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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

19 November, 2008 - Eastern Auctions Ltd.

We quite enjoy it when a stamp like this 2¢ Small Queen appears at auction. Eastern called it “a truly wonderful stamp for the discerning collector”.


Lot 614
Unitrade 36i
Catalogue $45
Realized $70

We like to think that it may have belonged to some young collector who thought it was probably worth a bit more than its $2.25 Scott value, only to be told no by the auctioneer, it could be worth, say, $45. Imagine the delight then when it actually sold for $70.

Well, it is a wonderful stamp, well centered with huge even margins. The date, October 26, 1896 couldn’t be clearer.

50¢ Small Queen Imperforate

Lot 623
Scott 47a
Catalogue $1,400
Realized $1,350


This is a very fine imperforate pair of the 50¢ Small Queen that comes from the bottom of the sheet. It comes with original gum. It is the 3rd pair to be sold at auction in 2008 and it attracted the best price.

Scott 77d

Lot 649
Scott 77d
Catalogue $1,800
Realized $1,650

There was no image provided for this stamp so it is hard to judge its quality. Nonetheless, it is a scarce and valuable stamp and worthy of our attention. A year ago, Scott gave it a value of $850. Then, last spring, they raised that to $1,800, more than double the value. We don’t see this too often in the world of stamps. The fact that someone bid $1,650 for the stamp, sight unseen, says something about the desirability of this rare imperforate pair.

It is the 6th pair to be sold in 2008 and it attracted the 2nd best price. When we saw how many copies of this stamp sold in 2008, we wondered how truly rare it was and were somewhat surprised that it is the 20th copy to be sold in the past 10 years. So while it is rare and all that, it is not exactly scarce.

A Stately Royal William Imperforate Pair - With a Back stamp

Lot 743
Scott 204a
Catalogue $950
Realized $560


Most of the imperforate stamps from the 1930s are real beauties. We admire the engraving and design of the stamps. A year ago, a NH copy of the above stamp had a Scott value of $750. That increased to $950 this year. Because this was a VF NH pair, we wondered why the above price didn’t match the above catalogue prices. Was it the fact that it had the owner’s initials stamped on the back, or was it a reflection of today’s financial uncertainty? We may not know the answer for awhile.

Back in 1973, J. N. Sissons held the sale of Dr. Harris H. Hopkins’ outstanding collection of Canadian and U.S. stamps. Dr. Hopkins of Kalamazoo, Michigan liked to stamp his initials “HHH” on the back of many of his rare stamps. In that Sissons’ sale, a block of four of Scott 204a, stamped “HHH” on the back, with a catalogue value of $300, sold for $200. It was a beautiful margin sheet block that was NH. The initials on the back didn’t help the value of Dr. Hopkins’ stamps back then, nor did it help the above stamp today. It must be obvious to all collectors that back stamping is not a good idea.

Scarce perforations

This sale offered a number of modern stamps with scarce perforations. This was a topic covered in our recent Commentary No. 113. In that commentary we concluded that these stamps had good long-term prospects in terms of their value, but many can be bought today at a discount to the catalogue price. The results from this auction support this.


"Matched set of inscription blocks"

Lot 965
Unitrade PB 1176a
Catalogue $280
Realized $220

There were no images for these ones:

1172d - 45¢ Pronghorn - 13.1x13.1
1179b - 78¢ Beluga - 13.1 x 13.1
1289a - 39¢ Legendary - 12.5 x 12.0
1370a - 71¢ Chestnut - 14.4 x 13.8


It seems to us that these are favorable prices to buy these scare stamps and therefore a good opportunity for those willing to buy them, put them aside and then wait patiently for the demand to catch up as inevitably it will

Stamp Literature

Once again, we take our hats off to Eastern for offering collectors a fairly wide range of stamp literature in its sale. We noted some wonderful lots going very inexpensively in this sale. Here are some examples:

Sissons catalogues 1961-1982 incl. Greene, DeVolpi, Westhaven & Young name sales
Sissons extensive 5 part sale in 1960 of BNA
Sissons 14 auction catalogues for sales 1956-1972



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


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