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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

6 July, 2006 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

As usual, there were many choice items in this Vance sale. The quality was high. We start off our review with an interesting selection of stamps from Canada’s first “Cents Issue”. Over one hundred years ago someone in Canada’s Post Office decided it would be a great idea to get as many stamps on a sheet of paper as possible. Maybe they were trying to save money. Whatever the objective, the result was that the stamps from the set had the narrowest of borders and were almost always badly off center. With this background, you can appreciate how special the following “Cents” are and the bidders knew it !

The Cents Issue of 1859

Lot 4975
Scott 14
Catalogue $67
Realized $238

Lot 4984
Scott 14
Catalogue $67
Realized $140

Lot 4993
Unitrade 15ii orange red
Catalogue $50
Realized $166

Lot 4996
Scott 17
Catalogue $95
Realized $182

Lot 4999
Scott 18
Catalogue $85
Realized $215

Lot 5012
Scott 20
Catalogue $225
Realized $190

2¢ Small Queen Bisect

Lot 5095
Scott 36b
Estimate $175
Realized $245

The above bisects are quite rare and usually come from the Canadian maritime provinces. They should be collected on a full cover and are only listed as such in the catalogues. This 2¢ Small Queen bisect was offered “on piece” which means that someone cut it off the envelope. If it had been left on the envelope, the catalogue value would have been $1,600. Instead, it had an estimated value of only $175. The fact that it sold for $245 likely means that the bidder acknowledged not only its rarity, but also the fact that it was genuine. The last record we have of a copy of this bisect on a full cover was in 2004 when a copy sold for $1,700. The lesson for us all, which goes back over 100 years, is to never cut a rare stamp off the envelope.

Wonderful Jubilees

Lot 5159
Scott 51
Catalogue $50
Realized $106

Lot 5162
Scott 52
Catalogue $55
Realized $71

Lot 5164
Scott 53
Catalogue $37
Realized $125

Lot 5171
Scott 54
Catalogue $125
Realized $155

The Jubilees are definitely enjoying a period of popularity these days. The market is attracting many outstanding copies and collectors are willing to pay strong prices to acquire them. During the first six months of 2006, there have already been six new record prices. To realize how significant this is, look at the number of new record prices (“NRPs”) there were for the Jubilees during the past five years:

6 NRPs to date
5 NRPs
2 NRPs
0 NRPs
2 NRPs

It should come as no surprise that we are experiencing high prices for the set in 2006. After all this is one of Canada’s most popular sets which is recognized by collectors internationally. What is surprising to us is that there were not more new record prices in the past.

2¢ Admiral Coil - always in demand

Lot 5365
Scott 124
Catalogue $210
Realized $240

As a group, the Admiral coils have certainly done well in the past year and their popularity continues. We were a bit surprised when we looked in our records to realize that this is only the second sale of Scott 124 in investment quality in the past four years and it is the best price in this period.

Untagged error

Lot 5598
Unitrade 707 Tl
Catalogue $250
Realized $266

One of the more noticeable additions in the most recent Unitrade catalogue was a whole new group of “untagged error” stamps, i.e. stamps which are completely missing their tagging. As collectors know, tagging is a process used by Canada post to put barely visible tagging lines on a stamp so that they can be read and sorted by machine. In a review of the Unitrade catalogue, we noted that many of these errors had prices that were quite similar and since we seldom notice them at auction, we wondered what the basis was for that pricing. We must admit we are less questioning now that we see an example like the above where the catalogue price is clearly supported by the price realized. It’s just another one of those things we will have to keep an eye on to see how this area of the market develops.

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


Vance's next auction will be held on August 31, 2006.

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