The overwhelming first impression of this sale is its sheer physical size; hundreds of albums in rows on shelves; many storage units filled with cartons which are in turn filled with collections, postcards, envelopes, stamps in bundles, stamps organized in glassines, "102" cards, stockbooks, Post Office new issues, postal artifacts, and more stamps. We have spent hundreds of hours describing these lots – and we have described them fairly and in a consistent manner. The overall quality is quite high for this great mass of philatelic collectibles that are the property of several dozen estates and collections.
Some of the bulk lots have a retail value well in excess of $10,000, others are estimated to be worth less than the cost of shipping. Most fall somewhere in between. We do know that thorough viewing will be rewarded because there will be hidden treasures.
While the body of the auction occupies hundreds of square feet, its heart is in the vaults – interesting postal history, superb stamps, items that are scarce, rare or even unique, valuable stamps and covers are found throughout the catalogue.
We make special note of some exceptional items in each session:
The exceptional collection of South West Africa has many rarities. A personal favourite is the used 10/- block from the first setting with two WESi errors. The Sparks catalogue will serve as a reference for the scarce items for decades to come. The rest of British Africa is of interest with Mafia Island and East Africa among the features.
The Second session has a number of lots with essays, proofs and other artwork for stamp issues which are both fascinating and very rare, often unique.
The Canada and BNA sessions have numerous exceptional lots. Lovely Pence issues are complemented by the interesting group of half-pennys which include a pair and two lots with an imperforate and perforated half-penny with the same major re-entry. The Large Queen section of 61 lots is strong with mints, blocks and re-entries and includes what is believed to be the largest mint multiple of the watermarked Three cent value. The Small Queens through to the Quebecs offer many stamps of exceptional quality as well as interesting items for the specialist. The 68 lots of the Admiral Issue will fill many holes for discriminating collectors who have been searching for just the right stamp for their collection.
Large Die Proofs and great rarities are featured in the later KGV and QEII Issues. We note a missing hologram full sheet, a very rare imperforate between booklet, the Missing Moose, and the 1998 Christmas perf change matched set of plate blocks. The Registration issues include lovely re-entries and a strong Precancel section is high-lighted by an Amherst on the 4¢ Admiral.
Nova Scotia features a mint #1 and a superb three penny. One of the most exceptional items in the sale is a mint Newfoundland two penny scarlet vermilion, very fine with huge margins.
Session Five has wonderful postal history, much of it from collector/dealer Roger Greer’s collections of Nova Scotia. Several lovely pence and 1859 covers are highlighted by a ten penny cover; a ten cent rate to Sweden and a gorgeous six penny cover are highlights of the Large Queens. British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia all have at least one cover waiting for a Gold Medal Exhibit.
Newfoundland has a magnificent De Pinedo cover, a Columbia cover and a diagonally bisect eight penny cover. Over 350 lots of foreign covers, cover lots and postcards have numerous items awaiting a place in your collection.
We have referred elsewhere to the Sixth Session of lots and collections. One collection of Large Queens has a catalogue over $47,000. We invite you to view this and to note how few stamps have short perfs. A similar story can be told many, many times for the 486 lots in this session.