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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

21 October, 2009 - R. Maresch & Son

When you think of it, offering stamps from 78 British Commonwealth and 74 foreign countries, is quite an accomplishment. It takes a lot of effort, expertise, sources of supply and a wide range of clients to pull this off.

The Maresch family has been doing this for years. We join them in welcoming the latest addition to the family with the birth of Charles William Maresch last fall to Bill Maresch's son, Peter.

This sale started off its Canadian section with a very rare early stamp:

Lot 237
Unitrade 1a
Catalogue $40,000
Realized $16,500



It is so unusual to see mint copies of Canada's first stamp with original gum being offered for sale. This attractive copy might have attracted a better price but for the fact it came with a trifle surface soling. Importantly for so rare a stamp, it came with a Greene certification of authenticity.

How rare is a mint Scott 1 or 1a in good condition: The last time we recorded a mint copy of Scott 1 without a fault was in 1989. The last time we recorded one with full OG was in 1987 and that was also at a Maresch sale.

Then, let's look at the record for a Scott 1a. We have only recorded the sale of 2 copies before this one, one in 2004 and the othe rin 1998. Both had faults.

We would guess that the buyer of the above stamp was faced with a dilemma. Should he buy now or perhaps have to wait for another 10 years for another copy of Canada's first stamp to be offered. It couldn't have been an easy decision.

The price paid of $16,500 was well under catalogue, but it was still the highest price paid for a single copy since 1985.


Small Queens

"Ottawa Printing"

Lot 352
Unitrade 36i
Estimate $200
Realized $210

Lot 379
Scott 42
Catalogue $200
Realized $750

What gorgeous copies and both NH! Are these stamps perfect? No, not exactly. The 2¢ is centered slightly to the right. The 5¢ is slightly to the right and down a bit. But these factors are not obvious and any collectors, ourselves included, would be more than pleased to own stamps of this quality.

The prices are the best for these stamps at a Maresch sale in the past 10 years.


Outstanding Jubilees

Lot 397
Scott 52
Catalogue $62
Realized $125

Lot 399
Scott 53
Catalogue $45
Realized $400


Lot 412
Scott 60
Catalogue $775
Realized $975



All these stamps were described as perfectly centered, NH and superb. But it is clearly the 3¢ Jubilee that stands out. What a lovely stamp!

We thought that the price paid for it set a new record. But, on checking, we found that a copy had sold at a Maresch sale in 2000 for $425. More recently in 2008, one sold for $470. Still, it's pretty good at 9 times catalogue.


Numeral - Block of 20, rare Type II

Lot 467
Scott 77d
Catalogue $15,000
Realized $5,750


The Scott catalogue indicates that there are two types of the 2¢ Numeral imperforate pairs. Type I comes with gum and a frame of 4 very thin lines. Type II comes without gum and has a frame of a a thick line between 2 thin ones. The catalogue value for Type I is $475 and for Type II is $1,800 per pair.

Given the facts, it surprised us that the above rare block sold for only $575 a pair. Its only fault was a crease in each of the corners of the bottom selvedge. These could have easily been trimmed off. In the past 2 years, pairs of Scott 77d have sold for about $1,200.

So, whoever bought this block got it at an especially good price.

War Tax


Lot 950
Unitrade MR2B
Catalogue $1,200
Realized $1,250

Lot 953
Unitrade MR2D
Catalogue $1,400
Realized $1,550


Here are two little gems from the Admiral set. The prices are the second highest we have recorded in the past 10 years.


Officially Sealed


Lot 987
Unitrade OX1
Estimate $200
Realized $375


Maresch described this as an exceptional copy. Most used copies of the officially sealed stamps are creased because of being placed over the edge of the envelope. But this one was unusual in not having a crease. This is the third copy we have recorded and the best price to date, a new record.


Chinese Souvenir Sheet



Lot 1764
Scott 1518
Catalogue $875
Realized $1,000

We find this souvenir sheet from China particularly attractive. The young girl seems to be full of hope about her future as she dreams about it. We remember showing it once before a few years ago.

This stamp, issued in 1979, was lightly hinged. The fact that a hinged modern stamp sold for more than its catalogue value says a lot about its attractiveness to collectors.


On Vacation


This review is being written from our favorite vacation spot in Florida. The Maresch sale is the first of a number of auctions taking place in October and November. This is a welcome change from September when there was little activitiy.

More reviews will follow after our return to Montreal in mid-November.

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



This sale had one new record price:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
Officially Sealed


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