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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

1 November, 2007 - Spink Shreves Galleries Inc.

Twice a year this firm holds a "Collectors Series Sale" of U.S. and foreign stamps. We first noticed these special sales a year ago and now look forward to each one with great anticipation. The reason is that the quality of each stamp they offer is outstanding.

Although the number of Canadian stamps in this sale was limited, the high standards of past sales were evident.

This is the first sale we have covered under the new firm name of Spink Shreves Galleries Inc. In the past, these firms operated independently of each other. But now they have combined.

Before looking at some of the Canadian stamps in this auction we should advise our viewers of the following important information. For the first time, the value of the Canadian dollar is greater than that of the U.S. dollar. In addition, this sale included a specialized collection of the Canadian 2¢ Map stamp (Scott 86/87). A unique cover of the Map stamp cancelled with the earliest post-mark ever recorded, sold for $21,000 US. Such a result boggles the mind! We will cover this part of the sale in a future commentary.

Let's have a look at the results.

Scott 55 - 6¢ Jubilee

Lot 1537
Scott 55
Catalogue $500
Realized $1,520


What a gorgeous example of this beautiful stamp. Why is it so sought after? It has to do with the number issued, which was only 75,000. Of all the stamps in the set up to the 50¢, this was the lowest number, probably because there was not much need for a 6¢ stamp at the time.

This stamp sold for $1,600 US in the sale. Seven years ago, this would have converted into $2,448 Cdn. (at $1.53). Today, it converts into $1,520 Cdn. (at $0.95).

We recently read a piece in a U.S. newspaper about how shocked some American tourists were to see how expensive it was to be a traveller in London. Not only were the prices high in U.K. pounds, but when converted into US dollars, the results were pretty shocking. The decline in the value of the US dollar vis a vis the Canadian dollar and other world currencies is also being seen in our stamp auction results.

Scott 75 - 1¢ Numeral on thick paper

Lot 1544
Unitrade 75v
Catalogue $600
Realized $231

Don't we enjoy seeing these 1¢ stamp values soar! This beauty comes with generous well centered borders. It has been printed on "thick paper", a variety that is scarce. The stamp came with a certificate of authentification.

Scott 89 - 1¢ Edward VII - blue green

Lot 1547
Unitrade 89iii
Catalogue $150
Realized $309

Here's another 1¢ stamp. It comes with the "blue green" colour, rather than the regular "green" colour. Not many of these have appeared at auction.

We have a record of eight of these sold at auction in the past 10 years. The best price to date was $195 for a copy that sold in 2003. So this new price is the best to date and a clear new record.

Scott C1 & C2 - How interesting!


Lot 1563
Scott C1
Catalogue $22
Realized $161

Lot 1564
Scott C2
Catalogue $125
Realized $161

For years, Scott C2 was everyone's favorite among the early airmails. It always received the most attention and the best prices. Scott C1 languished in the background with much lower prices.

But in this sale, both stamps received the same price. As if this was not enough, the C1 price is a new record. For some reason this pleases us!

Scott F1a - Another beauty!

Lot 1565
Scott F1a
Catalogue $125
Realized $712

There's something about this stamp we find so attractive. Show us 100 mint copies and we'd be surprised to find one that is centered. But only one in 1000 will be as well centered as this. This is an example of the "Vermillion" shade which is quite different from the unusual "orange" colour.


Scott MR2B - Value soaring

Lot 1568
Unitrade MR2B
Catalogue $900
Realized $1045


It came as quite a surprise to us when, in a recent auction, a group of 3 of these special overprints sold for almost five times catalogue. This definitely caught our attention! But now in this sale we see more of the same. The previous record price for this stamp was $800 and now a copy has sold for a new record of $1045.

Price trends

This commentary is being written in Florida during our vacation. The results were obtained using one of the computers in the local library. There we happened to look at a Linn's stamp newspaper which carried an article on stamp prices over the past 3 decades. It showed prices soaring in the early 1980's, only to fall into a sharp decline in the 1990's and then recover in the 2000's. This should prompt all collectors to be conservative and cautious. Stamp values can be quite cyclical.

Stamp prices generally increase over time as with most collectibles. But when they go into an occasional decline, the loss in value may last a good decade before prices turn upwards. One must be prepared for this. We are reminded of this in looking at the current Florida real estate prices. A loss in value of stamps is one thing, but, for the people of Florida, a loss in value of one's residence is a much more serious matter.

Despite all these warnings about values, we couldn't help but notice the following striking result from amongst the U.S. stamps that were offered in this sale. Hold onto your seats for this one.

U.S. Airmail


Lot 1059
Scott E6
Catalogue $450 US
Realized $18,000 US

What can one say about a result like this. We can only stand in awe. This had the usual attributes of a first class stamp, well centered, nice perfs., no hinge mark, nice clean fresh appearance.

But the auctioneer added something unusual. The stamp was a "98". We believe this means that it was 98% perfectly centered. This, according to the description, was "unique" because it apparently had the best known centering of all copies of this stamp in existence. What a result! There are bidders out there who will pay anything to have "the best".


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


This sale had 5 new record prices:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
1¢ - Edward VII, blue green
2¢ - Admiral
5¢ - Air Mail
2¢ - War Tax - Rose Carmine
5¢ - War Tax - Overprint


The prices in this sale were converted at the rate of $1 US - $ 0.95 Cdn.
This was the rate of exchange on the date of the sale.


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