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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

18 June, 2005 - Charles G. Firby Auctions

"Dr. Kenneth M. Rosenfeld BNA Collection"

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It's rare that a collector has the opportunity of being featured in an auction that offers his stamps and his alone. This just happened to Dr. K.M. Rosenfeld of California who chose the Firby firm to sell his outstanding collection of early Canadian stamps. We were particularly impressed by the excellent postal history in Dr. Rosenfeld's collection.

We start our commentary with this early beaver pair.

Scott 1 - a beautiful pair

Lot 18
Scott 1 pair
Catalogue $1600
Realized $1965

This is one of the nicer pairs we have seen of Canada's first stamp printed on laid paper. It comes with large margins and sharp laid lines. The postal clerk showed no mercy when doing his job and canceled each stamp carefully but purposefully with his hammer. He then added an attractive "PAID" near the edge.

Scott 14 - interesting colour variations

"Dull rose red" - "Carmine red"

Lot 61
Scott 14 - 2 stamps
Catalogue $550
Realized $111

Scott catalogue describes Scott 14 as rose in colour, but, as collectors know, this is one of those stamps that come in many shades. Here is a good example of two distinct shades with the colours as described by Firby. The first stamp is superb and regummed; the second is F-VF with some original gum.

Well centered 12½¢ green

Lot 107
Scott 18
Catalogue $85
Realized $275

This used stamp was described as an absolutely SUPERB with a neat blue target cancel. We have to agree that it is quite the beauty and the price, at over 3 x catalogue, certainly reflects the stamp's special attributes.

Scott 28 - 2nd best price since 1992

Lot 213
Scott 28
Catalogue $650
Realized $2763

Collectors never cease to amaze us. What can the bidder have seen in a stamp like this that is so clearly off center? Admittedly it has an intense blue colour as described in the catalogue and its perforations are better than normal for a Large Queen, but we suspect it's the fact that it is NH that resulted in the large premium of over catalogue.

Earlier this year, another NH Scott 28 sold for $4500. It was the only VF NH copy we had recorded since 1992. So it seems that some collectors will stop at nothing to get an NH copy. We're not sorry to see this because this is what makes the market so exciting!

Scott 45a - new record price

Lot 302
Scott 45a
Catalogue $425
Realized $1473

Collectors also seem to be tremendously attracted to these 10¢ Small Queens which are both NH and have the imprint on the selvedge. A year ago, an NH Scott 45 in the brown red shade with the imprint sold for $3250. That makes this one look inexpensive! But for Scott 45a, the magenta shade, the $1473 realized in this sale is a new record price, beating the $1326 price set previously in a Firby sale in 2002.

Our viewers may have noted the increase in the Scott prices for the 10¢ Small Queens this year. The price for all shades of the 10¢ (Scott 45, 45a and 45b) increased from $325 to $425 in the 2006 Scott catalogue, an impressive move in just one year.

Fakes and forgeries

Lot 193
Scott 25
Estimate $400
Realized $74

Here's a new one for us, an unused off centre copy of the 3¢ Large Queen (Scott 25). It is on the regular wove paper of issue, but somone has added fake "laid lines" to make it look like the rare Scott 33 which was printed on laid paper.

Why bother to do this you might ask. Well, when we say the laid paper variety in mint condition is rare, we really mean it. We have only recorded the sale of a single copy of the mint Scott 33 since 1973 and that stamp was also unused and off center. The regular wove paper stamp in mint condition has a catalogue value of $800 whereas the laid paper variety catalogues at $9500.

Interestingly we note that the catalogue value for a mint Scott 33 stamp fell from $10,000 in the 2005 catalogue to $9500 in the 2006 edition. Go figure! It would be most interesting to know why this happened.

Lot 421
Scott 459
Estimate $25
Realized $92

A genuine copy of the above stamp would have a catalogue value of 25¢. But this forgery sold for $92 or almost 4 times its estimate. It's hard to make any sense of this.

Valuable covers

Lot 747
Scott - unlisted
Estimate $2763
Realized $2456

Lot 609
Scott 37 cover
Estimate $1842
Realized $1965

A large part of the sale was made up of an impressive display of postal history of which the above two covers are good examples, but there were many, many more.

Lot 747 was a stampless folded letter dated November 13, 1843 from La Petite Nation to Montreal rated FREE. It is a genuine showpiece which is under catalogued and probably unique.

Lot 609 was featured on the front cover of the auction catalogue. It was an 1876 letter from St. Catharines via Hamilton to New York. According to Firby, the Red "6" represents the U.S. claim and the Blue "8" represents the Bahamian charge on delivery.

We invite you to click on the highlights button for further details.


Please note:

In reporting the prices from this sale, a conversion rate of $1 US equals $1.228 Cdn. was used.

New record price

Scott 45a
Small Queen

F © 2005, Canadian Stamp Auctions Inc., Montréal, Québec