Both classic and modern material hotly contested in Halifax

By Bret Evans

Bidding was strong at two auctions held in Halifax in late October by Eastern Auctions Ltd.

The first sale featured collections formed by the late Mel Baron.

According to auctioneer Gary Lyon, demand from mail, phone, and floor bidders was strong throughout the sale, with many lots bringing prices well over the estimates.

“The section of imperforates was the most complete ever offered,” he said.

A set of tete-beche Admiral issue booklet panes sold for $40,250. An imperf pair of the two-cent green Arch issue realized $16,100, while a block of four of the three-cent Medallion die II realized $9,775. Modern issues included an imperforate four-cent Cameo coil strip that brought an astounding $24,150.

Modern errors reflected renewed strength, with a six-cent orange Centennial issue gutter and a $1.50 Waterton Lakes missing colour both achieving record prices of $8,625 each. The Baron sale closed with a specialized section of first-day covers. Among these, the top realization was a rare FDC for the 10-cent issue of 1938 (Scott #241), which was finally hammered down for $2,300 against a catalogue value of just $100.

Lyon said the general sale attracted spirited bidding as well. Newfoundland drew considerable attention and impressive results. The 1868 Cents issue alone saw a two-cent codfish sell for $2,875 and a five-cent black seal reach $7,185.

Early Canada was highlighted by a mint six pence on laid paper and an unused six pence on wove paper that sold for $48,875 and $34,500 respectively.

“Postal history was popular as always,” Lyon said.

A single 50-cent Admiral on cover to the U.S. sold for $1,725.

Modern issues continued to attract attention from bidders, with a triple-print souvenir sheet of the Canada 82 Issue realizing $2,530.

The highest price realized belonged to an extremely rare set of die proofs of 1875 Registration stamps. Many serious bidders competed on this lot, which eventually realized $54,625. Only two such sets are known; the other set was sold by Eastern last year.

Prices quoted include the 15 per cent buyer’s premium.

A full set of prices realized is available at

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