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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

21 March , 2012 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

This was full auction with over 7300 lots from around the world. The Canadian section was made up of 2007 lots, the provinces 274 lots and the USA 477 lots. Four new record prices were found in the early Classics, Large and Small Queens and Air Post stamps.


Rare "Imprint" Copy

Lot 4919
Unitrade 20iv
Catalogue $1,100
Realized $2,160


This was an unusually fine copy of this rare stamp. It was well centered and OG. What made it the particular variety was the printer’s imprint at the bottom.

Why would anyone spend a lot of time chasing this particular variety? Perhaps the answer can be found in the fact that there hasn’t been a mint copy sold at auction since 2000. In the 3 years before that, 4 copies sold for prices ranging from $280 to $400.


3¢ Large Queen – “Shaving Nick” Variety

Lot 4965
Unitrade 25vii
Estimate $1,500
Realized $1,600


Like the previous stamp, we have no record of a sale of this “shaving nick” variety in the past 10 years. Unitrade lists it, but provides no price, all of which attest to its rarity. Vance gave an estimate of $1,500 which proved to be pretty accurate. We had some difficulty in finding the “nick”, but with the help of the example in the Unitrade catalogue, we found the black line which can be seen just above the Queen’s chin.


3¢ Small Queen – Imperforate Pairs


Lot 5019
Unitrade 41ii
Catalogue $600
Realized $410

Lot 5020
Unitrade 41v
Catalogue $750
Realized $545

Here are two varieties of the imperforate pairs of the 3¢ Small Queen. Unitrade 41ii was printed in the orange vermilion shade that was current in the period 1885-86 and normally comes with gum. The above copy had no gum which is not unusual. Unitrade 41v was printed in the vermilion shade on coarse white paper that was current in 1895 and comes without gum.

Both sold for around 70% of catalogue. This seems to be the norm for Small Queen imperforates like these that have no gum.

The last time we had a record of the sale of a Unitrade 41v imperforate pair was in 1996. It’s been a long time since bidders have had a chance to acquire this variety!


Excellent Admirals

Lot 5312
Scott 110
Catalogue $120
Realized $235

Lot 5320
Scott 112a
Catalogue $67
Realized $240


Lot 5322
Scott 114
Catalogue $50
Realized $102

What beauties these were. All 3 were well centered and NH, just is sort of thing that grabs the attention of bidders to one of Canada’s most popular early sets.

While the prices realized were double catalogue, we are somewhat surprised that they were not higher. The stamp which did the best, and deservedly so, was the 5¢ violet on thin paper (Scott 112a). Probably, this was because of its excellent centering and large margins. It attracted the second best price for this variety in the past 10 years.


2¢ Overprint – Scarce Die II

Lot 5384
Scott 139c
Catalogue $1,150
Realized $1,425


We almost overlooked this stamp as we flipped through the catalogue. It was F-VF NH and definitely not well centered. The die I version of the stamp in NH condition has a catalogue value of $90, while that for the die II is $1150. Quite the spread!

This is only the fourth mint copy to sell at auction in the past 10 years and, although it is clearly rare and only F-VF, it did sell for a price well above catalogue which for a stamp of this quality is pretty impressive.


74¢ Wapiti – on Rolland paper

Lot 5713
Unitrade 1177i
Catalogue $900
Realized $775


A regular 74¢ Wapiti on Harrison paper catalogues at $2. But on Rolland paper, the value jumps to $900. It isn’t that rare as 19 copies have sold since the paper variety first appeared at auction in 1991. The best price of $900 was set at the Vance auction back in 2007. Not many of us could tell the difference between the Harrison paper and the Rolland paper. So it is not surprising that the above stamp had a Greene Foundation certificate to support the type of paper it was printed on.

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



This sale had 4 new record prices:

Previous NRP
2¢ imprint
3¢ L.Q. shaving nick variety
3¢ S.Q. imperforate pair
5¢ imperforate pair



Vance's next auction will take place on May 9, 2012.

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