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Recent Auction Highlights

28 February, 2006 - R. Maresch & Son

Young collectors often ask their friends how many stamps they have. At the beginning of one’s collecting experience, numbers are important. It feels so good to say “I’ve got 5000 stamps in my collection!”

But as the numbers grow, collectors become aware that it’s the knowledge they obtain through stamp collecting that’s more important than how many stamps they own. A good example of this can be seen in the results from the sale of a number of large bulky lots in the latest Maresch sale. Consider these results:

No. of stamps
Estimated catalogue value
Price realized
% of Estimate
5 %
Dealer's stock
$ 7609
$ 800
Plate blocks
$ 3965
$ 575
$ 950


30 years of Maresch Auction Catalogues!

Included in the sale was a set of twelve volumes of Maresch auction catalogues from the years 1967-1997, complete with prices realized. The winning bid was $550, against an estimate of $750. We are most envious of the successful bidder and hope it may have been an institution such as a library or Canada’s Postal Archives. These could share the wealth of information these volumes contained with collectors.

For our views on the importance of this kind of information to collectors, click here to see our Commentary No. 58.

Small Queen Jumbos

A few years ago, a number of jumbos from the Small Queen set were offered at a Maresch sale and were snapped up by collectors. A new group of them appeared in this sale:

Lot 2235
Scott 34/43
Estimate $200
Realized $250

Whoever selected the above stamps for his or her collection knew what they were doing. One only has to look at the beautiful clearly dated postmarks to appreciate this person’s collecting ability. We think of the post office employee who, working quietly behind the scenes, took the trouble to carefully cancel the stamps. This still happens sometimes today, over 100 years later, and is always noticed and appreciated by collectors.

1 Large Queen

Lot 2216
Scott 30
Catalogue $67
Realized $575

Now here’s the beauty! It’s a well centered, very lightly hinged violet gray Large Queen. Maresch called it a Scott 30, which according to Scott is “gray” and has a catalogue price of $67. But Maresch also described it as “violet gray” and put an estimate of $500 on it. It’s all a bit beyond us, because this is a complicated area. Back when the stamp was issued, the colours were mixed in batches and who knows what was added to the mixtures. Books have been written about them. See for example “The Large Queens of Canada and Their Use 1867-1872”. But when Maresch puts an estimate on a stamp, it’s for a good reason and in this case, the winning bid of $575 more than supported the estimate.

3¢ Small Queen – “vampire bite” variety

Lot 2322
Unitrade 41vi
Catalogue $150
Realized $220

Some varieties are hard to see, but not this one. As Maresch points out, the mark on the queen’s neck is the “strongest we have ever seen, easily visible to the naked eye”.

We’re not so sure the postal office clerk knew what he was doing when he canceled the stamp, but wasn’t it lucky he completely missed the variety, allowing us to admire it a century later.

10¢ Small Queen – imprint block with rare colour


Lot 2377
Scott 45b var
Estimate $750
Realized $5250

Here’s one for the books! It looks like a case of one or more very determined bidders who went screaming past the estimated price for the stamp at 100 mph and kept on going.

What’s so special about this block? Maresch had a few things to note which might explain this:

1. First, this was one of five lots that were of the salmon or salmon pink shade, and perf 65 x 64 on the (Kiusalas) gauge ( the so called perf 12½), from the Don Bowen study of this scarce shade and perf.

2. Second, the lower right stamp on this imprint block showed an unrecorded “DOT IN 1” variety.

We suspect that Maresch may have been as pleasantly surprised as we were at the results. This is the kind of result that puts a smile on everyone’s face, especially the owner who put the lot up for sale.

1¢ Edward VII

Lot 2491
Scott 89
Catalogue $37
Realized $280

Isn’t it interesting that this is one of the few Canadian stamps whose price the Scott catalogue reduced last spring. It dropped from $50 to $37. We wonder why? There has always been a demand for these low value stamps in VFNH condition from the early 1900s. The Scott editors are probably shaking their heads thinking “you can’t win!”

In any case, the $280 is a new record price, up from the previous $230 record realized at a Maresch sale in 2003. There’s a good reason for this special price. The stamp is “extremely fine” per Maresch and comes with an unusually intense shade of green. In our view, what makes this stamp really stand out, in addition to all the other things, are the four corners of the stamp, they are perfect!

Scott 1270a variety- first ever

Lot 2681
Scott 1270a used
Estimate $250
Realized $750


This is the first example we have recorded of this variety. It is the 39¢ Multiculturalism stamp with black inscriptions omitted. It was issued some sixteen years ago in 1990. Scott lists a mint copy at $1000, but provides no value for a used one, hence Maresch’s estimate of $250. We’re happy to have this rare example for our records, but must admit it looks very familiar. We plan to look back to see if we’ve missed a copy or two of this variety in previous auctions.

For further details, please click on the highlights button.


This sale had two new record prices:

Scott 89
1¢ Edward VII
Scott 117
10¢ Admiral

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