Canada's First Official Airmail
Posted February 22, 2017
Great Britain Penny Reds
Posted January 18, 2017
Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Posted December 23, 2016
Movie Stamps
Posted November 4, 2016
World Stamp Show NY 2016
Posted July 21, 2016
Yukon Airways & Exploration Co.
Posted April 27, 2016
Herman Herst, Jr.
Posted April 4, 2016
The Mail Must Be Delivered!
Posted February 29, 2016
Mahatma Gandhi
Posted December 24, 2015
Canada's Squared Circle Cancels
Posted November 5, 2015
How Did They Do That?
Posted September 10, 2015
Royal 2015 Stamp Convention
Posted August 25, 2015
German Colonials
Posted June 27, 2015
New Zealand Advertising Stamps
Posted April 13, 2015
The United States Kansas-Nebraska Issue
Posted February 17, 2015
Dr. Norman Bethune
Posted December 23, 2014
The 1939 Royal Visit of KGVI and Queen Elizabeth
Posted November 7, 2014
Famous Canadian Stamp Dealer K. Bileski
Posted July 17, 2014
The Wilding and Machin Portraits of Queen Elizabeth
Posted May 23, 2014
Little Norway
Posted March 9, 2014
The Siege of Mafeking
Posted January 10, 2014
Newfoundland Trail of the Caribou
Posted October 18, 2013
Canada's 1927 Special Delivery Stamp
Posted October 10, 2013
Newfoundland's Signal Hill and Marconi
Posted July 8, 2013
Stamp Collecting Documentary
Posted May 31, 2013
Why Tulips Have a Special Meaning to Canadians
Posted May 29, 2013
Richard M. Lamb (1923-2012)
Posted April 9, 2013
Alexander Graham Bell
Posted March 1, 2013
The S.S. Empress of Ireland
Posted January 8 , 2013
China 1932 Northwest Scientific Expedition
Posted January 2, 2013
The First Animal Topical
Posted November 12, 2012
Antarctic Expeditions and Stamps
Posted August 3, 2012;
The Newfoundland $1 Wayzata Air Mail
Posted May 25, 2012
The World's First Philatelist?
Posted April 9, 2012
My Top 3 Favourite Stamps
Posted January 10, 2012
Fourth Generation Stamps Dealers?
Posted December 9, 2011
Canada's Navy on Stamps and Postcards
Posted October 28, 2011
Stamp Collectors' Exchange Club
Posted July 8, 2011
Tonga Tin Can Canoe Mail
Posted May 20, 2011
Canada's Avro Arrow
Posted April 5, 2011
Heligoland
Posted December 22, 2010
WWII Occupation of the Channel Islands
Posted November 23, 2010
First United Kingdom Aerial Post
Posted August 29, 2010
Topical Collecting
Posted July 10, 2010
Canadian Postmasters
Posted July 6, 2010
Universal Postal Union
Posted April 26, 2010
Canada Semi-Official Airmails
Posted December 21, 2009
12 Penny Black sold for $260,000 US in New York!!
Posted November 20, 2009
General Balbo's Flying Armada
Posted October 19, 2009
United States Postage Currency
Posted September 15, 2009
John Lennon
Posted August 11, 2009
Revenue Stamps
Posted July 9, 2009
Rowland Hill and the First Stamp
Posted May 22, 2009
The R.M.S. Nascopie
Posted May 5, 2009
The Queen Victoria Chalon Head
Posted April 27, 2009
Falkland Islands
Posted April 20, 2009
Canada's Famous 12 Penny Black
Posted March 28, 2009
Allan Steinhart
Posted March 20, 2009
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Posted March 3, 2009
Captain Cook
Posted February 20, 2009
Canadian Provinces
Posted February 10, 2009
London to London 1927 Flight
Posted February 7, 2009
The Carmichael New Issue
Posted February 7, 2009
King Farouk of Egypt
Posted February 7, 2009
Royal 2008 Stamp Convention
Posted February 7, 2009
The Largest Stamp Store in the World
Posted February 7, 2009
Vance Goes Green
Posted February 7, 2009
Canada Official OHMS Perfins
Posted February 7, 2009
United Empire Loyalists
Posted February 7, 2009
 


Canada's First Official Airmail

First AirmailIn 1918, airplanes were playing an important role in World War I, and their potential to carry mail was recognized by The Aerial League of the British Empire. Members of the Montreal branch petitioned Canada’s Postmaster General to approve an air mail flight. As a result, 124 letters stamped with special red triangular cachets reading ‘Inaugural Service Via Aerial Mail - Montreal 23.6.18’ were given to Captain Brian Peck, an RAF pilot who was planning to fly from Montreal to Toronto on June 23rd.

The flight was delayed by bad weather but Peck took off from Montreal the next day in a Curtiss two-seater ‘Jenny’ biplane with a mailbag on his passenger’s lap. It was a bumpy flight with a couple of refueling stops on the way, but Peck delivered Canada’s very first bag of air mail letters to the Leaside Aerodrome in Toronto on June 24, 1918.

The Leaside Aerodrome was built by the Canadian government in 1917 as a training facility for pilots, mechanics and crews of the Royal Flying Corps. After the War, it was acquired for use by the Toronto Flying Club which operated the airfield until it was closed in 1931.

The role that the Aerodrome played in Canadian postal history is commemorated by a special plaque near the site of the historic 1918 landing. I grew up in Leaside, and the Aerodrome was a part of our local history.

First Airmail cards


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Great Britain Penny Reds

 

Penny RedThe stamps of Great Britain have always been very popular among collectors. One popular area of specialization is the ‘plating’ of the One Penny Red of 1864. This stamp (Scott #33) was printed from 152 different plates ranging from #71 to #225.

With help of a magnifying glass, one can identify the plate number of the stamp by looking in the scrollwork at either side of Queen Victoria’s portrait. The plate number can make a big difference to the catalogue value, ranging from $3 for common plates up to $500,000 for the rare Plate #77! Just collecting one copy from each plate would be an accomplishment, but many collectors take it even further and try to reconstruct full sheets of 240 stamps of each plate.

Each sheet is 12 stamps across and 20 stamps down. The stamps across the top row of each sheet have the initials A-A to A-L in their bottom two corners, and the stamps in the bottom row run from T-A to T-L. Just like the coordinates on a map, the initials identify each stamp’s location on the sheet. Plate reconstruction is a fascinating pursuit.


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Earl Mountbatten of Burma

ZieglerIndia blockI have always considered Lord Louis Mountbatten
to be one of the most interesting men of the 20th Century.

Born into the Royal Family in 1900 (Queen Victoria was his great-grandmother) Mountbatten was handed what seemed to be a charmed life. As a child he spent many holidays with his Royal cousins, including the children of Czar Nicholas of Russia. The future Edward VIII was his best man when he married wealthy heiress Edwina Ashley. He was handsome and charming, played polo, and was equally comfortable with politicians and movie stars. Nevertheless he forged a distinguished naval and military career that placed him at the scene of many important historical events. During WWII he served as Captain of the HMS Kelly, and he later became Supreme Commander South East Asia. From 1947-8 he presided as the last Viceroy and the first Governor-General of India and played a critical part in the events leading to the independence of India and Pakistan. Later he resumed his naval career and became First Sea Lord (1955-9). Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979 while boating in Ireland.

I highly recommend the biography by Philip Ziegler to anyone who wants more details about this intriguing man. It is an unbiased,
in-depth study of the numerous (and sometimes controversial) military and political events in which he played a part.

 

Mountbatten


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Movie Stamps

On a quick glance, which of these images depicts a real stamp? The one on the left, or the one on the right?

Q5      Movie 3 Cent

A movie producer in the 1930's was hoping that it would be hard to tell. As the story goes, he broke the law by picturing an actual U.S. stamp in a movie, and he was warned by the Secret Service not to do it again. A studio employee came up with the idea of printing their own stamp that did not actually say 'U.S. Postage'. The result was the blue 'movie stamp' on the left which was printed in three colours - blue, green and red.

Apparently the movie stamps were still not acceptable because they bore too strong a resemblance to the U.S. 5¢ Parcel Post Stamp of 1912 (Scott #Q5, pictured on the right) on which they were no doubt based.

I have seen the movie stamps both perforated and imperforate. They still turn up from time to time, and they make an interesting conversation piece for any collection.


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World Stamp Show NY 2016

Chris and Vance
The World Stamp Show that was held in New York in May was a smashing success! Tens of thousands of collectors and dealers from all over the world visited this once-in-a-decade event. From all indications it was the most successful international event ever held in North America.

We were very proud to represent Canada as one of only five Canadian dealers at this major event. We have been booth holders for over 35 years at various philatelic shows and this exhibition was the best and most successful one we have ever attended.

Vance's booth


Our booth was busy from start to finish with very active buying and selling. It was a pleasure to meet many of our bidders and renew old acquaintances. We thank all those who stopped by our booth.

When I had a few moments to spare, I particularly enjoyed viewing some of the 4,000+ exhibits (including some submitted by our bidders!) and seeing the fabulous 'Court of Honor' which included the rarest stamp in the world - the famous British Guiana One Penny Magenta. Other highlights included seeing John Lennon's stamp collection and an original 'Jenny' biplane in the lobby of the Javits Center. This was the same type of airplane that is pictured on the USA 24¢ Airmail of 1918. An 'Inverted Jenny' sold at the show auction for $1.3 million.

Plans are already underway for the next 'International' show to be held in Boston in 2026.

NY Jenny and Lennon



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Yukon Airways & Exploration Co.

Yukon AirwaysBetween the years of 1924 and 1934, a very interesting chapter of Canadian philatelic history was written. During this brief period, Canada's "Semi-Official Airmail Stamps" were issued.

Canada is a very large country with lots of wilderness, and the Canadian Post Office could not effectively deliver mail to remote areas. It therefore permitted thirteen private airline companies to print their own stamps and collect a fee for delivering mail. Many of the pilots had flown in WWI and were seeking adventure. In places where it was too difficult to land, the pilot might just throw the mail bag out of the window.

One of these private companies was Yukon Airways and Exploration Co. Ltd which had offices in the Yukon Territory. Their plane, ‘Queen of the Yukon’, was the same type as Charles Lindbergh had just flown across the Atlantic. The company issued one blue 25¢ stamp which bears a striking resemblance to the United States #C10 airmail stamp of 1927 which depicts Lindbergh’s ‘Spirit of St. Louis’.

In all, the thirteen companies issued over 50 different stamps, often in very small quantities. Our auctions always feature Canadian Semi-Official Airmails, on and off cover. These highly collectible issues are listed in Scott’s 1840-1940 Classic Specialized Catalogue, and in Unitrade’s Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps with “CL” numbers.

FFC

Whitehorse Star

ReverseDieProof

Unofficial Reprints


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Herman Herst, Jr.

Herst booksFor any philatelist or stamp dealer, I recommend the writings of Herman Herst, Jr. (1909-1999). A collector in his youth, and a prominent stamp dealer and writer from the 1930’s to the 1990’s, Herst wrote about the hobby we love in thousands of articles and columns as well as a number of books. He shared his extensive knowledge and his experiences as a dealer in a most entertaining way. His newsletter was called Herst’s Outbursts.

Herst attended hundreds of stamp shows, and was a popular guest speaker at many a philatelic gathering. I first met Herman Herst in London England at the 1980 International Show. I still remember buying a choice cover from him. In his later years he was an occasional bidder in our auctions. He had a keen eye for nice USA stamps and covers.

Herst’s most famous book is Nassau Street, which refers to the location of his first stamp office in New York City. At one time Nassau Street was called ‘The Street of Stamps’ because dozens of stamp dealers were located there. The book’s dedication is a good example of Herst’s humour: “To my ‘competitors’. God bless every one of them.”

Herst cover


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The Mail Must Be Delivered!

Ballon Monte cover
Over the years, mail has been transported in many different ways. The traditional methods have made use of horses, trains, ships and airplanes, but there have also been a number of more unusual modes. Dogs and pigeons have taken their turns as letter carriers, and letters mailed from Tonga used to be floated out to waiting ships in big tin cans. As far back as the 1860’s, some large cities used pneumatic postal systems that propelled local mail through underground tubes!

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1, the city of Paris was under seige, and a couple of unusual methods were used to get mail in and out of the city. Over 60 flights were made by piloted balloons which carried mail and passengers. Covers carried on these flights are called “Ballon Monté”. Mail was also sent into Paris in large metal balls which were floated along the Seine River. These scarce covers are referred to as “Boule De Moulin” covers.

Tonga and dog sled covers


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Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) has long been considered the father of modern day India. During the era when India was ruled by the British, he was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement. Gandhi eventually led India to independence in 1947. His non-violent means of protest became legendary and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom around the world.

Gandhi has the distinction of being the first Indian person to be depicted on the stamps of India. A beautiful set of four different stamps up to the 10 Rupee was issued in 1948 (Scott #203-6) depicting his image. At the top left of each stamp is the Hindi word for ‘father’, and on the right is the Urdu equivalent.

Gandhi cover

 

Gandhi Souvenir folder


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Canada's Squared Circle Cancels

Type 1Type IIThese days more and more collectors seem to specialize in one area or country. One field of philately that has always been popular is that of cancellations. There is a myriad of different cancel types that one can put together to form a very nice specialized collection.

In Canada, there has always been a strong interest in Squared Circle postmarks. Squared Circles were used right across Canada from the 1890’s into the 20th Century.

There are two different styles, one with thin bars known as Type I, and the other with thick bars known as Type II. Over 300 towns are known, and these range from common ones like Toronto to rarities like Fonthill and Coleman. The BNAPS book “The Squared Circle Cancellations of Canada” is the definitive handbook on the subject. It illustrates all of the cancels, and lists their rarity factors (RF) and the Canadian stamps they have been found on.

Squared Circle Covers


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How Did They Do That?

Postal history items from Niger Coast Protectorate are quite scarce because this British Protectorate on the west coast of Africa only issued 63 different stamps from 1892-98. (In 1900, Niger Coast Protectorate stamps were replaced by those of Northern and Southern Nigeria.)

The attractive Niger Coast Protectorate cover pictured here has a remarkable story to tell.

Niger Coast cover

This letter was sent by Registered Mail to Colchester England. It is franked with a complete first set of issues Scott #1-6 that were cancelled at Opobo River on 7 Feb 1895 when the letter began its 40-day voyage to England. The markings on the cover tell the story of what happened once the cover arrived in England.

The cover came ashore in a mail bag at Liverpool on 20 March 1895 and was promptly put on the mail train to London. At the capital it received the Registration handstamp of the same day and was transferred to another London terminal where it was put aboard the Eastern mail train.The Ipswich Sorting Tender backstamp shows that no time was lost - the date is still March 20th.

The Colchester authorities did their duty with another Registration handstamp and attempted to make delivery, however the addressee, Mr. A. Cole, had moved! His new address was found and the cover returned to the Colchester Post Office where it was backstamped again, still on March 20th.

Somehow the mailman got the redirected letter to Witham Essex (about 15 miles away) before the Post Office closed for the day ON MARCH 20TH!

This letter was taken from one side of England to the other, then redirected, and was still delivered the same day! This strikes me as an incredible feat of efficiency in the days long before motorized delivery vans and automated sorting machines. How did they do that?

 


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Royal 2015 Stamp Convention

George RPSC

 

We very much enjoyed meeting many of our bidders at the annual Royal Philatelic Society of Canada Convention which was held in London Ontario in May 2015.

Stamp collectors and dealers came from across Canada, the United States and overseas to attend. Our booth was very busy all three days of the bourse. The convention was a first class event and was bustling with activity from the opening hour to the closing. I particularly enjoyed viewing the many fine exhibits on display.

 


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German Colonials

Germany Offices in ChinaA country’s history is told through its stamps. Much can be learned about an interesting era of Colonialism by studying the philatelic history of Germany’s colonies and the post offices that it established abroad in China, Morocco, and the Turkish Empire.

SWALike other European countries, Germany had colonies located in Africa, the South Pacific, and Asia. Before official stamps were issued for these overseas territories, German definitives were used. These stamps were known as forerunners or “Vorlaufer”, and can only be identified by clear town cancels indicating their point of origin. In the late 19th Century, overprinted stamps for individual colonies were issued.

GEAYachtBy about 1900, the Yacht series (commonly called the Kaiser Yacht) was introduced. These stamps were printed with individual colony names, and all had the same design depicting the Imperial Yacht SMY HOHENZOLLERN. A smaller size was used for the lower values, and a larger one for the higher values. Interestingly, some of the Yacht stamps would later be overprinted during and after WWI when some German colonies came under the control of other nations such as Britain, France, and Belgium.


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New Zealand Advertising Stamps

Sometimes the back of a stamp is even more interesting than the front. For example, Latvia’s first stamps were printed on the backs of old German military maps. From 1915-17, Russia put inscriptions on the backs of stamps and used them as paper money.

Probably the most interesting stamps in this area are the advertisement stamps of New Zealand. During the 1890’s, the New Zealand Post Office sold advertising space on the backs of various Queen Victoria issues. This was an enterprising idea that generated revenue from both sides of the stamps!

The advertisements offer a fascinating insight into the social history of the colonial past with ads for things like soap, pills, tea, jelly, sewing machines, coal, coffee, and pickles.

 


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The United States Kansas-Nebraska Issue

Kansas-Nebraska

There is an interesting story behind the Kansas-Nebraska overprinted stamps of the United States.

In the late 1920’s, many small mid-west post offices were being plagued by burglaries. Stolen mint stamps were being transported to other states where they were sold to unsuspecting buyers. In hopes of curtailing these illegal activities, United States Postal Officials considered a plan to overprint stamps of the existing 48 states with the name of the state in which they were sold.

1n 1929, Kansas and Nebraska were chosen as the test states. Eleven different definitive values from 1¢ to 10¢ were overprinted “Kans.” and “Nebr.” and shipped to post offices in those states. Unfortunately the plan never really worked out because the burglars quickly figured out that they would not raise suspicion if they sold the stolen stamps within the same state.

The idea of state overprinted stamps was dropped, but the Nebraska and Kansas overprinted sets became popular among collectors.

Ironically, the stamps at the heart of a plan to thwart burglars became the target of counterfeiters. Because of the relative scarcity of some of the denominations, forged overprints started showing up as early as 1930.

Here are a few quick checks to make sure that the overprints on these issues are genuine:

  • The stamps should all be perforated 11 x 10½. If anything other than this perf, you have a fake.

  • The genuine Kansas overprints measure 9.2mm wide, while the genuine Nebraska overprint is 9mm wide.

  • The genuine mint stamps have 14 vertical gum ridges which were applied after printing to control the amount of gum flow. There is also a single horizontal gum breaker on the genuine issues. These breaker bars were applied 21mm apart to help prevent the sheets from curling. It is possible to have two of the horizontal breakers on the genuine stamps, but they must be at the extreme top and bottom, and 21mm apart. Multiple horizontal gum breakers indicate that the overpint is fake.

  • An ultra-violet lamp can be very helpful. The ink of the genuine overprint is black and will not fluoresce in any other colour.

 


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Dr. Norman Bethune

Bethune Canadian pairNorman Bethune was a Canadian doctor whose drive to improve the quality and availability of health care made him a hero in two countries. Born in 1890 in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Bethune practiced medicine in Canada until 1938. Heavily influenced by his own near-fatal bout of tuberculosis, he strove to make a difference by improving equipment and treatment techniques. Appalled that the medical system was available primarily to affluent members of society, he was an early advocate of socialized medicine. His motives were sometimes mistakenly labeled as political, but he was simply driven by a need to act and to help where help was needed.

Bethune Chinese pairBethune became a national hero in China because of his medical service there. He went to China in 1938 when China was at war with Japan. He organized hospitals in the field and served tirelesly as a battle surgeon at great personal risk. Bethune served in China for about 21 months and died there of blood poisoning. I recently enjoyed watching a fine move of his life starring Donald Sutherland.

A pair of stamps honouring Dr. Norman Bethune was issued by both Canada and the People's Republic of China on the centennial of his birth in 1990. The Canadian and Chinese stamps share the same designs and were printed se-tenant. The brown stamp of the pairs depicts Bethune in China, and the blue stamp shows him in Canada.

Bethune FDC

Bethune block


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The 1939 Royal Visit of KGVI and Queen Elizabeth

RoyalTrainset

2014 marks the 75th Anniversary of the 1939 Royal Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Canada and the United States. The four-week tour from May 17th to June 17th was ground-breaking as it was the first time that a reigning British monarch set foot in North America.

After crossing the Atlantic in the famous passenger ship ‘Empress of Australia’, the royal tour began in Quebec on May 17th where the couple was warmly received. The next day they boarded the deluxe 12-car Royal Train accompanied by Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King, four Mounties, officials, and support staff. Crowds gathered wherever the train stopped for special events all across Canada.

 

 

Newfoundland

 

The tour also took the royal couple to the United States where they met President Franklin D. Roosevelt and visited the New York World’s Fair. The final stop of the tour was Newfoundland, which was still a British Colony at the time.

The Royal Train had its own postal unit on board. Letters and stamps bearing special Royal Train cancels are highly collectable and are regularly offered in our auctions.

 

Royal Visit Map

Royal Visit


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Famous Canadian Stamp Dealer K. Bileski


Kasimer BileskiOver the years I have had the good fortune to meet many famous Canadian stamp dealers including J.N. Sissons, Jim Webb, Fred Jarrett, Bill Maresch, Art Leggett, Harry Martin Jr., George Wegg, Allan Steinhart, and Dick Lamb.One of the most notable stamp dealers in all of Canada was Kasimer Bileski of Winnipeg.

Bileski first started selling stamps in the 1920’s and carried on right up to his death in 2005 at the age of 96. His entertaining advertisements appeared everywhere, and he sold stamps to tens of thousands of collectors in his lifetime. His offerings were usually accompanied by an interesting typewritten write-up that made it hard for potential customers to resist. He attended many major auctions where he acquired parts of the President Franklin D. Roosevelt collection, the accumulation of King Farouk of Egypt, and the American Bank Note Archives.

InvertedSeaway

In 1959, Bileski was instrumental in promoting the discovery of Canada’s most famous error - The Inverted Seaway. He appeared on the popular CBC television show “Front Page Challenge” and stumped the panel with news of this error. In the early 1960’s, I remember Bileski coming into my father’s Toronto stamp and coin store and offering the Seaway Inverts for $1,000.00 each. The Seaway Invert now catalogues $16,000.00 for a VF mint single!

Over the past few years we have acquired portions of the legendary Bileski stock as it has come up for sale, and it has provided many interesting lots for our auctions.

 

Bileski notices

Bileski ad

Bileski office


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The Wilding and Machin Portraits of Queen Elizabeth

WildingPortraitPhoto by Dorothy Wilding

Queen Elizabeth took over the throne of England in 1952. For the first fifteen years of her reign, the country’s definitive issues bore a portrait based on a famous photograph taken by Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976), a noted British society photograper.


In 1967, a new design by Arnold Machin was adopted. Machin rendered the very intricate image from photographs of his own sculpture. While the Queen’s image on Britain’s coins and paper money has been updated from time to time, Machin’s image still appears on the definitive stamps.


Machin PortraitPossibly the most reproduced work of art in history, the iconic Machin image has appeared on well over 500 stamps, spanning the change from sterling currency to decimal currency. For over 40 years, the Machin Head issues have been produced in many different colours and denominations, with different perforations and phosphor taggings. They have been issued as single stamps and in booklets, as British issues and as Regional issues. The subject has filled several specialized reference books and created a never ending source of study and pleasure for the Machin collector.

Machin Souvenir Sheet


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Little Norway

Norway 274

cancelDuring World War II, Canada became home to thousands of Allied servicemen who received training here.

More than 2,600 of these servicemen were Norwegians who had escaped from Nazi-occupied Norway. Their basic flight training camps, first in Toronto Ontario, and later in Muskoka Ontario near Gravenhurst, became known as "Little Norway".These camps even had their own postal cancellations.

The Norwegian Royal Family visited Camp Norway several times. Just a boy on his first visit, King Harald returned in 2002 on a state visit to celebrate the special connection between Canada and Norway.

In 1946, Norway issued a stamp honouring the Little Norway training centres (Scott #274).

 

Little Norway

PSC
Wings For Norway

Little Norway booklet


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The Siege of Mafeking

Baden-PowellMafeking Powell stampThe Siege of Mafeking in South Africa from 1899 to 1900 was one of the most famous military actions of the Boer War. For 217 days a Boer force of over 8,000 troops surrounded a much smaller British garrison under the command of Colonel Robert Baden-Powell. Mafeking was defended by only 1,500 men including local volunteers, but to the enemy the force seemed much stronger because of Baden-Powell’s brilliant military tactics.

Baden-Powell's snipers were sent out during the night to lay in wait near the enemy camp until almost sunset the next evening. With their targets well illuminated and the enemy blinded by the setting sun, the snipers could take their best shots from relative safety.

Baden-Powell's employed a number of 'bluffs' that made the Boers believe Mafeking was much better protected than it actually was. He sent residents to the outskirts of the town where they made a big show of burying hundreds of metal boxes. A 'test' was performed by igniting a stick of dynamite, and the Boers were convinced that Mafeking was surrounded by a mine field.

The town's only searchlight was moved regularly to give the impression that many existed. The illusion that the town was surrounded by searchlights discouraged the Boers from attacking at night.

When the supply of barbed wire ran out, Baden-Powell's men strung imaginary wire around new trenches, and then pretended to crawl under the non-existent obstacles. Watching from afar, the Boer scouts reported that the trenches were all protected by barbed wire.

Mafeking Bicycle stamp
Men could not be spared to deliver military messages and civilian mail, or to keep look-out, so Baden-Powell formed a cadet corps of boys as young as 9 years old to perform these and other important duties.

Defying the odds, the British held out and the siege was lifted when the Boers retreated in May of 1900. Following the siege Baden-Powell became a national hero, and would later start the Boy Scout movement based on the brave boys of the cadet corps of Mafeking who had literally served as ‘scouts’.

Various stamps were issued for local use during the siege, including two depicting Baden-Powell, and one depicting Warren Goodyear, a 12-year old cadet, delivering mail on his bicyle. Goodyear is considered to be the first Boy Scout.

 

 

Mafeking Emergency Paper Money


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Newfoundland Trail of the Caribou

LangemarckUbiqueAt first glance, the Newfoundland “Trail of the Caribou” set of 1919 appears to be a standard set of twelve identical stamps. However, when you look closer, the stamps tell you the story of the major contribution made by Newfoundland during World War I.

Beneath the caribou, which is actually a composite drawing of a moose and a caribou, eight of the stamps bear the names of places in Europe where Newfoundlanders fought. The other four stamps bear the word ‘Ubique’ meaning ‘everywhere’ to honour the work of Newfoundland’s Royal Naval Reserve. This majestic and historic set is listed in Scott as #115-26.

The six thousand men who joined the Newfoundland Regiment went to war wearing a badge depicting the head of the caribou on their uniforms.

 

Caribou set on 1919 cover


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Canada's 1927 Special Delivery Stamp

Canada #E3

 

In 1927, the 60th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation saw the release of Canada’s only commemorative Special Delivery issue. The designer of this beautiful engraved stamp managed to depict five methods of mail transportation in a very small area - air, ship, train, horseback, and dog sled!


Canada #E3 is unusual for a number of reasons. No other Canadian stamp up to
that time had depicted a dog, an airplane, an ocean liner, or a horse. It is the only vertical Special Delivery stamp, and the only one without the word ‘Delivery’. If you get out your magnifying glass and look very closely at the horseman’s mail bag, you can see that it reads “Canada P.O.”, perhaps the tiniest lettering on any Canadian stamp.

 

 

Canada E3 cover


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Newfoundland's Signal Hill and Marconi

Signal Hill stamp

This Newfoundland stamp depicts Cabot Tower, which was built in 1897 on Signal Hill high above the entrance to St. John’s harbour. The story of Signal Hill is a fascinating chapter in our maritime history. For centuries, in war and peace, signalmen were stationed on the hill to scan the sea for approaching ships. When a ship was identified, a signal flag would be run up one of the tall masts on the hill to notify the ship’s owner or agent in St. John’s of the ship’s arrival.

Newfoundland mapHaving long played a significant role in communication with flags, the hill became the centre of a major event in a new type of communication in 1901. Because it was situated high on the eastern coast of North America, Guglielmo Marconi chose Signal Hill to be the receiving site for his experiments in Trans-Atlantic radio transmission. Though some scientists doubted that a radio signal could travel further than the horizon due to the
earth’s curvature, Marconi persisted in his experiments and on December 12, 1901 radio signals from Cornwall England were received on Signal Hill.

 

Signal Hill pc

Marconi on Cabot Tower steps

Marconi and equipment

 


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Stamp Collecting Documentary

Vance Auctions has just pledged $500 to assist in the creation of this worthwhile documentary by our friend Mark Cwiakala. Please visit http://kck.st/105ioIZ if you also feel this project is worthwhile. The trailer is fantastic and definitely worth watching. Here is the personal appeal from Mark:

Hello!

We are reaching out to the stamp collectors of the world to tell them about our film project, the first, feature-length documentary on stamp collectors.

Freaks & Errors: A Rare Collection, is a film that reveals this little known hobby to create excitement and awareness. In the film, we are searching out who collects stamps and more importantly ... why? In addition, we will reveal some of the legendary stories in the hobby. The film attempts to uncover the common influences that connect all stamp collectors and whether nurture, nature or both is the driving force behind a collectors “gene”. In addition, we’ll unveil the global world of philatelic business, including high-valued auctions, anonymous collectors, mysteries and scandals.

This film is extremely personal to me, this is a world I grew up in and I've always been fascinated on how much it impacted my life. We have been filming fpr the last year and have exhausted our funds. This lead us to Kickstarter, the crowd-sourced community fund raising site. By partnering with Kickstarter, we are pushing to raise awareness of the the film and the hobby, as well as raise additional funds we need to complete production and post-production.

Stamp collecting is not the hobby that it once was, this is in part to technological distractions and overload of other entertainment options, but we have seen the spark ignite in a non-collector's eye when we mention stamp collecting, the people involved and that we are making a film about it. At the least, we want this film to reach an audience that will leave the theatre with a curiosity and respect for a noble hobby, at the most, we would love to see the same audience become part of the hobby.

We are asking you to please spread the word about our fundraising efforts, our goal is $75,000, in 30 days. Become a part of the film by donating, or by being an ambassador and spreading the word, either way, we greatly any and all support and are available for any questions.

Attached is a link to Kickstarter: http://kck.st/105ioIZ

If you will, let as many collectors know about it as you can and we can bring stamp collecting to the masses!

Thanks,

Mark

Mark Cwiakala
Director

Freaks & Errors: A Rare Collection


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Why Tulips Have a Special Meaning to Canadians

TulipsTulips have very special meaning to Canadians. It began during World War II when a strong bond was formed between Canada and the Netherlands.

Queen Wilhelmina was on the Dutch throne in 1940 when the German Occupation of Holland began, and she sent her daughter, the Crown Princess Juliana, and her family to Canada for safety.

TulipsThe Royal family lived near Ottawa, and in January of 1943 Princess Juliana gave birth to her third daughter, Margriet, in Ottawa Civic Hospital. It is said that pots of earth from Holland were placed under the bedposts so that the new princess would be born on Dutch soil.

After Princess Juliana’s family returned to Holland in 1945, Queen Wilhelmina sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada as a way of thanking Canadians for Princess Juliana’s safe exile, and for the role that Canadian soldiers played in the liberation of Holland.

A gift of tulip bulbs has crossed the ocean from Holland every year since then, and Princess Margriet has returned to visit Canada many times.

Princesses

Princesses


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Richard M. Lamb (1923-2012)

Dick LambIn December 2012 the stamp world lost one of its most respected dealers. Richard (Dick) Lamb of Kitchener Ontario passed away in his 90th year. He was a stamp dealer for over 60 years.

Dick Lamb was born in Oxfordshire England in 1923 and came to Canada in 1950. He worked for many years at Mutual Life Assurance Co but was also active as a stamp dealer. After leaving Mutual Life, he became a full time stamp dealer in the 1970's.

I first met Dick at my father's stamp and coin store in Toronto in the 1960's where he was a regular visitor. Over the years Dick and I had hundreds of dealings, with both of us buying and selling. He was a frequent bidder in our auctions. He particularly liked nice cancellations as well as postal history from Canada and the British Commonwealth.

Dick had a strong connection to my family. Few people know that it was through my father's 'Stamp Collectors' Exchange Club' that Dick met his wife Kathryn to whom he was happily married for 58 years. He often reminded me of this fact and was very grateful to my father.

Over the years, Dick built a reputation for honesty and integrity. He became a very knowledgeable dealer with many contacts and customers all over Canada, the United States, and overseas. He was known to many of the biggest names in philately. Dick became a leading expert on BNA stamps and served for 10 years on the Greene Foundation Expert Committee in Toronto. A few years ago, Dick was made an honorary member of the Canadian Stamp Dealers' Association, a distinction that he shared with only a couple of others.

Outside of stamps, Dick's pastimes included bird watching and gardening. He had a massive vegetable garden behind his house where he seemed to grow enough vegetables to feed an army. Often when visiting other stamp dealers, Dick would take along a basket of fresh produce. I remember the late Toronto stamp dealer Jim Hennok telling me that Dick Lamb's tomatoes were the best he ever tasted.

Dick Lamb will be missed by his family as well as countless dealers and collectors. I consider it a privilege to have known him, and an honour to have called him my friend.

CSDA Exec1985

Dick Lamb covers


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Alexander Graham Bell

Canada 274One of the many positive effects of stamp collecting is the widening of one’s knowledge. By studying a country’s stamps, you learn about its history, its geography, and its culture, as well as the people who shaped it. The contributions of royalty, military leaders, politicians, musicians, artists, and inventors are commemorated on thousands of stamps.

In 1947 Canada issued a beautiful stamp to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1847 and emigrated to Canada in 1870. In 1876 Bell first exhibited what eventually evolved into the modern telephone.

This Canadian stamp depicts a portrait of Bell with telephone poles in the background. The winged figure to the right is reaching over to put a wreath on Bell’s portrait while standing on a globe in which North America is prominently displayed.

Bell is most noted as the inventor of the telephone, but he made many more valuable contributions both in Canada and in the United States. His intellectual curiosity drove him to explore the complete realm of communications including helping the deaf, and he did extensive research into such varied fields as airplanes, animal breeding, artificial respiration, and water desalinization.

 

Bell covers

Cachets

Bell phone card


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The S.S. Empress of Ireland

The cover depicted below tells an interesting but tragic story. It was mailed in Victoria, British Columbia on May 21, 1914. While on its way to Wales England, it became a part of the worst maritime disaster in Canada's peacetime history.

The ocean liner S.S. Empress of Ireland left Pointe-au-Père, Quebec and headed northeast on the St. Lawrence River in the early hours of May 29, 1914. The weather conditions were clear when the Empress sighted the lights of the Norwegian steamer SS Storstad about six miles away. Likewise, the Storstad sighted the Empress. Unfortunately the ships were shrouded in fog, and their courses collided at about 2:00 a.m. when the Storstad crashed into the starboard side of the Empress. The hull of the Empress sank out of sight about fifteen minutes later, and 1,012 lives were lost..

The wreck of the Empress of Ireland lay in about 130 feet of water, making it accessible to divers, but limited visibility and the strong currents of the St. Lawrence made recovery operations difficult. Bodies and valuables were salvaged, as well as 318 bags of waterlogged mail.

Empress Wreck Cover

 

This cover was amongst the mail salvaged from the wreck. It bears the handstamp 'Recovered by divers from wreck of SS Empress of Ireland'. The stamp floated off in the waters of the St. Lawrence River.

A number of monuments were erected to mark the burial sites of those passengers and crew members whose bodies were recovered after the sinking of the S.S. Empress. The wreck is now designated as a site of historical importance and it is protected under Canada's Cultural Property Act.

SS Empress postcards

Storstad

Empress of Ireland SS

 


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China 1932 Northwest Scientific Expedition

Sven HedinChinese stamps are very "hot" on the market today. The Chinese lots that we offer in our auctions consistently attract large numbers of bids from active buyers.

One of the more interesting Chinese sets (Scott #307-10) was issued in 1932 when Swedish explorer Sven Hedin wanted to make a scientific expedition into Northwestern China. The Chinese government would only allow Hedin to make the journey if he took along 20 young Chinese students at his expense. The extra cost exceeded Hedin's budget, so 25,000 sets of four special stamps were printed to help finance the expedition. The stamps depicted camels at camp with the expedition flag.

Of the 25,000 sets, 4,000 sets were sold over the counters of Chinese Post Offices, and the rest were placed in Hedin's hands. He sold them for $5 per set to raise funds. The stamps were not popular at the time, but have now become extremetly collectible.

 

Hedin set on card

Cover to Alma Hedin


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The First Animal Topical

Canada 4Few collectors know that Canada’s first stamp, the 3 Pence Beaver, was also the first official postage stamp in the world to portray an animal. The Beaver stamp was first issued in 1851 and was designed by Sandford Fleming, a young civil engineer who was later knighted for his work designing and surveying Canada’s railroad system. Though animals are frequently depicted on stamps today, Fleming’s design was rather untraditional at the time, a departure from the usual portraits of monarchs and coats of arms.

The Beaver stamp design proved popular as it was used again in 1859 for Canada’s first perforated issue (Scott #12) and for the first Cents issue (Scott #15). Our sales regularly feature a good selection of Canada’s early Beaver stamps including shades, papers, cancels, and varieties.


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Antarctic Expeditions and Stamps

ShackletonScott

Antarctic exploration has always been of great interest to the public. Expeditions have been launched by a number of countries since the 1890’s. Over 100 years ago in December of 1911 Roald Amundsen raised the Norwegian flag at the South Pole following a dramatic race with the Englishman Captain Robert Scott.

Much has been written on early Antarctic expeditions and exploration. Movies have been made including one of my all time favourites ‘Shackleton’ starring Oscar winning actor Kenneth Branagh. It is the story of Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition to Antarctica and is one of the most amazing and compelling adventure stories of all time.

 

Philately played a role in the early exploration of the Antarctic. In 1908 two New Zealand stamps were overprinted “KING EDWARD VII LAND” for the Shackleton Expedition. Then in 1911 two issues were overprinted “VICTORIA LAND” for the ill-fated Robert Scott Expedition. The stamps that were printed for these two Expeditions were made under the authority of the New Zealand Postal Department. They provided an ideal means to both publicize the Expeditions and raise money for them.

Victoria Land blocks

British Antarctic Expedition Certificate

The set of stamps on the cover below was issued by Great Britain to honour British Polar explorers James Clark Ross, Martin Frobisher, Henry Hudson, and Robert Falcon Scott. The cover is signed by Sir Charles Wright, a member of Scott's 1910-13 Antarctic Expedition. Wright, a Canadian who joined the Expedition as a physicist-navigator, was a member of the search party that was sent out from Scott's base camp when Scott and four others failed to return from the South Pole. It was Wright who found the tent in which Scott and two others had died on their return trip.

British explorers


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The Newfoundland $1 Wayzata Air Mail

Wayzata

We are frequently asked questions about the 'stamp' pictured here. It is commonly known as the 'Wayzata' issue.

In 1932, Newfoundland was still a colony of Britain. It was the Depression era, and Trans-Atlantic flight was all the rage. The government of Newfoundland entered into an agreement with an American company called Aerial World Tours that was based in Minnesota. Newfoundland would help finance the first Trans-Atllantic flight to carry both passengers and mail, and hopefully stimulate its own economy in the process. The agreement stipulated that the flight would take place no later than August 31, 1932


The ambitious project was put in motion. Funds were to be raised by the sale of a $1 Air Mail stamp. The design was approved showing a Sikorsky seaplane high above the Atlantic with North America and Europe on either side. The plane, to be purchased by the American company, was a Sikorsky S-40, a hugh 4-engine machine that could carry 44 passengers.

A total of 400,000 stamps were printed from an engraved plate of 20 stamps (4 x 5). Aerial World Tours was to sell 300,000 copies, and Newfoundland would then sell the rest through its Post Office to give the stamp full postal status.

The route was planned to start in Wayzata Minnesota, with stops in Toronto, Montreal, St. Pierre, St. John's, and Holyrood. The plane would then cross the Atlantic by way of the northern route, via Sweden, Germany, and Denmark, to England.

Unfortunately fund-raising efforts fell well short of lofty expectations, and the plans were changed. Instead of the Sikorsky plane, a much smaller twin-engined plane named 'Newfoundlander' was purchased and taken to Wayzata.

Time was running out, and when it became clear that it would be impossible to sell enough of the stamps to finance the venture, the project was cancelled. Of the 400,000 copies printed, it is believed that 375,000 copies were destroyed.

Even though the 'Wayzata' never became an official postage stamp, it is a worthy addition to any Newfoundland or Air Mail collection.

Wayzata cover

Newfoundlander seaplane

Wayzata Telegram

Wayzata Sheet

 


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The World's First Philatelist?

Penny BlackMany authorities agree that the world's first stamp collector was a young Englishwoman who, just a year after Great Britain introduced the One Penny Black in 1840, advertised in the London Times for cancelled stamps. She wanted them to paper a wall in her bedroom. The first stamp album may have been plaster rather than paper!

Saving stamps became a popular pastime, and before long, stamp accumulating progressed to stamp collecting. As other countries around the world followed Great Britain's lead and started printing stamps, a hobby was born.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the term 'philately' was coined in 1864 by a Frenchman, Georges Herpin, who invented it from the Greek philos, “love,” and ateleia, “that which is tax-free”. The postage stamp permitted a letter to come free of charge to the recipient, rendering it untaxed. Before the Penny Black was issued, the recipient of mail paid the postal charges.

Since that young Englishwoman placed her classified ad in 1841, stamp collecting has been one of the world's most popular hobbies, attracting millions of people including kings and presidents.


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My Top 3 Favourite Stamps

Every collector has his or her own favourite stamps.The appeal may lie in the design, the engraving, or simply the appearance. Here are my top 3 favourite stamps:

Canada 50¢ Bluenose, Scott #158
Bluenose
This majestic stamp depicting the famous Bluenose fishing schooner is my all time favourite.
The engraving and the design of this 1929 issue are remarkable. The stamp exemplifies
three aspects of Canadian maritime life: Great fishing, ship building, and seamanship.


Great Britain £1 PUC, Scott #209

PUC Pound

This mighty stamp embodies the power of the British Empire. It's large size and detailed
engraving are magnificent. The stamp was issued to honour the 9th UPU Congress
held in London in 1929. Its allegorical design depicting St. George slaying
The Dragon represents Britain triumphing over her enemies.


United States $1 Cattle in Storm, Scott #292

Cattle in Storm

This beautiful engraved stamp just might be the most beautiful American commemorative stamp
ever issued. The central design is a reproduction of a painting by J.N. McWhirter and
is part of the 1893 series issued to commemorate the Trans-Mississippi
and International Exposition held in Omaha Nebraska in 1898.

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Fourth Generation Stamp Dealers?

It is never too early to introduce young people to the joys of our hobby. At the November 2011 CSDA Stamp Show in Toronto we were visited by my two grandchildren, Elyse (age 3) and Mason (age 6 months).

Who knows? Perhaps one (or both) of them will carry on the tradition and become a fourth generation Carmichael stamp dealer.

The photo below picturing me and my son Chris with Elyse and Mason is courtesy of Mary-Anne at Canadian Stamp News.

Carmichael Kids

 

 


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Canada's Navy on Stamps and Postcards

DestroyerCanada has 243,000 kilometres of shoreline, more than any other country in the world, so our navy has always been essential to our national safety and development. On May 4, 1910, the Royal Canadian Navy came into being.

Before 1910, Canada's maritime security was in the hands of Britain's Royal Navy, but it was time for Canada to assume her share of responsibility for the protection of her coastline. Charles Edmund Kingsmill, a Canadian who became a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy, was invited to direct our Naval services. He assembled a fleet which included two light cruisers that were transferred from the Royal Navy (the HMCS Rainbow and the HMCS Niobe), as well as purchased yachts and other miscellaneous vessels. The Rainbow and the Niobe had already seen duty around the world under Britain's command.

From these humble beginnings, Canada built up her naval forces over the years so that by the end of World War II, Canada had the third largest navy of the Allied Nations (behind the United States and Great Britain).

Canada Post 100th Anniversary of Navy2010 marked the 100th year that our shores have been protected by our naval forces. Special events and exhibitions celebrated a century of extraordinary achievements by the men and women of our navy. A number of stamps have been issued honouring the navy including Canada’s famous $1 Destroyer stamp (above), and the 2010 Centennial commemorative set pictured at the left.

 

 

Cornwal towing Niobe

Seven years after arriving in Canada, the Niobe would be damaged in Halifax harbour in the devastating explosion of 1917. She was scrapped in the 1920's.

Niobe postcard

Niobe

Niobe Gun Crew

HMCS Rainbow

 


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Stamp Collectors' Exchange Club

SCEC 1937 YearbookIn these days when the internet dominates the world of communication, it is nice to think back to the time when 'social networking' meant writing a letter, addressing an envelope, licking a stamp, and finding a mailbox.

In 1935, my father, N.C. Carmichael, saw the need for an association to facilitate communication between stamp collectors. He started the Stamp Collectors' Exchange Club through which stamp collectors could correspond and exchange stamps with other collectors throughout the world.

For a yearly subscription fee of $1, a collector and his address were listed in the club's bi-monthly magazine. A member could then write to, or receive mail from, any other member. It made it easy for collectors to find people with similar collecting interests. The club included members from a wide variety of countries around the world, so if you collected stamps from the Canary Islands or Ivory Coast, for instance, you could write to collectors there!

The club's bi-monthly magazines also included informative articles and interesting advertising from some of the biggest names in philately at the time. Browsing
through some of the old magazines that I have collected, I found ads from Fred Jarrett, K. Bileski, Jim Webb, H.E. Harris and J.N. Sissons.

In addition to bi-monthly magazines, the club published annual yearbooks like the one pictured at the left. That is my father in the centre. He told me that he wore that hat to make him look older since he was only nineteen years old at the time!

The club ran for 23 years and grew to well over 5,000 members in over 100 countries. It was run first by my father, and later by J.K. MacRory (who became publisher of the Canada Lyman's Catalogue), and then by J.R. Cooke.

During that time, tens of thousands of letters were written and mailed between members, resulting in some very interesting covers. I come across S.C.E.C. covers from time to time when handling estate lots and collections, and I am always happy to discover them.

S.C.E.C. Magazine covers

S.C.E.C. Membershjip card from 1938

S.C.E.C covers

 

 


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Tonga Tin Can Canoe Mail

Tonga Many of us take the acts of mailing and receiving letters for granted. We put our outgoing mail in a nearby mailbox, and find our incoming mail waiting for us at home.

Such was not the case for the residents of Niuafoou, one of the Tongan islands of the South Pacific. The island was nothing more than the tip of a volcano jutting out of the ocean, so Niuafoou had no harbours or beaches, and passenger liners steamed right past. As early as 1882, resourceful islanders realized that the only way to communicate with the outside world was to swim out and meet it! The captains of the passing ocean liners started sealing mail in tin cans and throwing it overboard so that natives (first swimming and later in canoes) could retreive it and take it back to the island.

 

When a German born trader named Walter Quensell came to Niuafoou, he saw a unique opportunity. For a small fee, he began stamping all incoming and outgoing mail with a "Tin Can Mail" rubber stamp. Soon "Tin Can Mail" became so popular that every cruise ship in the South Pacific made a point of passing by Niuafoou to watch the natives pick up the mail. People from all over the world sent their fees and self-addressed envelopes so that Quensell would hand stamp them and send them back with a myriad of cachets, both front and back. Quensell was Tonga's "Tin Can Canoe Mail Man" from 1930 to 1946 when a volcano erupted and Niuafoou was evacuated.

The covers pictured here are among the thousands of covers that made the trip to and from Niuafoou in a water-proof tin.

Tonga Tini Can Canoe Mail


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Canada's Avro Arrow

Avro Arrow
After WWII, the Soviet Union had begun developing long-range bombers that were capable of reaching North America with nuclear weapons. In response to the threat of nuclear attack by Soviet bombers coming over the Arctic, Canada developed the Avro Arrow, a supersonic interceptor airplane that was arguably the most advanced aircraft in the world at that time. The two-seat, twin-engine plane was designed by A.V. Roe Canada Limited, with funding from the Canadian government under the Liberal party.

The first test flight took place on March 25, 1958 at the Malton Airport in Ontario (today known as Pearson International Airport). One of the test pilots was Janusz Zurakowski, a renowned Polish fighter pilot. Many more test flights in 1958 and 1959 were highly successful, resulting in only minor corrections.


Unfortunately the Arrow was never allowed to fulfill its mission because the entire program fell victim to politics when it was suddenly canceled by the Conservative Government of John Diefenbaker in 1959. The government's official stance was that the threat to Canada did not warrant the cost of the program, however many believe that was not the full story.

For security reasons, almost everything connected with the program was destroyed, prompting bitter controversy and debate that persists today. Articles and books have been written on the subject, and a movie was even made which starred Dan Ackroyd.

Little of the Avro Arrow remains, but some flight covers and press photos have survived. Only four men flew the Arrow: Janusz Zurakowski, Wladek Potocki, Peter Cope, and Jack Woodman.

Avro Arrow test flight covers


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Heligoland

HeligolandA tiny island in the North Sea called Heligoland has quite an interesting history. Covering less than one square mile, it is one of the smallest areas ever to have its own stamps. Heligoland was a British possession for most of the 19th Century. It issued twenty-five stamps from 1867 to 1888, most bearing the portrait of Queen Victoria.

 

Heligoland In 1890, the British ceded the island to Germany in exchange for Zanzibar. Primarily a summer resort and fishing centre, the island's role changed dramatically at the beginning of World War I when it was fortified as a naval base. When the sea walls and fortifications were torn down after the war under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, a third of the island was washed away. The walls were rebuilt prior to World War II, and Heligoland played an important role as a German submarine base. The British Navy blew up all of the military installations after the war, and Heligoland was returned to West Germany in 1952. After almost half a century of turbulence and war, Heligoland was resettled and became a resort area once more.

 

The stamps of Heligoland were extensively reprinted in the 19th Century. Original stamps sell for far more than the reprints. It is a very interesting field to study.

 

Heligoland postal stationery


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WWII Occupation of the Channel Islands

In the Second World War, the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey were the only parts of the British Commonwealth that were occupied by Germany. During the German occupation that lasted from 1940-1945, the inhabitants of the islands suffered hunger and privation. In addition to the more serious shortages of food and other essentials, the stamp supply was cut off. Prior to the occupation, Guernsey and Jersey used British stamps on their mail. When stamps became scarce early in the occupation, it was permitted to bisect them. Many interesting bisect covers exist and are sought after by collectors.

Starting in 1941, occupation stamps were produced by the Germans for both Guernsey and Jersey. These issues were valid only within the Channel Islands. Some were printed locally while others were printed in Paris. As the result of wartime paper shortages and multiple printings, these interesting issues can be found with various paper, shade and perforation varieties.

 

Channel Islands

 

Guernsey bisect and bookletGerman Occupation


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First United Kingdom Aerial Post

First UK Aerial PostTo celebrate the Coronation of King George V of England, a series of special flights was organized to carry mail between London and Windsor in September of 1911. Aviation was still fairly new as only eight years had passed since the Wright Brothers flew in 1903. While there had been earlier mail flights, the United Kingdom Aerial Post was the world's first sustained air mail service, lasting from September 9th to September 26th, 1911.

Great Britain's Postmaster General authorized these flights to carry specially printed envelopes and postcards that were sold to the public at various outlets, collected in special boxes, and then taken to either London or Windsor to be put aboard a flight. The envelopes and cards were sold with stamps already affixed. The envelopes were franked with 1 pence stamps, and the cards with ½ pence stamps. Since air mail stamps did not exist yet, and the flights were costly, the envelopes were sold to the public for 1 shilling 1 pence, and the postcards were sold for 6½ pence, to raise the necessary funds.

The special cachet, depicting a bi-plane flying over Windsor Castle, was printed in a number of colours. The colours are described differently by different sources:

  • Scarlet (or red)
  • Purple (or purple-brown)
  • Dark green (or deep green)
  • Olive green
  • Light brown (or red-brown)
  • Dark brown (or deep brown)
  • Violet (These were not sold to the public but reserved for use by the organizers, so they are considerably scarcer.)

Only the olive green and the violet envelopes and cards were used from Windsor to London.

Six different cancels, numbered from 1 to 6 at the bottom, were used for the London to Windsor mail. Two cancels were used for the Windsor to London mail.

Each envelope or card had an inscription at the bottom that varied depending on whether the item was to be flown from London or Windsor. There were sixteen flights from London to Windsor, but only two flights from Windsor to London, so the latter are naturally much scarcer. It is our experience that it is harderto find the envelopes than the postcards of any of these flights.

Collectors enjoy the challenge of finding all of the possible cancels and colours for both the envelopes and the cards. As the 100th anniversary of the flights approaches, there will no doubt be more interest than ever in the First United Kingdom Aerial Post, the world's first regularly scheduled air mail service.

First UK Aerial Post


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Topical Collecting

 

Doggie topical


Topical collecting has constantly grown in popularity over the years. Whether you collect space, ships, Boy Scouts, sports, or paintings, a very nice collection can be put together at a modest cost.

At a recent stamp exhibition, a customer showed me his collection of "dogs on stamps". I particularly enjoyed looking over his collection because my family has had a German Shepherd for many years, and we recently added a lovable Jack Russell terrier to the household. I was truly amazed at the variety and scope of his collection. It was well researched and described, and showed me what could be done with one topic.

Those interested in topical collecting may wish to consider joining the American Topical Association. You can visit their web site at www.americantopicalassn.org They offer checklists for almost any topic that you can imagine!

 

 

First US dog topical


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Canadian Postmasters

They didn't know it at the time, but Canadian Postmasters have been responsible for creating some very interesting and collectable items.
Charles Connell

  • In 1860, New Brunswick's Postmaster Charles Connell tried to use his own portrait rather than the portrait of Queen Victoria on a 5¢ stamp. The stamps were printed, but because of the ensuing scandal they were never issued. Connell burned many of the stamps on his back lawn, but some copies have survived. Even though it was never officially issued, the "Connell" stamp is acknowledged in the Scott catalogue as New Brunswick #5.
  • Early Post Offices had to deal with stamp shortages, and sometimes a pair of scissors came in handy. If a 1¢ stamp was needed, some Postmasters allowed a 2¢ stamp to be cut in half! Bisects on covers have always been sought after by collectors.
  • A Post Office in rural Manitoba received a sheet of the 1946 7¢ Goose Airmail that was only partially perforated. The creative Postmaster used a sewing machine to stitch perforations between the stamps. The sheet could then be torn up, and the stamps were sold over the counter.

 

 

Two bisect coversA value is required.


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Universal Postal Union

UPUAll of us take for granted that a letter mailed in our own country will be delivered in any other country around the world, and we have the Universal Postal Union to thank. In 1874, twenty-two countries formed the Union to facilitate international mail delivery. Canada joined in 1878, and today 189 countries are members.

Originally, every time a member country issued a stamp, it was required to send copies to UPU Headquarters in Bern, Switzerland. The UPU then distributed copies to all other member countries to provide identification of authorized issues. To prevent these stamps from ever being used as postage they were usually marked "Specimen" in the language of the country, either by overprint, handstamp or perforation. For example, a Specimen was marked " Muestra" in Spain, "Saggio" in Italy, and "Muster" in Germany. Many Specimens ultimately find their way onto the philatelic market, and are highly desirable to specialists as they are usually the first printing of a stamp and show the original colour. Our auctions always feature a variety of Specimens and these can make a very nice specialty collection on their own.

Specimens


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Canada Semi-Official Airmails

CLP 2CLP 7Between the years of 1924 and 1932, a very interesting chapter of Canadian philatelic history was written. During this brief period, Canada's "Semi-Official Airmail Stamps" were issued.

In years gone by, these stamps were often regarded as labels or cinderella items, but they were actually authorized by the Canadian Post Office Department to facilitate the delivery of mail to northern communities and mining areas.

Thirteen private airline companies were allowed to print their own stamps and collect a fee for delivering mail to remote places that could only be reached by air. Many of the pilots had flown in World War I, and sought further adventure by flying into Canada's wilderness.

Semi-Official Airmails have always been popular with collectors because of their connection to a very romantic period of aviation history, and also because the number of issues is finite. A collection of the stamps themselves makes an impressive array, and you can delve further by collecting the numerous varieties as well as flight covers. Many of the stamps were printed in very small quantities, and even fewer of the flight covers exist. Very detailed records of the flights and pilots were kept, so for the avid collector the sky is the limit.

Our auctions always include a diverse section of Semi-Official Airmail material including pilot signed covers.

CL 3CL 18

Elliot-Fairchild Air Transport cover


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12 Penny Black sold for
$260,000 US in New York!!

12Penny
This beautiful mint example of one of Canada’s rarest stamps, the 12 Penny Black, sold for $260,000 US (hammer) yesterday (Thursday November 19th) at a Spink Shreves Galleries auction in New York.  The hammer price makes this the highest price ever paid for a single Canadian stamp!  This stamp was part of the BNA collection formed by bond king Bill Gross and sold in benefit of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.  The result is certainly astounding and a further indication of the demand for rare stamps despite the current climate of economic uncertainty.  The Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto featured an article about the sale of this stamp.

Check out the front page of our January 2010 auction for a gorgeous used Canada 12 Penny Black.


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General Balbo's Flying Armada

BalboAviation and philately are closely tied, so it is no wonder that airmail stamps are so popular. A very unusual set of airmails was issued in 1933 to commemorate a special Trans-Atlantic flight. An aerial armada of 24 Flying Boats commanded by General Italo Balbo, the flamboyant Italian Air Minister, flew from Rome to Chicago where the World's Fair was being held.

To honour this flight, Italy issued a set of two triptychs (an air registration label, a regular stamp, and an airmail stamp attached together) which are listed in the Scott catalogue as #C48-9. The set was made even more interesting when the abbreviated names of twenty of the flight's pilots were printed on the label portions. Outrageously expensive, the airmails were not well received by philatelists at the time because a complete set consisted of 20 sets of the two triptychs! The set is now much sought after, perhaps for the same reason. It is a real challenge to collect all twenty pilots.

Here is a check list of the twenty overprints that constitute a complete collection of Italy #C48-9:

I. ARAM I. CALO I. MIGL I. RANI
I. BALB I. DINI I. NANN I. RECA
I. BIAN I. GIOR I. NAPO I. ROVI
I. BISE I. LEON I. PELL I. TEUC
I. BORG I. LONG I. QUES I. VERC

A Balbo airmail triptych

Real photo card of Balbo's Seaplanes


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United States Postage Currency

US Postage Currency


When the American Civil War started in 1861, metal was needed for military reasons, and ordinary citizens began to hoard their gold and silver coins.

The resulting shortage of small currency created a significant problem for merchants and consumers alike as most ordinary items cost less than one dollar. Since postage stamps already existed in small denominations, people started buying a dollar's worth of stamps and using them as change.

The US Congress responded by authorizing the issuance of "postage currency" notes. These notes depicted current postage stamps and were used as small currency. Subsequently "fractional currency" notes were issued which did not depict postage stamps, but still served the purpose of "paper coins". In 1876, Congress authorized the minting of silver coins to redeem the outstanding fractional currency.

US Postage Currency


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John Lennon

John Lennon set

Every year we see dozens of childhood or “junior” collections. Most are only worth a few dollars each, but a few years ago Stanley Gibbons offered one for sale for £29,950 ! This particular collection happened to belong to a boy from Liverpool named John Lennon. The stamps themselves might have been found in any youngster’s collection, but the interest lay in the flyleaf where Lennon doodled and wrote his name and address.

The hardcover Mercury Stamp Album circa 1950 was acquired by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Postal Museum. When young Lennon was putting stamps in his album he would never have imagined that it would be displayed at the Smithsonian, or that his own image would one day appear on many worldwide postage stamps.

I grew up listening to Beatles music, and had a pair of tickets to a concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in the 1960’s. On a trip to England several years ago I visited the Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles first played. Many of you probably have memories of the Beatles, too.

John and Yoko SS

Beatles


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Revenue Stamps

QV Law RevenueKGV Revenue

 

The postage stamp was invented in 1840 to collect fees for mail delivery, but governments soon learned that stamps could also be used to collect taxes. Aptly named ‘Revenues’, these stamps had to be purchased for a variety of services and products. Some countries issued stamps that served the dual purpose of both postage and revenue collection, but in Canada the majority of revenues were issued separately and had just one job to do. From 1864 to the present, Canada’s federal and provincial governments have issued stamps for taxing legal services, promissory notes, bills of exchange, electricity and gas inspections, liquor, tobacco, licenses, and also to collect more obscure duties like immigration head taxes. Revenue issues provide a wide variety of designs and some beautiful examples of engraving to enhance a collection of postage stamps.


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Rowland Hill and the First Stamp

Sir Rowland Hill
Penny Black Before 1840, mailing a letter in Britain was a complicated matter. The rate for each letter had to be calculated on its weight and the distance that it had to travel. The postman collected the fee from the addressee, not the sender, and after a letter had been carried over a great distance, the fee might not even be paid. Inefficiency resulted in high costs that made the postal system inaccessible to the masses. A man named Rowland Hill saw the need for reform, and the result was a uniform, lower postal rate that was prepaid by the sender.

It was Hill's idea to affix a little piece of paper to each letter as proof that the fee had been paid. The first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, was printed in 1840. Since Great Britain was the first country in the world to print postage stamps, it probably did not occur to anyone to put the country name on the stamps. Even today, a stamp without a country name must be from Great Britain.

At the same time that the Penny Black appeared, Great Britain introduced the world's first postal stationery. Mulready envelopes and letter sheets were sold in One Penny and Two Penny denominations. Elaborately illustrated with patriotic designs by William Mulready, they did not prove to be popular at the time, but they are very collectible today.

 

Mulready


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The R.M.S. Nascopie

SS Nascopie

The covers pictured below have interesting stories to tell. They were carried aboard the R.M.S. Nascopie, a valiant little steamer that began her career as a supply ship for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1912. While the Nascopie is most famous for sinking a German submarine off the coast of Russia during WWI, her true calling was her annual voyage of about 10,000 miles from Montreal to the Eastern Arctic. She made thirty-four trips, breaking through ice to bring supplies to the traders and the Inuit population in about twenty northern outposts such as Port Burwell, Lake Harbour and Chesterfield Inlet.

On July 22, 1947, the Nascopie was driven ashore on Baffin Island during a wild Arctic storm. Fortunately, the 54 passengers and crew were rescued by the icebreaker N.B MacLean. Mail that was salvaged from the Nascopie was taken to Winnipeg for redistribution.

Because of the Nascopie's long and varied history, the covers that she carried are very popular with collectors today.

Nascopie covers


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The Queen Victoria Chalon Head

The Chalon Portrait

I have always been fascinated by old pictures of the British monarchy, and some of my favourite stamp designs are based on royal portraits. The most famous portrait of Queen Victoria, by British artist Alfred Edward Chalon, was used on many stamps which are called 'Chalon Heads'. Canada was the first country to use the portrait on a stamp, the famous 12 Penny Black (Scott #3) in 1851.

Over 300 more stamps from 11 British Dominions and Colonies used the design including Canada's famous Jubilee issue of 1897.

Chalon first sketched the Queen in her royal robes in 1837. From this sketch, Chalon made three copies of the portrait. The first was given by the Queen to her mother. This copy was exhibited for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, but since that time its whereabouts have been unknown. Queen Victoria also presented a copy to the King of Prussia, but it is believed to have been destroyed during WWII. The third copy, which the Queen gave to the King of Portugal, may be the only surviving copy.

The Chalon portrait had a great impact on the world of its day as it was only through the distribution of stamps and engravings that the people of the British Empire came to know the likeness of their young Queen.

 

Stamps based on Chalon Portrait


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Falkland Islands

Falkland Battle Memorial

A British Crown Colony since 1833, the Falkland Islands are located in the South Atlantic about 300 miles east of the Straits of Magellan at the southern limit of South America. There are two main islands and about 200 small islands, many of which are uninhabited. The islands are small, having a combined land area of only 4,700 square miles, but their location gives them a strategic value that was demonstrated in both World Wars. In December 1914, the British Naval Squadron from Stanley, the capital city, defeated the German fleet at the Battle of the Falkland Islands and thus regained control of the South Atlantic. This battle is commemorated by the Battle Monument depicted on the 2sh6p value of the famous Centenary set. Twenty-five years later in December of 1939, a Royal Navy Squadron won the Battle of the River Plate, again allowing Britain to control the South Atlantic.

