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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

17 May, 2010 - Sparks Auctions Ltd.

As we scrolled through the details of the latest Sparks auction on the internet, we came to an abrupt halt as we came across this very rare Large Queen.


3¢ Large Queen on Laid Paper

Lot 85
Scott 33
Catalogue $20,000
Realized $18,000


Let’s start with the negatives and get them out of the way. The stamp was clearly off-center. It had been re-gummed, which seems like a waste as we have no record of a copy that does have original gum.

Now let’s look at what’s special about it. First, it came with 2 certificates of authenticity. Second, it is clearly a fine copy with good perforations. Third, it is very rare. In the 37 year period from 1973 to 2010, we recorded only 3 mint copies sold at auction. The best copy we have ever seen was offered for $7500 back in 1977 in a Maresch Private Treaty Sale. Like the others referred to above, it had no gum but was much better centered than any of the others and came from the Jephcott collection.

We thought it would be interesting to see this stamp’s track record in the Scott catalogue over the years:

1957 - $ 300
1971 - 1,250
1976 - 4,000
1985 - 7,500
1993 - 9,500
2007 - 10,000
2008 - 14,000
2009 - 20,000

What can you read into this? First, this is one very valuable stamp. Second, because it is so rare and seldom trades at auction, it is difficult for the cataloguers to put a value on it. Between 1993 in 2007 for example, it only moved up $500 in value, and then, as can be seen, the price took off and doubled in just 2 years.

Is the present $20,000 an accurate catalogue price for this stamp? It’s probably on the low side. We spoke to the auctioneer, Ian Kimmerly, after the sale. He said that the bidding for this stamp opened at $11,500 and then the bidders on the floor took it up to $18,000. But, most importantly, he said there was a bidder prepared to go much higher than the $18,000 successful price.


Other stamps of interest

Here are a few of the other stamps worth noting:


Lot 22
Scott 5d
Catalogue $3,000
Realized $3,400


Lot 84
Unitrade 30iv
Catalogue $150
Realized $650


Lot 286
Scott 134
Catalogue $44
Realized $100

Lot 396
Scott 468Ac
Catalogue $500
Realized $525


Lot 422
Unitrade 775i
Catalogue $1,500
Realized $1,300


Collectors of modern varieties should note that it is very unusual to find the above stamp with no wrinkles. Not surprisingly, this resulted in a new record price for this stamp.


Lot 471
Unitrade 1933i var.
Catalogue $2,500
Realized $1,500


Lot 472
Unitrade 1933i
Catalogue $3,500
Realized $1,900



This sale had 4 new record prices:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
15¢ LQ -greenish gray
3¢ LQ on laid paper
30¢ Madonna imperforate pair
1933i var.
48¢ Missing horse imperforate pair

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