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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 137 - 17 November, 2010

Unitrade OX2 - An Astonishing Price
At Eastern Auctions

Lot 752
Unitrade OX2
Catalogue $1,950
Realized $4,750

The above beautifully engraved Officially Sealed stamp, well centered and unhinged, sold at the November 6, 2010 Eastern Sale in Halifax for a new record price.

History of Past Sales

We have recorded the sale of six copies of this stamp over the last 10 years with prices ranging from $340 to $1,250. As well, a block of four appeared in the Michael Robert’s collection sold by Eastern on December 1, 2006. It was LH and realized $2,100. It is clear to see that the above price realized of $4750 in Eastern’s latest public auction is a new record price and an extraordinary one at that.


Some of you may wonder why these types of stamps were issued in the first place. We found the following comments particularly helpful in this regard.

Glenn Hansen’s “The Guidebook & Catalogue of Canadian Stamps (2nd Edition) states:

“In 1902, a very attractive seal of quite large size was produced which had a portrait of Queen Victoria, adapted from the $5.00 Law Stamp of the period. This was black in color on bluish paper.... All of these stamps were gems from the engraver’s art. None can be classed as less than scarce.… Quantities issued are not known but are presumed to be small.”

Clifton A. Howes “Canadian Postage Stamps and Stationery”, published by Quarterman Publications Inc., had these comments from an article by Major Evans in the Philatelic Record:

“Letters in Canada, as in the United States, very frequently have on the outside the well-known notice containing the address of the sender, and a request that the letter be returned if not delivered within a certain time. These of course, are not opened by the Dead Letter Office and, in fact, I think, are ordered not to be sent there, but are returned direct from the office to which they were originally addressed or from the head office of the district. On the other hand, those that have no indication of the address of the sender on the outside are sent to the Dead Letter Office, and there necessarily opened; but neither of these classes thus properly dealt with is considered to require the officially-sealed label. It is only if one of the former class, having the sender’s name and address on the outside, is sent to the Dead Letter Office and there opened in error that the officially-sealed label is applied to show that such letter has been opened officially, and not by an unauthorized person.”

On Vacation in Florida

Our viewers may have noticed that there have been no additions to our website during the past month. Your editor has been on vacation in Florida during this period enjoying the beautiful weather on the beaches at Siesta Key with his family. Now that we have returned to Montreal, there is much catching up to do and we will do our best to get things up to date in the near future.

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