Maresch offering 1,300 lots in early January sale

By Jesse Robitaille

R. Maresch & Son, a long-running auction house now based in Aurora, Ont., is offering more than 60 of its customers’ prized possessions as part of its next public auction.

Those clients – some who have been working with Maresch & Son for 50-plus years – consigned more than 1,300 lots to be offered across two sessions. Slated for Jan. 6-7, it will be the firm’s 561st sale since Richard Maresch started the business in 1924.

“You will find many better Canada with Pence and Cents, including proofs, Large Queens with proofs, Small Queens to modern, with many never-hinged Very Fine examples as well as many modern varieties, including imperforates,” said auctioneer Peter Maresch, Richard’s grandson.

The first highlight is a 180-year-old piece of postal history described by the younger Maresch as “unusual.” Offered as Lot 99, the stampless folded letter was mailed from Toronto to Chippawa, in present-day Niagara Falls, Ont., in May 1840, less than a year before Canada issued its first stamp, the three-penny beaver (Scott #1). The cover includes a crossed-out black “FREE” handstand owing to its recipient, who was a postmaster; however, its initial free rating was re-rated as 4.5 pence (for about 96.5 kilometres across Lake Ontario). A check mark was also added beside the May 19, 1840-dated “CITY of TORONTO / U.C.” large double circle handstamp.

It’s estimated at $100-plus.

A brown-red plate proof specimen of Canada’s 1851 three-penny beaver carries a catalogue value of $300 as Lot 146.


Canada’s first stamp features prominently in the upcoming Maresch sale, which offers a used example as Lot 163 plus a plate proof and plate proof specimen as Lots 145-146, respectively.

With a catalogue value of $800, the used stamp is described by auctioneers as being in Fine condition.

The red plate proof (SC #1P) was printed on india paper and affixed to a card. Described as being in Very Fine condition, it carries a catalogue value of $350.

The brown-red plate proof features a green-black “SPECIMEN” overprint (SC # 1TCi) and was printed on india paper. It’s also described as being in Very Fine condition with a catalogue value of $300.

Another three-penny beaver (SC #4a), catalogued as “brown red” and issued in 1853, will cross the block as Lot 169. It’s franked on a cover mailed from Belleville, Ont., to nearby Brockville, and it’s tied by a blue four-ring cancel. An Oct. 25, 1858-dated “BELLEVILLE / U.C.” split ring postmark is also to the bottom left. Described as being in Fine condition, it’s estimated at $150-plus.

An 1886 cover mailed to Halifax from present-day Goshen, N.S., is franked with a six-cent yellow-green bisect. Catalogued at $5,000, it will cross the block as Lot 268.


A piece of Small Queen postal history is also set to cross the block as Lot 268.

A six-cent yellow-brown bisect (SC #39) pays the three-cent rate on the 1886 cover mailed to Halifax from present-day Goshen, a rural community in Guysborough County. It’s tied by an Aug. 11, 1886-dated “GOSHEN-(GUYS)” circular date stamp. Described by auctioneers as “rare,” and with “some foxing spots” on the reverse but “otherwise clean,” the cover is accompanied by a 1967 BPA Expertising certificate. It has a catalogue value of $5,000.

One of only two known imperforate upper-left plate blocks of four 1974 telephone stamps will cross the block as Lot 500. It’s catalogued at $5,000.

Other Canadian stamp highlights include:

  • Lot 346, an imperforate proof pair of two-cent “Imperial Penny Postage” stamps (SC #85P) – the map issue – in black on gummed paper and estimated at $1,500-plus in Very Fine condition;
  • Lot 391, a lower “OTTAWA–No–3” plate strip of 20 five-cent dark-blue Admirals (SC #111), showing hairlines in the lower-left four stamps and selvedge, with an estimate of $3,000-plus; and
  • Lot 500, one of only two known 1974 eight-cent telephone stamps (SC #641a) in an imperforate upper-left plate block of four, untagged, with a catalogue value of $5,000.

To browse or bid on the lots online, visit

To view the full digital catalogue, visit

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