British North America rarities in Nov. 15-16 Eastern auction

Oct 23, 2019, 10 AM
An important classic variety among the early stamps of Canada, this unused original-gum 1868 ½¢ black Large Queen stamp on watermarked Bothwell paper will be offered during the Nov. 15-16 auction by Eastern.

By Michael Baadke

The upcoming public auction from Eastern Auctions features early classics from British North America and Canada, including a specialized selection of early booklets, imperforates, postal history, large lots and collections.

The sale, which will take place Nov. 15-16 at the Lord Nelson Hotel and Suites in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, also includes selected worldwide stamps, covers and collections.

Among the Canadian classics is the stamp “believed to be the only known mint OG [original gum] example” of the 1868 ½¢ black Large Queen stamp on watermarked Bothwell paper (Scott 21b).

This unusual variety, one of six known unused examples, is hinged and described as very fine.

Normally issued without watermark, rare examples of the perf 12 stamp exist from a pane watermarked “E. & G. BOTHWELL / CLUTHA MILLS.” The stamp in this auction shows the watermark letter “G” from that impression, according to the auction firm.

Eastern acknowledges that this description contradicts past auctions of the same stamp, which identified the visible letter as “C,” including the February 2014 Ron Brigham auction. In its auction lot description, Eastern explains the examination that led up to the revised description.

The stamp also shows the chignon variety, a white area within the bun at the back of the queen’s hair. It was expertized by the Philatelic Foundation in 1972 and the Greene Foundation in 1986.

Eastern cites a Unitrade catalog value of $64,000 Canadian (approximately US$48,900 in late October) for the stamp. The firm’s website revealed an opening bid of $17,000 Canadian (US$13,000).

Another prestigious unused classic turns up in the auction catalog listings for Newfoundland: the 1861 1-penny red brown stamp on medium hard wove paper (Scott 16), with “bright vivid colour and strong impression, surrounded by remarkably large margins and possessing large part original gum.”

Eastern describes the stamp as an error of color with extremely fine grading. The quoted catalog value is $32,000 Canadian (US$24,500), and the opening bid listed is $8,000 Canadian (US$6,100).

Some of Canada’s top rarities are also represented in this sale, including the 1851 12d black Queen Victoria on handmade laid paper (Scott 3), with one unused example and another struck with postmarks.

Three examples of the 1859 6d brown violet Prince Albert stamp perforated gauge 11¾ (Scott 13) are on offer, including one with never-hinged original gum and “the deepest colour and sharpest impression one can hope to find,” according to Eastern.

Modern varieties are also present in this auction, with a well-centered never-hinged mint example of the 1959 5¢ St. Lawrence Seaway stamp with its blue center inverted (Scott 387a), and an upper left corner margin example of the 2003 $5 “Missing Moose” stamp with all engraved colors absent, including those that normally create a portrait of a moose (Scott 1693a).

The booklet selection in this auction extends from 1900 into the 21st century, with single complete books, varieties in French and English, errors and large lots.

The auction catalog can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF document, and online bidding options are available.

For additional information contact Eastern Auctions Ltd., Box 250, Bathurst, New Brunswick, E2A 3Z2, Canada.

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