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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

26 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:


3¢ Large Queen on Bothwell paper

Lot 5349
Unitrade 25viii
Catalogue $200
Realized $212

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.


20¢ Small Queen - Beautifully Cancelled


Lot 5429
Scott 46
Catalogue $115
Realized $118

What a stamp, so beautifully cancelled with the Ottawa crown. This is the kind of stamp that collectors dream of. Vance put an estimate of $150 on it, well above its catalogue value, but it went for the catalogue value. We think the buyer did well.

New record prices

Lot 5787
Scott 135a
Catalogue $600
Realized $635

Lot 5818
Scott 149vi-153vi
Catalogue $1,687
Realized $1,530


Lot 5913
Scott 221a
Catalogue $340
Realized $405

Lot 5934
Scott 245b
Catalogue $900
Realized $960


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.


6¢ Osler – Unique Variety


Lot 5988
Scott 495
Estimate $2,500
Realized $1,850


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


43¢ Swiety Mikolay

Lot 6072
Scott 1499b
Catalogue $3,500
Realized $1,700

This block of six contains two pairs of the “imperforate between” variety. It comes from the 1993 set of Christmas stamps issued by Canada Post. This set shows Santa Claus images from 4 different countries, including this one from Poland.

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.

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

This sale had 5 new record price:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
7¢ Edward VII, imperf.
3¢ Confederation, imperf.
149iv - 153vi
1-5¢ Scroll, tête bêche imperf.
5¢ George V, imperf. vertically
$1 Ramsey, imperf.


Vance’s next sale will take place on October 15, 2009.


©2009, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada