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Showing posts from October, 2015

The Plate Blocks and Plate Sheets of The Karsh and Heritage Definitive Issue -1953-1967

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Yesterday's post dealt with the paper, shade, perforation and gum varieties that are found on the this issue. Today, I want to talk about plate blocks and plate sheets. Although the basic plates are listed in the Unitrade catalogue for the regular and official issues, there is still little known about which of the varieties that I discussed yesterday are to be found on which plates, and there is no comprehensive listing of which plates are found with the different styles of precancels.

None of the plate blocks in this issue are particularly rare except for the 50c on fluorescent paper and the 50c with fishhook G, and full sheets should be obtainable with not too much trouble for all values up to the 7c. I have not seen many complete sheets of the higher values, although I have seen two of the $1, one being with the "G" overprint and the other without. The relative availability of them should make compiling a comprehensive study a fun and rewarding task. Another area for…

Shade, Perforation, Paper and Gum Varieties on the Karsh and Heritage Definitives of 1953-1967

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This post will explore some of the shade, perforation, paper and gum varieties that I have seen on this issue over the years that I have both collected and worked with these stamps. I should note upfront that I have never undertaken a disciplined study of these stamps. Consequently, the varieties that I am going to talk about may indeed not be all the varieties extant. Indeed, because of the large quantities printed and the fact that only about 10-20% of the surviving stamps are mint, it will likely prove necessary to study the used stamps in detail in order to be certain of identifying all the existing varieties. Fortunately all the stamps in used condition are very inexpensive and readily available for study. Certainly any statistically valid study of the paper and shade varieties must take the used and mint stamps into account, in all condition grades.

Shade Varieties

In general, the shade varieties on this issue are quite subtle and become most obvious when collected in large multi…

The Karsh, Wildlife and Heritage Definitive Issue of 1953-1963 An Overview

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Overview

Upon the death of King George VI, it became necessary to replace the definitives bearing his likeness, with a new set of stamps with the new Queen's portrait. In addition, the Second World War had been over for over six years, and it was felt that the theme of the higher value definitives should be changed to reflect the new peacetime conditions. Some of these changes had already been introduced with the Natural Resource and Industry designs that had been introduced in the prior reign with the $1, 10c and 15c. However, it was felt that a new series of designs should celebrate the quintessential, cultural icons that make Canada unique. So while the 1c-5c low value definitives would be redesigned to feature the portrait of the Queen by Yousef Karsh, the high value designs would each depict a different Canadian cultural icon as follows:

7c: A Canada Goose
20c: A paper mill symbolizing the paper industry
50c: A spinning wheel symbolizing the textile industry
$1: A Pacific Coa…

The Fascinating World of Written Correspondence - The Elihu James Davis Correspondence of 1869-1870

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A few weeks ago I was visiting a local antique store when the owner told me about a small group of covers he had for sale from 1869 and 1870. He showed me the following envelopes:






As far as basic covers go, not much to write home about at all:common stampless covers with a common "paid 3" marking and one 3c dull red Small Queen with the stamp torn in half!
But all is often not what it seems in philately: these covers all had the original letters inside! This is very unusual for covers of this age, although it is far more common for material in the 1930's and onward. The letters were all very well preserved:

The first page of the first letter sent from Waterdown, Ontario to King City Ontario on September 15, 1869. 

Pages 2 and 3 of the same letter

The last page of the first letter. 


The first page of the second letter sent almost a month later on October 15, 1869. 

Pages 2 and 3 of the second letter. 

Page 4 of the second letter.
 The next three letters were all sent in q…