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Recent Auction Highlights

24 January, 2007 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

Our auction houses are starting off the year with a show of the most interesting stamps. This Vance auction contains all kinds of varieties and, most importantly, some real gems. We start off however, with a forgery, a category of collecting that surprisingly always seems to attract interest, even when the quality of reproduction is not that great, as demonstrated by the first stamp below:


Forgeries – always attract attention



Lot 5153
Scott 8
Estimate $350
Realized $303

We don’t know how auctioneers determine their estimates for forgeries of Canadian stamps, but looking at the results, we have to give Vance credit, their estimate was pretty good.


Nice Looking “CENTS” Stamps



Lot 5184
Scott 15
Catalogue $350
Realized $730

Lot 5200
Scott 17a
Catalogue $800
Realized $810

 



Lot 5226
Scott 20a
Catalogue $550
Realized $730

The “Cents” stamps were the first Canadian stamps to use the decimal system. They were issued in 1859, the year Canada switched to the decimal system for both its postage and its currency. The stamps were printed by the American Bank Note Company in New York. You will note how very narrow the margins are for this particular issue. Taking into account the type of printing machines used in those days, it is not surprising most of the stamps in this set were usually off-center.

This was Canada’s first set of stamps with perforations. Four different perforating machines were used over the 10 years the stamps were in use, each with slightly different perforations. This is according to Geoffrey Whitworth’s “The First Decimal Issue of Canada 1859-1868“. Getting as many stamps on the page as possible was the objective in order to save on the cost of paper. While the stamps of the set are not that rare, centered copies certainly are.

Each of the above stamps is mint and came with original gum. They are choice copies which, not surprisingly, attracted strong bids.


2¢ Large Queen on Watermarked Paper



Lot 5244
Scott 22a
Catalogue $2,500
Realized $2,575


The Large Queens were the first stamps to be printed in Canada rather than the US. Some of the most valuable are those printed on watermarked paper. It is not often we see a copy like this with such fine centering and rich colour. This is a stamp to be admired.

There are three types of watermark varieties in the set. Here is a list, showing, as appropriate, the Scott and Unitrade values.

Bothwell Clutha Watermark

21b
½ ¢
16,500
22a
2,500
24a
2,500
25a
3,200
27b
4,500
28a
12 ½¢
3,250
29c
15¢
5,000

 

Alexr. Pirie & Sons - Script Watermark

30d
15¢
11,000

The Bothwell and Pirie watermarks were found on paper produced in Scotland. As can be seen, these are valuable stamps. In the past ten years, we have recorded the sale of only one copy of Scott 21b and nine copies of Scott 30d.


Stitch Watermark

21viii
½ ¢
1,500
23ii
1,000
24vi
1,000
25vi
600
27vii
1,500
27viii
1,750


The Scott catalogue does not list any of the above stitch watermark varieties, but Unitrade does, all the above six varieties. Stitch watermarks on the back of a stamp are caused by the paper making blanket that is stitched together at intervals to form a continuous band. As the wet paper rolls over the stitching in the blanket, it is imbedded with the stitch watermark.


Small Queens with double perforations


Lot 5349
Scott 41
Estimate $600
Realized $420

Lot 5351
Scott 41
Estimate $100
Realized $139


You won’t find these varieties in any catalogue. They are for the collector who has everything and is looking for something quite unusual. They look like someone did a job on them with a defective sewing machine.


An Outstanding $3.00 Jubilee



Lot 5471
Scott 63
Catalogue $950
Realized $2250

 

They just don’t come much finer than this, described by Vance as a “spectacular stamp with mathematical centering”. We don’t keep track of prices for used copies of this set but would guess that this must be one of the best. Many of these high dollar jubilees were canceled with “killer strikes”. As a result, one does not often see a copy with such a very light cancel. It is a real pleasure to see such a beautiful example of this stamp.

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

 

There were 4 new record prices in the sale.

Scott No.
Description
NRP
Previous NRP
591a
6¢ QEII printed on gum
215
196
953a
36¢ Parliament imperforate pr.
262
260
1171c
44¢ Walrus 13.8 x 13.1
430
424
1177i
74¢ Wapiti on Rolland paper
790
622


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