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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

29 June 2003 Charles G. Firby Auctions

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It was with considerable anticipation that we reviewed the results of the recent Firby auction. True to its word, the firm posted the results of its sale on the StampAuctionCentral website within ten days of the sale. We would remind our viewers that the results posted on the Internet by this firm do not include the 15% buyer's premium, whereas the results contained in the Firby auction catalogue do. For purposes of this report, the prices realized have been converted to Canadian dollars at $1 US = $1.35 cdn.


Part 1 - The James W. Goss collection

The first part of the sale was from the James W. Goss Canadian collection of the Arch Issue of 1930. It was quite a collection, noticeably outstanding, with many valuable imperforate plate blocks, die proofs and essays, together with postal history and many unusual varieties from the Arch era. This is the period of the "missing spire", the "extended moustache" and the "broken X" varieties.

Imperforate Pair
Block No. 5

Lot 7
Scott 163d
Estimate $6,750
Realised $6,412

You need to have good eyesight to spot the slightly faded plate numbers on these two lots, but it's worth the effort. It's those numbers that makes them so valuable!

Lot 7 was described by Mr. Firby as the "star" of this collection because of its rarity.


Lot 18
Scott 166a variety
Estimate $3,375
Realised $4,050
This pane of four with "eNo.6" faintly embossed on the selvage is considered the key for the booklet specialist. It is a unique showpiece.

Virtually all the high values of the Arch set were offered in the form of imperforate plate blocks in beautiful condition. These sold for prices well above their catalogue values.

Lot 22
Scott 169
Catalogue $10
Realised $67
Crowded amongst the big lots and their enormous values was this special little item. It was the 5¢ violet definitive from the Arch set, with huge balanced margins. Even Mr. Firby's description of this lot of shows excitement when it states "the nicest copy I recall having seen. A gem!"

Part 2 - Worldwide and Canada

The second part of the sale was a public auction of worldwide postage stamps and postal history representing the property of 26 owners and highlighted by exceptional Canada. It contained many outstanding and choice items.

In the early Canada, there were a number of beautiful plate proofs from the Large Queen set. These sold for prices well above their estimates. Here are two examples:

Lot 261
Scott 21 (Plate Proof)
Estimate $810
Realised $1,620

Lot 277
Scott 28 (Plate Proof)
Estimate $810
Realised $1,485

A fairly well centered $2 Jubilee in NH condition sold for $3,037. A specialized group of two hundred 3¢ Small Queens, postmarked from Algoma county, with an estimate of $405, sold for $1,755, quite a price! A block of nine of the 5¢ War Tax overprint (Unitrade MR2B) sold for a whopping $3,712. A Victorian Officially Sealed large die proof (Unitrade OX2), with an estimate of $675, sold for $2,295.

In the Postal history section, an 1856 registered cover, believed to be the only registered cover to the Maritime Provinces, with an estimate of $1,350, sold for $3,712. Many other covers, expertly described by the Firby team, drew outstanding bids.

A collection of over 45 small Queen covers, with an estimate of $877, sold for $3,375. Obviously, the postal history market, which requires much expert knowledge, is very popular with collectors these days.

It was an exciting auction, one that was a pleasure for us to review. For more highlights, please click on the button below:


© 2003, Canadian Stamp Auctions Inc., Montréal, Québec