‘Mixed feelings’ about paper restoration pushed aside for posterity

An 1862 cover mailed from Prescott, Ont., to Victoria, Vancouver Island, had tears along three edges plus surface soiling before it was conserved by a professional paper restorer.

After one collector acquired a slightly tattered cover dating back more than a century and a half, he decided to restore it to ensure its survival as a scarce and significant piece of postal history. Mailed from Prescott, Ont., to watchmaker Willis Coates in Victoria, the cover is dated May 25, 1862, about two months before the latter city’s incorporation. It paid the 15-cent rate, which is the first known rate for stamped covers to Vancouver Island or British Columbia. “I collect the ‘Decimal’ issue, and the covers that I bought represent two of the three Decimal-era rates to British Columbia and Vancouver Island between 1859 and 1868, when the ‘Large Queens’ were released,” said Jim Jung, who’s a member of the Pence-Cents Era Study Group and the editor of its newsletter. Continue reading →

Appeal, rarity a ‘lethal combination’ for postal history highlights of latest Eastern sale

An 1852 folded lettersheet mailed from Montreal to New York realized $5,250 on an estimate of $3,000-plus this November during Eastern Auctions’ final sale of 2019.

Nearly all 794 lots offered by Eastern Auctions were sold this November as they crossed the block in a two-session sale that brought a total hammer price of more than $1 million and exceeded expectations across many of its sections. The first session, which included Lots 1-401, was highlighted by a circa 1878 12-pence Queen Victoria trial colour engraved die proof (Scott #3TC). Offered as Lot 191, it originated from the composite die and includes the characteristic scar at “CE” of “PENCE.” Described by auctioneers as a “most striking coloured proof that will enhance anyone’s collection,” it brought $9,500 on an estimate of $8,500 in Very Fine condition. “Results of some of the proofs and essays did raise eyebrows on how well they sold,” said Yohann Tanguay, chief lot describer with the New Brunswick-based auction house, who added record prices “were certainly fetched on a few.” Continue reading →

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