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Recent Auction Highlights

13 April, 2011 - Eastern Auctions Limited

We sometimes get questions from our viewers about the value of a particular stamp. This can be a difficult question as most stamps are unique. By this we mean, their centering, perforations and gum, if any, are unique to that particular stamp. When a stamp, that is perfect, comes to auction, it’s probably the easiest for us to predict the outcome. But few stamps are in this category and so the guessing game begins. We had these thoughts in our mind as we reviewed the results of this interesting auction.


Early Pence – Well Centered

Lot 1949
Scott 17b
Catalogue $135
Realized $115

Lot 1953
Scott 19a
Catalogue $210
Realized $180


In an effort to limit costs, the Post Office in 1859 issued stamps that used as little paper as possible. In this they succeeded admirably, but almost all the stamps of this period had the narrowest of borders and few were as well centered as the ones shown above. As such, the stamps might have merited a higher price than they achieved in this auction. But Scott 17b had a short perf. at the bottom and Scott 19a had a heavy cancellation. These imperfections probably caused the lower prices that resulted, which is too bad as their centering is unusually good.


Maple Leafs – No Hinged Copies

Lot 2002
Scott 67
Catalogue $100
Realized $180

Lot 2003
Scott 68
Catalogue $100
Realized $180



Lot 2007
Scott 71
Catalogue $325
Realized $475


Here we have three stamps described as VF NH. The stamps come from an early set which is in very high demand if the stamps are NH, like these. The gum factor for these stamps was positive as was their demand factor. We next look at their perfs. which are reasonably positive. Finally, we look at their centering and this is where the issue lies. None of the three have perfect centering. This means that the bidders are torn between the four factors, gum, perfs, centering and rarity.

The result seems to us to be based mainly on rarity. In each case, the price realized exceeded the catalogue value for a NH copy by a good margin. The results were better than we would have expected.


Admirals – No Hinged Copies

Lot 2057
Scott 104
Catalogue $42
Realized $85

Lot 2078
Scott 115
Catalogue $80
Realized $170


Lot 2086
Scott 122
Catalogue $240
Realized $240

Lot 2099
Scott 132
Catalogue $55
Realized $70

Although the stamps of the Admiral set were issued in the billions, this set remains in high demand and prices for perfect copies can soar. Isn’t it ironic that the results above show how popular the low values are while the price for the highest denomination, i.e. the $1.00 stamp, remains in the dumps. We don’t understand this, but recognise that this is how collectors feel.

All four copies above were pretty well centered although not perfectly centered. But here again, the fact they come from a set in great demand means that they can still sell for more than catalogue, except of course, for the poor $1.00 stamp!


Coil – With Valuable End Strip


Lot 2146
Scott 182
Catalogue $250
Realized $160

Here’s a variety we seem to see more of at auction these days. To have a pair of coils with an end strip attached is a rare and unusual item to have in one’s collection.

A regular pair of Scott 182 coils would have a catalogue value of $48. Regular coils are not rare and usually command little premium. But Eastern put a $250 catalogue value on this pair because of the existence of the end strips or over five times their regular catalogue value. These values come from the Unitrade catalogue. The stamps ended up selling for less than catalogue, but still at a distinct premium to a regular pair of coils.


Modern Flag Stamps


Lot 2254
Unitrade 1167aiii
Catalogue $550
Realized $250


Lot 2260
Scott 1359f
Catalogue $900
Realized $552


The second of these two modern imperforates was centered to the right. We find it interesting how, after almost 150 years of printing stamps, our post office still can’t get them well centered!

The prices are just over 50% of catalogue. This seems to be almost the norm for so many of Canada’s modern rarities.

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




Eastern's next sale is a public auction to be held on May 28, 2011 in Halifax.

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