Auction preview: Gamut of philatelic interests, budgets covered in upcoming Sparks sale

Later this month, Ottawa’s Sparks Auctions will host its January 2017 sale, Auction No. 23, which includes stamps and postal history for a variety of collecting interests and budgets.

Stéphane Cloutier, Sparks’ senior describer and president of the Postal History Society of Canada, said the three-day auction will pique the interest of collectors “seeking both choice individual items as well as those who enjoy our ever-popular lots and collections.”

The sale will run across six sessions between Jan. 31 and Feb. 2:

  • Jan. 31 at 9 a.m., Session 1 begins with Canada & BNA (Lots 1-382);
  • Jan. 31 at 1:30 p.m., Session 1A begins with The Wolfe Collection of Canada & BNA (Lots 401-991);
  • Feb. 1 at 9 a.m., Session 2, British Commonwealth (Lots 2001-2079);
  • Feb. 1 at 9:45 a.m., Session 3, Worldwide (Lots 2102-2166);
  • Feb. 1 at 10:15 a.m., Session 4, Postal History (Lots 2201-2491);
  • Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m., Session 5, Lots & Collections; and
  • Feb. 2 at 9 a.m., Session 6, The Ted Kerzner Squared Circle Cancellations of Canada.

“First, we offer our traditional sale of quality stamps and postal history of Canada and the world,” said Cloutier. “There are many scarce and interesting items worthy of note, including a lovely selection of classic Canada, an important collection of Great Britain, specialized Bermuda material from the reigns of King Edward VII and King George V, and the last of our two part offering of an in-depth collection of special delivery mail. You will also find a lovely section of Vimy Memorial collectibles, useful literature, the Sammy Whaley Newfoundland postal history collection and much more.”

Lot 332 is this 1859 cover franked with two 1851 New Brunswick stamps. It’s expected to bring $6,000.

Among the highlights of session one is Lot 271, a 1918 25-cent red and black Aero Club of Canada tête bêche gutter pane of two stamps (Scott #CLP2d). This mint never hinged example is described by auctioneers as “fresh and extremely fine. A scarce pane in such condition.” Accompanied by a 2015 Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation expertization certificate, this lot has a Unitrade catalogue value of $4,000.

Another highlight is Lot 332, a cover mailed from St. Stephen to St George, N.B., in 1859 and franked with a very fine pair of six-penny horizontal imperforate stamps issued by the colony of New Brunswick in 1851. The imperforates are cancelled by fine strikes of the St. Stephen numeral grid, paying the 12-pence registered rate within New Brunswick. Described by auctioneers as a “world rarity with only three recorded” and accompanied by a 1974 BPA Expertising certificate, this lot has an estimate of $6,000.

Rounding out the session one highlights is Lot 338, a six-penny imperforate stamp issued by the colony of Nova Scotia in 1851. Described as a “very fine and lovely stamp” and accompanied by a 1998 Greene Foundation certificate, this stamp has a Unitrade catalogue value of $6,500.


Lot 338 is this six-penny imperforate stamp issued by Nova Scotia in 1851. It has a pre-sale estimate of $6,500.

Cloutier said the Wolfe Collection of mint and used Canadian material was formed by a “diligent collector who sought as many Unitrade-listed examples as possible.”

“A previously unknown Newfoundland major variety is among hundreds of items offered as single lots. The results of his dedicated efforts are now available for other collectors to enjoy.”

Sparks President and Auctioneer Ian Kimmerly said the unnamed collector who formed this collection sought and appreciated “sound and attractive stamps,” adding he made a “serious attempt” to acquire most listed varieties in mint condition.

“Over the earlier decades as these were acquired the collecting standards for gum and centering were more relaxed. We wish you good hunting for the elusive stamps to be found in this collection.”


Cloutier said the Ted Kerzner Squared Circle Cancellations of Canada, which highlights session six, is “the largest and most important offering of its kind ever assembled.”

“Consisting of many rare and unique items, this sale will be presented in a separate print catalogue, which will serve as an excellent reference for collectors of these fascinating postmarks.”

For more information about Sparks Auction No. 23, visit the Stamp Auction website by clicking here.

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