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Rare Canadian stamp bought for $292,500 at Ottawa auction

A mint condition 12-Penny Black stamp, issued in 1851, is up for auction at Sparks Auctions in Ottawa Jan. 21, 2023. The stamp is one of only two in the world in its current condition. (Sparks Auction/supplied) A mint condition 12-Penny Black stamp, issued in 1851, is up for auction at Sparks Auctions in Ottawa Jan. 21, 2023. The stamp is one of only two in the world in its current condition. (Sparks Auction/supplied)
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A rare, mint condition Canadian stamp, dating back to before Confederation, sold for nearly $300,000 at an Ottawa auction.

The stamp, known as the 12-Penny Black, was printed in 1851 and features an image of Queen Victoria. It was the star attraction of a Sparks Auctions event held last Saturday.

Sparks Auctions General Manager Peter MacDonald said the buyer paid $292,500 for the rare piece of Canadiana. The final price includes the winning bid of $250,000 plus fees. 

The identity of the buyer was not released, but MacDonald said he could report the buyer said, "The sisters are united."

In other words, the person who bought this stamp also purchased another identical stamp for $327,000 in 2017. They were, for many years, a pair on the same sheet.

"Philatecally, we're going to make a big deal out of this," said MacDonald.

Several other rare stamps sold at auction this past weekend, including a 3-pence beaver stamp for $13,500. The beaver stamps are recognized as Canada's first stamp and also the first in the world to picture an animal.

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