By Jesse Robitaille
A 168-year-old Nova Scotia rarity formerly part of the iconic Dale-Lichtenstein collection is among nearly 800 lots set to cross the block during a two-session sale by Eastern Auctions this November.
Described as being “in the finest quality attainable,” the imperforate one-shilling stamp (Scott #6b) issued by Nova Scotia in 1851 has a noteworthy provenance that includes the father-and-daughter collection of Alfred Lichtenstein and Louise Boyd Dale.
“When it sold in 1968, it brought over three times its catalogue value,” said Yohann Tanguay, chief lot describer with the New Brunswick-based auction house.
In 1968, when it was offered by H.R. Harmer, this stamp sold for $2,500 against its contemporary catalogue value of $750.
In Extremely Fine “Gem” condition and described by auctioneers as “an ideal stamp for the connoisseur and no doubt in the finest possible condition one can hope to find,” the stamp will be offered this November as Lot 88. It now carries a catalogue value of $9,000-plus.
The first session, which includes Lots 1-401, begins with a 49-lot worldwide section with six lots from the Fischer Estate.
Assembled by a Canadian collector of Hungarian background, the estate is “meticulously identified and mainly displayed in small size glassines, stored in long retail boxes, each containing anywhere from 500 to 800 envelopes,” Tanguay said.
It’s followed by a 123-lot British North America section, which features an “attractive range of classic issues in premium quality, many from the Henry Halls Collection, painstakingly assembled in the best condition attainable,” added Tanguay.
Among several noteworthy areas, the “Pence” offerings include at least one unused example of each stamp – from SC #1-13 – with “many choice used stamps and valuable covers.”
“It’s particularly interesting to see that several consignors who entrusted their collections resulted in showcasing a large range of valuable, high-quality items and collections throughout,” said Tanguay, who added there’s a “very strong section of Canadian booklets, one of the very best ever assembled and offered at auction.”
“Also, I would like to point out our signature selection of large lots and collections, always anticipated by collectors and dealers alike, will no doubt entice spirited bidding.”
Among the Pence issue highlights is Lot 240, an imperforate 1856 six-pence stamp on wove paper (SC #5b).
“Marginal examples of classic stamps are always appealing, and the Canada six-pence ‘Consort’ corner margin single will certainly appeal to a broad audience,” said Tanguay, who added the example is also postmarked “with a clear four-ring numeral.”
It has a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-plus.
Another Pence issue highlight is described as a “glorious mint 10-pence ‘Cartier’ displaying superb physical attributes.” The imperforate 1858 issue (SC #7a) “easily ranks among the very best mint original gum examples extant,” Tanguay said.
“Always a favourite with collectors, the Canada 10-pence Cartier stamp offered in superb mint OG (original gum) really stands out on its own and will be nearly impossible to improve,” he added.
To be offered as Lot 248, it carries a catalogue value of $28,000-plus.
Described as “the most sought-after plate variety found on this stamp,” an imperforate 1857 half-penny rose stamp on medium wove paper (SC #8ii) will be offered as Lot 255.
“The half-penny rose showing the major re-entry is an outstanding variety, especially so in such choice mint condition, that once graced the famous Caspary collection, well-known for having stamps in the finest condition,” said Tanguay.
It has a catalogue value of $8,000.
LARGE QUEENS & SMALL QUEENS
Moving on to the Large Queen and Small Queen sections, Lot 300 offers a watermarked half-cent Large Queen (SC #21b) “of utmost rarity that once graced some of the very best collections of the past,” according to Tanguay.
Most recently, it was sold as part of the Ron Brigham Collection in 2014.
“The half-cent Large Queen on watermarked Bothwell paper is the rarest Large Queen stamp – after the two-cent on laid paper. Only a handful exist, and the example offered here is believed to be the sole mint example with original gum.”
This November, it’s offered with a catalogue value of $64,000.
Rounding out the session one highlights is Lot 365, one of only eight reported examples of the mint three-cent Small Queen in perf 12.5. Described as “by far the finest” existing example, the 1870 three-cent copper red stamp (SC #37d) is from the first Ottawa printing.
“The three-cent Small Queen in the much scarce perf 12.5 is often on collector’s want-lists, but many can only afford a used example,” said Tanguay. “This sale offers the finest mint example of this perforation variety. Surprisingly, only eight mint or unused no gum examples have been reported so far.”
This example on offer this November is expected to bring $20,000-plus.
The second session, which includes Lots 402-794, features the family estate of Henry Hechler’s granddaughter, Lorraine Rasmussen, with “extensive postal history collections related to the well-known pioneer stamp dealer,” said Tanguay.
Hechler is perhaps best-known for leaving a lasting legacy on “Organized Philately” in Canada.
“He was elected in 1888 as the first president of the Canadian Philatelic Association, which became The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada in 1921,” Tanguay said.
“According to famous stamp dealer Fred Jarrett, Henry accumulated vast amounts of material. It is even reported large portions of his stamp stock were shipped in trunks and auctioned in very bulky lots in England many decades ago. Certainly, an incalculable amount of material that future generations of collectors are now enjoying.”
Highlights of the Hechler Collection, which runs from Lots 402-435, include Lot 406, one of only three registered letter stamp covers, this being a unique franking, to China.
Postmarked on July 10, 1889, the three-cent red postal envelope is uprated with two distinctive two-cent “Registered Letter Stamp” shades – orange and deep rose carmine – along with a one-cent yellow for the five-cent registration cost. It’s also uprated with a five-cent olive green stamp and four half-cent Small Queen stamps for the Universal Postal Union’s 10-cent authorized surtax rate for remote destinations or lengthy distances. All stamps are cancelled or tied by grids with a Halifax dispatch circular date stamp at the top and an oval “R” tying the one-cent stamp.
On arrival, a clear octagonal “Registered / 19 / AUG / 1889 / Shanghai” datestamp in blue was struck on the left side of half-cent stamps.
The only known cover franked with two-cent Registered Letter Stamps to China, this lot has a pre-sale estimate of $4,000-plus.
The Hechler Collection will be followed by a Canada section from the 1897 “Diamond Jubilee” issue to back-of-the-book material.
Highlights include a 1903 25-cent “red on pink surface coloured cover” booklet (SC #BK2). Described as “an impressive complete booklet,” it includes a pair of two-cent carmine King Edward VII “Type II” panes of six stamps on horizontal mesh paper. Offered as Lot 622, it has a catalogue value of $4,750.
Lot viewing for the upcoming sale will be held Nov. 14-16 in the third-floor Victoria Suite of the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax.
Each viewing session will begin at 9 a.m., with the first session ending at 6 p.m. and the final two sessions ending at noon. The two auction sessions – to be held in the same location – will follow lot viewing on Nov. 15-16 at 1:30 p.m. All times are in Atlantic Standard Time.
For more information visit easternauctions.com.