Auction review: Classic Canada, Squared Circles fare well in recent Sparks sale

Late last month, Ottawa’s Sparks Auctions held one of its three yearly public sales, Auction No. 23, which was highlighted by Squared circle cancellations as well as classic Canadian material.

The three-day sale was held Jan. 31st-Feb. 2 and presented the largest amount of lots Sparks has ever offered in one sale, with “overall strong results and many notable realizations,” according to auctioneers.

Postal history has been one of philately’s growth areas throughout the last decade, and Squared Circle cancellations are one subject seeing a lot of interest for their wide range and relative affordability.

Lot 3230, an 1893 ‘RICHMOND QUE.’ cancel on postcard, sold for $719, nearly four times its original estimate.

Ted Kerzner’s Squared Circles were the finest and most comprehensive ever assembled on Canada stamps and covers,” said auctioneers.

Highlights of Kerzner’s Squared Circles include:


Lot 138, a 1903 one-cent blue green Edward VII in XF NH, topped its catalogue value of $315 when it crossed the block for $489.

Elsewhere in the sale, some notable prices were seen in the Canada section, including:

Panes of the 1926-27 Patricia Airways overprints (Lots 286 and 287) also exceeded catalogue value.

“There were also some exceptional prices among the Canada and BNA from the single-owner Wolfe collection,” said auctioneers.

One such item was Lot 915, a vertical imperf pair of the 1932-37 Newfoundland dog, which topped its catalogue value of $300 when it crossed the block for $546.


In postal history, several lots of Vimy related material attracted bidders. Among the most notable items was a lot of three postcards from Adolf Hitler’s visit in 1940.

This lot, Lot 2854, sold for $518. Another Vimy Ridge 1917 first-day cover, Lot 2871, sold for $488.

The next Sparks sale, Auction No. 24, will be held in May 2017.

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