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Recent Auction Highlights

4 May , 2011 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

We find it amazing to think of the time and care it must take to prepare the descriptions for the 6700+ lots that were offered in this sale. This is what the Vance people do, sale after sale. Each description must be accurate or some unpleasant things can happen. First, an inaccurate description can result in a dispute with a purchaser and this can be not only unpleasant, but bad for business. Second, the auctioneer’s reputation can be at stake. In the auction business, this is one of his biggest assets and must be carefully maintained. Vance does a good job with his descriptions and all of us in the philatelic community benefit from this.


½¢ Large Queen – A Beautiful Copy

Lot 4833
Scott 21
Catalogue $100
Realized $238

We can only think of two Large Queens that can occasionally be found well centered. These are the ½¢ and 15¢ stamps. It is always exciting when they appear and the one shown above, which was OG LH, is a good example. It is nicely centered and has beautiful perforations.

10¢ Small Queen – NH and Exceptional

Lot 4957
Unitrade 45i
Catalogue $2,250
Realized $920


The 10¢ Small Queen imperforate comes in three shades, brown red, rose carmine and pink rose. The one in this sale was the rose carmine shade and it was NH, which is exceptional. According to our records, this is the first NH pair of this shade to come to auction in the past 10 years. This did not go unnoticed by the bidders and a new record price resulted.

Interestingly, this is another example we have noticed recently where a new record price, realized at an auction, was well below the catalogue price. This is unusual and is probably explained in this case by the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of demand for the Small Queen imperforates.


Jubilees – Beautifully Dated Copies

Lot 4981
Scott 51
Estimate $140
Realized $146

Lot 4985
Scott 53
Estimate $175
Realized $184

The above two lots were small collections of the 1¢ and 3¢ Jubilees respectively with full dated cancels and postmarks. These are rare and don’t just happen by accident. In each case, some thoughtful employee in the post office took the trouble to carefully use his hammer to cancel each stamp. Our hats are off to these people. They may be long gone, but the care they took will be remembered.

The person in Vance’s office who came up with these estimates did a pretty good job!


2¢ Numeral – VF NH Block

Lot 5079
Scott 76
Catalogue $400
Realized $630

We don’t normally pay a lot of attention to blocks because they can hide so many faults. The problem is that if you only look at the outer perimeter of the block, everything looks nicely centered. But if you inspect each individual stamp, they can be off centre.

An examination of the above block shows that it is NH, comes with a beautiful bottom margin attached and is fairly well centered, certainly enough to catch our eye. But a closer examination shows two things. First, the stamps on the bottom were centered a bit high. Second, the ones on the right are centered a bit to the left. But these factors did not faze the bidders. They seem to have valued its overall attractiveness and the unusual fact it was an NH block. Kudos to them!


Nice Quebec Tercentenaries

Lot 5165
Scott 97
Catalogue $55
Realized $169

Lot 5168
Scott 99
Catalogue $190
Realized $575


Lot 5198
Scott 103a
Catalogue $1,150
Realized $1,280


Here we have three lovely NH Quebec Tercentenary stamps, with the first two selling for multiples of catalogue. This tells us a lot about the demand for the stamps of this set. Here we see the more normal situation of prices being well in excess of catalogue for outstanding NH copies. Contrast this with the case of the 10¢ Small Queen imperforate pair shown earlier where the new record price was well less than the catalogue value.


13¢ Quebec Citadel – Imperforate Pair

Lot 5378
Scott 201a
Catalogue $1,200
Realized $1,220


Anyone who has been to Quebec City knows what an unusually beautiful city it is. For us Canadians, there is something Old World about it and it has a wonderful French flavour. This stamp shows the Citadel high on a hill overlooking the Saint Lawrence River.

This was a NH copy with nice wide margins. Only 100 pairs exist and demand for this pair has always been high. The price realized set a new record price.


Canada’s Best Philatelic Investment?


Lot 5606
Scott 1171c
Catalogue $450
Realized $340

This variety with the rare 13 1/2x 13 perforations was recently featured in the pamphlet issued by the Saskatoon Stamp Center to celebrate its 45th Anniversary under the caption “Canada’s BEST Philatelic Investment of the Last 50 Years?”

It is probably not too difficult for this stamp to be the best investment as few Canadian stamps issued in the past 50 years have increased noticeably in value. In fact many, if not most, are hardly worth more than their face value. We have recorded the sale of 38 copies of this variety in the past 10 years with prices ranging from $150 to $475. Many like this one are not perfectly centered, but all of them continue to draw strong prices.

Once again, we note that Vance has managed to attract many excellent stamps to his auction.

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



This sale had two new record prices:

Previous NRP
10¢ Small Queen imperforate pair
13¢ Citadel imperforate pair

Vance's next auction will take place on June 22, 2011.

©2011, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada