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Recent Auction Highlights

15 October, 2009 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

A few years ago, we wrote about the Postmaster in Port Hood, Nova Scotia, who in 1899 took the step of having a number of low value stamps overprinted without proper authorization. These stamps were subsequently identified as Scott 88B & 88C,

In this sale, one of these very rare Port Hood stamps appeared:

Lot 6103
Scott 88B
Catalogue $7,750
Realized $8,450

Our research after the sale made us realize how very rare this unusual stamp is. In the past ten years, we have only recorded the sale of two other copies and both were fakes. Before that, genuine used copies had been sold at auction in 1974 and 1988. Both sold for less than $700. In 1988, a pair consisting of Scott 88B and 88C were sold together and realized $8,960.

So, the fact that a single mint copy of Scott 88B sold for $8,450 is noteworthy. As usual, only light traces of the overprint remain. The stamp had original gum and, most importantly, came with three certificates of authentification.

Admiral Imperforates - not quite perfect


Lot 6185
Scott 114a
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $1,220

Lot 6194
Scott 118a
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $1,425


We wondered how these two Admiral imperforates would do. If they had only been lightly hinged or not hinged, no doubt the price paid for them would have been solid as these imperforate pairs are in great demand. But the 7¢ stamp had a horizontal crease and the 10¢ stamp a trivial surface scuff. In the end, they went for 60% to 70% of catalogue.


3¢ Overprint – Period after “3”


Lot 6344
Scott 191iii
Estimate $100
Realized $70


We had no record of this variety in our research records, that is until a copy sold last June in a Vance sale. The price paid was $69. The one in this sale sold for $1 more. We note that the variety was recognized for the first time in this year’s 2010 Unitrade catalogue, but no price was given. Unitrade identified its position in the sheet as “UR, psn. 87.”

Isn’t it amazing that it took 77 years from the time the stamp was issued in 1932 until 2009 for this variety to be discovered. There must be an interesting story here!


8¢ Telephone – Imperforate pair reaches record price

Lot 6519
Scott 641a
Catalogue $1,600
Realized $1,820

This is such a beautiful stamp. We admire the design and colours. Vance notes that only 25 imperforate pairs exist. In the past few years, the best price for a pair was just over $1,000. Now a pair has sold for $1,820. That’s quite a leap.


Rare Inverted Strip


Lot 6568
Unitrade 1376b & 1376vi
Catalogue $34,000
Realized $16,000

Vance described this unusual variety as follows:

“ Vertical INVERTED CENTER GUTTER STRIP OF 3 of the $2 Truro School House. Also shows some printing in the top margin. A WONDERFUL SHOWPIECE OF THESE RARITIES FROM THE HAMILTON FIND. VF NH.”

We were curious about how the catalogue price was determined and found the answer in Unitrade, as follows:

Unitrade 1376b
2 copies with inscriptions inverted ……………. 2 x $12,000
(70 copies known)

Unitrade 1376vi
1 copy with the brown cutting guide “invert”….. 1 x $10,000
(10 copies known)

Total of …… .$34,000

These varieties were discovered in Moncton NB and Hamilton ON.

Air Post Imperforates - Rare corner blocks

Lot 6597
Scott C8a
Catalogue $1,900
Realized $1,850


Lot 6598
Scott CE1a
Catalogue $1,900
Realized $1,820


Both blocks sold for record prices. We have noted in recent years that Vance has consistently offered a large number of imperforates in its sales. The prices realized for these have generally been strong, indicating that there is a good demand for these varieties. As we have noted in the past, this is not surprising as there is only a limited supply of these stamps and they are usually in very good condition. This, in itself, should not be surprising as they are generally owned by serious collectors who take good care of them.



These souvenir sheets from China are certainly doing well in Canadian auctions these days. Here are three from this sale that attracted healthy prices:


Lot 1845
Scott 566a VF NH
Catalogue $700
Realized $975



Lot 1847
Scott 782 VF NH
Catalogue $1,200
Realized $1,390




Lot 1848
Scott 798a Disturbed gum
Estimate $700
Realized $1,680


All in all, this was a strong sale with a number of record prices. For more details, please click on the Highlights button.


This sale had 5 new record price:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
1¢ Port Hood
8¢ Telephone imperforate
7¢ Airmail imperforate
16¢ Air post imperforate
20¢ Special delivery imperforate


Vance’s next sale will take place on December 2, 2009.


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