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Specialized Philatelic Areas

2-cent large Queen on laid paper - only 2 known copiesCanada's Rarest Stamp
If asked, most collectors would probably say the 12 penny black of 1851 was the rarest Canadian issue but... here, at Canadian Stamp Auctions, you can get the real stats. aj.
Search by province, electoral district, postmaster ...  

BNAPS Tutorial for New Collectors

National Archives of Canada: Post Offices

Canadian Selvedge Art and Information - by Tony Brown (from Stamps4Kids)
A postage stamp has often been described as miniature art, with a small paper rectangle substituting for a painter's canvas. Increasingly, however, the extra blank paper that surrounds a pane of stamps, known as selvedge, has been used to heighten the overall artistic expression for whatever theme is being expressed with a particular issue. This story chronicles the development of this art form in Canada...."
email: ax234@freenet.carleton.ca
(this article has truly evolved since I first found it - aj.)

Tony Brown's Selvedge Art article hosted at the The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada

Canadian Stampless Covers - a monograph by Larry Christopher
Stampless covers really are not stampless at all, they do not have adhesive "stamps" but instead were stamped or marked in ink. To be of any value to the postal historian, they must have been carried in the mail. This means that they will have a dated postmark of some kind, and a rate marking. There may also be an indication if the postage was prepaid or collect, sometimes by BLACK for collect and RED for prepaid.. Early letters were almost all collect, and some letters continued to be sent collect up until prepayment became compulsory in 1875. Information on all of these markings can be found in Boggs or Jarrett.

The type of material is usually a folded letter or a wrapper before about 1850. After that envelopes became more common. ..."

The article goes on to detail early rates and currency conversion noting:

"... United States money was also used in Canada prior to 1859, when decimal currency was made the only legal tender. The U.S. dollar was equivalent to one quarter of a pound cy. One pound sterling was equivalent to $4.86 2/3 cents. It is interesting that the Americans, even though they established decimal currency for themselves early in their independence movement (probably prior to 1776) had no such currency. That they still used Pounds sterling into the 1800's is shown by their use of the "11 3/4" cents postage rate, which was equivalent to 11d stg. ..."
(March 15, 1996)
Email: larryc@smartt.com

Collecting Canadian Plate Proof Stamps - Beyond 1 of Each - by Larry Christopher
... And so I was faced with a decision, what to collect next. I wanted to continue to study and enhance my Canada collection, so my choices appeared to be:

..plate blocks, covers... Mmm, too much material available, no challenge.

- Collect Canadian plate proofs of the Pence and Decimal issues. Now here was something that appealed.

...The proofs of these two issues are rare, much rarer than the stamps which are so dear. However, the limited demand has kept prices reasonable, unlike the stamps that imitate them. I had a few plate proofs but I did not really know what was cataloged. So I got out the old Unitrade catalog and listed the various proofs commonly available. ... about 80 varieties .. I next sat down at Word and created album pages. I will email this set free to anyone who asks but here are my conditions: ..."

He then goes on to deal with:

- Canadian Plate Proofs of the 1851 and 1859 Issues
- Part 1 - The Printers Finest Work - The Pence Issue Proofs
- Part 2 - The Decimal Issue Proofs
- Part 3 - The Trade Sample Sheets
- The American Bank Note Company;
noting especially, "In 1990 the world of proof collecting and understanding Canadian stamps was stood on its ear. This was the year that the United States Banknote Corp purchased the A.B.N.C., the printers of early Canadian stamps. An announcement was made that the archives of the ABNC would be sold at auction. This archive contained material which had never been seen by the public. Two auctions were held at Cristie's Auctions in New York. The first auction contained a number of proofs which had been used for display, and results were not encouraging. The second sale, on September 13, 1990 was a different story. Much of the material was claimed by Canada Post at the last minute and witdrawn and even then it is said that this sale brought more money to the USBC than they paid for the ABNC! This proof material shed a lot of light on the history of these early issues on our stamps. As well there is now more proof material available for collectors, although not all of it has come up for sale yet."

