Canadian 12d Black stamp achieves $225,000 at local auction

A Canadian auction house has sold what it deems to be the finest example of the 1851 12d Black on February 23.

1851 12d black Canada
The sold stamp may be a marginal example, but ours is a unique, never hinged offering

The mint copy sold for $225,000, with the auction house claiming that it is "the finest known mint single of the twelve penny black, Canada's most famous classic stamp". However, the example that sold on February 23 had been slightly hinged, whereas Paul Fraser Collectibles has the only mint unhinged example in existence, which has warranted the title The Black Empress.

The 12d stamp, bearing the portrait of the young Queen Victoria, was one of Canada's first classic stamps. A total of 51,000 were printed and shipped to the Canadian postal authorities on May 1. However, due to its high value, the stamp was hardly ever used and just 1,450 were ever sold in the three and a half years it was offered.

The high value of the stamp also accounts for the rarity of mint examples with their gum still intact, as very few people could afford to make the purchase and not use it to send mail.

The example at auction was owned by Canada's governor general in the 1870s-1880s, the Marquess of Lorne, who was also the husband of Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Louise. Its illustrious provenance also includes the famed Dale-Lichtenstein collections.  

Paul Fraser Collectibles specialises in sourcing the finest examples of the world's rarest stamps - see our full collection here.  

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