Canadian Flag

Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

8 November, 2007 - Sparks Auctions Inc.

It is wonderful to see that Ian Kimmerly has returned to the Canadian public stamp auction scene. He is associated with a group that has created a new firm, Sparks Auctions. This firm is located on Sparks Street in Ottawa in the same building as Ian Kimmerly Stamps, but the two are distinct entities. Still, with Ian’s excellent reputation and drive, we expect great things.

In this, their initial auction, things started off with a bang. An amazing price was paid for the remarkable stamp shown below:

Scott 26a - 5¢ Large Queen 12.1 x 12.1

Lot 79
Unitrade 26a
Catalogue $1,250
Realized $3,800


After the sale, Sparks described the active bidding for this stamp:

“A tough stamp in any condition, as it has been estimated that only about 6% have this perforation gauge, which must be consistent on all four sides. We offered a very finely centered example with trivial, light toning, otherwise fault free. Faint Toronto duplex cancel.

We received an enormous advance bid of $3,500 on this lot from a good customer, along with instructions to break a tie. With another presale underbidder, this lot was going to open at only $220, but once the public auction was in progress, the price climbed quickly and soon a live internet bidder was the driving force.

He tried jumping the bidding in increments of several hundred dollars. His bids came fast and furious, but slowed down after $3,000. The $3,400 bid fell to the live bidder. Our bid of $3,600 seemed to stop him, but after a few seconds a $3,800 bid came through and proved successful.

Bidding wars like this make a live action interesting for all.”

Scott 45a - 10¢ Small Queen

Lot 139
Scott 45a
Catalogue $240
Realized $270

Without any question, the post office clerk who cancelled this strip of the 10¢ Small Queen in 1894 was a determined fellow. But he also did his job carefully, making sure that each stamp received a clearly readable date stamp. Collectors are indebted to people like this. His actions resulted in a lovely and highly collectible strip.


Very Fine Jubilees


Lot 146
Scott 50
Catalogue $250
Realized $350

Lot 147
Scott 51
Catalogue $50
Realized $55


Lot 150
Scott 53
Catalogue $37
Realized $55

This is a nice looking group of Jubilees. We can’t believe how fresh the 3¢ Jubilee is. You’d think it was printed yesterday

Scott 77a - Unlisted thick yellowish paper


Lot 205
Scott 77a var
Catalogue $240
Realized $500

Here’s one for the specialist, a block of the 2¢ Numeral on thick yellowish paper. There are good margins around and the block is NH. According to Sparks, this is an unlisted paper variety, similar to that found on the 1¢ green and 2¢ purple.

Isn’t it interesting how new varieties keep appearing amongst our Canadian stamps. The above stamp was probably packed away quietly in someone’s collection for decades until, one day, an experienced collector saw it and realized there was something different about it.

Imperforate Sets

Lot 462
Scott 146a-148a
Catalogue $435
Realized $625

Lot 514
Scott 195c-200a
Catalogue $1,800
Realized $1,050

Both of the above sets were NH and very fine. We are finding that both Scott and Unitrade have been increasing their values for Canada’s imperforate sets in the past few years in a noticeable way.


Scott 1534ii - first time ever

Lot 631
Unitrade 1534ii
Catalogue $10,800
Realized $1800


This is the first time we have ever seen a sheet of Scott 1534ii offered at auction. This is the well known 52¢ Stamp that was printed by the Post Office but never issued. To no one’s surprise, copies of this “unissued stamp” got into the market. We regularly see singles, blocks and plate blocks of the stamp, but have never seen a sheet.

Postal History – Cartons of it !

Here’s something you don’t see too often, postal history sold in bulk by the carton. As Sparks described it:

“Also in the session, it will be possible to buy literally tons of covers. One lot would easily fill that least two large SUVs. Have fun, and we certainly hope that all the floor lots are sold to the floor”

For those of you who are new to stamp auctions, the strange term, “selling to the floor” means selling to bidders physically present at the auction, not those sending in bids by mail, telephone or Internet.

For those of you whose spouses dream of cleaning out your piles of unsorted stamps and covers, you’ll clearly understand that Sparks definitely wanted to dispose of these bulky lots in order to get them out of its offices.

How did they do? Here’s the result for a few of them:

Great Britain - 90 Kg.
Canada - 1100 Kg.
Canada - 270 Kg.
Canada - 13 Kg.

Lot 2228 was stored in 26 cartons! It was a massive hoard of modern Canadian covers from the 1980s to early 2000s. What fun !!

As usual, we find that with the sale this large, we can only scratch the surface. What a wonderful start for a new Canadian auction house. We look forward to many more interesting sales from Sparks Auctions in Ottawa.


For further details, please click on the highlights button.


This sale had 1 new record price:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
5¢ - Large Queen - perf. 12


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