Eastern Auctions sale sees ‘very strong’ results

Lot 48 was a rare, used example of the surcharged five-shilling-on-five-mark stamp featuring a missing period after the ‘I’ in the ‘G.R.I.’ overprint. This example hammered down for $25,000 at the June 17 Eastern Auctions sale.

New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions recently offered a 685-lot sale of worldwide and British North America stamps and postal history, including a number of “noteworthy” rarities. The June 17 sale, which was held at the Lord Nelson Hotel and Suites in Halifax, N.S., saw several serious bidders drive up the hammer price on a handful of key items. “The British Columbia section – one of the highlights of the sale – went well above expectations, especially some of the postal history,” said Yohann Tanguay, chief describer of Eastern Auctions’ public sales, who added it was “a very strong sale” overall. “Valuable and important stamps were keenly sought-after. Several serious bidders were often contesting against each other, pushing up the prices, notably New Guinea (New Britain) G.R.I. (Georgius Rex Imperator, referring to the incumbent British King George V) stamps, early classic stamps of British North America, Canada plate multiples, choice mint NH (never hinged) singles, among others.” Continue reading →

WHC issues 33rd ‘duck stamp’ as it looks to reconnect with philatelists

The 2017 Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation stamp features the painting ‘Tranquil Waters – Canada Geese’ by wildlife artist Angela Lorenzen, of Thorndale, Ont.

Aside from Canada’s sesquicentennial, 2017 marks another special milestone: this year is the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Birds Convention Act. The act, which was established in 1917 and updated in 1994, protects hundreds of native bird species that migrate between Canada and the U.S. as well as the habitat these populations require. The legislation came on the heels of the Migratory Bird Convention, which was signed in August 1916 by the United Kingdom (representing Canada) and the U.S. One organization celebrating the centennial of the Migratory Birds Convention Act is Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC), which recently issued the 33rd stamp of its annual Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation series. Established in 1984, WHC is a national non-profit and non-governmental charitable organization. Its grant program – founded one year after the organization was created – has invested about $55 million in support of more than 1,500 conservation projects across Canada. “It varies year to year, but annually the organization funds upwards of 35 conservation activities across the country, whether it’s fixing a wetland; wetland or waterfall research projects; or promoting environmental stewardship and a connection with nature,” said WHC Executive Director Cameron Mack. Continue reading →

RPSC executive undergoes ‘major makeover’ at Royal Convention

From the left: Retiring board members François Brisse; Marilyn Melanson; Rodney Paige; and George Pepall were presented with honorific medals at The RPSC’s annual general meeting on May 27.

The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) hosted its annual general meeting (AGM) during this year’s Royal Convention in Boucherville, Que. Overall, the state of the society was described in positive terms by all attending directors, including outgoing RPSC President George Pepall, who’s retiring as the third-longest-serving RPSC president with eight years at the helm. The second-longest-serving president was Dr. George M. Geldert, who was president for nine years from 1959-1967. He was followed by the legendary Harry Sutherland, the society’s longest-serving president, who served for 11 years from 1968-78. Pepall noted the society’s executive underwent a “major makeover” this year with six retiring board members and several new appointments. The incoming president is Jim Taylor, of Calgary, Alta. Owing to his ongoing role as international exhibition liaison, Taylor – who was named a Fellow of The RPSC in 2015 – is no stranger to the society or its far-reaching aspirations. “I really hope that the future executive continues to operate as we did, as an executive committee that meets three, four, sometimes five times a year, and refers to the board when issues are complex and when they need a wider endorsement and more feedback,” said Pepall. “I really believe that was an effective way to work, but we had a good advantage all being in Southern Ontario. That was a coincidence; that’s not likely to be the case next year … but I challenge the future executive to try to maintain that modus operandi.” Continue reading →

Social events overcome ‘disappointing turnout’ at Royal*2017*Royale

George Pepall, left, outgoing president of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, stands with outgoing treasurer Rodney Paige.

For the third time in less than a decade, the annual convention of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) was held in Québec, where attendees – although sparse – were treated to a “uniquely Québec event.” Recently held in Dorval in 2011 as well as Québec city in 2008, the RPSC Convention returned to “la belle province” for its 89th edition this May 26-28; however, this year’s three-day show, held at Hôtel Mortagne in Boucherville, saw a “disappointing turnout” according to outgoing RPSC President George Pepall. “We certainly ate well throughout the weekend,” he said, recalling the three-course wine and cheese function as well as the awards banquet. “It was fun, and a uniquely Québec event.” Pepall added the hotel was a “perfect venue” for a philatelic convention. “There are marvellous facilities all in one structure, both for the ongoing events throughout the weekend and the display itself with the dealers surrounding the hall, but attendance wasn’t what we’d like it to be,” he said. “We didn’t have the foot traffic that we would’ve wanted and might’ve expected in a bigger community, but you have huge support there from the local politicians, especially the mayor, Jean Martel.” Continue reading →

R. Maresch & Son returns to show business amid big move

Peter Maresch (left), owner of R. Maresch & Son, alongside Rob Perfect at Orapex in Ottawa this May.

Peter Maresch – the grandson of famed philatelic collector and dealer Richard Maresch – has big plans for the next phase of the Toronto-based family business. The business will be moving from its fifth-floor Yonge Street office to a new headquarters about 30 minutes north of downtown in Aurora, Ont. The new office, which they’ll be moving to at the end of September, is unit six of 2 Vata Ct. “We’ve outgrown the space,” said Maresch at his Orapex dealer table on May 7. “Stamps are coming in by the truckloads. They used to come in briefcases; now they’re coming in truckloads. It’s great, but it’s just too difficult to get them in and out.” Continue reading →

Orapex astounds in nation’s capital

Orapex chair Michael Powell (shown above) will return as show chair for the third consecutive year in 2018.

“Great” is not a term used lightly in philatelic circles, but it was something heard early and often at the recent Orapex. The 56th edition of Orapex – the Ottawa RA Centre Philatelic Exhibition – returned to Ottawa on May 6-7, and by all accounts it was a “great” weekend (aside from the sole international dealer, Bill Barrell, of London, England, who chose to employ the word “brilliant” instead). “Things have been great,” said Michael Powell, Orapex chairman, on the morning of the second day. “We’ve been thrilled. We had great crowds yesterday. You could hardly walk down there for the first couple hours, and it stayed busy throughout the day.” Powell, who will be returning as Orapex chairman for the third consecutive year in 2018, said the dealer response was likewise positive. “I think most of the dealers were pretty happy with the business that has been going on, and there was just a marvellous field of exhibits this year, too.” (See page 10 for a review of this year’s exhibition, including the full palmares.) One of the six judges, John Wilson, said “there’s a great fraternity” at Orapex. Continue reading →

Show preview: 89th RPSC Convention coming to Boucherville later this month

Margaret Schulzke, executive assistant of The RPSC National Office, and George Pepall at last year’s Royal Convention in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.

The 89th Convention of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) is right around the corner. Organized by l’Association des numismates et des philatélistes de Boucherville (ANPB) and the Fédération québécoise de philatélie (FQP), the convention will be held May 25-28 at Hôtel Mortagne on 1228 Nobel St. in Boucherville, Que. Admission and parking are free. Nearly 30 of Canada’s top philatelic dealers will preside over more than 45 tables of material on the bourse, which is being held in the hotel’s Boucherville Room. Canadian Stamp News will be selling magazines as well as philatelic supplies at table six. The bourse will open to the public at 10 a.m. each day before closing at 5 p.m. on May 26, 27, and 4 p.m. on May 28. RPSC President George Pepall said this year marks three anniversaries that are relevant to the 2017 Royal Convention: the 350th anniversary of the founding of Boucherville, which is just east of Montreal on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River; the 300th anniversary of the death of Pierre Boucher (1622-1717), who was the settler of Boucherville and governor of New France from 1654-57 and 1662-67; and the 50th anniversary of the ANPB. “It has drawing power because of the strength of the clubs in Quebec. The FQP is very strong,” said Pepall, who added the FQP is the only provincial philatelic organization in Canada. “They have provincial government support and an office at the Stade Olympique that allows them to administer the hobby across Quebec. They’re very strong on youth philately, too.” Continue reading →

Building relationship with local postal clerks ‘key’ to finding errors

George Kaltenecker, owner of Covernutz, displays a misperforated Pansies souvenir sheet he recently purchased from his local postal clerk. Kaltenecker said the clerk sold three misperforated sheets to other collectors before selling one to him.

One dealer is especially excited for spring’s arrival thanks to a recent pickup from his local postal clerk. George Kaltenecker, owner of the Toronto-based Covernutz, recently purchased one of Canada Post’s 2015 Pansies souvenir sheets from a postal clerk in the Greater Toronto Area. Each sheet features the dramatic misperforation that was originally discovered upon its release two years ago. “She has helped me out by finding me two major misperf items over the course of the last two years, and for that, she has now been added to my annual Christmas gift card list,” said Kaltenecker, who specializes in postal history and deltiology. “She is always looking for unique items for me, and hopefully she will come up with more great finds.” As detailed in an April 2015 issue of CSN (Vol. 39, No. 25), Quebec stamp dealer Michelle Levesque, co-owner of Zimo Stamp Co., originally discovered the misperforation on four souvenir sheets. One of these sheets has since been sold by Zimo to a collector in Hong Kong for $1,000 US. These freaky misperforations, also known as misperfs, lay between the trinity of philatelic peculiarities known as errors, freaks and oddities (EFOs). And when it comes to misperfs, the amount of interest shown by collectors – and their potential value on the market, as with most EFOs – is dependent on the severity of the error. Continue reading →

‘Inner workings’ of Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee explained

Canada Post Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips led one of three educational seminars at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show on March 25-26.

Working about 24 months in advance from concept to completion, Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee has the sometimes-arduous task of reviewing and recommending ideas for Canada’s stamp program. While it can be a daunting responsibility, it’s one that’s also cherished by those who are lucky enough to participate in it. “We’re very honoured to be able to have that role at Canada Post, and we take that role very seriously,” said Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips, who added he often corrects people who refer to Canada’s stamps as “Canada Post stamps.” “Those are Canadian stamps. Those are the stamps we’re issuing for Canada, and we cherish that role and try to do the best we can to meet all the different needs for all the different communities who are interested in postage.” While explaining Canada Post’s stamp-issuing policies and guiding principles during an hour-long educational seminar at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show on March 25, Phillips also shined a light on what he calls the “inner workings” of the Stamp Advisory Committee. Continue reading →

Long-time dealer Issie Baum ready to sell topical business

Montreal’s Isidore ‘Issie’ Baum estimates he has upwards of 600 square feet of stamps scattered throughout his home, where he runs two businesses: Judaica Sales, and Wonderful World of Stamps, the latter of which is currently up for sale.

Long-time philatelic dealer Isidore “Issie” Baum has announced his intention to sell his topical business, Wonderful World of Stamps, which he started more than 30 years ago. “If somebody walked in and wanted to buy my business, I’d sell it tomorrow,” said Baum, adding “2016 ended with a bang.” Although he feels like he’s in good health, Baum was diagnosed with low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer late last year, around the same time his wife, Zila, suffered a minor heart attack; however, the 76-year-old philatelic aficionado said his business has outgrown his desires. “I have to cut back for a number of reasons, not the least of which I have so much stuff here that if I were to drop dead tomorrow my wife would be inundated,” he said. “It’s getting to be too much, and I can’t keep up with all of it.” Despite his current hang-up, Baum – always jovial – said “everything is fine.” “I feel great, and I’ve been told there would probably not be any effects. I feel good, and I’m out and about working every day.” Baum owns two businesses, Judaica Sales, which boasts the largest stock of Judaica material in the world, and the aforementioned Wonderful World of Stamps, which focuses on worldwide topical material. “It’s time to let somebody else at it,” he said, of his topical business, adding he’s not selling solely for health reasons. “I don’t anticipate anything happening – I will finish radiation and keep well – but it’s my back and my knee. I can’t travel unless I can ensure someone can help load.” Continue reading →

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