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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

14 January, 2009 - Eastern Auctions Ltd.

This was Eastern’s first auction of the New Year and it included something we have heard of but never seen before, a fake “Inverted Seaway” Cover:

“Fake” Inverted Seaway 1st Day Cover


Lot 1386
Scott 387a
Estimate $150
Realized $280

We can remember buying a fake Scott 12 cover once, and the memory still burns us up! But when, as in this auction, a cover is clearly described as a fake, it’s a different matter. What surprises us is that there is a ready market for these items and we see them appear at auction, not often, but regularly.

The buyer obviously valued all the work and ingenuity that went into the creation of this cover. The fact that it sold for about 2 times its estimate, shows there is a demand. There were 2 fake Seaway covers in this sale. One sold for $260 and the other, shown above, for $280.

5¢ Beaver - Varieties galore!

Lot 425
Scott 15
Estimate $ 250
Realized $210

Eastern offered 14 lots containing various varieties of the 5¢ beaver stamp issued in 1859. These varieties are well known and most are listed in the Unitrade Catalogue. The following comments were offered by Eastern:

“ We recently had the chance to purchase a wonderful lot of Canada Scott #15 which had the Plate Flaws and Re-entries identified by an expert in the area. Over the next few auctions, we will be offering this material. The close-up pictures will often have arrows added to help you see the varieties. This is a rare opportunity to purchase stamps from a specialist’s collection.”

Eastern generally put estimates of $100 to $150 on each of the various lots and they sold for the most part towards the bottom of that range. The above example did better than the rest. The stamp varieties were well displayed in the catalogue.

Nicely Cancelled Jubilees

Lot 504
Scott 50
Catalogue $115
Realized $75

Lot 518
Scott 59
Catalogue $190
Realized $85

Although neither of the above Jubilees was perfectly centered, they each had their special attributes. The ½¢ was well centered with its cancellation placed in the corner and inconspicuous. The 20¢ was V-VF and nicely date cancelled. We would have expected higher prices, but sometimes the buyers have to get a break!

7¢ Admiral

Lot 636
Scott 114
Catalogue $ 57
Realized $60

We looked long and hard at this 7¢ Admiral which Eastern described as “VF+ NH, choice”, wondering why it didn’t do better. After all the Admiral set is hot these days and choice copies are in great demand.

We finally turned the image upside down to check the centering and realized it was very slightly centered to the right. But even so, it deserved better. This just wasn’t this stamp’s day. A year ago an exceptional copy sold for $520.

Modern stamps

Lot 739
Scott 225
Catalogue $30
Realized $46

Lot 741
Scott 227
Catalogue $100
Realized $75


We regularly see modern stamps like these offered in mail auctions and like to check the prices to see if bidders are currently chasing them with any enthusiasm.

Back in the late 1970s, these stamps were in great demand, but then in the 1980s the bottom fell out of the market for them. The above prices are somewhat inconclusive, but, to our mind, they are a bit stronger than what we would have expected. We are happy to see this.

Untagged errors

Lot 819
Scott 889 T1
Estimate $175
Realized $130


You have to go to the Unitrade catalogue to find these “untagged” varieties listed. It was two years ago that many of them appeared in the catalogue for the first time.

This sale had a fair number of them and most sold for about 50% of catalogue. This pattern of prices is not quite as strong as when we last reviewed the prices for these untagged errors.

Scarce Perforations

Lot 2
Unitrade BK 111A
Catalogue $60
Realized $20

Lot 830
Scott 1175a
Catalogue $77
Realized $70


Of all the modern Canadian stamp varieties, the ones we expect to have the best chances of price appreciation are these stamps with the scarce perforations. The above two examples had very different results in this auction, but generally we have found that in most auctions, most of these varieties can be acquired for well less than their catalogue values, at least at present.

That there is a demand for them we have no doubt, and this is what drives the catalogue prices. But that demand is spotty.

Just check the perforation varieties in the Large and Small Queens to see the type of premiums that can occur over the years. We again encourage our young collectors to stock up on these and put them away. In your retirement years, 40 to 50 years from now, these stamps will pay for your winter vacations in Florida. We won’t be there, so it’s easy for us to give you this advice!

We could go on to talk about the interesting booklets, plate blocks, press sheets, pre-cancels and covers, but will save that for another day.

We look forward to an interesting series of auctions in 2009 and will give you, our viewers, regular reports on the interesting stamps we see and the pricing trends that reveal themselves in the months ahead.

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



©2009, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada