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Recent Auction Highlights

27 February, 2010 - Eastern Auctions Limited

This was a most interesting auction to review. We were impressed to see such a strong offering only one month after Eastern’s very successful sale of the Crossings Collection that produced 106 new record prices. We start off our review with this rare block of 4 from the “Cents” issue of 1859:

Lot 219
Scott 14
Catalogue $340
Realized $850

While not exactly beautiful, we have featured this block because of Eastern’s comment that “Used blocks of the Cents issue are very scarce”. The Scott catalogue value for 4 used copies of this stamp is $340. Eastern put an estimated $750 on it and it sold for $850. This strong price shows the value the bidders placed on the block. When we look at this lot and the shape the stamps are in, we can only conclude that the real value is in the scarcity of the block, not in the value of the individual stamps.


Notable Large Queens

Lot 236
Unitrade 22iii
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $1,250

This stamp contained the well known “Burr” variety which is found to the left of the Queen’s head. It was F-VF OG, centered slightly high and had somewhat disturbed gum. Eastern noted that Unitrade does not provide a price for mint copies of this variety. We checked our research records and could not find any reference to a previous sale of a mint copy. So this was clearly a rare offering.

Lot 244
Scott 25
Catalogue $1,900
Realized $2,200

We greatly admired this 3¢ Large Queen. It is so unusual to see a copy of this stamp so well centered and with such large borders. A careful inspection could identify several short perforations on the left, but when you look at the whole stamp, these aren’t apparent and, in fact, the evenness of the other perforations does seem to add to the stamp’s attractiveness.

The positive attributes of this stamp are its large margins, excellent centering and the fact it had large part original gum. There were several negative features, including a bent lower left corner perf. and, as mentioned some short perforations on the left.

The bidders undoubtedly fretted over these positive and negative features. The winner must have thought, like us, that this was an unusually beautiful and rare stamp, seldom seen and worth every penny.


1¢ Small Queen – the rare 11½ x 12 perf. variety

Lot 257
Scott 35d
Catalogue $350
Realized $1,050

To see one of these rare Small Queens with the 11½ x 12 perfs this nice always gets our attention. What a lovely copy. It was well centered and NH.

Scott notes that these 1¢ varieties were printed in both Ottawa and Montreal and can be separated only by differences in paper and gum. Eastern identified the above 1¢ as coming from the Montreal printing. It possesses the full streaky original gum characteristic of this printing.


Imperforate pairs – at Record Prices

Lot 305
Scott 71a
Catalogue $1,450
Realized $1,600

Lot 309
Unitrade 73i
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $1,600

These imperforate pairs from the Maple Leaf set come in at least three types. Those with no gum are the most common and usually sell for less than catalogue. Those that are LH command full catalogue and those that are NH like the above two are highly sought after. Both the above pairs were as good as they come and sold for new record prices.


Admirals – Both at record prices

Lot 343
Unitrade 104ix
Catalogue $240
Realized $425


The above 1¢ and is the first of this particular shade variety we have ever recorded. We find this quite surprising after all these years. The regular 1¢ stamp is “green” on plain white paper. This one was described by Eastern as “dull grey green” and was printed on greenish paper.

Lot 379
Scott 120a
Catalogue $525
Realized $2,100

The above 50¢ Admiral on the other hand, has appeared at auction on a number of occasions. It is also a colour variety. The normal stamp is “black”. This one is “grey black”. It was the first time the price for a Scott 120a had exceeded $2000.

F1b – an exceptional copy

Lot 465
Scott F1b
Catalogue $475
Realized $2,600

This beautiful stamp had everything. It was well centered, XF NH, and had post office fresh colour, an early printing of this key shade. What else can one say about a stamp as attractive as this except to say we greatly envy the new owner.

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



This sale had 8 new record prices:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
15¢ Large Queen
½¢ Maple leaf imperf. pair
10¢ Maple leaf imperf. pair
1¢ Admiral
50¢ Admiral
2¢ Registered
2¢ War Tax
2¢ War Tax

©2010, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada