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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

29 November, 2007 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

This year is ending on a high note. So far this year, we have recorded 142 new record prices, but now we can add 8 from this sale and 8 from other recent sales to bring the total to 158. Vance Carmichael noted in our recent call to him, that the collecting of imperforate pairs is an area that is attracting great attention these days. He said that in a recent auction in the U.S., a set of blocks of the Canadian Admiral imperforates sold for $52,000 U.S.. That’s impressive!


Quebec Tercentenary - Imperforate pairs

Lot 5991
Scott 96a
Catalogue $525
Realized $1,625

Lot 5995
Scott 97a
Catalogue $525
Realized $1,625

Lot 6025
Scott 103a
Catalogue $525
Realized $1,850

There were 8 imperforate pairs offered from the Quebec Tercentenary set, including the 3 above. All but one pair sold for new record prices. Only the 15¢ didn’t make it, because its colouring was a bit faded. All pairs had gum.

According to a discussion we once had with Bill Maresch, imperforate pairs with gum were made when the stamps first appeared. The colour on them was stronger and they had a mottled dark, unshiny gum. Towards the end of the use of the set, a second set of imperforate sheets was printed. These had the gum of issue and their colour was lighter. It is possible that one of the sheets was stuck down and had to be washed to free it.

We asked Vance Carmichael how it was that the prices for these imperforate pairs reached such a high level in his auction. He said there were two very determined bidders, a Canadian and American, each wanting the set. In the end, it went to the Canadian bidder.

King George VI - Imperforate Blocks

Lot 6270
Scott 231c – 236a Blocks
Catalogue $3,000
Realized $4,475

This lot included 8 imperforate blocks from the 1937 King George VI set, including the 3¢ stamp shown above. In the past two years, eight sets have sold at prices ranging from $1,375 to $3,450. All of these had full gum and were unhinged.

What’s different about the above blocks is that they have no gum. Ordinarily this would have condemned them, but obviously this didn’t happen in this sale. We are quite surprised at the result, but also pleased. Imagine in today’s market, strong bids for modern imperforate stamps with no gum. What’s going to happen next!

Scott 139v - Very unusual overprints

Lot 6113
Unitrade 139v
Catalogue $750
Realized $342


There seem to be a great number of varieties of Scott 139. There is a normal overprint, followed by a double overprint and then a triple one, there are pairs with only one stamp overprinted and there are both Die I and Die II overprints.

But the oddest of all, in our view, is this vertical pair. It attracted a low price because it was off center and had some black adhesions on the back. Despite this, we wanted to show it to our viewers because it is unusual and seldom seen. In fact it is not a regular stamp, but an essay. We presume a post office official wanted to see the two sizes of print so that a choice of the best one could be made.

QE II – Imperforate pair

Lot 6429
Scott 1683a
Catalogue $600
Realized $790

Pairs of this stamp have sold for as high as $650 in the past five years and as low as $250. That’s quite a spread, but typical of prices for modern varieties. Now, we have seen in this auction, a bidder push the price up to $790 which is a new record high.

Are these QEII stamps popular? Check on the internet with Wikipedia. It quotes Canada Post spokesperson Cindy Daoust as stating, in 2005, that stamps bearing the image of the Queen now “outsell other stamps, 10 to1, whether it’s a commemorative edition or a definitive one”.

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

This sale had 8 new record prices:

Scott No.
1/2¢ Quebec Tercentenary - imperf
1¢ Quebec Tercentenary - imperf
2¢ Quebec Tercentenary - imperf
5¢ Quebec Tercentenary - imperf
7¢ Quebec Tercentenary - imperf
10¢ Quebec Tercentenary - imperf
20¢ Quebec Tercentenary - imperf
47¢ QE II - imperf.


This sale marked Vance’s 35th anniversary of mail auctions. Our congratulations to the Carmichael family and all their hard working staff. They can be very proud of what they have accomplished. We salute them and wish them another 35 years of success!

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