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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

17 February, 2010 - R. Maresch & Son

This was one of the strongest Maresch auctions we have seen in some time. The more we looked through it, the more treasures we found. Few could beat this London to London semi-official airmail stamp:

Lot 918
Unitrade CLP6
Catalogue $50,000
Realized $26,000

This stamp was described as fresh, full original gum, tiny thin on one top perforation, but otherwise very fine. It is one of only 9 unused copies and 1 cover that are known to exist. We wish we had been there to see the bidding.

We received the following details of how this stamp was discovered and came to auction from Maresch:

“Last fall a gentleman from out of town walked into the offices of R. Maresch and Son, Toronto stamp auctioneers, bringing with him a stamp and cover collection in a few cartons.

Although this is a daily occurrence there, this particular consignment would prove to hold an astonishing surprise. Most of the contents were the remains of an old time collection, and had little commercial value, but neatly mounted on a page in the depths of the collection surrounded by hundreds of ordinary stamps, was a "London to London" Semi Official Airmail stamp.

This stamp is the rarest by far of all of these issues. It was designed and manufactured for prepayment of letters carried by plane from London, Ontario, to London, England in late 1927, aboard the plane "Sir John Carling". A $25,000 prize was to be paid to the pilots of this daring and historic flight upon arrival in England by the Carling Brewery Co.

Unfortunately the letters, plane and pilots were all lost at sea, probably off the coast of Newfoundland and no letters bearing these stamps were ever recovered. This rare stamp is one of about nine genuine ones known. Many of the surviving examples are in the hands of museums, making them unavailable for collectors, and thus the stamp is highly coveted by Canadian airmail and semi-official collectors alike.

Although its history and provenance are shrouded by mystery, and the owner does not know how it was originally acquired, the stamp was sent for and received a certificate of authenticity, and was featured in Maresch’s February 2010 auction sale. The stamp realized $29,900 (auction hammer price and buyer’s commission), which turns out to be even more than the prize of $25,000 originally offered for the flight.”


Large Queen – Multiple with a rare watermark

Lot 334
Scott 22a
Catalogue $9,000
Realized $3,750

This rare strip of three of the 2¢ Large Queen showed large parts of the ‘G. BOTH’ and ’UTHA M’ of the 2 line watermark. It came from the famous Lichtenstein collection which is a very respectable provenance. Probably, because it wasn’t well centered and had some short perforations, it did not attract a strong price. Despite this, we think the successful bidder was lucky to capture such a rare item for his or her collection. Here’s how the full watermark originally looked:



Outstanding Small Queens

This was the part of this sale that impressed us the most. The quality was amazing. Here are a few examples

Lot 384
Scott 35
Catalogue $47
Realized $145

Lot 393
Unitrade 36i
Catalogue $225
Realized $850


Lot 415
Scott 40e
Catalogue $1,250
Realized $1,650

Lot 428
Scott 44
Catalogue $220
Realized $1,300


Lot 436
Scott 46
Catalogue $475
Realized $1,500

Lot 439
Scott 47
Catalogue $475
Realized $2,200

We couldn’t get over the $850 price paid for the 2¢ Small Queen. It was NH and had almost perfect centering. It was from the more common Ottawa printing, rather than the Montreal printing.

50¢ Edward VII

Lot 544
Unitrade 95i
Catalogue $4,050
Realized $6,500

Unitrade gives this stamp a value of $4,050. A month earlier, a copy went for $4,250. Now a copy has gone for $6,500. It always amazes us to see how far collectors will go to get the best. The previous owner must have had great satisfaction in seeing his good judgment vindicated. We can also imagine how happy the new owner must be to have acquired what is clearly one of the best copies of this stamp to come to auction, even if it was at considerable cost.

We were advised that the stamp received very strong bidding from at least 10 bidders.

We must admit that seeing stamps like us and the previously mentioned 2¢ Small Queen is one of the greatest rewards we have in preparing these stamp auction reviews.

Quebec Tercentenary - Plate block

Lot 554
Unitrade 103 PB
Catalogue $4,800
Realized $8,750


These stamps come from the set Canada issued in 1908 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Quebec. The scene shows the arrival of Jacques Cartier, the famous French explorer, at Quebec.

The plate block was well centered and NH. Maresch described it as a showpiece, one of the gems of the sale. We can only agree. The price worked out to just over $1,000 per stamp. That’s quite a jump over the Scott catalogue price of $625 per stamp. A strong price for such a rare item should surprise no one.

New discovery from the oil patch

Lot 841
Scott 2268a
Estimate $2,500
Realized $1,650

It took us a few minutes to find this stamp booklet in the catalogue. It was issued in the 2008 to celebrate two oil and gas anniversaries. We would definitely not put it on our list of Canada’s most beautiful stamps. That being said, this booklet, which has no die cutting, is another of Canada’s modern imperforate varieties. Maresch have not previously seen this variety, nor had we.

Our compliments to Maresch for a most interesting auction. For more details please click on the highlights button.




This sale had two new record prices:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
2¢ Small Queen
50¢ Edward VII

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