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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Proof Material of the 1953-1967 Karsh and Heritage Definitive Issue

Yesterday's post concluded the issued stamps of the 1953-1963 Karsh Issue. In today's post, I wanted to address an equally fascinating but highly challenging aspect of this issue: the proof and essay material. This is the pre-production phase of the issue if you will. It's considerable challenge lies in the fact that most of the pieces illustrated here are either unique or very rare, with less than 3 or 4 known in each case. Consequently, most of these will sell for upwards of $1,000 each when they do come up for sale at auction, which is not very often at all.

The proof material falls into four main categories:

1. Essays of the unapproved designs.
2. Essays of the approved designs.
3. Progressive, unfinished proofs of the approved designs.
4. Trial colour, and die proofs of the approved designs.
5. Plate proofs of the issued designs.


Essays of Unapproved Designs






These two essays are the only ones known in black and white. The one on the left borrows heavily from the earlier King George VI Postes Postage: the lettering is similar. Both designs incorporate the Royal Cypher, as the issued stamps did. The portrait is a photographic profile of the Queen, similar to the Wilding portrait used on the issue that replaced this one.



The above essay is the only one known in colour. It incorporates much the same style of lettering as used in the issued stamps, but uses a different profile portrait and omits the Royal Cypher. It is die sunk on card and three examples are known in private hands.

Essays of the Approved Designs


            


Both known essays of the unapproved designs are black and white. The one on the left is very similar to the issued design, except that the font used for thee lettering is different and the background shading is completely different.

On the 20c, there exists three unique die essays:


  • Large photographic die essay in grey
  • Large photographic die essay in brown-grey
  • A metal tintype plate in black

There are a large number of different essays of the $1 totem pole. Most differ from the issued design in some small detail. Printed in red-brown, are:

  • Three large essays on card with a white frameline around the value.
  • Two large essays on card where the background, lodge and totem are different from the issued design. 
Then, printed  in sepia we have:

  • Two large essays on card with the shading and background different. 
  • Two large essays on card with the $1 and shading in sky different from the issued design.
  • Two large essays on glossy paper as above.
  • Two large essays on India paper with straight lines in the background.
Finally, in black are the following 11 unique items for this value:

  • Large defaced essay with the white frameline around the value.
  • Large defaced essay with no frame around the $1.
  • A photostat of the potential vignette.
  • A small photostat of the essay.
  • A large photostat of the essay.
  • Photostat of the essay with notes in margins.
  • Photostat of two dies with notes.
  • Photos of die with notes on order.
  • Photostat negative
  • Photostat negative that includes the 2c Postes Postage design
  • Tinplate proof


Progressive Proofs of the Issued Design



Photographic die proof of the 1c value. 

I do not know if the above photographic proof exists for the other values or not, as I could not find any references to it on the BNA Proofs website. However, I would assume that they must exist somewhere. 



The above is a progressive proof of the approved design. The value and the date are missing. There are a total of six known in black brown on various papers (India, Glazed and Manila), four in carmine rose (2 on India and 2 on card), two in violet and two in steel blue.



The above progressive proof has the date in the lower right corner, but still no face value. A total of four in black brown are known (2 on glazed card, 2 on India paper), 2 in carmine-rose (India paper), 2 in brown-red (India paper), and 4 in violet (2 on India paper and 2 on glazed paper).

Two small progressive proof in black exist for the 20c, that show the design almost complete, except for the background.

On the 50c value there are currently four progressive proof known, none of which are printed in the issued colour:


  • Large progressive proof on card, incomplete date, no imprint or die number, printed in carmine-rose. 
  • Large progressive proof on card, incomplete date, printed in carmine-rose.
  • Large progressive proof on card, incomplete date, no shading around letters, printed in carmine-rose. 
  • As above, but on glazed paper and printed in red-brown.
Three each of the above progressive proofs are currently known. 






The above is a small die proof on glazed card in the issued colour, violet brown. A similar large hardened die proof also exists. In addition to these, the same proofs each exist in black, and a large progressive proof on India paper exists that is printed in blue-green and has the background shading near "1c" unfinished.


For the two cent, the hardened die proofs on glazed card that can be found are the issued colour of green, then blue green and olive green. A progressive proof exists in brown that shows no shading around the "2c". A  large trial colour proof on glazed card exists in ultramarine, while a small trial colour proof on glazed card exists in brown.


There are considerably fewer proofs known of the three cent as compared to the 1c and 2c values. For this value there exist three each of a hardened and unhardened die proof on glazed card, printed in the issued colour of carmine-rose. 


For this value, three examples of  large composite proof of this and the 5c value on card are known printed in blue. Printed in violet are three each of the following:

  • Small unhardened die proof on card
  • Large unhardened die proof on card
  • Large unhardened die proof on glazed paper. 


For the 5c value there exists three each of the following:

  • Large unhardened die proof on glazed card, printed in slate-blue.
  • Small hardened die proof on glazed card, printed in blue.
  • Large hardened die proof on glazed paper, printed in blue. 

Photographic proofs also exist of all values from the 1c to 5c in grey. They are unique, as far as is currently known.

There are currently no known die proofs, or trial colour proofs known of the 7c Canada Goose.



On this value there are three unhardened die proofs on India paper in grey and two small die proofs on India paper, also printed in grey. In the trial colour of grey-green, there are three large proofs and two small proofs, all printed on India paper. Finally, there are two small trial colour proofs printed in brown. 




For the 50c value there exists a unique photographic proof in black with the printer's notes in the margin as well as three large trial colour proofs on card, printed in carmine-rose. Of the proofs printed in the issued colour, there are three each known of the following:


  • Large hardened die proof on India paper
  • Large hardened die proof on off-white paper
  • Large hardened die proof on glazed paper

There are currently no known die proofs or trial colour proofs of the $1 totem pole. 


Plate Proofs of the Issued Designs



The above block of the 1c violet brown is the only plate proof block that I have seen in this series. I assume that the other values must exist. Readers, if you either have, or know of the existence of other blocks, or singles for the other values, please do comment, so that I can update this post to include them.

That concludes my roundup of the proof material that is currently known from this issue. If you know of or have in your possession any other proof material not listed above, I would very much appreciate a comment to that effect with the details, so that I can update this post.










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