Argentina has long laid claim to the islands. Perhaps the most famous event in Falkland history occurred when the Argentine military invaded the islands in April of 1982, sparking an international conflict. The short-lived Falklands War ended in June 1982 when the Argentine forces surrendered to the British military after fierce sea, land and air battles.

Their beautiful stamps, their obscure location, and their rich military history have always made Falkland issues popular with stamp collectors.


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Canada's Famous 12 Penny Black

Penny Black

Penny Black ProofThe most sought after early Canadian stamp is the famous "12 Penny Black" (Scott #3). It is a stamp that is missing from virtually all collections and is one of the world's more desirable classic stamps. It was printed in 1851 by the New York firm of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson which is the same company that printed the first issues of the United States.

The 12 Penny Black also has the distinction of being the first of hundreds of stamps to depict the well known 'Chalon portrait' of Queen Victoria by the British artist Alfred Edwin Chalon.

The stamp's use was very limited because it was issued for prepayment of the letter rate to Newfoundland and the West Indies. It is noted in Boggs that only 1,450 were issued to various Post Offices, and any unsold remainders were destroyed. Many authorities believe that only 100 or less examples of this stamp exist today. Collectors often use a Plate Proof of this issue to fill the space in their collections knowing that they probably will not have the opportunity to acquire the regular issue of #3.


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Allan Steinhart

Allan SteinhartAllan Steinhart was one of the preeminent authorities on Canadian postal history. I first met Allan in the 1960's when he was a regular customer at my father's stamp and coin store in Toronto. Over the years we became friends and had lots of dealings. He was a frequent bidder in our auctions. During that time Allan amassed an enormous stock of Canada and worldwide postal history that became legendary.

Allan's sudden death in 1996 left a void in the Canadian postal history scene, and a book was published in 1997 as a tribute to his life. David Handelman and Gray Scrimgeour edited 'Allan Steinhart Postal Historian' which includes some of Allan's many postal history articles, anecdotes from people who knew him, and a wealth of information that any postal history collector would find fascinating. The book is well illustrated with many exhibition class covers that passed through Allan's hands.

In 2007, Charles Firby Auctions offered the balance of the Steinhart stock.
I was the largest buyer at the sale, acquiring thousands of $10 to $500 Canadian items. Covers from Allan's stock still turn up regularly, described in his distinctive style.

Steinhart CoverAllan Steinhart book


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Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Stamps depicting FDR

 

One of the most famous stamp collectors of all time was United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The time that he regularly spent with his stamp collection helped him to cope with the pressures of his busy life and made him a firm believer in the therapeutic value of stamp collecting.

His enthusiasm did much to promote the hobby in North America. We regularly come across items from the FDR Collection and they always have a special appeal. It is fitting that President Roosevelt himself has been depicted on many stamps and covers from countries all around the world.

 

Letter signed by FDR


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Captain Cook

Captain Cook coverI enjoyed reading my friend Dr. Barry Floyd’s philatelic work entitled Captain James Cook the Explorer. It was a real pleasure to read Barry’s historical examination of Cook’s three voyages of discovery combined with a philatelic review of related stamps and covers. Cook’s fascinating personal story and his remarkable legacy are complemented by full colour illustrations of stamps, first day covers, and souvenir covers that were issued around the world to commemorate events from Cook’s voyages. Barry does an excellent job portraying the romantic image of South Pacific exploration, while also examining the harsh realities of long, dangerous voyages and European contact with indigenous peoples.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Captain Cook or Pacific exploration.


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Canadian Provinces

PEI, Nova Scotia stampsNB, Newfoundland stampsThe Provincial issues of Canada have always been popular with collectors. British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia had their own governments and postal systems until they joined the Confederation of Canada on July 1, 1867. Prince Edward Island followed in 1873. Newfoundland has the most stamps of any of the provinces since it did not become part of Canada until 1949. Because no more stamps will ever be issued, collecting the Provinces has added appeal since the goal of a complete collection is attainable. One can also acquire all kinds of interesting varieties, imperfs, proofs, postmarks and postal history.
NS Bisect Cover

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London to London 1927 Flight

 

"London to London" postcard

Aviation and philately have always been closely tied, so it is no wonder that airmail stamps and postal history are so popular. The postcard shown here tells an interesting story.

In 1927, flying across the Atlantic was all the rage. Lindbergh completed a Trans-Atlantic flight in May, but a dozen others lost their lives in other attempts. The world was fascinated by the daring aviators who attempted the dangerous flight. Carling Breweries of London Ontario offered a $25,000 prize to any Canadian or British pilot who could fly non-stop from London Ontario to London England. Since it was not possible to fly that distance on a single load of fuel, the rules were changed to allow a landing in Newfoundland.



 

The plane ‘Sir John Carling’ piloted by Captain Terrence B. Tully and Lieutenant James Medcalf took off from London Ontario on September 5th. After stopping at St. John’s Newfoundland, Tully and Medcalf headed across the Atlantic carrying mail franked with a special airmail stamp that bore their portraits (#CLP6). The plane never arrived in England. The plane, the crew, and the mail were lost. In our May 2007 auction, we sold one of the 9 known copies of the rare “London to London” stamp for $38,000. Recently, much excitement was generated by the discovery of a printer’s proof of this issue. The proof was sold at a Talman auction in Toronto in December 2008 for $11,500 and made front page news in the Toronto Star newspaper.

 


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The Carmichael New Issue

Chris, Kim and ElyseI am very proud to announce the birth of my first grandchild, Elyse Milena Carmichael. My son, Chris, and his wife Kim welcomed their new daughter into the world at the Welland Hospital on Monday, September 15, 2008 at 12:48pm.

Elyse weighed 7lbs 8oz and arrived very quickly. In fact, Chris barely made it to the delivery room in time to witness the birth of his daughter. Kim and Elyse are doing very well, and they are all adjusting to life together as a family.

Who knows? Maybe our ‘new issue’ will be a fourth generation stamp dealer!

 

 

 


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King Farouk of Egypt

Stamp from the Royal Collection of King FaroukOver the years, many famous people like President Franklin D. Roosevelt and King George V have collected stamps.

Egypt’s King Farouk was also an avid philatelist, and he assembled a very extensive collection. He ruled Egypt from 1936 until 1952, but unfortunately his regime was corrupt, and he was forced to abdicate as the result of a military coup in 1952. He died under mysterious circumstances while in exile in Italy, and his government put his royal collection up for sale in 1954.

Several dealers were among the purchasers of the collection, and the stamps were put back on the market with the added appeal of having once been owned by a king! Prominent Canadian stamp dealer Kasimir Bileski handled many of the stamps, and he mounted some of them on special cards as illustrated here. Items from King Farouk’s collection are still very popular among collectors.

 


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Royal 2008 Stamp Convention

 

Chris and Vance with Rick Penko, President of the RPSC.We very much enjoyed meeting many of our bidders at the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada Convention held in Quebec City in May 2008. Stamp collectors came from all across Canada and the United States to attend. The convention was an excellent forum for collectors, dealers, and exhibitors to share their knowledge, add something to their collection at the bourse, and enjoy the many fine exhibits.

The 2009 RPSC Convention will be held in St. Catharines Ontario, about 30 minutes away from Smithville. Plans are well under way for that show, which will run from June 12-14, 2009 at the Parkway Convention Centre, 327 Ontario St., St. Catharines, Ontario.

 

 

 


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The Largest Stamp Store in the World

 

This postcard of the Hamilton store is on my office wall.As many of our bidders know, my family has a long history in the stamp collecting field. My father was in the stamp business from the 1930’s-70’s, first running a large exchange club for collectors, and then owning stamp stores in Toronto and later in Hamilton Ontario. The Hamilton store is the most memorable one for me. The two floor store became a landmark for collectors and was billed as “the largest stamp and coin store in the world”.

The store stocked over 2,500 albums of stamps for collectors to look through. It was also a hub for collectors looking for coins, military medals, rocks and minerals, and prints. Even though the store closed in 1974, I still meet collectors who used to frequent the store and have fond memories of dealing with my father.

 

 


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Vance Goes Green

 

The Forestry Stewardship Council is an international organization which promotes the responsible management of the worlds forests. We are very proud that since May of 2008, Vance Auctions catalogues have been printed on paper stock which is guaranteed by the FSC as originating from forests which have been managed in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable manner. For more information on the FSC please visit www.fsc.org

 

 


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Canada Official OHMS Perfins

 

Position B

Canadian Official OHMS Perfins are a very popular colleting field. These stamps were perforated with an “OHMS” pattern for official use. Depending on how the sheets of stamps happened to be fed through the perforating machine, the letters appear differently when viewed from the front of the stamp. For your reference, here is a guide to the possible positions:

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OHMS Perfin Positions

 


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United Empire Loyalists

 

Canada #209After the American Revolutionary War (1775-83) and the defeat of the British, many people remained loyal to Britain. Fearing persecution, a large migration of over 40,000 Loyalists came to Canada, resettling in various parts of the country. Many United Empire Loyalists were attracted to the Niagara Peninsula where Smithville is located. UEL Statue in Hamilton

Their British culture and laws had a great influence on the area. A statue of a Loyalist family, created by Sydney March of England, has a prominent place in nearby Hamilton (about 30 minutes away from our office) in front of the former Court House.

This famous statue was depicted on a Canadian stamp in 1934 (Scott #209) to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists. The stamp is considered one of the more beautiful issues from the middle period of Canada.

 

 

Loyalist FDC

 


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