Highlands Collection exceeds $4.3M

Prices include buyer’s premium.

Hailed by its auctioneers as “one of the greatest BNA (British North American) properties ever to come to market,” the Highlands Collection realized more than $4.3 million across three sales beginning last November.

Surpassing an average of $4,000 a lot, the three-part, 1,065-lot sale was conducted by Eastern Auctions beginning with the first part – entitled “Opportunity” owing to the collection’s generational significance – on Nov. 8, 2018. The offering continued this year with “Provenance” on Feb. 14 and “Quality” on June 13.

“Preparation of the three specialized catalogues required hundreds of man-hours to properly research and describe the 1,065 lots,” reads a statement issued by the New Brunswick-based auction house.

Among several record-breaking realizations, the auction brought “many pleasant surprises in areas that have been less popular of late,” auctioneers said, listing New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island as two examples.

An 1860 Newfoundland four-pence orange corner margin mint single brought $16,000 as Lot 98 of the first part of the Highlands Collection auction last November.

Stamps from New Brunswick’s first issue in 1851 – a mint pair of three-pence reds and an unused one-shilling dull violet stamp – brought $35,550 and $53,325, respectively, on estimates of $20,000 and $35,000-plus. They crossed the block as Lots 26 and 39 of the auction’s third part.

As for Prince Edward Island, a rouletted, used 1861 two-pence rose stamp realized $34,365, exceeding its estimate of $27,500, as Lot 86 of the auction’s second two.


Other highlights from the November 2018 auction include:

  • an 1860 Newfoundland four-pence orange corner margin mint single, which brought $16,000 as Lot 98;
  • a 1919 Newfoundland three-cent Martinsyde manuscript cover, which brought $41,475 as Lot 192; and
  • a never-hinged block of six 1860-63 five-cent vermillion beaver stamps, which brought $12,440 as Lot 257.


Among the top highlights from this February’s auction were:

  • a 1919 Newfoundland Hawker Flight mint never-hinged single, which brought $44,435 as Lot 208;
  • a 1927 Newfoundland De Pinedo mint single, which brought $47,400 as Lot 210; and
  • a mint 1851 12-penny black, which brought $183,675 as Lot 234.


A 1919 Newfoundland three-cent Martinsyde manuscript cover brought $41,475 as Lot 192 of the third part of the Highlands Collection auction.

Lastly, from this June’s auction, two of the top highlights featured sought-after Nova Scotia material: a mint 1851 one-shilling deep purple stamp brought $56,285 as Lot 65 while an 1858 one-shilling quadrisect cover realized $118,500.

“These are unprecedented numbers in Canadian and British North American philately,” reads the auction house’s statement.

“The Highlands Collection is the most valuable holding of its kind ever sold in Canada.”

The Highlands Collection consignor, who wishes to remain anonymous, began collecting British

North America in the mid-1970s. Built over four decades, the collection is “reminiscent in style and scope to the greatest collections of the past, with strong emphasis on the pre-Confederation era,” Eastern Auctions Chief Describer Yohann Tanguay told CSN last year.

“If you look back at important collections of the past, like Louise Boyd Dale, Alfred Lichtenstein

and Alfred Caspary, this pretty much falls into the same category.”

For more information about Eastern Auctions, contact founder and owner Gary Lyon, or Tanguay, at 1-506-548-8986 or easternauctions@nb.aibn.com.

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