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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

11 November, 2006 - Matthew Bennett International

As we browse through the web sites of the U.S. auction houses, we try to keep an eye out for the Bennett auctions that contain Canadian stamps. We have to give credit to this American auction house that is able to attract such quality in their Canadian offerings. We keep in mind the fact that our Canadian auction houses also regularly offer high quality stamps from the U.S. and, in fact, the world. Stamp collecting has always been an international pursuit.

What’s new, at least for what we see in the U.S., is the quality of the Canadian material and the prices being realized. In years past, while visiting the U.S., we have looked at the Canadian material offered by local dealers and found the quality tended to be very average and the prices cheaper than in Canada. Maybe this has changed and we are only just becoming aware of what the U.S. auction houses have always had to offer. Whatever the case, it is wonderful that collectors can buy and sell outstanding Canadian philatelic material in a broader market. Is this hurting our Canadian auctioneers? We don’t think so; 2006 was a great year for them

Now onto some highlights from the sale:


Lot 2013
Unitrade 2b
Catalogue $2,500
Realized $3,672

Lot 2015
Scott 3
Catalogue $55,000
Realized $101,700

It’s been a whole year since a VF used copy of the 6 Penny Albert in the grayish purple shade has been seen at auction. A year ago a copy sold for the then record price of $2,500. Now, a year later, the price is up 47% to $3,672

The 12 Penny Black

The above 12 penny black is a lovely copy, but like a certain number of early Canadian stamps, it has no gum. The last copy we recorded with no gum came to auction back in 1999 when it sold for $73,800. Bennett provided some very interesting information about this rare stamp:

"The Twelve Pence Black had an interesting history. Like all other pence issues of Canada it was engraved and printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson of New York. A total of 51,000 stamps and a proof imprint sheet were shipped to Canadian postal authorities on May 14, 1851. However, the stamp proved to be unpopular with the public and only saw limited distribution, with a total of only 1,510 stamps being sent to just 18 Post Offices. Of those, 60 were returned by the Ingersoll Post Office, leaving a mere 1,450 stamps sold. The remaining 49,490 stamps were destroyed on 1 May 1857.

There is some speculation as to why this stamp was inscribed "Twelve Pence" rather than the customary "One Shilling", especially since the Colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia both used one shilling stamps. A possible explanation is that at the time the Canadian pound was depreciated relative to its British equivalent and the other provinces also had their own exchange rates. The result was confusion among the public and postal officials as to exactly what a "shilling" was worth. Expressing the value as "Twelve Pence" may have been an effort to alleviate this confusion.

The limited distribution and lack of acceptance by the consumer, who seems to have preferred to use a pair of the 6d Consort, has resulted in the 12d black being the most sought-after rarity in Canadian philately as well as one of the most coveted of all classic stamps."

Small Queens

Lot 2087
Unitrade 35ii
Catalogue $375
Realized $621


Lot 2091
Scott 39b
Catalogue $650
Realized $2,486


Both the above varieties were described as NH gems and came with Greene Certificates.


Lot 2112
Scott 58
Catalogue $500
Realized $1,073

Lot 2116
Scott 59
Catalogue $500
Realized $1,243

We’re seeing more and more Jubilees selling for over $1,000. This is now so in the case of at least one stamp from the 15¢ to the $5.00.


Quebec Tercentenary

Lot 2158
Unitrade 97i
Catalogue $120
Realized $214


Lot 2165
Scott 102
Catalogue $375
Realized $1017


With this sale, at least one example of all the stamps in the set from the 7¢ to the 20¢ has sold for over $1,000. These two copies are perfectly centered and just as fine as they come.



Lot 2199
Unitrade 135i
Catalogue $210
Realized $316

This is the dark brown shade variety and is very rare. This is only the third VF copy we have recorded. Likely not many collectors would be able to distinguish between the regular brown shade and this dark brown shade. It came with a Greene certificate.

War Tax

Lot 2269
Scott MR4a
Catalogue $900
Realized $1,469

This last stamp sold for a price that was truly remarkable. It is the rare Die I variety which catalogues at $900 versus $27 for the regular Die II stamp. The price realized is almost 3 x the previous top price.

This sale had 11 new record prices:

Scott No.
Previous NRPs
6d Albert grayish purple
1¢ Small Queen - orange shade
15¢ Jubilee
20¢ Jubilee
15¢ Quebec Tercentenary
3¢ dark brown shade
1-8¢ cameo imperf. set
3¢ Cartier imperf.
1-13¢ Silver Jubilee - imperf. set
1¢ - $1 Geo. V - imperf. set
2¢ War Tax - die I

The prices realize we’re converted at the rate of $1 US = $1.13 Cdn.

©2007, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada