Baron collection offers ‘great number of rarities’

Bt Bret Evans 

For the first time in years, a seminal collection of first-day covers (FDCs) will go on the block when Eastern Auctions sells the Baron Collections on Oct. 28.

Yohann Tanguay, of Eastern, said the collection was assembled over decades – as early as the late 1960s – and was then held and enjoyed by the family for many years before being consigned.

“When you go through the binders,  the comments were all put in using a typewriter,” Tanguay said.

Melvin Baron was particularly interested in first-day covers. His collection formed the basis of a series of articles written with Stan Lum from 1977 to 1982.

The series helped promote the collecting of first-days covers by cachet, city, and stamp combination.

According to Tanguay, the FDC collection is the largest the firm has handled.

Lot 236 is a group of five different T.R. Legault FDC of Unitrade #149-154 with various dates from Oct. 29 to Dec. 21, 1928, all postmarked at Ottawa. Described as VF, the groups is catalogued at $2,375.

Lot 279 is a collection of King George VI war effort stamps representing 22 different communities including the scarce Edmonton, April 16, 1943 postmark. The collection includes two complete sets on two FDCs and 10 covers with the $1 destroyer stamp, and a single of the 17 cent air special delivery. The entire group has an estimate of $1,500.

A similar lot is number 286, which contained165 FDCs of the Sept. 16, 1946 Peace Issue. The various covers represent 15 postmarks and include single stamps, blocks, and plate blocks. One cover was addressed to Madagascar where a 50-cent Free France airmail stamp was affixed and it was redirected to New York City. The lot has an estimate of $1,250.

Baron was also interested in imperforates and acquired a great number of rarities.

The sale contains Queen Victoria Numeral and King Edward VII sets, as well as the rare Admiral issue and the Scroll Issue.

The cataloguer comments the last time this number of rarities were offered in a single sale was the 1965 van Straten sale held by Robson Lowe. The sale also includes the highly sought after imperforate blocks.

The first lot in the sale is an imperforate tete-beche strip from a booklet pane sheet top margin of 1900 Queen Vitoria 2-cent carmine, Unitrade #77e, from die II on horizontal wove paper. The top margin shows the full “Ottawa – No – 1” plate imprint. The strip, one of only two possible plate imprint examples,  is provenanced to the Dr. Leon van Straten sale of 1965 and was illustrated in the Capex ‘96 Gems of Philately book. It has a presale estimate o $15,000-plus

Lot 2 is a smiliar strip of the 1903 two-cent carmine, type II, of King Edward VII, Unitrade #90d. One of only 14 strips known to exist, it is provenanced to the Alfred Lichtenstein sale of 1954. Its catalogue value is $28,000.

Lot 40 is a scarce imperforate pair of the 1900 20-cent olive green, Unitrade #84a, with creases and flaws common with known examples. Described as sound F-VF it is catalogued at $5,500.

Lot 3 is a set of imperforate tete-bech booklet panes of the admiral issue one-cent yellow, two-cent green, and three cent carmine, Unitrade #s 105c, 107d, and 109b. One of seven sets known, it has a catalogue value of $67,500.

Lot 40 is an imperforate pair of 1900, 20-cent olive green on horizontal wove paper, Unitrade #84a. Catalogued at $5,500 the pair is described as “devoid of the usual creases and other flaws which affect the vast majority of known examples, apart from a close margon at lower left.”

The popular Quebec Tercentary issue of 1908 is represented with Lot 53, a set of eight mint imperforate pairs from half cent to 20-cents, Unitrade #s96a-103a. With large margins, bright colour and much of the original gum the set is catalogued at $8,000.

Lot 117 is a rare coil strip of four 1963 four-cent cameo with the 9.5 perf horizontally, Unitrade #408s.

The centre pair is imperforate and the stamps are well-centred with original gum, never hinged. One of two known examples, it is estimated at $7,500-plus.

A third focus of Baron’s collecting was the world of error stamps, including more modern issues.

Lot 227 is a 1963 one-cent cameo with the G official overprint showing double printing on the G, Unitrade #O46a. The stamp shows two clear impressions close together and the stamp has a small notation “67” by Kasimir Bileski indicating its plate position from a part sheet known of this error. It is catalogued at $1,500.

While pre-1980s errors are well accepted many more modern ones are still catching on with collectors.

Lot 140 is a se-tenant pair of the 1976 eight-cent Royal Military College Centenary with the well-known dramatic double impression error. Described as  VF-NH, it is catalogued at $5,000.

An example of the 1986 $5 La Mauricie National Park, Unitrade #1084a, from a unique sheet of 25 stamps missing the blue inscriptions is catalogued at $3,500.

A rarely-seen example of the 1990 Canadian Flag with fireworks 39-cent with silver inscriptions missing, Unitrade #1278a, is Lot 181. With only one pane of 16 stamps known, it is catalogued at $3,000.

A pane of 20 of the popular missing hologram error from the 1992 Canada in space 42-cent stamp, Untrade #1442b, is Lot 192. The pane is rare because the hologram is missing on the lower left stamp only, while most stamps have two stamps with the missing hologram. It is catalogued at $5,000.

The sale is being held on the afternoon of Oct. 28 at the Lord Nelson Hotel, 1515 South Park St., Halifax, N.S. with viewing the day before and the day of the sale.

For more information contact Eastern Auctions at 506-548-8986,

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