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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

26 May, 2010 - Charles G. Firby Auctions

This was Charles Firby’s last regular auction and one to be proud of. While he has announced his retirement from offering regular auctions, we will hopefully see him offer one or more specialized or single owner auctions from time to time in future. Charles has given much to stamp collectors and we sincerely hope we can give something back. Our July Commentary will feature a celebration of his contributions to philately.

Fancy Cancels – Large & Small Queens

We start off with some examples of the fancy cancels from the Large & Small Queen sets. The prices realized show how popular these stamps are with collectors.


Large Queens


"4-Ring 39"
"Oshawa B"
"Fancy Propeller"

Lot 108
Unitrade 22ii
Estimate $250
Realized $293

Lot 114
Scott 23
Estimate $250
Realized $106

Lot 121
Scott 25
Estimate $20
Realized $21


"Leaf Cancel "
"Crown Cancel "

Lot 130
Scott 27
Estimate $160
Realized $69

Lot 161
Scott 30b
Estimate $35
Realized $202




Small Queens


"Way Letter "
"Fancy Intaglio Red"
"Ottawa Crown"

Lot 176
Scott 35
Estimate $25
Realized $37

Lot 177
Scott 35
Estimate $75
Realized $128

Lot 188
Unitrade 35ii
Estimate $50
Realized $27


"Bowmanville U.C. Crown"
"Jack O’Lantern"

Lot 204
Scott 37
Estimate $250
Realized $479

Lot 210
Scott 37
Estimate $100
Realized $240


Stewartl "

Lot 236
Scott 41
Estimate $120
Realized $586

Lot 237
Scott 41
Estimate $75
Realized $91



15¢ Large Queen – “Cracked Plate” variety


Lot 157
Unitrade 30v
Catalogue $900
Realized $1,810


What a beauty this is. It was nicely centered as Large Queens go and came in the blue gray shade (Unitrade 30b). Firby notes that the “cracked plate” variety comes from position #65 on the sheet. This copy was Fresh & XF, with full OG and a HR. It came with a 2003 V.G. Greene Certificate. The price realized set the new record.


Small Queens – Large Borders



Lot 231
Scott 41
Estimate $40
Realized $240

Lot 243
Scott 42
Estimate $50
Realized $320



Lot 251
Scott 44a
Estimate $50
Realized $746


Here we go again with our total admiration for early Canadian stamps that come with these large borders. Just look at the prices realized. We can’t be the only one who admires these stamps!

QE II – Rare Hibrite


Lot 483
Unitrade 459bpii
Catalogue $350
Realized $746


This appears to be such an ordinary looking stamp. It is used, has a straight edge and a relatively heavy cancel. But this little treasure is rare. Fewer than 100 used copies are known. The use of an ultraviolet lamp would help identify it as having been printed on Hibrite Paper. Not many modern stamps sell for more than double their catalogue value!


14¢ Virgin & Child – Black Omitted



Lot 525
Unitrade 774a
Catalogue $1,200
Realized $1,012


This is the 6th copy we have recorded since this variety first appeared back in 1993. All but one was centered low like this one. The best price to date was $700. Therefore this is a new record price and the significant advance from the previous.


37¢ Expo – Horizontal Strip of 5

Lot 549
Unitrade 1078 var
Catalogue $1,250
Realized $746


We finish off with this unusual strip of 5. As can be seen, “Canada 34” seems to be missing on the stamp at the right. The Firby description states “blue inscription ‘nearly’ missing cplty. on the R stamp.” What a shame. We looked carefully at that 5th stamp and could see a very faint outline. So instead of a genuine variety that could be listed, this may just be an ink error that may not repeat. It’s funny how collectors seem to accept some errors but not others. We still think it is a very interesting error, worthy of any serious collection.

We hate to come to this, the end of Firby’s regular auctions. He always impressed us with the material he presented and the knowledge he shared with us. We hope he will remain active in the stamp field and continue to inspire others by his excellent example



This sale had two new record prices.

Scott No.
Previous NRP
15¢ LQ - "cracked plate" variety
14¢ Virgin & Child, black omitted


The prices in this commentary were converted
at the rate of $1US = $1.06 Cdn.

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