tercentenary stamp

Lot 305
Scott 100
Catalogue $350
Realized $600


This beauty is as nice as they come. It has a perfectly clean surface, even perforations all around and is NH. The set, issued in 1908, commemorated the 300th anniversary of the founding of Quebec, and here we are, 100 years later, commemorating Quebec’s 400th anniversary.

We checked our records and were surprised to see that this was the first time this year a copy of this stamp in investment quality has been offered. But then, in 2007 we recorded only two copies. It is obviously not easy to obtain this stamp in this type of condition.

A Rare Booklet Single

Lot 312
Scott ex-108a booklet
Estimate $75
Realized $220


This was quite the unusual single, which comes from the booklet page. It is well centered and comes with four jumbo margins. To top it all off, it is NH. We’ve never seen another one like this!

Lot 322
Scott 133
Catalogue $150
Realized $400

While this 2¢ Admiral coil has always been in great demand, even we were surprised by the above price. The previous top price for the stamp was $265, set back in 2000. To go from there to $400 is quite a leap. Someone wanted this perfect copy badly!


3¢ Confederation - Rare Imperforate Plate Block

Lot 325
Scott 135a
Estimate $3,000
Realized $3,250


One of the things we will remember about this sale was the fact it contained a number of philatelic items we have never seen before. This is a good example. We have no record in our research files of the sale of a plate block of this 3¢ imperforate.

According to Unitrade, a lower left and lower right copy of each plate exists in imperforate form and each is unique. They give each a value of $5,250. Eastern gave the plate an estimate of only $3,000, probably because it had a small negligible tear in the bottom sheet margin.

It is interesting to note the portion of the guide arrow on the lower left side. The stamp came with no gum as is usual for imperforates of this issue. Eastern’s estimate turned out to be pretty accurate.

$1 Runnymede Library – Inverted Inscriptions


Lot 400
Scott 1181c
Catalogue $32,500
Realized $18,000

Eastern states that only 20 copies of this stamp are known with inverted inscriptions and only 5 examples with the “$1” imprint originating from the first column of the sheet. Unitrade notes that these are usually in pair, as above. According to Eastern, this is a very rare and important modern error. $18,000 is certainly a very impressive price for a modern Canadian stamp.

War Tax Stamps Continue to Shine


Lot 450
Unitrade MR2B
Catalogue $1,200
Realized $1,350


This is said to be the toughest of all the Admiral issue to find in choice condition. This was VF NH but with a light natural gum crease. Despite this minor flaw, it reached a record new price, surpassing the previous record of $1,045 set in 2007. Hat’s off to the people at Unitrade for their accurate pricing for this stamp.

Until three years ago, the best price for this stamp was $350. It has come a long way since then.

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


This sale had 7 new record prices:

Previous NRP
2¢ Maple leaf imperf. pair
2¢ Admiral coil
3¢ Confederation
2¢ Surcharge - die II
8¢ RMC part imperf. block
52¢ World Hockey Championship
5¢ War tax overprint

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