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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

22 May, 2008 - H.R. Harmer Inc.

The "Mount Royal" Collection
of Canada

This was, without doubt, one of those extraordinary collections that someone put together with great care and, of course, at great expense. We were able to obtain two copies of the auction catalogues from H. R Harmer Inc., the well known philatelic auction firm now located in Bethel, Connecticut. For this we are most grateful because the pages of these catalogues are full of treasures.

It is hard to put into words our impression of this collection, but let us try. It had quality and it had quantity. Almost everything was of an exceptional quality, well centered, well perforated, clean and mostly no hinged. If a single copy of a rare stamp was offered, sometimes there was a block as well or even a whole sheet.

67 New Record Prices

The sale had 67 new record prices. As will be seen below, this represents a new record in itself. The 67 are just the ones we could identify, but there were probably more. How significant is this? Here is a list of the most new records we have noted in recent years:

31 nrps
Sir Gawaine Baillie Collection
Sotheby
2006
33 nrps
The "Malibu" Collection
Bennett
2006
57 nrps
Michael Roberts Collection
Eastern
2006
63 nrps
Dr. Choi-Loc Tang Collection
Shreve
2006
67 nrps
Mount Royal Collection
Harmer
2008

For a full list of all 67 new record prices, please click here.

 

Examples of Outstanding Stamps

Let’s look at some highlights from the sale. Here are some of the stamps that attracted very strong prices :

 



Lot 2045
Scott 9
Catalogue $8,500
Realized $25,740


Lot 2059
Scott 20b
Catalogue $3,500
Realized $2,572

 

 



Lot 2090
Scott 47
Catalogue $475
Realized $3,960


Lot 2115
Scott 61
Catalogue $2,400
Realized $5,197

 

 



Lot 2227
Scott 110a
Catalogue $3,600
Realized $3,960


Lot 2341
Unitrade 203ii
Catalogue $5,000
Realized $6,682

 

 



Lot 2374
Scott 245a
Catalogue $4,750
Realized $6,187

 



Lot 2400
Scott 387a
Catalogue $48,000
Realized $56,925

 



Lot 2740
Unitrade OX2a
Catalogue $5,000
Realized $3,712

 

Most of the above stamps sold for record prices. For example the price of Scott 9 realized in the sale of $25,740 was well in excess of the previous record of $17,600. The price of $5,197 for Scott 61 ($1 Jubilee) easily exceeded the previous high of $2,700.


8 New Unlisted Varieties

We cannot previously recall having seen so many previously unlisted varieties appearing in a single auction. Here are the 8 new ones that appeared in this sale:

Missing "Canada 17"
"Imperforate Horizontally"


Scott 840


Scott 950

 

"Black Colour Shift"
"Imperforate Right Margin"


Scott 1183


Scott 1448-51

 

"Imperforate Left Margin"


Scott 1553-1557b

 

 

"Die Cutting Omitted"


Scott 1568-69

 

"Imperforate Pane "


Scott 1856

 

"Bottom Pair Imperforate"


Scott 1881a

 


Unusually Large Blocks

 



Lot 2172
Scott 82ii
Realized $8,415

 



Lot 2203
Scott 95
Realized $8,910

 



Lot 2248
Scott 119a
Realized $4,950

 



Lot 2362
Scott 221a
Realized $4,702

 



Lot 2366
Scott 227a
Realized $2,277

 



Lot 2497
Scott 1133a
Realized $5,692

 

We treasure these large blocks as one seldom gets a chance to see them and they contain special information that is helpful to researchers and specialists. We sometimes wish Canada’s Postal Archives in Ottawa had the resources to acquire them so that they would be available to be looked at by all collectors. However they are not in a position to do this, not only because they don’t have the resources, but also because this might tend to legitimize some of the varieties that may be of dubious origin.

Full Sheets


We can’t remember seeing so many full sheets of Canada’s modern varieties offered in a single sale:



Lot 2536
Scott 1289-92b
Realized $15,840

 

 

Lot
Scott No.
Realized ($)
2241
641a
1,089
2458
727a
9,405
2508
1165c
6,435
2522
1182a
9,900
2547
1362ii
39,600
2560
1441-42b
12,870
2579
1683a
22,770
2587
1767i
15,840
2594
1883a
27,720
2605
2201i
2,574



One wonders who has the resources or motivation to buy these sheets. Would it be a collector of unlimited means? We hope so, because it means the sheet may remain intact. On the other hand, if it were a dealer, it could be very profitable to break the sheet up and sell it. The only downside for the dealer is that it would take some time to sell all of stamps, because the market can only absorb so many stamp varieties at a time without the price becoming depressed.

Conclusion and Words of Appreciation

We finish our review with a thank you to Harmer’s for presenting this important collection to the stamp community so beautifully in its auction catalogue. The auctioneer’s job of describing a large collection like this takes a great deal of time and care and Harmer’s can be congratulated for having done a first class job.

As a final word, we note that some of the material in the sale came from the well known Dale Lichtenstein collection that was auctioned by Harmers in 1969 -70. This was probably the biggest and most significant sale of Canadian stamps ever, at least in our experience! Please click on this link if you’d be interested in seeing our review of that sale.


©2008, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada