Expectations high for modern varieties, more in June 9-10 Maresch sale

By Jesse Robitaille

The R. Maresch & Son auction firm will offer more than 1,000 lots, with a focus on Canada and Newfoundland, in its next major sale this June.

In addition to classic Canadian and Newfoundland stamps and postal history, the two-session sale offers several modern varieties, including two lots catalogued at more than $12,000 each. As with the previous Maresch sale in January – when one of only two known imperforate upper-left plate blocks of 1974 telephone stamps (SC #641a) sold for $1,400 – auctioneers’ expectations are high for June 9-10.

“Modern varieties have been doing better the last couple of auctions, with many of these going to bidders in the United States,” said auctioneer Peter Maresch, the grandson of late founder Richard Maresch, who launched the business in Austria in 1924.

Now based in Aurora, Ont., the long-running auction house is set to offer more than 65 of its clients’ consignments in this June’s sale.

Leading the way is a lower-left corner margin block of four 50-cent “Ghost Town” varieties (SC #723Ab) – one of three known examples with the brown inscriptions omitted. Offered as Lot 403, the block features “a few minute traces of offset on the upper-left stamps,” auctioneers said. Described as being in Very Fine (VF), never-hinged (NH) condition it’s accompanied by a 2009 Richard Gratton certificate and carries a catalogue value of $12,500.

A matched set of imperforate imprint blocks of four 45-cent pronghorn stamps is catalogued at $12,000 as Lot 422.

Dozens of other errors and varieties line this section of the catalogue, with the 1917 Confederation issue (SC #135) through modern material running from Lots 334-442.

Within that offering, a matched set of imperforate imprint blocks of four 45-cent pronghorn stamps (SC #1172h) will cross the block as Lot 422. The upper-left block has a small internal crease in its upper-right margin, the lower-left block has “a couple of wrinkles,” and the lower-right block has an internal crease in its bottom margin, according to auctioneers. Again described as VF-NH, the set is catalogued at $12,000.

A single imperforate block of four pronghorn stamps – also described as VF-NH – is also offered as Lot 421 with a catalogue value of $2,400.

SESSION ONE: CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS

Among the classic highlights in session one, which will offer Lots 1-538 on June 9, is the Province of Canada’s 1855 Jacques Cartier issue (SC #7).

A mint pair of 1857 half- penny rose stamps is catalogued at $5,600 as Lot 197.

The used 10-pence blue stamp on thin paper will cross the block as Lot 196 with “full to large margins” and a “minute” thin above the “S” in “POSTAGE,” auctioneers said. Described as VF and accompanied by a 2020 Greene Foundation certificate, the lot carries a catalogue value of $16,000.

The following lot – 197 – offers a mint pair of 1857 half-penny rose stamps (SC #8) featuring Queen Victoria’s left-facing portrait. With original gum and described by auctioneers as “striking,” it’s accompanied by a 2019 Greene Foundation certificate and carries a catalogue value of $5,600.

A rare piece of postal history will cross the block as Lot 204. A 10-cent Prince Albert (SC #16) and five-cent vermillion stamp (SC #15) – both from 1859 – are tied to the large cover by an Aug. 15, 1859-dated Toronto, Upper Canada, circular datestamp. A Hamilton double split-ring postmark is also on the back. Accompanied by 2003 American Philatelic Expertizing Service and 2008 Greene Foundation certificates, the cover is expected to bring at least $4,000.

A rare 1859 cover mailed from Hamilton to Toronto, then part of Upper Canada, is estimated at $4,000-plus as Lot 204. It’s franked with a 10-cent Prince Albert stamp (right) and a five-cent vermillion stamp, both tied by an Aug. 15, 1859-dated Toronto circular datestamp.

Session one also offers several noteworthy blocks, strips and pairs, including:

  • Lot 297, a right margin block of four 50-cent purple stamps issued in 1908 (SC #95), described as Extremely Fine and catalogued at $6,000;
  • Lot 298, a top plate strip of three 50-cent purple stamps (SC #95i) with an “OTTAWA – No – 1” imprint in the top margin, described as VF and catalogued at $8,250;
  • Lot 325, a rare bottom margin block of four 10-cent plum Admirals (SC #116) showing “Type C” lathework, described as Fine and catalogued at $6,000;
  • Lot 326, a bottom margin pair of 10-cent plum Admirals (SC #116), again with Type C lathework, described as VF and catalogued at $7,500; and
  • Lot 477, a rare top partial inscription block of four Patricia Airways & Exploration Company 50-cent dark violet and red semi-official airmail stamps on dark blue paper (SC #CL18TCP). With the upper-right stamp featuring the “Small V” variety, the block – in VF-NH condition – is catalogued at $12,000.

    A top plate strip of three 50-cent purple stamps with an ‘OTTAWA – No – 1’ imprint is catalogued at $8,250 as Lot 298.

SESSION TWO: NEWFOUNDLAND HIGHLIGHTS

Several noteworthy Newfoundland lots will also cross the block during session two (Lots 539-1068) on June 10.

A surcharged block of six one-cent-on-three-cent Newfoundland stamps (Scott #75-77) is offered as Lot 593. Three of the block’s overprints are Type A while two are Type C and the remaining one is Type B. The top middle and right stamps are both hinged; however, the remaining stamps are described as NH with original gum. Accompanied by a 2021 Greene Foundation certificate, it’s catalogued at $3,450.

Lastly, a rare 1930 “Columbia” flight cover will cross the block as Lot 636. A Sept. 25, 1930-dated St. John’s, Nfld., machine cancel ties an overprinted 50-cent-on-36-cent Newfoundland caribou airmail stamp (Scott #C5) to the cover. Mailed to London, England, it features a manuscript reading, “per. Air Mail Columbia / Harbor Grace, N.F. to London Eng. / Sept 25th 1930.” An Oct. 9, 1930-dated Harbour Grace receiver mark is also on the back alongside a small black ownership mark. Accompanied by a 2009 Philatelic Foundation certificate, it’s catalogued at $18,000.

A rare 1930 ‘Columbia’ flight cover is catalogued at $18,000 as Lot 636.

Only 100 covers with the Columbia flight overprinted stamp were flown on the Miss Columbia for the 1930 transatlantic flight from Harbor Grace to England.

Aside from Canada and Newfoundland, other auction highlights include comprehensive British Commonwealth material, the sought-after 1980 People’s Republic of China “Year of the Monkey” block of four, and “many other worldwide collections,” Maresch said.

“It also contains many large carton lots, and our shelves are again full,” he added.

Both live online auction sessions kick off at 10 a.m. (ET); however, because of COVID-19, no in-person floor bidding will be available.

The sale can also be viewed online via Stamp Auction Network – bit.ly/3b0GP4B – or the Maresch website, maresch.com. For printed catalogues, contact R. Maresch & Son, 2 Vata Ct. (Unit 6), Aurora ON, L4G 4B6, or call 1-905-726-2197.

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