Sparks Auction gem – WW1 war saving poster up for grabs

Sparks Auction gem – WW1 war saving poster up for grabs

I wrote about this World War I War Savings Stamps Poster back in 2015 Canada war revenue poster – Great War propaganda. I put it up as my wallpaper now and then because I like it so much. It’s one of those posters you look at and idly think wow wouldn’t that be great to own.

1918 Canada War Stamp poster

#FWS1-4 var World War I War Savings Stamps Poster

Imagine my surprise when I was leafing through the Sparks catalogue for the upcoming auction and saw it listed. Not just any copy of the poster – a pristine issue. I’ve never seen it up for auction in all the catalogues I’ve looked through. It’s the type of offering that appeals to collectors from a number of areas – philately, WW1, history, ephemera and propaganda. This poster is quite remarkable because of it’s condition. For a 100 year old piece of paper, it’s still bright, crisp and nearly as clean as the day it rolled off the press.  Very importantly, it comes from a non smoking home and stored properly, so it won’t have the nasty yellowing so often seen on old paper documents.  According to the listing, the poster wasn’t folded, and  never used for public display, hence the sharp colours.

#FWS1-4 var World War I War Savings Stamps Poster,

an original poster measuring 20½ x 27 inches, printed and issued by the National War-Savings Committee, Ottawa. These were folded twice to be mailed to post offices for display, and this one appears to have escaped any public display, as evidenced by its gorgeous condition, bright colours and such. It depicts a large $5 stamp (FWS2) in colour of issue (green) plus nine smaller 25c stamps (FWS1) in brown. This poster alerted the public for the purchase of the 1918 series of War Savings Stamps, as listed by van Dam as #s FWS1-4. A very rare showpiece, which has been stored in a non-smoking and archival environment for the past 100 years. There is a small (insignificant) repair in the lower left margin, else a remarkable poster, in fresh original condition, offered in a rigid top loader protective sleeve for viewing. Another great addition to the other lots we offer pertaining to this interesting issue. – Sparks Auction #27 catalogue

The  estimate is set at $750, well worth the price for such a great piece of Canadian, philately and WW1 history, especially one in such prime condition.  Check it out it out – Sparks Auction #27 pg 54 in Part 1 — Canada & British North America.

Good value lots at Sparks early Canadian pence issue auction

Good value lots at Sparks early Canadian pence issue auction

Sparks Auctions in Ottawa, Ontario has 41 lots of early Canadian pence issues up for auction at the end of May. There are the usual “out of my league” offerings I enjoy mooning over, like lot 40 showcasing a  #10 6d Consort Imperforate on cover, dating to 1858. Sent from Montreal to Boston, the cover has a crisp stamp and two clear cancels and considered Very Fine.  The catalogue price is $10,000, so yea, just a bit out of my price range but enjoyable to look at even from afar.

About half the pence issues are the early beaver stamps #1 & 4 including this imperf pair:

1851 3d red Beaver Imperforate, on Laid Paper - courtesy Sparks Auctions

Any cancel hound will appreciate the centering and clearness of the target cancels.  Combined with the strong, visible margins, this a real score. (see page six of Part 1 — Canada & British North America catalogue). It’s listed for $1,600, and will be interesting to see what it actually goes for.

There are some value lots in this listing. Lot 17 offers a #4ii 1852 3d orange/red Beaver imperforate with a great 4-ring #8 (Chatham, Ontario) cancel and large margins. As with the others, the cancel is well centred but not so heavy as to obliterate the beaver offering a nice balance. The 8 is still sharp and attractive. The stamp has some flaws, two pinholes, so that hurts the price a bit. Doubtful the pin holes will even be noticeable and offers a real chance for new or budget collectors to snag a true Canadian classic. It’s valued at $50.  See page 7 in the same catalogue.

8 #4ii 1852 3d orange red Beaver Imperforate, used with ideal strike of 4-ring #8 . image courtesy Sparks Auctions
For small Queen collectors, there are quite a few lots, each containing hundreds of stamps ranging from $100 to the thousands. For me, the standout is 119:

“#37, 41 1870s to 1890s 3c Small Queen Lot, in a thick stock book, with well over 2,000 used stamps plus about 13 (mostly faulty) covers. We note more than usual early 1870-72 shades than is usually seen in this type of lot, with pages full. We also note several carmine rose shades from 1888-89, many 11½x12 perfs, 15 copies with imprints, many town cancels, and more. ”

Listed at $300, and over 2000 stamps, this could supply hours of investigating fun.

Check out all the lots at sale 27 on May 29th-30th, 2018.

** all images courtesy Sparks Auctions

Newest Talman auction May 20th

Newest Talman auction May 20th

I have a soft spot for John Talman auctions. Any time I’ve visited his offices in the past, John Talman has been a fountain of amazing information. He loves to share his encyclopedic knowledge of stamps and is fun to listen to. An auction is slated for May 20th and there are some interesting finds. You can check on all the items up at his website John H. Talman. Two items of note: For  US collectors, Talman has a beautiful 3¢ Washington and 1¢ Franklin cover. The stamp colours are still sharp.  It’s in very good shape for a cover that’s 160 years old and the cancels are stand outs.

Auction May 20th 2018 John Talman auctions

Image courtesy Talman Auctions, Toronto

Lot 78 – Blue cds “Bardstown Ky./Jul. 23/1858”. Various transit marks on back plus “Madoc Jy 29/1858/U.C.” split two-ring HS. F and very scarce. Est. $500-$1500+

The second cover is the one that revs my stamp motor. I have a preference for Canadian stamps and this one is amazing. A 1906 registered letter from Montreal to Berlin with a nice array of KE VII. The 50c Victoria in Widows weeds + the registration stamp make this cover quite attractive.  The estimate is set at $250.  The cancels would need a close inspection to see how crisp they are. It’s often difficult to judge via a photo.

