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Recent Auction Highlights

25 January, 2006 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

Welcome to 2006. This is our first write up of an auction this year and it begins with Vance's mail sale at the end of January. As usual, it was a pleasure to look through their colourful auction catalogue which displays the stamps so nicely. Many of the prices in the auction were strong and one of them resulted, as you will note in the comments that follow, in the year's first new record price.

Small Queen Imperforates

Lot 5057
Scott 36a
Catalogue $550
Realized $645

Lot 5072
Scott 41b
Catalogue $300
Realized $488

These two Small Queen imperforates sold at a premium to catalogue.

The 2¢ was ungummed, but othewise a very fine copy. The price realized of $645 was a strong price. Most Small Queen Imperforates that we see at auction come with no gum and they often sell for less than the catalogue price. The above sale at a premium seems to be an exception.

The 3¢ sold for $488. While this appears to be a strong price, being in excess of the $300 Scott value, it really should have been a lot higher. This is because not only did this pair have a gum on the back, it was also unhinged which is rare. Earlier this year a VF NH pair sold for $575. Four years ago, a pair sold at a Vance sale for $720.

So here we have a strong price for the 2¢ imperforate and a relatively weak price for the 3¢ imperforate. We have no way of explaining this and can only attribute it to the vagaries of the market.

Interesting cancellations

Lot 5068
Scott 40a
Catalogue $65
Realized $70

Lot 5082
Scott 45
Catalogue $30
Realized $180

We know there's great interest amongst collectors in fancy cancels and in the dated cancels on Canada's early postage stamps. The fancy cancels have great eye appeal and are one of the things that make the hobby so interesting. One can sit at one's desk looking at the cancellations and applaud the artistry of the creators who lived well over 100 years ago.

A substantial premium was paid for the second stamp with the Yokohama cancellation. This was described by Vance as being extraordinarily rare and could even be unique. This is not an area that we know and so we accept the auctioneer's description, particularly since it is so well supported by the price that was paid.

War Imperforates

Lot 5447
Scott 251b
Catalogue $275
Realized $246

Lot 5454
Scott 258a
Catalogue $300
Realized $318


Lot 5455
Scott 259a
Catalogue $475
Realized $690

Lot 5458
Scott 260a
Catalogue $300
Realized $400


Lot 5463
Scott 261a
Catalogue $300
Realized $410

Lot 5468
Scott 262a
Catalogue $300
Realized $450

In the past ten years, we have only recorded the sale of three imperforate sets of the WW II Imperforates, Scott 249d-262a. The last set was sold in 2002 at a price of $5020. Back in 2002, the imperforate set was listed in Unitrade at $5400. If you look at the 2006 Unitrade catalogue, the price is still $5400. There may have been no changes in the catalogue price because of a lack of sales of the set. This is not true however with respect to the sale of individual items within the set. In the past year, there have been a number of sales of these.

We noted in the Vance auction last November that pairs of the WW II imperforates were selling for less than catalogue. We were surprised because we'd previously seen a good number of the imperforates selling for prices in excess of catalogue. As can been seen above, this trend of the war imperforates selling for more than catalogue is very evident in this sale. We intend to keep an eye on this to see if this trend continues in future.

14¢ Parliament - New record price

Lot 5521
Scott 715vi
Catalogue $750
Realized $412

We have only recorded three sales of this 14¢ parliament stamp imperforate in the bottom half of the stamp and in the margin. We suspect that we may not have recorded all the copies which have come to market. A year ago, another pair with the exact same description sold at a Vance sale for $270. Because of the similarities, it is possible this is the same pair being resold. In any case, it is clear that the price has improved substantially. The catalogue price of $750 is for a block of four of this variety so it is perhaps unfair to compare that catalogue price to the price realized in this sale which is only for a pair.

52¢ Unissued Christmas stamp

Lot 5552
Unitrade 1534ii
Estimate $200
Realized $244

This stamp was first issued in November 1994 as part of that year's Christmas set. As collectors know, it was the intention of the Post Office at the time to seek approval which would allow it to increase the cost of the stamp from 50¢ to 52¢. That approval was denied and though the stamps were never issued, a certain number of them did get onto the market and began appearing at auction in the year 2000. Single copies of the 52¢ stamp have since appeared at many auctions, with prices ranging from $70 to $248. As can be seen, the $244 price realized in this sale is at the top of the range. Perhaps a premium was paid because of the stamp having the selvedge at the bottom.

This completes our review of the sale. For further details, please click on the highlights button below.


This sale had one new record price.

Unitrade 715vi
14¢ Parliament - bottom half imperforate

©2006, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada