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Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Capstone - Forming A Specialized Collection of Wilding Issue Plate Blocks

Overview of the History of Plate Block Collecting

Plate block collecting used to be popular among philatelists who wanted to obtain a copy of each major printing of a stamp produced in a long running definitive series. Obtaining the corner block, or centre block containing the plate number and inscription "proved" that the stamp came from a different printing. Also, since records were generally kept of when the different plates were put to press, a specialist could assign different printings to a specific date. It used to be extremely popular among collectors in the 1950's and 1960's. On Canadian sheets, the layout of a printing sheet was usually between 200 to 600 subjects arranged into 4 or 6 smaller sheets for distribution to the post offices. Usually, the inscriptions were placed on the outer corners of the larger sheets. This meant that for any given post office sheet, you would only get one corner. If you collected all four corners of a plate, they could be arranged on an album page to resemble a miniature sheet of 16 stamps.Many collectors found this very appealing and would often visit many post offices when a stamp issue came out to obtain all four corners of a plate.

Many postal clerks found this to be an extreme nuisance, so in 1957 and 1958, the post office department went to extraordinary lengths to effectively discourage the practice by having all the sheets trimmed to remove inscriptions. However, a public outcry caused the post office to reverse its position in late 1958, and gave rise to what we know today as the philatelic-field stock distinction. From this point on, philatelic panes had the blocks left intact, while field stock panes had the inscriptions removed. The bulk of stamps printed in recent years have been field stock of course, so there are now many printing varieties that only exist on field stock.

However, once the use of multiple plates to print an issue ceased, and photogravure and lithography supplanted engraving as the preferred method of stamp printing, the significance of collecting plate blocks changed, although it remained the same for the definitives. Because of this decreased significance and the subsequent rise in postage rates, the popularity of collecting plate blocks has fallen in recent years.

However, it is still the only way the place the various shades, and papers in the correct order. Then once this is accomplished, a parallel study of cancellations on used stamps will enable a specialist to accurately date specific shades, paper and gum types.

Defining the Scope of A Specialized Collection

So far we know that:

1. There were up to 22 different shades of some values in this set.
2. There are up to four different gum types.
3. There are up to four different arrangements of position dots on two positions in each plate.
4. There are up to five different paper textures.
5. There are up to a different dull fluorescent papers and three or four fluorescent papers.
6. There are three different intensities of taggant on the Winnipeg tagged stamps.

Now, not all of these varieties will exist with every other variety, so the number of variants is not purely multiplicative. However, the existence of the above variations expands the potential scope of this issue considerably.

Here is an example of how I would classify and arrange such a collection. Here I assume a certain number of shades for each value and papers on which each shade can exist:

Part 1: The Horizontal Wove Papers

1c violet brown - plates 1-9: 10 sets including 9n: ((10 x 4)x4x2) = at least 320 varieties.
2c green - plates 1-9: 12 sets including 7n, 8n, 9n: ((12 x 4) x 3 x 4) = at least 576 varieties.
3c carmine rose -  plates 1-2: 2 sets ((2 x 4) x 3 x 7) = as many as 168 varieties.
4c violet - plates 1-12n: 14 sets including 10n, 12n: ((14 x 4) x 10 x 4) = as many 2,240 varieties.
5c blue - plates 1-12: 12 sets: ((12 x 4) x 9 x 4) = as many as 1,728 varieties.
6c orange -  plates 1-2: 2 sets ((2 x 4) x 4) = as many as 32 varieties.
10c violet brown -  plates 1-5 ((5 x 4) x 4 x 3) = as many as 240 varieties
15c black -  plates 1-3:  4 sets ((4 x 4) x 4) = as many as 64 varieties
20c green - plates 1-3: 4 sets ((4 x 4) x 4 x 2) as many as 128 varieties.
25c vermilion - plates 1-2: 2 sets ((2 x 4) x 4 x 3) = as many as 96 varieties.

Part 2: The Vertical Wove Papers

1c violet brown -  plates 11-12: 2 sets ((2 x 4)x12x4) = at least 384 varieties.
2c green -  plates 11-20: 10 sets ((10 x 4) x 12 x 2) = as many as 960 varieties.
4c violet -  plates 13-19: 7 sets ((7 x 4) x 9 x 12) = as many as 3,024 varieties.
5c blue - plates 13-19: 7 sets ((7 x 4) x 12 x 12) = as many as 4,032 varieties.
15c black -  plate 4: 1 set ((1 x 4) x 9) = as many as 36 varieties.
20c green - plate 4: 1 set ((1 x 4) x 4 x 2) = as many as 32 varieties.

