Rare postal cancels drive bidding up

A cache of envelopes sold by a Victoria dealer last week featuring some rare West Kootenay postal cancellations brought a flurry of bids.

Part of a series on Kootenaiana appearing for sale on eBay.

A cache of envelopes sold by a Victoria dealer last week featuring some rare West Kootenay postal cancellations brought a flurry of bids and some very high prices.

The highest was for one mailed from the Kootenay Lake hamlet of Johnsons Landing to Nelson in 1968: it went for $77 Cdn.

Next highest was a 1929 cover bearing a Brilliant cancel and the return address of the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood — the official name of the Doukhobor communal enterprise. It went for $74 Cdn.

A cover mailed from Silverton to the circulation department of the Nelson Daily News in 1969 drew 16 bids and sold for $73 Cdn.

Another bearing a 1978 cancel from the Castlegar sub-office of Shoreacres had 22 bids (although 18 were from the same person) and went for $54 Cdn. (Another Shoreacres cover, from 1972, only sold for a tenth of that.)

Finally, a 1947 envelope mailed to Fife, near Christina Lake, but missent to Coalmont yielded $52 Cdn.

Selling for nominal amounts but still interesting were a 1957 cover from West Transfer in Nelson; a 1942 cover from Halcyon Hot Springs; a 1950 billhead from the Cascade garage and coffee shop; a 1964 cover from the Cascade border crossing and a 1960 cover from the Nelway border crossing; and two 1941 covers from the Douglas Hotel in Trail.

• A pair of very attractive patches from the Nelson midsummer curling bonpsiels of 1949 and 1959 sold for $23 and $25 US respectively.

This event, which began in 1945 and grew to be one of the longest running amateur sporting events in Canada, was held for the last time in 2008.

A 1930 calendar plate from McLeod and Hodgson Ltd. of Grand Forks failed to sell for the opening bid of $35 US. However, what’s interesting is that it depicted a pair of swastikas — symbols not yet co-opted by Nazi Germany and therefore lacking nefarious connotation.

This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser of February 2.

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