Canadian Flag

Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

Spink Auctions, U.K.
8 December, 2009

The Pierron Collection of British Commonwealth Stamps with Missing Colours

This amazing sale took place in London early last month. We had lots of warning that it was coming and had been watching the buildup of interest within the stamp community as the date of the sale approached.


According to Spink, there has never been a catalogue solely devoted to stamps with missing colours. The Pierron Collection contained this in spades with examples from over 55 countries and territories.


Included in the material from around the world were 51 Canadian stamps. Some of the prices were strong, with six new record prices and two varieties we have not previously seen at auction.

Here are the six new record prices:




Lot 1143
Unitrade 601i
Catalogue $4,000
Realized $2,249

 



Lot 1144
Unitrade 704i
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $1,211

 



Lot 1173
Scott 1375a
Catalogue $1,200
Realized $820

 



Lot 1174
Scott 1375c
Catalogue $1,350
Realized $865

 



Lot 1181
Scott 1630b
Catalogue $4,000
Realized $6,055

 



Lot 1192
Unitrade 1945a
Catalogue $1,600
Realized $900

 

 

We find it interesting that a sale like this, taking place outside Canada, would attract sufficient demand to produce these record prices. Here’s how they did, comparing the results to the previous records:

Scott No.
Description
NRP
Previous NRP
601i
"$2" and "Canada" missing
2,249
2,090
704i
Silver and tagging mission
1,211
841
1375a
Dark blue missing
830
800
1375c
Dark green missing
865
793
1630b
Gold and tagging omitted
6,055
2,700
1945a
Missing colour
900
800

 

The first stamp on the list hasn’t been seen at auction for 21 years as, according to our records, it was last offered by Eaton & Son way back in 1988 when it sold for $2,090.

 

New varieties

These are two varieties that have previously been reported, but this is the first time we have seen them at auction.

 

“Magenta & tagging omitted”


Lot 1185
Scott 1836var
Catalogue – Not available
Realized $605

 

“Silver omitted”


Lot 1187
Scott 1848b
Catalogue $2,400
Realized $2,076



More Examples of Stamps with Missing Colours

 



Lot 1156
Scott 934a
Catalogue $1,000
Realized $432

 

 



Lot 1166
Unitrade 1180ci
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $519


Lot 1171
Scott 1278a
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $1,479

 



Lot 1178
Scott 1521a
Catalogue $1,600
Realized $519

 

 



Lot 1179
Scott 1522a
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $865

 



Lot 1191
Unitrade 1933i
Catalogue $1,750
Realized $657


Lot 1195
Unitrade 2083ii
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $865

 

 

How rare are these stamps?


We found it very helpful that Spink provided the details and origin of many of the stamps in its sale. This type of information can be very hard to come by. Our sources for this kind of information are usually either the Unitrade Catalogue or The Saskatoon Stamp Centre brochures. Here, for example, are details of some of the rarest stamps in the sale:

Lot
No.
Known
Where discovered or acquired
1143
601i
42
PO purchase
1156
934a
127
Ontario and Alberta
1157
935a
25
One pane in Oshawa, Ontario
1171
1278a
16
Halifax, N.S.
1173
1375a
25
Discovered in Alberta in 1994
1174
1375c
30
Discovered in Ontario in 1997
1179
1522a
20
Found in Victoria, B.C. at time of issue


Wouldn’t it be a big plus if this sort of information were generally available? But there would be a few problems with this. How could the information be verified? Don’t forget, these are not official products of Canada Post. Some are printing errors and others may be “back door” items from the printers. As well, there may be existing stamps on the list where new quantities are found in future.


Nonetheless, to have Spink’s assessment of the known quantities and origins is very helpful. It helps both buyer and seller determine reasonable prices to use at auction.


We are very indebted to Tom Pierron, the collector in the UK who put this extraordinary collection of rare stamps together. Looking at the stamps from the other countries in the sale, it’s good to know, and maybe even a bit comforting to realize that the printers in Canada aren’t the only ones who make these printing errors
.


©2010, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada