12-penny black highlights Siegel sale of Calgary Collection of Canada

An 1851 12-penny black on laid paper (Scott #3) described by auctioneers as “Extremely Fine” sold for $135,000 USD as part of the 286-lot sale of the Calgary Collection of Canada, which was offered by Siegel Auctions this March.

The 167-year-old stamp was offered as Lot 1105 of the March 13 sale. With original gum, this lightly hinged example featured “clearly visible laid lines” and “large balanced margins all around, intense shade and superbly detailed impression on crisp paper,” according to auctioneers.

Canada’s first Pence Issue was printed by the New York firm Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson. The original die was engraved by Alfred Jones based on the Chalon portrait that was also used on stamps of the Australian states Queensland and Tasmania; Bahamas; and New Zealand, among other British colonies.

A total of 50,000 stamps were printed from 250 sheets of 200 subjects (two panes of 100 stamps). Only 1,450 examples were sold with the balance being destroyed. Siegel’s census records a total of 18 original gum singles and four pairs, although “another pair is thought to possibly exist,” according to auctioneers. “While others may have similarly large margins, few compare to the incredible depth of impression this stamp exudes.”

Lot 1126 was  an 1859 three-penny brown red that sold for $30,000 USD.


Lot 1126 of the Calgary Collection of Canada was an 1859 three-penny brown red (SC #12i). Described by auctioneers as having “part original gum” and “magnificent centering for this notoriously difficult issue, intense shade and impression.”

“This is the first original gum example we have offered since keeping computerized records,” reads the Siegel auction catalogue. “After careful review of other named sales, we are unable to locate another comparable example to the example offered here—superbly centered, sound and with original gum. Most collections with No. 12 have examples which are no gum are off-center.”

This lot sold for $30,000 USD after a pre-sale estimate of $17,500 USD.


Lot 1200 was an 1868 one-penny brown red on laid paper that sold for $42,500 USD.

Rounding out the highlights was Lot 1200, an 1868 one-penny brown red on laid paper (SC #31). Described as having “original gum, lovely rich color” and “strong impression,” this example exhibits “noticeable laid lines.”

The Unitrade catalogue notes “fewer than 10 unused copies” are recorded.

“Nearly all are without gum and have faults to some degree,” reads the auction catalogue. “This is the first unused example we have offered since keeping computerized records.”

This example hammered down for $42,500 USD.

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