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Recent Auction Highlights

8 April, 2009 - Eastern Auctions Ltd.

The definitive set of 1991-1998 contains a number of varieties one of which has turned out to be a real sleeper. Scott 1370a is the 71¢ American chestnut stamp. In the sale, a rare matched set of blank corner blocks was offered:

Lot 609
Scott 1370a
Catalogue $1,400
Realized $500

Plate blocks do not exist for this stamp. We were curious to learn how the prices for the stamp had done over the years and looked at the catalogue values going back to 2002.



This is quite a track record. It appears Unitrade recognized the rarity of this stamp a few years before Scott did. We can remember when the price jumped from $2.00 to $22.50 in the 2007 Scott catalogue. We put a question mark beside the $22.50, thinking it was a typo and guessing that it should have been $2.25. How wrong we were!

A matched set of blocks is made up of 16 stamps. The $500 paid for lot 609 works out to $31.25 per stamp. The buyer of the lot did well, not only for today, but if our guess is right, for the future as well.


Poor Edward!

Lot 413
Scott 90
Estimate $75
Realized $70


We’re sure that if King Edward VII were alive today, he would not be amused to see his portrait treated in this fashion. Eastern identified the above variety has a pre-print fold. We presume this means that there was a fold in the paper before it went through the printing press. The paper was then stretched by someone, perhaps the person who used the stamp, and the stamp applied to the envelope. Possibly the owner wasn’t a collector, otherwise the stamp might have been kept as a mint variety.

Misperforated stamps

Lot 559
Scott 460fiii var
Estimate $90
Realized $65

Lot 616
Scott 1815 var
Estimate $60
Realized $48

It sometimes strikes us as odd that collectors are willing to pay premiums for stamps that are either perfect, or are as badly flawed as the above. While the prices realized for these stamps were a bit disappointing, they are well above what an ordinary copy of each stamp would sell for.

48¢ Year of the Ram

Lot 620
Scott 1969a
Catalogue $400
Realized $160


We note that this stamp, like many of the other modern varieties, is struggling to maintain its catalogue value. It seems to be losing the battle. Granted, this copy was well off center and this could well have been a factor in depressing the price.

Philatelic Literature

We always look with interest at the first part of an Eastern sale where they offer philatelic literature. We search for catalogues of major collections sold in the past with the hope we could come across ones we haven’t seen before. On a couple of occasions when we spotted ones that didn’t sell, we contacted Eastern and bought them after the sale. Unfortunately for us, this doesn’t happen very often.

In this particular sale, there were two items that caught our attention:

Lot 49 - Special Delivery Canada’s Postal Heritage
Lot 50 - Boggs Volume I & 2 ( original 1945 editions)

Books like these give us so much information about our stamp heritage. We don’t often sit down to read them. We don’t have the patience. But when an interesting stamp comes to auction, we get the books out and read about it. It makes the stamp come alive.

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


Eastern’s next sale is a mail sale to be held on May 20, 2009

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