Part 3: The Tagged Stamps

1c violet brown: (1 x 4 x 12 x 4 x 3) = as many as  576 varieties.
2c green (1 x 4 x 12 x 2 x 3 = as many as 288 varieties.
3c carmine rose ( 3 x 4 x 12 x 2 x 3) = as many as 864 varieties
4c violet (1 x 4 x 9 x 12 x 3) = as many as 1,296 varieties.
5c blue (1 x 4 x 9 x 12 x 3) = as many as 1,296 varieties.

This ignores the official stamps completely. Further, I do not know if every paper type exists in every shade, but if the number of varieties is this large then it means that there are over 18,380 possible different plate blocks to collect in this issue in order to obtain every combination of paper and shade that could exist with each plate. If you are able to buy these for $1 per block, which is very optimistic, you are  still talking about spending over $18,000 on this issue.

All of the sudden, when you look at it this way, this issue does not have to be any easier to complete than you want it to be. Remember that we haven't considered coils, booklets, proofs or postal history yet, not to mention errors. Thus I would contend that you can easily spend a lifetime collecting this issue and spend tens of thousands and still not be done.

The nice thing though about this issue is that it is actually possible to do this because the pool of available extant material is large enough. You could never hope to do this with the classic period even if money was no object. Why? because the material just doesn't exist on this scale for the classic period. However, if we keep using this material for postage, there will come a time when this too will be impossible, and that would be a shame for philately I think.

The Scarcity Of Superb Stamps In The Modern Period

It is a well known fact that the early stamps of Canada are very scarce in superb mint or superb used condition. Indeed collectors over the last several years have been very willing to pay increasing prices for superb examples of otherwise common stamps. The premiums have been nothing short of astonishing:

1. A 1c green Admiral from 1914-22 in superb NH mint condition can sell for as much as $300 today. Back in 1990 I hardly ever saw a stamp like this sell for more than $20.

2. A $5 Jubilee from 1897 in VFNH condition used to sell for around $1,000 or so. In recent years, a stamp like this has sold for as much as $10,000 at auction.

However, all of this attention  to quality drops off abruptly at 1947, with most dealers and collectors paying very little attention to grade. Most modern issues are regarded as being so common that few people seem to care about seeking them out in superb grades. Perhaps this is due to the perception that such stamps are easily found.

I have just finished working with the 1954-1967 Wilding Issues and the 1953-1967 Karsh Issues for the past two months. During that time I have listed over 1,500 items and examined at least 2,500 stamps. Out of this total, I would say that no more than 50 or 60 items graded 84 or more on my scale, and the number grading over 94 would be no more than a dozen items. That is less than 3% of the total population of material handled.

Maybe that is not as scarce as for the earlier, pre 1947 issues, but it is scarce enough that such items should be worth a premium over the more common F-70, VF-75 and VF-80 grades, which form the bulk of the material on the market today.

So if you are looking for an area to pursue that has potential future upside, I believe that superb quality examples of modern stamps fit the bill. Why? Because any collector who wants only the very best available quality and is trying to form a complete Canada collection needs these stamps as well as the others.

On issues prior to the late 1960's when stamps were line perforated, mathematically perfect centering is rarely seen, even on the most common stamps. Once comb perforating becomes the preferred method, the number of perfectly centered stamps increases. However, they are still not that common.

The Dull Fluorescent Papers On The Wilding Issue 1954-1967

As with the gums on this issue the paper is another attribute that has received a lot less attention than it should. Unitrade had started listing fluorescent papers on this issue many years ago, and so most collectors with more than a passing interest in Canadian stamps are aware that this issue comes on fluorescent paper. However, what has not received very much attention are the papers that the catalogue refers to as plain or dull. Unitrade gives the impression that there is but a single type of plain paper. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Close examination will reveal that in addition to six different paper textures, there are also eight different types of dull paper that each appear different under ultraviolet light as follows:

Paper Textures:

1. Horizontal wove paper showing strong ribbing on both the front and back of the stamps.
2. Horizontal ribbed paper showing ribbing on the front only.
3. Horizontal ribbed paper showing ribbing only on the back.
4. Horizontal wove paper showing no ribbing at all either on the front, or the back - the horizontal mesh only being visible when the stamps are held up to a strong light source.
5. Vertical wove paper showing no visible ribbing.
6. Vertical wove paper showing distinct vertical ribbing on front and back.

