May sale replete with Canadian rarities

Large, Small Queens, Admirals and revenues well-represented

By Mike Walsh

Eastern Auctions anticipates specialists will scrutinize its May 22-25 sale closely, given its extensive collection of 1,500 lots primarily focused on Canada and British North America. The four-day auction showcases numerous lots rarely seen at auction.

“Not counting the fabulous collection of Cyprus and worldwide lots in this sale, there are over 1,200 lots on offer related to British North America and Canada, including several important ‘name’ collections,” elaborates Yohann Tanguay, Eastern’s chief describer. “It is a major sale with a wide range of material from stamps and multiples to specialized postal history. We gather specialists will be eying this sale very closely, as the range is eclectic and offers an opportunity to acquire items rarely seen at auction.”

Among the impressive “name” collections is the Colchester collection of Large Queen stamps and postal history (Lots 726-825).

“We are excited to bring this comprehensive collection to the market,” Eastern states in its catalogue. “Since the 1960s this gentleman was able to form an impressive collection of this ever-popular series.”

The auction firm, situated in New Brunswick, underscores the diverse array of stamps and covers within the collection, including some that haven’t appeared in auctions for decades. Special attention is given to postmarks and postal history, showcasing “beautiful frankings,” along with the inclusion of three bisected covers.

One of these rarities is a “spectacular” 26-cent Cunard Line December 1868 cover (Lot 786) addressed to Switzerland. It features a dark blue embossed Department of Public Works “Crown” Canada seal on the backflip, as well as a hexagonal departmental Public Works Canada handstamp and initials on the front. Additionally, it bears a “Per Cunard” endorsement. The lot description further elaborates that it is “impressively franked” with a one-cent deep brown-red stamp alongside a vertical pair of 12½-cent blue stamps on medium wove paper, all attractively tied by four-ring “627” cancels.

According to the lot description, as of the end of 2021, the Large Queen cover census documents only six covers to Switzerland exclusively franked with Large Queen stamps, along with another five featuring mixed Large and Small Queens. Each of these covers showcases distinct frankings, reflecting postal rates ranging from 10 cents to 34 cents. Lot 786 has a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-plus.

“Large and Small Queen offerings are extensive with close to 300 lots taken from collections that have been built over decades,” Tanguay explains. “Many of the lots described were bought many years ago and this is the first time we have had the pleasure to offer them. Specialists should have a field day in perusing through the catalogue.”

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