1906 cover from Canada to Berlin courtesy John Talman Stamps

Image courtesy John Talman Stamps

Not many airmail stamps this time, just a handful.  Still, if you are looking for them, there are a few scattered about the auction. I have picked up some great bargains in the past, so check it out. If you’re in Toronto on the day, you can drop to view the lots the day of the auction. THE EAGLES’ CLUB 17 ELM STREET, DOWNTOWN TORONTO (Two blocks north of Dundas Street west off Yonge Street) SALE No. 325 (MAIL SALE No. 347) IN ONE SESSION STARTING AT 2.15 p.m. SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2018

What’s up – this month’s Vance auction

What’s up – this month’s Vance auction

Time to ogle the latest Vance Auction catalogue for Wednesday, March 21, 2018!. A cursory look popped up dozens of gems. One of my favourite categories is First Flight covers (FFC) ad as expected, there are a number of lots offering Canadian FFC from the 1920s to late 30s. Many are reasonably priced for airmail fans on budgets. One lot, in particular, that caught my eye is a shoe box full of covers and postcards, including “multi-franked airmail, mainly from Vatican City & USA but has many other countries incl Malta, Br. Africa, Peru, etc”. Est price is only $100 and would be a fun sorter box. (lot 971).  Most of the covers are too recent for my tastes, but if you collect post-1980s covers, this may be the pick of the lot. Here’s one that I have my eyes on: Photo of Danish airmail from 1936 - image courtesy Vance auctionBeautiful Denmark cover “Horsens to Copenhagen / North Europe Philatelic Exhibition 7 Sept 1936”. This one hits all the marks – cancels are crisp, colours, vivid, clean stamps. Overall a fun cover estimated price $75. (lot 2029). I realised today I don’t have any Danish airmail! So, this is on my list to watch. But this one sets my heart beating: Photo of a French airmail card from 1922 from Vance auction No one does airmail like the French. The early stamps and postcards were works of art in themselves. This 1922 exhibition card is perfect example and expected to fetch $125.  (lot 2129) I’m still sifting through the Canadian semi-officials and airmails, so I’ll post my favourites later.

You can follow auction results and upcoming sales at Vance Auction website.


Managing my stamp collection in a computer age – not what you expect

Managing my stamp collection in a computer age – not what you expect

I look at computer based programs offered for stamp collectors and give them a whirl now and then. I’ll go through a passionate period of “WOW, this is might be fun” and then I stop using it after about a week or two and go back to my old none tech way. This amuses people who know me – I work with computers everyday and love to play around with software. However, I find most inventory management software too cumbersome. Computers get in the way of enjoying the simple pleasure of wandering through my stamp collection.

Most of the software I’ve looked at is too expensive, doesn’t offer a trial version or so aesthetically off putting I can’t be bothered putting effort into it. If the software looks like it stepped out of the 90s, it doesn’t speak well for the program’s overall utility in an age of touch screens. But the most important issue is, for me, it takes too many steps to do a simple job. I can whip the info down into a book faster than it takes to fill out a form.

That doesn’t mean I don’t use computers to help with my modest collection. I do have a few spreadsheets for certain jobs. I also scan stamps so I magnify the details.  I tend to keep most of my notes and collection lists in a couple of small black books. I don’t like sitting at my computer when I’m playing around with stamps so a book and pen are much quicker to pop down a bit of information.

One thing I do is make quick sketches of cancels that catch my eye. It’s usually stamps that I don’t think I’ll keep because they don’t fit into my collection but I like the cancel and want to remember it. It’s easy to whip off a quick pen sketch of the cancel, along with a note on the envelope/stamp or question about it that I want to look up later. I suppose I could get up, flick on the scanner, pop the stamp in, scan blah blah. It’s easier to jot it down in my little black book.

I was thumbing through the black book today, looking at earlier entries and was struck by how diverse they are. Here’s one page:Scan from a page from my black book of stamp cancels

If I find relevant info or a correction while looking around on the internet, I’ll add it. Makes an interesting little archive. I kept the Australian cover because of the airmail cancel.

Here’s one of my favourites. I  kept this cover as well below because I loved the graceful crane cancel.

Scan of cancels showing crane on a Japanese stamp

These are meant to be a quick reference so if I run across a similar cancel, I have a bit of info.

Scan of another page of cancels

I haven’t kept the above stamps but I do refer to them once in awhile though. Sometimes a simple pen and paper are the most efficient method of cataloguing a collection. If I can get my hands on the newest editions of stamp management software, I’ll give them a try and let you know what I think.

I was getting worried – Talman Stamp auction

One of my favourite places for stamp auctions has been AWOL for months and I was getting very worried. John H. Talman stamps, in Toronto, runs numerous auctions throughout the year and I’ve been able to scoop some great lots in the past. No idea where they’ve been, there wasn’t a sign of activity for … well .. months and months. I just checked their website and a new auction is notice is up.

They’ve also posted a note promising more auctions: “After this sale we hope to hold sales more frequently. We have many buyers eager to buy and we hope to provide the material they need. We do appreciate your participation in our sales and look forward to your bids for this sale. John H. Talman”

I’ll cruise through the catalogue and see if I can find a sweet offering to post for you.

Check out the listings here

Sunday September 3, 2017 – Public Auction – 2:30pm at THE EAGLES’ CLUB 17 ELM STREET, DOWNTOWN TORONTO (Two blocks north of Dundas Street west off Yonge Street). You can also use their bid form if you can’t attend.