Eleven Subjects Revisited

In our editorial to Auction #3 we made comments on eleven subjects
(Rarity, Descriptions, Scanned Images, etc.) concerning the auctions.  These are worth repeating.

Exceptional Items There are exceptional items in every session. Please take time to study the catalogue thoroughly. We invite you to participate in our auction.

Rarity Each of our auctions has had an increasing number of stamps or philatelic items of great rarity. In June 2008 we offered a Newfoundland 1857 Two Penny; in January 2009 we offered two of these rarities, and also a unique pair of the Four Penny and two of the One Shilling Orange. This auction sees an Inverted Seaway block, a die proof of the Twelve Pence, and a Six Pence on wove paper with original gum – and these are just in the Canada.

Quality Collectors not only have different interests but have different criteria for quality. It is a real pleasure to describe stamps of high quality. We are especially looking for future consignments of high quality material.

Quantity Before our June 2008 auction we wrote an editorial including a paragraph about how bulky the sale was. We had to purchase 28 new full sized bookshelves to hold auction lots. This phenomenon continues. There were great bargains in the Lots & Collections last auction and the same will be true in Auction #4.

Bidding Increments We have made changes to the bidding steps at the lower level of increments. This should speed up the auction. Increments are listed on the bid sheet and on our site.

Descriptions We attempt to have accurate and consistent descriptions for all lots from the great single rarities all the way down to the carton of “junk.” This means many more hours needed to catalogue and describe collections and bulky lots. Descriptions are then audited and where necessary corrected. Sparks Auctions is interested in hiring collectors who would like to try their hand at auction descriptions on an “as-needed” basis. We invite your expression of interest.

Opening Bids Opening bids on StampAuctionNetwork will show as $2 whether there are no bids or one bid. A second bid on the same lot will result in a posted starting bid one increment higher than the underbid. Our experience is that nowadays most lots show only two dollars as the opening bid until about 24 hours before the auction begins.

Live Internet Bidding We are the first – and still the only – Canadian auction house to use the live internet bidding capabilities of StampAuctionNetwork.com.

Consignors We thank our many consignors for their confidence in Sparks Auctions. We solicit consignments of any size for future auctions.

Scanned Images We scan images at 300 dpi and 250% of their original size. This means that the expanded scans for single stamps on our site will allow the viewer to zoom in at full screen size on most computer displays. Many scans which are not in the catalogue can be found on our website.

Going Green We expect that with greater use of the internet, our printed catalogue will become increasingly unnecessary, since the auction lots and prices realized can be seen on www.sparks-auctions.com, and on StampAuctionNetwork.com. We can also record your interests and make sure you receive regular updates and special e-mail listings so that you are certain not to miss any important news. Please let us know if you no longer need the catalogue.

Introduction to Auction #4

Our fourth public auction is now posted at StampAuctionNetwork.com.

This sale offers, especially in the Canada section, an exceptionally strong showing.  The first issues of the province of Canada have nice quality and are comprehensive.  The pence issues on laid paper are represented with singles and a pair of the three pence and six pence as well as a rare Die Proof of the twelve pence.  We can offer a six pence with original gum printed on wove paper, a rarity from the General Gill collection.  The other pence values are offered as single lots, usually in fine or better quality, as well as in lots in the average quality more usually found in many collections.

There are a number of interesting and selected lots in the Large and Small Queen sections. We note in particular a never hinged ten cent value from the Montreal printings.   Many advanced collectors have had this on their want lists for years.

The offering of 1897 Jubilees and other Victorian issues continues the Sparks Auctions trend of offering more quantity and quality with every auction. Edwards, QuÈbecs, especially Admirals and later issues through George VI will help collectors fill in gaps in their collections.

Queen Elizabeth era stamps start in spectacular fashion with a block of the Inverted Seaway.  The later varieties and errors are very very strong indeed.  The lots of back of the book stamps will excite many with the opportunity to buy 5-hole OHMS perfins, and rare revenues including overprint varieties.

British North America offers rarities such as the $1 British Columbia, PEI #2, Newfoundland classics and ending with the spectacular block of the inverted overprint on the Halifax airmail.

British Commonwealth is headlined by the full pane of the Great Britain 1883 6d on 6d overprint.  Interesting and scarce items and a few nice collections are found throughout this section.

The worldwide section offers 50 lots of USA as well as many lovely items, complete sets and unusual varieties not often found.

Postal History offers many lots as well as selected individual items such as a ten penny Cartier with a circular dated postmark and the very scarce Officially Sealed on blue paper.

Lots and collections again fill our 32 bookcases.  This auction the number which are in the higher price ranges is increased; while we still offer budget-priced cartons of fun.  Viewing will allow interested buyers to see the full value.

Our Next Sale

Already, in the one and a half weeks since we finished describing this sale, four new consignments have arrived.  A collection of Large Queens from Australia, a suitcase from an estate, a strong collection of Switzerland including postal history, and miscellaneous items including a previously unknown major Canadian error give us a good start on Auction 5.

We solicit your consignment for our next sale.  All material which is in our hands by August 31 will be included for a sale we hope to be able to schedule for late October.


Saturday June 6th, 2009    10:00 am to 5:30 pm  
Saturday June 13th    10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Monday June 15th    10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Tuesday June 16th    10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Wednesday June 17th    10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Auction #4, June 16-17 2009

We are pleased to announce that our fourth public auction will be held on June 16th & 17th.  During the lotting process, it is sometimes difficult to see the overall scope and balance of an auction offering, but when we look at the draft of the catalogue are very happy with the range and quality of items in Canada, US and many other areas that we see in the 1300 lots in this sale.

The digital files went to the printer this afternoon, we will have proofs next week, and expect to begin mailing printed catalogues the week of May 26th.  You will also be able to see the auction introduction and PDF files here on our site by the end of next week, and our Stamp Auction Network listing should be in place by then as well.

As always, we will highlight significant and interesting items on a daily basis as the auction day approaches.

Happy Victoria Day weekend to our customers here in Canada and in the UK!

-Sparks Auctions