It was suggested in one philatelic article (I can't remember where) that the vertical and horizontal papers were the same and only reflect the fact that the printing plates were rotated in late 1958 from a horizontal orientation to a vertical one. However, close examination reveals that this is not the case. The appearance of the ribbing and the appearance of the mesh is completely different with these papers. Also most of the horizontal wove papers are between 0.0035-0.004" thick, whereas the vertical wove papers are usually exactly 0.0035".

Whether all six textures should be represented in a collection is a matter of personal preference. I can see how some collectors may feel that papers 1-3 and 5-6 are the same and that distinguishing between them is overkill. However, I believe that based on their characteristics, at a minimum a collection should feature three of these types.

The scans below show the three basic types:

The above is am example of the horizontal wove with the clear ribbing. You can see the ribbing at the top of the block in the top selvage. One very good way to reliably detect the ribbing is to look at the stamps at an oblique angle to the light. Then it will be clearly visible. The horizontal  ribbed papers predominated until about 1956-1957, when the type with smooth surface appeared. 

This paper is horizontal wove and shows ribbing on the back, but is completely smooth on the front, even when viewed at an angle to the light. It usually appears on plates from about 9 onwards and predominates until the vertical wove papers appear. 

This is the vertical wove paper that shows no distinct ribbing. It is often whiter in appearance than the horizontal wove paper. 

Reactions Under UV Light:

1. Non-fluorescent violet reaction - usually found on the smooth horizontal wove. 
2. Dull fluorescent light violet reaction
3. Dull fluorescent greyish reaction
4. Dull fluorescent greyish white reaction 
5. Dull fluorescent white reaction
6. Dull fluorescent violet white reaction
7. Dull fluorescent bluish white reaction
8. Dull fluorescent ivory reaction

Types 2 through 8 are found on all the paper types, though some are clearly less common than others. Ivory, bluish white, violet white and light violet appear, based on the blocks I have examined so far to be much less common than the other types. Again, whether or not all eight should be included in a collection is a matter of personal preference. Many collectors may see little difference between types 1-2, 3-5 and 6-7. However, I believe that most would, if they could see them all together, would recognize at least four types. 

Understanding the differences between these papers and the gums will prove to be invaluable in sorting the printings of the high values, which are otherwise very difficult to tell apart, as most show very little variation in shade and nearly all were printed on dull fluorescent papers. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Gum On The Wilding Issues Collectible Differences or Random Variations?

The study of gum on Canadian stamps is a subject that has received very little detailed study, except with regard to the authentication of whether the gum found on a particular stamp is original or not. Very little attention has been paid to studying the characteristics of stamp gum to see if there are patterns that enable philatelists to accurately place or date particular printings of long-running definitive stamps. I am not sure why this is. Perhaps it may be due to a long held perception that the characteristics are too difficult to describe reliably in a way that a philatelist reading the description can recognize and correctly identify in his or her stamps. Perhaps it is due to a perception that there is too much random variation in the appearance of gum on individual stamps and that therefore the differences are not collectible as it would be impractical to form a "complete" collection of all the types.

I will contend after handling over 1,200 mint stamps, coils, booklet panes, and plate blocks of this issue that there most definitely are differences in the gum used on these stamps - differences that could be invaluable in dating particular printings correctly. The purpose of this post will be to describe the different types of dextrose gum that I have observed on these stamps.

Gum is a chemical substance like any other substance employed in the production of stamps. As such, its physical characteristics will be influenced by its chemical makeup. It is a surface coating of adhesive that goes on wet and dries to a finish that has particular attributes. Those attributes are:

1. Colour
2. Evenness of appearance - i.e. smooth versus streaky.
3. Sheen

Colour on this issue varies from deep yellow to light cream. The evenness of appearance can result from different methods of application to differences in how the gum bonds to the paper surface and dries. Finally sheen refers to how shiny the gum is. I like to use the same language that painters use to describe paint finishes on walls, i.e. flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, gloss and high gloss. I find that describing gum this way is reliable and easy to understand and apply later to other stamps.

So how does the gum on this issue vary?

Generally, the gum on this issue can be divided into four groups:

1. Gum in use from 1954 to about 1956
2. The 1956-1958 gum
3. The 1958-1964 gum
4. The 1964-1967 gum

This study is where a parallel study of the commemorative stamps of this period becomes very useful, due to the very narrow window of use. Understanding the characteristics of the gum used on these issues will prove very useful in supporting the contention that there were four distinct types of gum used during the life of this issue.

From 1954 until late in 1956 the gum used on these issues tends towards a deep yellow to deep yellowish cream with much more yellow than cream. It is usually fairly smooth and looks relatively evenly applied on most stamps, although occasionally some streakiness is apparent. The sheen is glossy and semi-gloss.

