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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

20 May, 2009 - Eastern Auctions Ltd.

Like many collectors around the world, we have always found the stamps of England to be particularly attractive. This sale contained a few blocks and pairs of the one penny red, issued in 1864. Here are two interesting examples:

Lot 3523
Scott 33
Catalogue $75
Realized $85

Lot 3524
Scott 33
Catalogue $120
Realized $135

Although these stamps are only “fine” because they are not that well centred, the combination of the attractive stamp and the beautiful script in the margin is quite appealing.

10¢ Numeral Imperforate

Lot 278
Unitrade 83ii
Catalogue $1,250
Realized $750

We find these early imperforates in almost all Eastern sales, so one has to conclude that they cannot be that rare. This is the 14th copy we have recorded in the past eleven years and the price is about average.

5¢ Admiral – With Unusual Hairlines

Lot 287
Unitrade 111i
Catalogue $175
Realized $210


We have searched all our records carefully and have no previous record of the sale of this variety with the hairlines. This in itself is quite surprising. It is listed in the Unitrade catalogue but a price is only given for a used copy. That price is $25. This almost sounds like a joke as Scott 111 is one of the rarest and valuable stamps in the Admiral set. A year ago a copy sold for $1,350,

So this mint pair is clearly unusually scarce. It was F-VF with light gum wrinkles. Eastern put an estimate of $175 on it and it sold for $210. When we think of how many Admiral specialists there must be out there, let alone variety collectors, we have to think that this was a real coup for the successful bidder….well done!

48¢ QE II – Imperforate Pair

Lot 377
Scott 1932a
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $525

This was a beautiful copy of this variety in VF NH condition and it came without the usual gum wrinkles. The best price achieved at auction was $925 in 2008 at an earlier Eastern sale. Copies of the stamp appear regularly at auction and they have never sold for anything close to the $1,500 catalogue price.

48¢ Year of the Ram – Missing gold variety

Lot 378
Unitrade 1969i
Catalogue $2,400
Realized $650

These inscription corner blocks almost always come in a block of 6. But on one previous occasion, an Eastern sale in 2007, a block of 4 sold for $600.

Unitrade gives a value of $2,500 for an inscription block of 6 but provides no value for a block of 4. Eastern decided to put a value of $2,400 on the above block which seemed reasonable in the circumstances, but it only went for $650.

It seems this variety may be overvalued in the catalogues. Inscription blocks of 6 have sold at auction for prices ranging from only $600 to $1,150 since the variety first appeared, always well below catalogue. In fact they never reached 50% of catalogue.

Arrival of the New 2010 Scott Catalogue

Just around the time this sale took place, the 2010 Scott Catalogue appeared in Canada. We will be doing a review of the changes in the catalogue in our next Commentary on June 17, 2009.

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