Auction review: Imperforate pane of 12 1903 two-cent carmine King Edward VII stamps brings $12k

Ottawa’s Sparks Auctions recently hosted its “Auction 24,” which was described as having “the best value we have offered so far with fewer lots and better overall variety.”

“Of note in this sale are the holdings of two retired dealers. One is offered in its entirety with 120 lots and the other is the first of two parts in 80 lots. We spent many hours sorting and lotting these consignments and hope that their resulting organization will be useful to our buyers,” said Stéphane Cloutier, director of lotting and consignments. Cloutier is also the president of the Postal History Society of Canada, which recently hosted its inaugural symposium in Hamilton, Ont.

The top-earning lot of the May 23-24 sale was Lot 123, an imperforate pane of 12 1903 two-cent carmine King Edward VII stamps. The unused pane has no gum (as issued) and large margins along the top and both sides as two tête-bêche blocks of six intended to be cut for booklet fabrication. This extremely rare block—the first ever handled by Sparks—was accompanied by a 2013 Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation certificate. It eventually hammered down for $12,000.

Lot 274 was this 1857 six-and-a-half-pence heraldic imperforate stamp that brought $6,800.


Another highlight of the 1,496-lot sale was Lot 274, an 1857 six-and-a-half-pence scarlet vermilion heraldic imperforate stamp. This mint issue with full original gum was very lightly hinged. It’s described as having “four comfortable margins” and “bright colour.” This “overall fresh, extremely fine and scarce” lot was accompanied by a 1986 Greene Foundation certificate. It realized $6,800.


Lot 263 was an 1851 one-shilling cold violet heraldic imperforate stamp. Used with a light cancel and four “clear to large margins,” this stamp is described as having “bright fresh colour”. According to auctioneers, this stamp has graced the collections of Alfred F. Lichtenstein, Dr. G.M. Geldert and the Skywalk Collection. Accompanied by certificates from the Royal Philatelic Society of London (1956); Raybaudi Experts in Rome (1986); Martin Eichele in Basel (2010) and the Greene Foundation in Toronto (2016), this lot hammered down for $6,400.

Lot 263 was this 1851 one-shilling heraldic imperforate that realized $6,400.


Rounding out the highlights was Lot 24, a stamp issued by the Province of Canada as part of its Pence issues (Scott #1-13).

Lot 24 was a used horizontal pair of 1859 six-pence grey violet consort stamps. The perforated, horizontal pair has a manuscript cancel and ring cancels. Described as a “lovely and very rare multiple, with only two used pairs known to exist,” this lot is accompanied by a 2003 Greene Foundation certificate. It realized $5,600.

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