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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

2 March, 2011 - Eastern Auctions Limited

After a quiet January and February things are beginning to pick up in our Canadian stamp auctions. But there is uncertainty in the air once again. Two years ago we were worried about the severe downturn in the financial markets. Now it is centered on the devastation in Japan following one of the most severe earthquakes witnessed in our lifetimes and also a civil war in Libya. It’s at times like this that it is comforting to have a hobby to divert one’s attention from the awful news!

We found these two nice looking mint Small Queens in the sale:

Lot 1928
Scott 35
Catalogue $47
Realized $46

Lot 1931
Scott 36
Catalogue $75
Realized $50

Both copies were described as XF and unused.


6¢ Small Queen


Lot 1980
Scott 71
Catalogue $325
Realized $250


Before the auction, we wondered how this stamp would do. It was described as VF NH. This is a fair description particularly as the borders surrounding the image are even. But something kept the price usually low. It could be the narrowness of the borders on the sides or the lack of evenness in the perforations on each side. Take away these deficiencies and the price would likely have gone a lot higher. Bidders can be hard at times if a stamp is less than perfect.


Untagged Stamps



Lot 2216
Unitrade 684 T1
Catalogue $100
Realized $44

Lot 2241
Unitrade 924 T1
Catalogue $250
Realized $116


The price for these untagged stamps is clearly well above the prices that would have been received for ordinary tagged stamps. As a regular stamp, Scott 684 is listed at $1.25 and Scott 924 at 60¢. So there is a major premium given to these untagged stamp varieties. But the prices realized as shown above, are well below their Unitrade values.

Many of the Unitrade values for untagged stamps were introduced a few years ago, probably as rough estimates pending their experience at auction. What we’re seeing in almost all cases is that the prices at auction are well less than Unitrade values even though they continue to be well in excess of those for the regular stamp.

There is perhaps a new concern with respect to these untagged stamps. In the latest edition of the Canadian Stamp News, there was an article by the Editor Brett Evans entitled “Fake Modern Stamps Making Rounds in Southern Ontario”. One paragraph in the article, which sent shivers down our spine, referred to a collector’s reaction on hearing about forged stamps being sold to Canadian consumers:

“Another collector….of Brampton, Ontario, first heard of it when he was asked to look out for untagged 2007 Lighthouse booklet P-rate definitives “

Would concern us was a reference to the word “untagged” as it implied that these fake Canadian stamps might be both forged and also untagged. What a nightmare this must be for collectors and auction houses!

Modern Block with the Perforation Variety


Lot 2261
Scott 1370a
Catalogue $375
Realized $210


You might think that a corner block that sells for only 56% of catalogue is bad news. But consider this, in the 2005 Unitrade catalogue, the block with the above perforation variety was listed at $150. In the 2007 edition it jumped to $300 and currently is listed at $375. By comparison, a regular corner block is currently listed $7.50. What this tells us is that this is a scarce variety with a great potential and we think the successful bidder who acquired the above block did very well.

Combined Imperforate and Gutter Pairs


Lot 2277
Unitrade 1698ii
Catalogue $300
Realized $210

What a combination! Two imperforate pairs and a gutter block. What more could a collector ask for. This is one of those varieties with very rare features that can be bought inexpensively and there aren’t many of these available to collectors.

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



Eastern’s upcoming sales include a mail auction on April 13th and a public auction on May 28th.

©2011, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada