Auction recap: Bidding war highlights recent All Nations auction

On June 11, the Vancouver-based All Nations Stamp and Coin hosted its weekly auction, which provided a bidding war on an unassuming 130-year-old cover.

Lot 89 of All Nations Stamp and Coin Auction No. 1063 included a cover sent from Victoria, B.C.’s Grand Lodge to Moodyville, North Vancouver in 1886 using a three-cent Small Queen. The lot also included an 1891 bill for Moodyville Sawmill Co. Together, they crossed the block for $3,025 after a pre-sale estimate of only $50.

“There were a number of bidders on the Moodyville cover and two of them chased it to the level it reached,” said Brian Grant Duff, auctioneer and owner of All Nations. “The items from the Gerald Wellburn historic Vancouver collection have never come to market before, so fresh material attracts attention from serious collectors and history buffs.”

The cover was sent to Moodyville, North Vancouver, along with a bill for lumber. (Photo by All Nations Stamp and Coin)

The cover was sent to Moodyville, North Vancouver, along with a bill for lumber. (Photo by All Nations Stamp and Coin)

Duff said the Wellburn material, which he’s “very fortunate to be handling,” carries the added appeal of coming from a “name” collector and benefits from Wellburn’s “attractive” write-ups, including historic notes and accompanying related ephemera.

“In the case of the Moodyville cover in auction 1063, it was the ephemera that boosted the selling price,” added Duff. “The Moodyville letterhead mentioned the mill’s products, the Dunsmuir family and their ship.”

Duff, a lifelong stamp collector and long-time dealer, said interest in postal history is a “natural progression” for stamp enthusiasts.

“Once you have all the basic stamps, you start casting around for further ways to pursue your pastime. Covers and cards tell more of the story by encompassing postal rates, routes, and markings. The stamp usages, contents, and historic aspects certainly also help.”

“It is a great opportunity to learn, and to promote collecting and local history,” said Duff, about handling the Wellburn material.

Each of Auction No. 1063’s 200 lots crossed the auction block.

For more information about the sale, click here.

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