March 16. 1996 larryc@smartt.com

The Large Queen Designs of the Dominion of Canada - by Larry Christopher
This first issue of the newly formed Dominion of Canada represents a transition period in the history of Canada, and of the Canadian Postal Service. The issue bears the exquisite vignette of 'Victoria’s Head to Right'. This complex issue, like the new-born nation it represents, has challenged philatelic research with its many paper varieties and perforations. Even the printing is diverse, some being done in Ottawa, and the rest in Montreal. This represented a major change from the previous stamps of Canada which were all printed in New York. All were printed by the British American Bank Note Company, newly formed by the officers of the American Bank Note Company.

The initial issue consisted of ...

The article goes on to detail:

- The rates of the Dominion Post Office Act
- The Paper
- The Story of the Laid Paper Varieties
- The Perforations
- The Large Queen That’s Not - the Five Cent ;

concluding with, "In all, 1.25 million 5 cent large queen stamps were issued to Canadian postmasters. The stamp served alone until the issue of the 5 cent small queen in February of 1876, a period of only 4 months. Because of its large queen heritage and size, the 5 cent has been classified with that issue. But when it was issued, large queen printing had been finished for 6 years. So the stamp is an anomaly, neither fish nor fowl. And as such it occupies a unique position in Canadian postal history.

April 12, 1996 larryc@smartt.com

The Admiral Stamps of Canada - by Tony Brown and Mike Burn
Hosted at The Royal Philatelic Society Of Canada.

Introduction: "Although George V succeeded Edward VII as King of England and the British Dominions on 6 May 1910, stamps depicting his reign were not issued until the latter part of 1911. The ensuing period, lasting until 1928, has become one of the most studied areas of Canadian philately, which is remarkable considering that, during all those years, except for the 1917 issue commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Confederation, only one basic stamp design was in use. This was due to several reasons, not the least of which was Canada's active participation in the First World War from 1914 to 1918, which caused a scarcity of both craftsmen and materials needed to design and manufacture stamps."

Links Index: Introduction , The Design, Manufacture, Printing, Formats, Stamp Details, Summaries, War Tax, Lathework, Postal Rates, Cancels, Precancels, Perfins, Flaws, Stationery, Collecting, Glossary, References

I also note a link to 'postal rates' of the era found in the Glossary under same.

CMCC - Winged Messenger: Airmail in the Heroic Era 1918 - 1939 [En, Fr]
Introduction and contents:

"For Mankind, the act of flying through the air has never been an aimless exercise. The whole purpose has usually been to accomplish some other piece of related business, that is, war, the movement of goods and people, intelligence-gathering, exploration of unknown tracts of the globe and, why not ... the carrying of mail. Flying is not the end, but rather the means to achieving other goals that may not always be romantic or awe-inspiring.

This is not to deny that, in the execution of their task, the pilots were not an adventurous, almost heroic lot far from it. The whole history of airmail in Canada and throughout the world during the first few decades of this century derives from the work of a remarkable generation of pilots, or "winged messengers". They opened up the skies to the movement of mail.

They laid the groundwork for today's international airmail system.

Airmail and the Postal Village | Canadian Airmail: A Late Bloomer | Experiments | Building the System Region by Region | Bringing Home the Goods | The Bush Pilot | Credits

Sponsored Stamps of Canada
Sponsored Stamps of Canada
by Tony Brown

Introduced by Canada Post in 1990 as part of a general trend towards increased commercialization of postal services and as a means to provide additional revenue, the sponsorship of postage stamps is a somewhat controversial issue among philatelists. Those who attach considerable import to postage stamps as a medium that helps to define a country tend to feel that commercial sponsorships cheapen that noble purpose. Others are less concerned and view sponsorships as just another interesting facet to the hobby.

This article makes no judgement as to the correctness of sponsorships. Its aim is simply to present the facts about them. The author welcomes any feedback concerning errors, omissions and suggestions for improvement.

E-mail Tony Brown: ax234@freenet.carleton.ca

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