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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

23 June, 2012 - Eastern Auctions Limited

We were nicely surprised, in reviewing the auction catalogue for this sale, to see how extensive Eastern’s services were to collectors. These can be summarized as follows:

• An extensive newspaper format price list every six weeks
• A Rare Stamp list of individual offerings every three weeks
• A Selected Rarities catalogue offered every four months
• The largest inventory of B.N.A. stamps anywhere in the world
• An extensive stock of philatelic literature
• A large inventory of Federal and Provincial duck stamps
• A huge stock of B.N.A. plate proofs and die proofs

The firm has probably been listing these services for some time, but we only just noticed it. Details may be viewed at www.

This public auction, held in Halifax in June, offered collectors the usual high quality Canadian, British North American and foreign stamps we expect from Eastern. We noted numerous plate proofs, die proofs and a large selection of modern varieties.

We start off with this Railway cover which drew a noticeably strong bid:

Lot 330
Scott 4
Estimate $ 2,500
Realized $5,250


This envelope, posted an 1858, had a 3p beaver stamp on it which came from the corner margin of the sheet. In the middle of the cover, on the front of the envelope, you can see a faint image of the wax seal which was placed on the back. The cancellation is very clear and fortunately, does not distract from the stamp itself.

6¢ Large Queen - "Brown" Shade


Lot 348
Unitrade 27v
Catalogue $4,400
Realized $3,750


The regular 6¢ stamp from this set is dark brown. Scott lists two color varieties being “yellow brown” and “black brown”. The Unitrade catalogue lists a further colour being the above “brown” shade.

The above copy was LH and “well centered for this tremendously difficult stamp”. We admire the quality of the perforations which isn’t always the case for the Large Queens.

This was only the second time we have recorded this rare variety. An earlier copy sold in 2001 for $1050.


1¢ Small Queen – Perf. 11 ½ x 12


Lot 352
Scott 35d
Catalogue $350
Realized $1,150


A regular NH 1¢ Small Queen, perf. 12, has a catalogue value of $47, whereas the above perf. 11½ x 12 variety catalogues at $350. It’s not often we see a variety like this in such outstanding shape. Beautifully centered and with superior perforations, it was no surprise the stamp received a solid bid of over 3 x catalogue.

The price was a strong one, but previous copies have sold for as high as $1,300.


Outstanding Numerals

Lot 379
Scott 77
Catalogue $70
Realized $260

Lot 382
Scott 83
Catalogue $800
Realized $1,600


It must be very special for an auctioneer to be able to present stamps of this quality. After years of looking at auction catalogues, we know how truly rare stamps like these are. But unlike so many of the modern varieties that are rare and sell for less than catalogue, these early Canadian stamps are much sought after and consistently sell for multiples of catalogue. Happy the seller in this case, the buyer and, of course, the auction house!


Well Centered Admirals


Lot 410
Unitrade 108c
Catalogue $120
Realized $210

Lot 415
Unitrade 113a
Catalogue $255
Realized $450

Well centered Admirals seem to be more plentiful than the previous Numerals, but they are chased after just as fiercely as the above prices can attest. Both of the above copies are so nicely centered and were described by Eastern as XF NH GEM. We note that neither is the regular stamp. The 3¢ is the dry printing variety while the 7¢ is the olive bistre shade variety. The price for the 7¢ Admiral is a new record price.


12¢ Quebec Bridge

Lot 450
Scott 156
Catalogue $300
Realized $1,050

This plate block, issued in 1929, features the Quebec Bridge. It comes from the Scroll set that includes the famous 50¢ Bluenose.

Any collector, from beginner to advanced, would be proud to own a plate block as beautiful as this. Judging from the price, it was no beginner that placed the final successful bid. We have noted an increased demand for this 12¢ stamp in recent auctions, and this seems to be reflected in the above strong price.


17¢ Antique Mandora


Lot 498
Unitrade 878i
Catalogue $9,000
Realized $4,250

The image in this plate block is certainly striking. The variety it represents is called the “triple error” because it is untagged, printed on the gum side and is missing its gold inscriptions. We have noticed this stamp offered for sale at auction in the past couple of years where it did not sell and this surprised us. So we were most interested to see how it would do in this sale.

The result was very positive. The plate block sold for a new record price, up from the previous $2,600 in 2007.


C3 Airmail – The Missing “6”


Lot 526
Scott C3d var
Estimate $750
Realized $800

Scott describes C3d as “pair, one without surcharge”. This certainly describes the top two stamps in the above block. But the error in this block is not a printing error, rather it is a “fold over”. In fact, the missing “6” was printed on the gum side. Eastern commented as follows:

“The certificate identifies this block as C3d – with and without surcharge. This block however, clearly shows different characteristics and is in our opinion much rarer, in fact quite likely unique.”

It may take you a minute to figure it all out, as it did us, but we found this explanation most interesting.

A Beauty from Newfoundland

Lot 253
Scott 41
Catalogue $42
Realized $450

We so admire this stamp and regularly look for it when we receive a new auction catalogue. We can honestly say that this is one of the most beautiful we have ever seen. We’re glad it received such a strong price.

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


This sale had 4 new record prices:

Previous NRP
6¢ Large Queen, brown
7¢ Admiral, deep olive bistre
3¢ Coronation - imperforate pair
878i PBL
17¢ Mandora - triple error plate block

©2012, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada