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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

24 February, 2009 - R. Maresch & Son

This was one of Maresch’s best auctions in the past year. There was much good material offered and, in some cases, some large quantities of stamps. We spotted three new varieties which is an unusual number to find in a single sale.

This auction house is clearly optimistic about the state of the current stamp market. Here’s what it had to say:

“Our October auction was very successful; despite the concerns that other financial markets would have a negative effect on the stamp market and stamp collecting in general. Collector and dealer demand continues stronger than ever for philatelic material across the board. One would think that with all the current economic uncertainty, stamps and covers would be one of the first markets to suffer, but nothing could be further from the truth. Philately is very different from the investment market since collectors buy and sell for individual reasons. Collectors buy not for need, but for want, and the fact that collectors spend a lifetime building their collections is why they do not all sell at once. That is the reason for the strength and stability in the stamp market.”


All kinds of Varieties

This sale was packed with many examples of the errors Canada Post’s printers have managed to create in the last 50 years. Of course, a printer’s nightmare is a collector’s delight and collectors participating in this auction had a field day.


"Dramatic misperforation"

Lot 1008
Scott 387 var
Estimate $150
Realized $200

"Silver colour omitted"

Lot 1145
Scott 996a
Estimate $850
Realized $350



"Inscriptions shifted up"

Lot 1177
Scott 1270 var
Estimate $75
Realized $60





"Shifted comb. Perf"

Lot 1186
Scott 1360 var
Estimate $350
Realized $425


"Missing hologram "

Lot 1205
Scott 1442b
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $725



Lot 1288
Scott C8 var
Estimate $150
Realized $165



"Dramatic paperfold "

Lot 1075
Scott 625 var
Estimate $350
Realized $1,000


An Impressive Large Queen Block


Lot 452
Unitrade 28ii
Catalogue $2,600
Realized $850


This beautiful block of the 12½¢ Large Queen had the “missing frameline” variety in the lower left stamp. Although not well centered, and missing its gum, the block was clean and the stamps were of a good quality.


Gems from the Early Sets

We noted many excellent stamps from the early sets in the sale and present a small sampling:


Lot 532
Scott 43 NH
Catalogue $200
Realized $900

Lot 577
Scott 53
Catalogue $45
Realized $55

Lot 579
Scott 54
Catalogue $150
Realized $230


Lot 693
Scott 76a
Catalogue $350
Realized $325

Lot 726
Scott 89/90
Catalogue $170
Realized $350

Scott 91
Catalogue $550
Realized $900


Admirals – Large Blocks

Lot 802
Unitrade 111b
Catalogue $3,920
Realized $1,150


It’s not often we see large blocks of Admirals like this one which contained 20 stamps. But while scarce, in that very few people own blocks like these, they do not attract a premium unless some of the stamps are well centered. Unfortunately, all the stamps in the above block were centered towards the left margin

Scott 111b is a rare stamp and much in demand. In recent years, copies have sold in the range of $400 to $600. A year ago, a copy sold for $1,600. One can dream about having plenty of these in gem quality all in one block like the above. Let’s see, that would make…20 x $1,600 …hmmm, the mind boggles!

Other blocks of Admirals that were offered in the auction included:

5¢ part sheet of 70
7¢ part sheet of 70
7¢ complete sheet
8¢ part sheet of 61
10¢ margin block of 24
10¢ part sheet of 60

We used to wonder where all the NH Admirals came from. It is likely that as the no-hinged craze took hold of collectors, they originated from blocks like the above ones that were split up. No special premium is normally given to large blocks, nor to hinged stamps. But special value is definitely given to early stamps that are both well centered and NH. Such is the world we live in, like it or not!


Three New Varieties

“Gold background shifted”
“UR Stamp – missingThe gold “AN” letters

Lot 1071
Scott 616 var
Estimate $150
Realized $140

Lot 1117
Scott 841 var
Estimate $100
Realized $105

OHMS Mountie -“Broken Leg variety”

Lot 1370
Scott OA223
Estimate $1,500
Realized $5,750


This may not be the first time these three varieties have appeared at auction, but it is the first time we’ve seen them and as Maresch notes, they are not listed in the catalogues.

Look at the amazing price for the third variety shown above. It was described as follows:

“10¢ MOUNTIE with FIVE HOLE PERF O.H.M.S. showing the BROKEN LEG VARIETY, the only example we have seen thus, hitherto unknown (and thus uncatalogued), a must-have for the variety or perf. OHMS Collector and a very fine and RARE SHOWPIECE , with 2008 Greene Certificate.”

We called Tony Maresch after the sale to ask him how the price could possibly reach this lofty height. He said that two collectors competed with great determination to acquire the “broken leg” variety, and with confidence because it came with a Greene certificate. In the end, it went to a Canadian collector. We wondered if bidders like this are affected by the problems in the world economy, but then, as Tony commented, in cases of fierce bidding like this, “the economy be dammed!”

We had such an interesting time reviewing this sale. For more details, please click on the Highlights button.


This sale had 1 New Record Price:


Previous NRP
1/2¢ Small Queen imperf. pair

©2009, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada