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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 174 - 17 January, 2014

Sale of the Unique
5¢ Large Queen Imperforate Pair

Scott 26b


On February 22, 2014 Brigham Auctions will present Part 1 of its Large Queen sale. It will offer stamps from the collection of Ron Brigham and is just the beginning of a series of auctions that will take place over the next year. Included in the auction will be the unique copy of the above imperforate pair.

In our Commentary No. 2 of January 17, 2000, we presented the following comments concerning this pair at the time of its listing in the Scott catalogue:

The 5¢ Large Queen Imperforate

The new listing of Scott 26b is of particular interest. The 5¢ imperforate pair had once been owned by the well known philatelist Julian Smith who provided the following details in a letter: The pair of stamps has no gum. He bought them at a Sissons sale in 1975 at which time he was assured by Jim Sissons and other dealers that, as far as they knew, the pair was unique. Mr. Smith paid $2,900 for the pair. It had been illustrated on page 247 of Bogg's "The Postage Stamps and Postal History of Canada". But the pair illustrated in Bogg's had been trimmed by the time Mr. Smith bought it in order to remove a small pinhole from the margin. In 1986, it was sold again at a Maresch sale with a "Vincent Greene certificate". Maresch put a $2,500 estimate on the pair, but it realized $5,750. In 1995, Ian Kimmerly sold what was described as a single copy of the imperforate. The price realized was $650. This particular variety has had quite a history!

History of Sales

Our earliest record of sales of the pair goes back to the Dale Lichtenstein collection on December 7, 1970. Lot 607 shows it with a pinhole in the margin below the left stamp. The stamp sold for $600 U.S. at that time. In 1975, the pair was again offered for sale by J.N. Sissons and sold for $2,900. Between 1970 and 1975, the pinhole was eliminated by trimming a small portion from the bottom margin of the left stamp. It then appeared in a Maresch sale in 1986 where it sold for $5,750. That was the last time it sold, according to our records.


Catalogue & Auction Values

A review of the Unitrade catalogue shows that from the year 2000 to 2014, the pair had a constant catalogue value of $15,000. Several years earlier, in 1998, the catalogue value was $10,000.

Because the pair is unique and does not appear to have been offered for sale since 1986, it is very hard to put a market value on it. Like so many things in the stamp world, much will depend on how many bidders will show an interest in this stamp. Obviously if only one collector turns up, the price will not be very high, but if a number of collectors compete in bidding for the stamp, there is no limit on how high the price could go, because the stamp is unique.

As this commentary is being written, there is only one month to go until the auction takes place. We look forward with great interest to see how this pair does and we are sure that Mr. Brigham and his associates will share our interest.

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