February, 2010 - R. Maresch & Son
This was one of
the strongest Maresch auctions we have seen in some time. The more we
looked through it, the more treasures we found. Few could beat this
London to London semi-official airmail stamp:
This stamp was described as fresh, full original gum, tiny thin on one
top perforation, but otherwise very fine. It is one of only 9 unused
copies and 1 cover that are known to exist. We wish we had been there
to see the bidding.
We received the following details of how this stamp was discovered and
came to auction from Maresch:
“Last fall a gentleman from out of town walked into the
offices of R. Maresch and Son, Toronto stamp auctioneers, bringing
with him a stamp and cover collection in a few cartons.
Although this is a daily occurrence there, this particular consignment
would prove to hold an astonishing surprise. Most of the contents
were the remains of an old time collection, and had little commercial
value, but neatly mounted on a page in the depths of the collection
surrounded by hundreds of ordinary stamps, was a "London to London"
Semi Official Airmail stamp.
This stamp is the rarest by far of all of these issues. It was designed
and manufactured for prepayment of letters carried by plane from London,
Ontario, to London, England in late 1927, aboard the plane "Sir
John Carling". A $25,000 prize was to be paid to the pilots of
this daring and historic flight upon arrival in England by the Carling
the letters, plane and pilots were all lost at sea, probably off the
coast of Newfoundland and no letters bearing these stamps were ever
recovered. This rare stamp is one of about nine genuine ones known.
Many of the surviving examples are in the hands of museums, making
them unavailable for collectors, and thus the stamp is highly coveted
by Canadian airmail and semi-official collectors alike.
history and provenance are shrouded by mystery, and the owner does
not know how it was originally acquired, the stamp was sent for and
received a certificate of authenticity, and was featured in Maresch’s
February 2010 auction sale. The stamp realized $29,900 (auction hammer
price and buyer’s commission), which turns out to be even more
than the prize of $25,000 originally offered for the flight.”
– Multiple with a rare watermark
This rare strip
of three of the 2¢ Large Queen showed large parts of the ‘G.
BOTH’ and ’UTHA M’ of the 2 line watermark. It came
from the famous Lichtenstein collection which is a very respectable
provenance. Probably, because it wasn’t well centered and had
some short perforations, it did not attract a strong price. Despite
this, we think the successful bidder was lucky to capture such a rare
item for his or her collection. Here’s how the full watermark
& G. BOTHWELL
This was the part of this sale that impressed us the most. The quality
was amazing. Here are a few examples:
We couldn’t get over the $850 price paid for the 2¢ Small
Queen. It was NH and had almost perfect centering. It was from the more
common Ottawa printing, rather than the Montreal printing.
50¢ Edward VII
Unitrade gives this
stamp a value of $4,050. A month earlier, a copy went for $4,250. Now
a copy has gone for $6,500. It always amazes us to see how far collectors
will go to get the best. The previous owner must have had great satisfaction
in seeing his good judgment vindicated. We can also imagine how happy
the new owner must be to have acquired what is clearly one of the best
copies of this stamp to come to auction, even if it was at considerable
We were advised that the stamp received very strong bidding from at
least 10 bidders.
We must admit that seeing stamps like us and the previously mentioned
2¢ Small Queen is one of the greatest rewards we have in preparing
these stamp auction reviews.
Quebec Tercentenary - Plate block
Unitrade 103 PB
These stamps come
from the set Canada issued in 1908 to celebrate the 300th anniversary
of the founding of Quebec. The scene shows the arrival of Jacques Cartier,
the famous French explorer, at Quebec.
The plate block was well centered and NH. Maresch described it as a
showpiece, one of the gems of the sale. We can only agree. The price
worked out to just over $1,000 per stamp. That’s quite a jump
over the Scott catalogue price of $625 per stamp. A strong price for
such a rare item should surprise no one.
New discovery from the oil patch
It took us a few
minutes to find this stamp booklet in the catalogue. It was issued in
the 2008 to celebrate two oil and gas anniversaries. We would definitely
not put it on our list of Canada’s most beautiful stamps. That
being said, this booklet, which has no die cutting, is another of Canada’s
modern imperforate varieties. Maresch have not previously seen this
variety, nor had we.
Our compliments to Maresch for a most interesting auction. For more
details please click on the highlights button.
This sale had
two new record prices: