On today’s date in 2014, the third known two-cent Large Queen on laid paper (Scott #32) hammered down for $215,000 at a sale by New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions.
Until 2013, when U.S. collector Michael Smith famously found the rarity in an American Philatelic Society stockbook, where it was offered as the common wove paper variety, only two laid paper examples were reported. Smith had the stamp expertized by the Toronto-based Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, which deemed it genuine.
“The discovery took me by complete surprise,” Smith told CSN in March 2014. “The first thought even before I triple-checked the stamp was this can’t be. Then after checking what I saw I was in utter disbelief, then I guess my adrenaline jumped up pretty good as I had a strange tingly feeling and I couldn’t really settle down and take it all in. I was completely overwhelmed.”
“Enjoy the hobby the way it suits you and perhaps someday you will be lucky enough to make a fantastic find like this one for me,” he added. “Remember, a knowledgeable collector has an edge on one who is not.”
One of the other two Large Queen on laid paper examples was offered in February 2014 as part of the Ron Brigham Collection.
With a provenance including the famed Philipp von Ferrary Collection, it sold for $475,000 in 2014.
The second known example – once part of the John du Pont Collection – has been in a private collection since 1986.
All three known examples were used at the post office in Hamilton, Ont., around the same time in 1870.