Canadian Stamp Auctions
Recent Auction Highlights
August, 2009 - Vance Auctions Ltd.
It has been a full year since the world’s financial crisis hit us. Over the past year we have seen what have been the worst economic times in living memory for most of us. A year ago, we could clearly see the signs of a deteriorating stamp market, which included lower prices, fewer new records and, in many cases, a large number of lots that simply did not sell.
Now, a year later, along comes this Vance sale with 5 new record prices. It takes us a minute to check our figures to make sure we’ve got it right and we have. It is encouraging, and although we have been warned by many commentators that we are not out of the woods yet, things do seem to be recovering in the auction market.
This sale had some lovely material. Some of the common stamps it offered were outstanding copies, like the two below:
Large Queen on Bothwell paper
This was the best centered of all the Large Queens in the sale, with a beautiful light cancel. It was printed on the rare Bothwell paper. Unitrade notes that this paper can be identified by the distinct vertical wove of the paper. If this stamp had happened to be on the part of the sheet with the Bothwell watermark sign, its catalogue value would have been $500 rather than $200.
Small Queen - Beautifully Cancelled
These are 4 of the stamps that sold for new record prices in this sale. Lot 5818 had the most noticeable advance, rising from the previous record of $900 set in 2006, to the new $1,530 level. Quite impressive!
We note that these four stamps span the 1917–1938 period. This is significant as it includes the period of stamps issued after the Admirals. For the past year, we have been noticing a strengthening of the prices for stamps in this period which includes the Scroll, Arch and Cameo sets. We also note that all 4 were imperforates, a category of stamps that has fared reasonably well over the past year.
Osler – Unique Variety
This was a surprise. This unique cross gutter pair with the missing row of perforations was offered with an estimate of only $2,500.
We first became aware of this variety when it appeared in the May 26, 2009 issue of the Canadian Stamp News. The newspaper’s editor, Bret Evans, reported that collector Stewart Keeley of St. Catherines, purchased it from a non-collector. He held onto it for a number of years and then contacted St. Catherine’s dealer, Ray Houtby to sell the stamp. The stamp was sent to the Vincent Graves Greene Foundation for certification. After the cerfication was received, the stamp was sold to a new owner who put it up for auction in this sale. For such a rare stamp, this series of transfers in such a short period is quite unusual
Although the price realized was well below catalogue, it is a strong price for a block of six according to our 10 year pricing records. In the past, similar blocks of 6 have sold for prices ranging from $1,200 to $2,325.
This sale had 5 new record price:
next sale will take place on October 15, 2009.