The pandemic has many of the 2020 spring stamp auctions on hold. The few slated will be online only and no floor bidding.  My favourite Canadian auction houses – Sparks, Vance and Talman’s have postponed everything right through May, although they still have single sales available.

I confess, I can’t wait to see Sparks offerings. Their #33 auction is going to have some delicious Indian airmails from Leon Victor Pont collection. Pont was a friend of Stephen Smith, the man who pioneered Indian rocket mail. Some of the items will include correspondence with Smith along with signed stamps and other items. I call sales like this “dream auctions” because most items tend to be on the high end. I enjoy flitting through the catalogues creating wish lists. Half the fun of collecting is window shopping.

There is no word on any auction from Talman Stamps here in Toronto. They tend to spring the auctions on us when they have enough stock ready. I imagine we won’t see anything until late summer or possibly fall.  Vance is always a good bet for some early Canadian airmail and semi-postals, but they announced a postponement as well, with no date available. It’s hard to set dates when no one is sure when this pandemic will subside.

R. Maresch & Son Auctions Ltd., in Toronto, is going ahead with their auction on the 22 – 23 of April. You can see their catalogue here. There will be no live floor auction (for obvious reasons). The auction will be live via the internet instead. They have used some ingenuity in allowing people to see some of the lots. Because of social distancing, potential bidders can’t drop in and preview lots. Maresch have posted videos here.  Scroll down below the videos for the catalogue.

If you’re an airmail collector check out lot 621. It’s a rare offering of cachet proofs. It’s 5 pages of Flight Cachet proofs from between 1928 to 1932. In all the auctions I’ve watched, this is the first time I’ve seen cachet proofs. A bit exciting.

Sheet of early Canadian airmail flight cachets

Lot 621a – SEMI-OFFICIAL AIRMAILS: Old time 1928 to 1932 FLIGHT CACHET PROOFS lot on pages, with KINGSTON to QUEBEC, OTTAWA to QUEBEC, OTTAWA to VANCOUVER, GREAT BEAR LAKE to FORT RESOLUTION, FORT FITZGERALD to FORT McMURRAY, etc,

International 2020 Spring Auctions

Looking beyond Canada, Cherrystone has a few interesting auctions coming up. I occasionally lurk around their site  because they have wonderful high end items that make my palms itch. They have two auctions – April 22, US stamps & postal history and May 12, rare stamps and postal history. I’m not a big collector of US stamps so it’s the second one that I find interesting. You might want to take a look at their PRC Cultural Revolution stamps.

PRC Cultural Revolution stamps 1969

1967 Thoughts of Mao Tse-tung 
1968 Literature & Art  
1968 Directives of Chairman Mao

I haven’t seen these come up before. Though I don’t collect PRC (aside from airmails), the 1960s propaganda stamps are amazing pieces of Chinese history. They are also fine examples of philatelic propaganda. It’ll be fun to watch the prices on this trio. Expect them to go in the thousands. Although with the severe economic downturn, we might be surprised.

If you collect Canadian semi-official airmail, then check out the grouping of Patricia Airways in the same auction. These are all pretty affordable (depending on who wants to compete for them). Again, with the economy in turmoil, they might go for far less than expected.

Photo of Patricia Airways semi-postal stamps

1926 10c on 50c purple overprint inverted, upper left sheet corner margin vertical pair

Scattered throughout the May auction are other airmail lots, so a careful search of both catalogues will be rewarding.

I’m still looking around other auction houses, so I’ll post an update on them soon.

 

 

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