December, 2009 - Charles G. Firby Auctions
This sale represented the property of 35 owners and estates. As is typical
in a Firby sale, there were many covers including very early ones of
the Map issue. As well, the Interrupted Flight Cover collection of Major
Richard K. Malott of Ottawa, Ontario was featured.
We found some beautiful early Canada. We invite you to look at the centering
of these two stamps from the first Pence Issue of 1859:
As the catalogue
mentions, each stamp is XF with no perf hole near the frame line. No
wonder each one attracted a good premium.
The sale featured a fair number of Large Queen varieties, some of which
we hadn’t seen in some time.
on thicker paper"
We have only recorded
one other copy of Scott 21i printed on thicker paper. It sold in 2005
for $248 with the result that this is a new record price for a very
on left of head"
Unitrade 22b & iii
on the left of head” variety is recorded in Unitrade but without
a value, indicating that it is so scarce it is not possible to reasonably
price it. The catalogue value shown above is for the fact that the stamp
is the thin paper variety. We have only recorded this variety once in
the past and in that case the stamp was on a cover.
This third and last
variety is one we have never seen at auction before and It attracted
a good price. The nick can be spotted on the chin just below the mouth.
This last lot was
not a variety, just a very presentable block that was NH, rather unusual
for stamps in the Large Queen set.
Lathework – Spectacular Price
Scott 107 var
There was little
in the write-up in the Firby auction catalogue that prepared us for
the results this lot provided. It was described as Type D inverted lathework.
No big deal. The stamps were lightly hinged and off-centre. But when
the price came in at $5,000 plus, we knew something special had happened
on the auction floor and this was a big deal.
Subsequent to posting
this write up of the Firby sale on our site, we received the most helpful
note from the successful bidder who explained why the above Admiral
block was so valuable. He wrote as follows:
In the section
on recent auction results, Firby Auction December 12, 2009, you comment
on the price paid for Lot 619 a block of two cent green admirals (Scott
107) with lathework. I was the winning bidder of this block. You may
be interested in the story behind the selling price.
on this item was incorrectly described in the auction catalogue as
D inverted. It is in fact D1 inverted lathework, and is extremely
rare. D1 inverted lathework differs from D inverted lathework in a
number of ways, but the most obvious is that D1 inverted lathework
has a strong horizontal line above the body of the lathework. There
is no such line above D inverted lathework. The D1 inverted lathework
only appears on one admiral plate (plate 166 of the two cent green)
and is one of the rarest of the admiral lathework pieces. Only one
other block is known to exist. Consequently, this item commanded strong
bids from those that recognized it’s true identity.
We had always understood that the purpose of the lathework was to help
indicate when the plates were wearing out. But the Unitrade booklet
“The Canadian Lathework Design” by Hans Reiche provides
at least 8 theories to explain the lathework’s purpose. He analyses
all of them but doesn’t come to a conclusion. Pity !
2¢ Map Stamp – Easliest Recorded Usage – December 2,
Featured on the
front cover of the auction catalogue was this rare early cover of the
2¢ Map Stamp. It was dated December 2, 1898 and was posted in Halifax.
What do you call a cover when it is used on a date before the official
date of issue? Firby called it a gorgeous and unique showpiece! This
is no surprise when you look at the price.
Unitrade has the following to say concerning these early covers of the
Map Stamp “No. 85 covers dated the first day of issue (12/07/98)
are very rare with perhaps 10 recorded; value $2,500. The Official First
Day was Christmas, December 25, 1898, value $900.00. One recorded cover
is dated December 2, 1898, the day the stamp was being announced.
For further information,
please click on the highlights button.
There was one new
record price in this auction:
Large Queen on thicker paper
prices in this commentary were converted
at the rate of $1US = $1.06 Cdn.