Auction 7 Followup #2 — A Strong Realization, and Re-Capping Highlights #1 & #2

At Sparks Auctions we try to cover worldwide stamps.  When offering something out of the ordinary, even the most experienced describers can be surprised at the level of demand.  Lot 719 is one which we fully appreciated the rarity of an imprint block and yet were still pleasantly surprised with the realization.  If this lot was merely four hinged stamps with less than VF centering, it would have struggled to reach $250.

Lot 719 Canada #OX1 1879 yellow brown Officially Sealed stamp, right margin block of four showing full imprint, mint with full original gum, hinged and with some separation which was sensibly reinforced. We do not recall seeing another imprint block of this issue. A great opportunity for the specialist to acquire an important and potentially unique imprint block. It is often forgotten that this stamp was issued during the Small Queen era. Estimate $2000; realized $3680.

Although there were only 5 advance bids this lot opened very strongly at $2400, and then an agent on the floor took the lot right up to the top bid in the book of $3200.


We receive advance bids in the traditional auction ways by mail, fax, telephone, email, and hand delivered.  While we are recording these, many other bidders are using the services of Stamp Auction Network.  Hundreds of bids are received in the few minutes before the start as potential buyers check out opening bids.  Only after we print out the bidbook about two minutes before the start of each session do we see all the bids and the highest bid prior to calling the lot.  We (and our consignors) then hope for strong competition on the floor or live through the internet.


Our first highlight was the Boy Scout stamps on offer.  Lot 958 — the 21mm wide Baden Powell Scott #180 — had a pre-sale estimate of $750, received 5 advance bids, opened at $625 and sold for $725; just under our estimate despite a higher advance bid.  The Boy Scout collection in 16 volumes was right at the end of the sale as Lot 2052, opened at $1600 and sold for $1800, just under the top bid of the successful buyer who purchased both lots.

Our second highlight featured fancy cancels on Canadian stamps.  Lot 294 a lovely postmark on an inexpensive stamp was estimated by us to sell for $40. It opened at $95 and sold to the book after floor bidding at $120.  A mixed lot of fancy cancels, Lot 1558, was estimated by us at $250, had 6 advance bids opening at $210 and sold to the floor for $275.

Lot 294 Canada #35 Used 1889 1¢ yellow Small Queen, selected used with perfect strike of fancy “C” in twin rings cancel from Ottawa House of Commons, very fine. Estimate $40; realized $138.

Auction 7 Followup #1

We described 13 highlights before the auction.  Most of these mentioned two or three lots and we will report on all of the highlights over the next few weeks and also include some highlights of competition which occurred during the bidding.

Highlight number 6 showed an exceptional trio of three Three Penny Beavers on laid paper with distinctive red postmarks.

Lot 206 Canada #1 Used 1851 3d orange red Beaver on laid paper, with deep colour complemented by a red target cancel, one full margin and three very large margins each extending almost to the next stamp, clear laid lines, extremely fine. Unitrade CV$1600; realized $2530.

Lot 15 had an internal estimate of $800 but may have suffered a bit by being in the section of plated Three Penny Beavers.  It received 7 advance bids and opened at $625 selling to an internet bidder for a hammer price of $675.

Lot 205 had an internal estimate of $500 and received 6 advance bids to open at $575 and then sell to an internet bidder for $700.

Lot 206 had an internal estimate of $1200 and a few days before the auction we received a top bid of $2100.   However the opening bid was languishing at $525 then $575 the morning of the auction.  An $800 bid came in and then just before starting the auction a bid of $1350 allowing us to start at a respectable $1400.  In all we received 12 advance bids.  Once the lot opened a dealer acting as agent took the bidding to $1900 then a collector on the floor put up his hand and beat the strong advance bid so that the item sold for a hammer price of $2200.

Auction #7 Has Finished

Auction #7, which ended just after 7pm last night, was a tremendous success. We had a record number of bidders, with a large contingent bidding from the floor, and many more online, for our best results ever. The realizations are now available on Stamp Auction Network. During the coming weeks, we will be posting informative features about many realizations on

We are now busy with post-auction invoicing and organizing. For the next few days, we will devote only a small amount of time to answering the telephone and checking messages. If you need to reach us, e-mail is the most effective way. We will try to answer at least once a day.

In the meantime, we are preparing lots and creating invoices. We will begin to send out invoices early next week, including shipping details for those who have already paid by credit card. Local Ottawa bidders should be sure they have received their invoice before arranging a time to pick up their lots.

Thank you for participating in the Sale. We begin lotting right away for an auction in early Spring!

-Sparks Auctions
Ottawa, Canada