Canadian Stamp Auctions
Recent Auction Highlights
30 September, 2006 - Shreve’s Philatelic Galleries Inc.
Dr. Choi-Lok Tang Collection
When we told Charles Shreves that his sale of Dr. Tang’s Canadian collection in NYC had produced 63 new record prices, he was quite surprised, but we weren’t because we had seen the catalogue and couldn’t believe the quality of what we saw.
What a year this has been. For the first 9 months of this year, there have been 117 new record prices, more than any other year for which we have kept accounts. With this sale, the number has climbed to 180. This compares to last year’s total of 77 and 94 the year before and the current year isn’t even finished. Click here to see all new record prices in this sale.
These statistics reflect the fact that three extraordinary collections came to auction this year: Sotheby’s Sir Gawaine Baillie collection, Matthew Bennett’s Malibu collection and now Charles Shreve’s Dr. Tang collection.
For anyone wondering whether stamp collecting is an international pastime, consider this, the Baillie collection of Canadian stamps came from England, the Malibu collection from the USA and the Dr. Tang collection from Hong Kong. Interestingly, all of the auction houses that were involved were located outside of Canada.
Now on to the results of the sale, all prices have been converted at $1US = $1.12 Cdn.
The above stamp and the price it realized will be talked about for some time. Consider this, coming into 2006, the best price we had recorded for a used Scott 3 was $27,000. Last spring, a copy sold for $57,750 or more than double. Now in this sale, the price realized is about 4 times the previous record. Are we amazed? Yes, we certainly are and we ask ourselves how could the price get so high?
We contacted Mr.
Shreve’s for an explanation and here is what he told us:
There were some lovely examples amongst the classics and, while the prices were strong, there were few new record prices. Nonetheless the quality was consistently outstanding.
It is when we come to the Large Queens that the record prices begin appearing. Of the eleven stamps offered from the set, six of them set new records (the 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 6¢, 12½¢ and 15¢). Pretty amazing! And, as we were to discover, this trend was to continue in all the subsequent sets.
One of the more remarkable Large Queens was the above 2¢. It had a catalogue value of $650 and sold for $3,920. We note that it was never hinged, something rarely seen in a Large Queen. On checking, we found we had no previous record of a never hinged copy of this stamp.
It’s surprising how few investment quality copies of the above 20¢ Small Queen have sold in the past ten years. We count less than 10. The previous best price was $1,600 from a sale in 2001. This price has now been almost doubled. What a beauty! For those of you who are curious, both the 2001 copy and this one were perfectly centered and never hinged.
There were six new
record prices amongst the Jubilees. Here are a couple of them:
Dr. Tang seems to have gone all out to find copies with nice large margins. This is no easy task for stamps of this set. Not only did he collect the finest mint copies of the Jubilee set, but he also acquired some outstanding used copies :
It’s not often you see a used copy selling for almost 5x catalogue.
The above stamps and many others in the sale like them had unusually large, nicely balanced borders. The Shreve’s people, working on the descriptions, really went to town describing them. Take the above 8¢ orange, for example, here’s what they wrote:
It is not that unusual to see stamps from this set with large margins. Dr. Tang’s Quebec Tercentenaries were all outstanding. In the past 10 years, only one stamp in the set sold for more than $1,000. In this one sale alone, 3 stamps sold for over $1,000.
In the past six years, only one copy of the above 10¢ stamp sold for over $1,000. Now the price has jumped to $2,576. There seems to be no limit when the very best is offered.
What a sale this was. What a year this has been. We think Dr. Tang put together a collection of Canadian stamps that would make anyone extremely proud. We take off our hats to him and offer him our congratulations. Dr. Tang, you have set the highest standard. It will be a long time before we see a collection like this again.
And to Charles Shreves, our congratulations as well. The catalogue you produced which displayed Dr. Tang’s Canadian collection was absolutely beautiful. We will keep it close to us for future reference. It contained only the finest gems. What a memorable achievement!