Auction review: British North America highlights December Maresch auction

A number of classic stamps issued by the colonies of British North America (BNA) highlighted a three-session sale hosted by Toronto’s R. Maresch & Son Auctions last month.

The first session (Lots 1-560) began on the evening of Dec. 7 with Canadian material up to the Admiral series, the first of which was issued in December 1911, and was the first Canadian definitive series to feature the portrait of King George V. Lots also included postal history, covers, proofs, essay, and “many singles never hinged and very fine or better.”

Lot 756 was this complete sheet of 100 olive-green 20-cent stamps with a ‘WAR TAX’ overprint. It crossed the block for $5,500.

The second session (Lots 561-978) began the following afternoon with 1917 to modern issues, including back of the book; proofs; imperforates; registered stamps; revenues; and complete sheets, including a complete sheet of 100 olive-green 20-cent stamps with a diagonal “WAR TAX” overprint.

Later that evening, the third session (Lots 979-1460) began with British Commonwealth material, including Boer War covers; Rhodesian Double Heads and more.


Lot 814 was this two-and-a-half-pence stamp issued in 1860 by the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. It realized $9,000.

Among the top highlights was Lot 895, an 1861 one-penny reddish-brown stamp (Scott #16) issued by what was then the colony of Newfoundland. With “amazingly vivid shade” and “large to just clear margins, full original gum, crisp and fresh rarity,” this lot—accompanied with a 1931 Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL) certificate—sold for $9,500.

Another BNA highlight was Lot 814, a two-and-a-half-pence stamp issued in 1860 for use in the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island (SC #1). This very fine and rare stamp was accompanied by a 1969 RPSL certificate as well as an 1989 BPA certificate. It sold for $9,000.

Rounding out the highlights was Lot 756, a complete sheet of 100 olive-green 20-cent stamps with a diagonal “WAR TAX” overprint and “OTTAWA No. 3” plate number in the bottom margin (SC #MR2C). Described by auctioneers as a “showpiece,” this lot realized $5,500.


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