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Recent Auction Highlights

30 October, 2012 - R. Maresch & Son

We liked the way Maresch commented on the benefits of selling stamps at auction in their forward:

"Once again, our last auction was a great success, with many lots both large and small significantly exceeding our pre-sale expectations, and the entire sale bringing 106% of estimate. This proves once again our contention that public unreserved auctions are the most profitable way for collectors to sell their collections when the time comes, as we consistently achieve these types of results for our owners. There is no substitute for experienced and professional lotting, presentation, advertising, promotion and marketing of your collection, and all of that is what you will receive when you entrust your treasures to us for sale."

We see evidence of their professionalism in the way Maresch carefully describes each lot. Every blemish is mentioned so there won't be any misunderstandings. The stamps are well illustrated to catch the bidder’s attention and hopefully promote lots of interest and competition.

This was a sale rich in all kinds of stamps. We start off with this beautiful plate block of the ½¢ Small Queen. Each stamp is NH.


Lot 441
Scott 34i
Estimate $350
Realized $575


While the colour of the regular ½¢ Small Queen is black, the above block was the grey-black variety. Unitrade gives each shade the same price of $90 per stamp, including 150% premium for being NH.

The Small Queens first began to be used in 1870, but the ½¢ only came into use in 1882. Why did it have a size so much smaller than the ½¢ Large Queen? Many have speculated that it was to save costs i.e. by adding more stamps per sheet. But Winthrop Boggs, in his book "The Postage Stamps and Postal History of Canada”, states at page231:

"Various explanations have been offered for the reduction in size of these stamps but none seemed to us to be convincing. The saving of paper would be insufficient to warrant the expense of new dies and plates. However within a year, the contractors were having difficulty in supplying the demand for stamps. The problem faced by the Post Office and the contractors was one of increasing the output of stamps with the labor and machinery available, and at as little extra cost as possible. The difficulty was met by the decision to produce smaller stamps and sheets of 200.”


Remarkable Jubilees

Lot 493
Scott 55
Catalogue $175
Realized $350


Lot 502
Scott 60
Catalogue $190
Realized $500

Lot 512
Scott 61
Catalogue $700
Realized $700


What beauties! The first two were so nicely centered. The third one had a clear circular 1897 date stamp. There were a number of other Jubilees in the sale with exceptional cancels. To see even one of these is special. To see so many of the ones contained in the catalogue was truly a pleasure.

Bluenose – Plate Block No. A3

Lot 681
Scott 158
Catalogue $3,000
Realized $1,600

We wondered why this lot didn't do better. It was described as superb and NH. In effect, each stamp in the block sold for $400 which is about its Scott value. So there is evidently no premium for the fact that the stamps were part of a plate block. We have to guess that there is no great demand for this stamp which is perhaps surprising because it is one of Canada's best-known stamps.


Modern Varieties

The sale contained an impressive number of modern varieties. Here are a few:


Lot 788
Scott 1676ii
Estimate $750
Realized $750

Lot 789
Scott 1676ii
Estimate $1,500
Realized $475


This is at least the 2nd time we have seen this variety come to market. An earlier offering of the oyster farming inscription plate block did not sell. It sold in this sale, but for a rather weak price. Perhaps this occurred because of its condition. It had a diagonal crease across the upper right stamp.

Lot 794
Unitrade 2103ai
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $1,000


Lot 795
Scott 2149i
Estimate $750
Realized $650


Lot 807
Scott 2142ii var
Estimate $1,500
Realized $650


Lot 808
Scott 2188a var
Estimate $650
Realized $650


Lot 809
Scott 2193a
Estimate $750
Realized $425


Lot 811
Scott 2239a var
Catalogue $4,000
Realized $775

All in all, this was a most interesting sale and one that we enjoyed taking the time to review.

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

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