Piece of Burnaby history up for sale

A rare piece of history with Burnaby connections is up for auction this weekend.

In 1862, Robert Burnaby, the city’s namesake, penned a note to transfer his shares in a company to another person. That scrap of paper, dated June 3, 1862, is up for auction this weekend.

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“I think it’s fantastic,” said Brian Grant Duff, owner of All Nations Stamp and Coin. “I think it’s one of the highlights of the collection. Robert Burnaby is a little-known person in British Columbia history. No one knows much about Robert Burnaby, but he has 10 places named after him. It’s an opportunity to learn more about Robert Burnaby and own a piece of B.C. history.”

Burnaby briefly worked as the private secretary of Col. Moody, head of the Royal Engineers, earlier colonizers that settled the area. Burnaby had come to B.C. from England, where he worked as a civil servant.

Burnaby’s letter is from the collection of Gerald Wellburn, a well-known collector of historic ephemera who died in the 1990s.

According to Grant Duff, it’s the only known letter from Burnaby, and he estimates the piece will go for at least a couple of hundred dollars, if not more. 

“It’s the first time it’s ever been up for auction,” he said.

Since Grant Duff is owner of the auction company selling the piece, he can’t say who owns the letter.

The auction will be live in the shop on Dunbar Street in Vancouver, or online at www.allnationsstampandcoin.com. The auction is on Saturday, Feb. 6 at noon.

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