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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

21 October, 2006 - Charles G. Firby Auctions

Another excellent auction from the Charles Firby of Waterford, Michigan. We found some beautiful Jubilees, including a $4 purple that went for $7,945, a new record. The "Loch" collection of the 1935 Silver Jubilee issue featured a number of rare proofs and full sheets containing the well known "Weeping Princess" and "Shilling Mark" varieties. These two are the first such sheets we have recorded.

As usual, collectors focused in on the early stamps with clear date marks and they were willing to bid strongly. This auction featured the third known partially imperforate block of the 10¢ wordworking definitive. There are five copies known to exist of the variety of this stamp issued in 1999. The one in this sale sold for a record price of $3,689.

1¢ Rose of 1859 - Varieties

Light Brown Red
"Q" Flaw
Dated March 14, 1863

Lot 72
Unitrade 14iii
Catalogue $500
Realized $255

Lot 73
Unitrade 14iv
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $1,703

Lot 74
Unitrade 14viii
Catalogue $125
Realized $255

It is not often that we see 3 varieties of the same stamp in one auction. Here's what we have above:

Scott 14iii - the "light brown red" shade variety, a bit oxidized
Scott 14iv - deep rose on thick paper showing the "Q" flaw
Scott 14viii - deep rose dated March 14, 1863

We must admit these are not the most attractive examples. Nonetheless, two of them sold for well above their estimates.

Stamps with Dated Cancellations


Lot 95
Unitrade 21i
Catalogue $250
Realized $312

Lot 201
Scott 101
Catalogue $100
Realized $255

Lot 152
Scott 57
Catalogue $340
Realized $369


So often we see how collectors are attracted to Canada's used stamps that have been nicely cancelled with a date stamp. Here are three good examples. The prices realized show the premiums that result in most cases. These are stamps we really can admire.

Stitch Watermark

Lot 139
Scott 47 var
Estimate $850
Realized $539


This was quite a surprise. It is only the third Small Queen we have recorded with a stitch watermark. Whoever bought this stamp got something that is truly unique. It strikes us that for such a rare variety, the price paid was unusually low. It was the first Firby has seen and the first for us. It came with a Greene Certificate.

Outstanding Jubilees


Lot 148
Unitrade 54i
Catalogue $240
Realized $340

Lot 149
Scott 55
Catalogue $500
Realized $681

Lot 155
Scott 59
Catalogue $500
Realized $567

Lot 168
Scott 64
Catalogue $3,400
Realized $7,945


The Jubilee set is certainly having a banner year. It is very attractive to collectors, not only in Canada but abroad! So far, there have been 13 new record prices paid for the stamps of this set in 2006. More than any year we can remember. The prices paid for the dollar values, in particular, have really stood out. The $7,945 price paid for the $4 Jubilee goes well beyond the previous record of $4,000 set in 1988.

"Lock" Collection of 1935 Jubilee Issue

Lot 282
Scott 211 Proof Block
Estimate $850
Realized $1,022


A number of valuable die and plate proofs from the "Loch" collection of the 1935 Silver Jubilee issue were offered in the auction including the above imprint proof block. Accompanying them were sheets containing the "Weeping Princess" and "Shilling Mark" varieties. This is the first time we have recorded sheets with these varieties.

39¢ QE II Booklet

Lot 383
Scott 1167a var
Estimate $2,270
Realized $1,248


This rare modern block was described as a marginal block of 10 from the Booklet Plate showing 6 stamps with horizontal imperforate pairs between, plus 2 imprints, 2 traffic lights and 4 labels. Exceedingly rare, if not unique, but with some heavy creasing. Six other blocks or pairs of Scott 1167a var were also offered, most of which had creases, some seriously creased. Like the above example, most sold for less than their estimates. We were surprised at this, for despite the creases, these stamps are truly very rare. How did the stamps get so badly creased: You'd probably have to ask the nameless person who sneaked them out the door!

Berry Imperforates

Lot 397
Unitrade 1350iv
Catalogue $1,000
Realized $482

Lot 400
Unitrade 1353iii
Catalogue $1,000
Realized $397


There were 7 imperforate pairs offered from the Berries definitive set. All were VF NH. They sold for far less than their catalogue values. This is particularly surprising because two of them, the 6¢ and 25¢ stamps were said by Firby to be far rarer than the other lower value stamps of the set. In fact, these are the first Firby has handled. In the past 10 years, we have recorded the following sales of these imperforate pairs:

Number Sold
1¢ Blueberry
2¢ Wild Strawberry
3¢ Black Cranberry
5¢ Rose Hip
6¢ Black Raspberry
10¢ Kinnikinnik
25¢ Saskatoon Berry

These figures clearly support Firby's statement about how rare the 6¢ and 25¢ imperforate pairs are.

10¢ Woodworking

Lot 414
Scott 1679b
Catalogue None
Realized $3,689


Here is one of Canada's more interesting modern varieties, discovered by a collector in Montreal in July 2003. He bought 5 of these blocks directly from the Post Office. The top 2 stamps in the block are imperforate but were separated by a post office clerk with a pair of scissors in an attempt to be helpful. To date, 3 of the blocks have been sold and 2 remain in the collector's hands. Here's how they've done so far at auction:

1st pair $2,100
2nd pair $1,450
Above pair $3,689

It is interesting to note that while both Scott and Unitrade have listed this variety, neither catalogue has given it a value as yet. The 2nd pair referred to above sold for less than the others because, in an effort to be helpful, the postal clerk drew a line in ink between the two top stamps before cutting them.

All in all it was a most interesting auction. $US were converted at the rate of $1US = $1.135 Cdn.

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



This sale had 6 new record prices:

New Record Price


rose - "Q" flaw
15¢ Vermillion - very thick paper
5¢ Jubilee - slate blue
$4 Jubilee
46¢ Missing magenta
10¢ Woodworking - imperf. 



©2006, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada