By Jesse Robitaille
A two-session auction highlighted by British North America and Canada, including an extensive section of King George V “Admiral” stamps and postal history, will be offered by New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions this February.
A worldwide section will open the Feb. 28-29 sale with Lots 1-211, which feature a “remarkable estate” of parallel mint and used Colonial Africa collections, said Eastern Auctions stamp specialist and chief describer Yohann Tanguay.
It will be followed by a British North America section from Lot 212-314.
Among the highlights is Lot 227, a “flawless” mint one-shilling stamp (Scott #3) issued by the then-British colony of New Brunswick in 1851. Described as being “among the rarest stamps of British North America,” it’s one of fewer than a dozen examples that can be classified as Very Fine and unused, Tanguay said.
“A key mint stamp missing from many advanced collections,” it has a catalogue value of $60,000, he added.
Another New Brunswick rarity, this a “very rare premium mint example” of the colony’s unissued five-cent brown stamp (SC #5) depicting Postmaster General Charles Connell, will cross the block as Lot 231.
“The vast majority of the initial printing was destroyed after it was learned that the postmaster general had used his portrait instead of Queen Victoria,” said Tanguay, of the 1860 five-cent stamp “with characteristic perforations along with some uncleared perf discs.”
“Overall perforations are noticeably superior to what we are accustomed to seeing for this well-known rarity,” added Tanguay.
“After exhaustive research for comparable examples, our conclusion is that this is the finest known mint example. No other example boasts such superior colour, perforations as well as possessing original gum.”
It carries a catalogue value of $40,000.
Moving into the “Pence” issue, a “brilliant fresh mint” imperforate 1854 three-pence beaver on thin hard wove paper (SC #4d) and with “unusually full original gum” will cross the block as Lot 336.
“Sound mint examples of this distinctive printing are rare due to their fragile nature and are underrated as such,” said Tanguay, who added it’s a “desirable stamp for the advanced collector.
It has a catalogue value of $4,000-plus.
Described as an “immensely rare mint example,” an imperforate 1855 six-pence “Consort” stamp (SC #5) on medium wove paper will be offered as Lot 343.
“Only a small number of six-pence ‘Consort’ stamps exist in sound unused condition. From that small population, a mere few have clean original gum as the example offered here,” said Tanguay, who added the stamp “once graced the famous Dale-Lichtenstein Collection.”
It carries a catalogue value of $80,000.
Another Pence issue, this an imperforate 10-pence “Cartier” stamp issued in 1858 on thick wove paper (SC #7a), will cross the block as Lot 347.
“An amazing mint stamp in all respects that would really stand out in anyone’s collection,” it features “fabulous colour and impression as fresh as the day it was printed,” Tanguay said.
It has a catalogue value of $28,000.
Still in the Pence issue, Lot 354 will offer a “phenomenal” mint imperforate 7.5-pence deep green stamp on medium wove paper (SC #9a) issued in 1857. Described as having “the elusive deep green shade,” which is tough to find in high quality, it has a catalogue value of $30,000.
Another six-pence “Consort,” this a brown violet example (SC #13) issued in 1859, is slated to cross the block as Lot 360.
“Its colour and overall quality are easily superior to most known examples,” said Tanguay, who added “very few still exist with original gum” like this example, which he describes as an “absolute gem for the connoisseur.”
It carries a catalogue value of $75,000-plus.
Moving on to the 1897 “Diamond Jubilee” issue, a complete set of 16 large die proofs (SC #50-65) on India paper – one of only two sets known to exist – will be offered as Lot 403.
Die sunk on uniform full-size cards measuring 226 millimetres by 150 millimetres, each piece is “in immaculate state of preservation, each showing razor-sharp impression and exceptional colour,” Tanguay said.
“These die proofs sunk on India paper are considerably rarer than those printed directly on card,” he added.
This lot has a pre-sale estimate of $25,000-plus.
IMPERIAL PENNY POSTAGE
Lot 452 will offer a “very rare” positional block of 25 stamps from the unissued fourth plate of the 1898 two-cent “map stamp.”
“Only one other similar sized block exists which also originates from the sole sheet,” said Tanguay, adding it’s a “must-have to any serious collection.”
It has a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-plus.
GEORGE V ADMIRALS
One of the utmost rarities of the King George V “Admiral” issue, a pyramid guideline block of four 1923 $1 deep orange stamps from the first wet printing (SC #122biii) will be offered as Lot 511.
“Virtually all known pyramid guide blocks of the $1 Admiral are the later dry printing,” said Tanguay. “This is the only wet printing block we recall seeing and is quite possibly unique.”
It’s expected to bring $5,000-plus.
From Lot 543-559, a series of covers from an award-winning exhibit collection on the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in Siberia will cross the block.
“In July 1918, Canada decided to send a brigade of over 4,000 men to Vladivostok, Eastern Siberia, supporting Russian troops using the Trans-Siberian Railway, following the collapse of the Eastern Front during the Russian Revolution,” said Tanguay, who added the first part left Vancouver on Oct. 11, 1918, and arrived later that month.
“During a short period of seven months ‘On Active Service,’ most Canadian troops were stationed in and around Vladivostok. These postal markings were only used for this expedition and are rare.”
It’s believed only about 120 covers exist today.
The 17 covers on offer this February range in estimates from $150 to $400.
Another balance lot containing 14 covers and cards will also be offered as Lot 779.
For more information about Eastern Auctions, which will also be the official auctioneer of this year’s Royal Philatelic Society of Canada Convention, visit easternauctions.com.