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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

25 August , 2010 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

We have recently come across several collections containing covers that were sent through the mail without stamps. This was the rule, of course, before Canada started issuing stamps in 1851. But even after that date, people still sent envelopes without stamps on occasion.

In this Vance sale, there were 30 lots of covers without stamps. We wondered how they would do pricewise. In fact, 16 sold, representing just over 50%. This is a fairly low sales rate. It suggests to us that there is not a high demand at present for these covers, which surprises us. The estimates for the covers ranged from $35 to $600. The prices realized were in the $30 to $400 range. The envelopes were offered in date order with the earliest sent in 1777 and the latest in 1882. We hope this area of collecting will grow. Each envelope is so unique!


Early Mint Canadian Stamps - With Defects


Lot 5383
Scott 5
Estimate $12,000
Realized $8,400

Lot 5387
Scott 5b
Estimate $4,500
Realized $3,000


Lot 5398
Scott 8
Estimate $1,350
Realized $425


Suppose you were given a collection of Canadian stamps from your favourite uncle and discovered it contained some mint Canadian stamps from the early 1850s. The catalogue values for some of these stamps had been climbing noticeably in recent years. Some of them now are at the $17,500 - $32,500 level. On the face of it, it could be pretty exciting.

But, on examination, you discover that the stamps contain some flaws. There may be no gum, a crease, a thin, a narrow or non-existent margin or tear. What then? Let’s see, for example, what happened in this sale.


This sale had three such stamps:

Sc. 5 - No gum, trivial tiny closed tear
Sc. 5b - No gum, small faults
Sc. 8 - No gum, close margin at top


It’s clear that stamps with these flaws sell for well less than their catalogue values. The only exception to this rule might be a stamp that is exceptionally rare, such as the 2¢ Large Queen on laid paper. Only two of these are known to exist. If a third one surfaced, it would likely attract a very high price even if it had a few faults.

But if you sold your favourite uncle’s stamps for the above total of $11,835 and put it in the bank, we’re sure you wouldn’t complain.


3¢ Small Queen – Dragonfly Cancel


Lot 5566
Scott 41
Estimate $150
Realized $149


Collectors seem to like these unusual cancellations and are prepared to bid seriously for them. In our view, they deserve this recognition. Eastern called this one “a striking item of exhibition quality”. What a beauty. Pretty good estimate

Scott 158 – A Well Centered Plate Block

Lot 5926
Scott 158
Estimate $2,800
Realized $1,160

This was a top margin block of 4 with an “OTTAWA NO A3” plate imprint, VF and lightly hinged in the margin only. It had near perfect centering. What a shame that today’s collectors are not willing to pay more than the above for a lovely block like this, just because of a light hinge mark.


Scott 245b – An Exceptional Imperforate Pair

Lot 6020
Scott 245b
Catalogue $900
Realized $900


They don’t come much finer than this vertical pair. The margins were as good as they get. What a perfect example of an imperforate pair. It was described as XF NH. We wish we’d been the winning bidder. Quite a treasure.

Mini Collections

Lot 6625
Scott 41
Estimate $ 900
Realized $610


The sale had a number of mini collections, like the above. For those of you who like this area of collecting, here’s how a few of them did:


Sc. 41- collection of cork cancels
Sc. 53 - collection of different cork cancels
Sc. 85-86- map stamp - CDS town cancels
Sc. 45-45a - Specialized used collection
Sc. 4-4d-6 copies, different shades



U.S. Imperforates


Lot 6679
Scott 1058Ad – 2609a
Estimate $300
Realized $130


We know little about the value or scarcity of modern U.S. imperforate stamps from the 1970 – 1980 period. Despite this, we were still surprised that this lot of 15 imperforate pairs would sell for only $130. That’s less than $10 a pair. Are they really that common and inexpensive or did somebody walk away with the bargain of the year. Once again, our Canadian auctions can really surprise us at times.

What an interesting sale. For more information, please click on the highlights button.







Vance's next auction will take place on October 14, 2010

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