The Booklets and Coil Stamps of the Wilding Issue 1954-1963
As stated in the earlier post about this issue, there were no English booklets, as all booklets starting with this issue are bilingual. There were also no chewing gum booklets as all booklets were the larger business-card sized 25c booklets. The dotted covers that had been in use since 1935 continued to be used on this issue until 1956, when they were replaced by a new modern design. As we shall see, between cover types, staple lengths, cutting guidelines, paper varieties and shades, there is a considerable amount of scope in collecting the booklets and panes that goes way beyond the basic four booklets that are listed in Unitrade.
The Dotted Cover Booklets
There were two dotted cover booklets issued, one containing a pane of 5 plus label of the 5c blue, first issued on July 14, 1954, and one containing a pane of 6 4c violet stamps, issued July 7, 1955. According to Bill McCann in his booklet catalogue, for the 25c blue booklet there were a total of 77,298,000 booklets issued in stapled form and 4,500,000 that were stitched with thread instead of stapled. All of the stitched booklets are in the dotted cover design, whereas the 77,298,000 includes the modern cover design issued in 1956 and in fact, the majority of these booklets will be the later cover design.
The 25c violet booklet is a much scarcer booklet, with only 301,825 being issued. Despite this huge disparity in issue quantities, Unitrade values it at only $4 compared to the $2 assigned to the most common variety of the 25c blue booklet.
Peter Harris in his book on the Dotted Cover Dies has identified two dies used for the front covers and two for the back. Both booklets used the same cover designs, the only difference being the colour of the cover. The scans below show the overall front and back cover designs of the stapled and stitched booklets:
The front and back covers of the stapled booklets.
The following scans show the two dies used for the front covers:
- A 25c red booklet containing one pane of 5 plus label of the 1c violet brown and a pane of 5 plus label of the 4c violet.
- A 25c dark blue booklet containing a pane of 5 plus label of the 5c blue.
So all told there are at least 77 different type III cover booklets possible and 140 type II for a total of 217 different red booklets.
Not nearly as straight forward as first appears huh?
Then of course, you can challenge yourself by looking for the individual booklet panes in fine or very fine used condition with in-period cancellations, which is not nearly as easy as you might think, though they do exist.
The Coil Stamps
The coil stamps are another very complicated aspect of this set. As explained in the post dealing with the Karsh Issue, the following varieties exist with all Canadian coil issues:
- Start and end strips from the roll of 500 that consist of four stamps plus 10 tabs.
- Narrow and wide spacing varieties
- Jump strips
- Repair paste-up strips
- Strips that show cutting guidelines.
In addition to this, the 2c exists on fluorescent paper, which is generally a dull paper with a sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres. The 4c is listed on hibrite paper, but the ones I have seen are really just low to medium fluorescent. All of them appear to exist on three kinds of dull paper: smooth with no mesh, vertical ribbed as shown here and horizontal wove. Finally at least 2 shades of each value exist. So there are an additional ten varieties of 2c, an additional 10 of the 4c and 8 varieties of the 5c. When you combine those varieties with the 12 strip varieties above, the potential scope becomes:
2c: 120 varieties = 12 strips x 10 varieties
4c: 120 varieties = 12 strips x 10 varieties
5c: 96 varieties = 12 strips x 8 varieties
So a person focusing on these coils could potentially collect at least 336 different coil strips!
As these coils were intended to pay the rates on third class, local first class and domestic letters, it is unusual to find used strips, especially on cover. So a rewarding pursuit would be to seek out used pairs and strips with nice, in-period CDS cancels.
The next post will deal with the Cello-Paqs and the official stamps.
Have a great weekend everyone!