Themed Auctions


Every week in our auctions we will feature, in addition to our usual range of Canada and British West Africa, one or more themes from various countries around the world. It is these themes that truly set our auctions apart. 

What is a Theme?

A theme can be a single issue from a country, like the ones shown above, or it can be a period from a country or group of countries. An example of this would be New Zealand and all dependencies, such as Cook Islands, Penhryn Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Samoa etc. from say 1952-1975. 

When we compile a theme for the auction our goal is to give you a taste of what can be accomplished with a particular field of specialty and to present you with a wide enough range of material from that area to enable specialists to add to their existing collections, and to give new collectors looking for a new collecting field, a decent start at building a specialized collection. 

How Are Our Themes Chosen?

We choose our themes largely based on what we have been able to buy and what has been consigned and then, once we make that choice and schedule an approximate sale date, we will set about acquiring as much material as we can. We rotate themes over time, so that all collectors get an opportunity to bid in a sale that features material they are interested in. 

What Does a Theme Include?

A theme will include any philatelic material issued for that area, such as:

  • Mint and used singles
  • Marginal multiples and sheets
  • Booklets
  • Coils 
  • Collateral material such as proofs, brochures and posters
  • Postal history

Our Current Themes: The Queen Victoria and King Edward VII Keyplate Issues of Lagos and the 1998-2018 Definitive Issues of Canada


Beginning in the week of January 27, 2021 we will be offering the stamps and postal history of Nigeria, beginning with the Queen Victoria keyplate issues of Lagos and the 1998-2018 Definitive issues of Canada.

Lagos is one of those collecting areas that is characterized by the scarcity of the material. In that sense it is very much like British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Most dealers seldom have more than a few stamps in their stock, and because of this few ever get the opportunity to appreciate the immense complexity that exists in these issues. As with many smaller crown colonies, where the British population was extremely limited the total quantity of stamps issued was sent to the colony in very small amounts, every few months or so. The result is a very large number of very small printings. So, obtaining examples of each identifiable printing is a challenge - indeed one worthy of the most accomplished of philatelists. In terms of scarcity, there are several stamps of which no more than 640 or 5,000 were printed. These are extremely small numbers. 

Over a ten year period I assembled a very large stock of these issues and I would estimate that it is one of the largest single holdings in the world. There are examples of nearly every printing made of all issues from 1874 to 1906, so if you are looking for an opportunity to start collecting a rewarding and challenging new area to collect - one from the classic period, then this may be for you. 

The approximate schedule of the auctions for this theme are as follows:

  • February 3, 2021 - The Queen Victoria Crown CC Issues of 1874-1880
  • February 10, 2021 - The Queen Victoria Crown CA Issues of 1882-1901
  • February 17, 2021 - The King Edward VII Issues of 1903-1906 and postal history

I have written extensively about the different printings that were made for each of these issues and some of the material on offer is illustrated in these posts:

These articles cover the issues we will be offering over the next week. As the sale moves forward I will post other links to other articles here. 

Our other theme, the 1998-2018 definitive issues of Canada will be offered over the next week and will include most of the basic mint stamps, as well as used, plus an array of covers, plate blocks and errors. This material has become more difficult to source because the majority of dealers no longer stock very modern issues, due to the large cost entailed by the high face values, so once Canada Post stops selling them they become harder to find. I have not written any blog posts on these issues, but my lot descriptions will include relevant notes about the printings where appropriate.