Then in 1956 and 1957 the gum becomes much less shiny, being more of a satin sheen. It also becomes streaky in appearance, often looking like it was applied in vertical lines, as such lines can usually be seen running through the gum. There is less yellow in the colour, though still much more yellow than cream. This gum is only found on the commemoratives of this period, so I am fairly sure that stamps of this issue with this type of gum were from this period. From my study of the various plate blocks this seems to be consistent with the plate numbers on which this type of gum are found.

With the changeover from horizontal to vertical wove paper on the 1c-2c, 4c-5c, 15c and 20c, the gum takes on a much creamier appearance. Both smooth and streaky versions are found, often on the same sheet, so this difference would not appear to be a collectible one, at least within this small period. It is still not shinier than glossy, with it occasionally being satin in sheen.

Then starting in about 1964 the gum becomes much shinier - more of a high gloss. It is either found completely smooth, or evenly streaky or stippled, kind of like the outside of a strawberry appears, with the matte areas corresponding to the seeds and the rest of the strawberry, the shiny parts of the gum. As the low values had been all but replaced by this time, the only values you will see this gum on are the 10c, 20c, 25c, and 50c textile industry stamp of the previous issue.

Becoming comfortable with these differences will take some patience and experience. However after a while you will begin to see that even though they are all dextrose gums, they are all very different in their appearance and therefore they deserve to be studied. The regular pattern of their occurrence confirms the notion that they are not random differences because they are not found on all values at all times, Instead they follow patterns that begin and end at certain times, which supports the notion that they are indeed collectible differences that should be studied and described to aid in the identification of specific printings of these stamps.

Plate Flaws, Re-Entries, Offsets, Foldovers and Cracked Plates On The Wilding Issue 1954-1967

This post will deal with some of the errors and oddities that are found on this issue. I will say that overall this was a very well printed issue that seems to have suffered from few mishaps. However, with patience and careful examination of the stamps, there are interesting oddities to be found.

Foldover Errors and Pre-Print Paper Creases 

The above freak is the result of a crease in the stamp paper that occurred before printing. The design was printed over the creased paper, which then left an unprinted void when the crease was opened out. 

The Damaged E Variety

This variety is really more of a deformity of the "E"in the left "EIIR"of some of the 2c, 4c and 5c coil stamps. It is a constant variety that can be found in complete rolls of the coil stamps. So in a sense it is the most common of all the varieties in this post. I do not know what the cause is, but it is likely some aspect of the coil production and the same thing that was responsible for the weak corner variety on the 2c Postes-postage coils and the narrow "1" and damaged "2" varieties on the 1935 Pictorial issue coils. 

The "Arc" Plate Flaw

This semi-circular arc flaw has been found on the 2c green. I do not know if it is constant, or is found on any other values. I think it likely is a freak flaw. 

Offsets on Gum

I really like this one. This variety shows a portion of the design printed on the back underneath the gum. I have seen other similar varieties offered for sale by Saskatoon Stamp Centre. But they are really uncommon, this being the first one I have ever seen personally. 

The Weeping Queen

The CBN seems to have a penchant for portraying the queen weeping. We have the "Weeping Princess" variety on the 1c Silver Jubilee Issue of 1935, and the Weeping Queen on the 1972 Caricature Issue. It may surprise you to see that such a variety exists on this issue as well. I have only come across it on the 5c shown above. I do not know whether or not it is a constant variety, or just a one-off, but it is nevertheless interesting in light of the fact that it is found on several issues featuring the Queen. 


Unitrade just started listing minor re-entries on this issue, with a single listing for the 5c involving doubling of the upper left corner. The above scan shows another such re-entry. If you look carefully at the frameline in the middle of the scan, you can just make out a very slight doubling of the line.

Cracked Plates

Usually a cracked plate will show either a strong jagged line in the margins or fine hairlines across the stamps. However I have noticed on the lower left positions of plates 12 and 13 some fine hairlines in the left margin. I don't think the above scan shows them clearly, though they are visible when the blocks are handled in the flesh.

This concludes a brief roundup of some of the oddities to be found on this issue. If any of you have other EFO's from this issue, I would love to feature images in this post. Please message me if you are interested to have them featured. I will give full credit to you of course.

The Position Dots On The Plate Blocks of The Wilding Issue 1954-1967

This is a topic that only became apparent as I worked on many hundreds of plate blocks, but has turned out to be one of the mysteries of plate blocks printed in the modern period. Several years ago, I noticed that many lower right blocks and many lower left blocks contained a coloured dot in the lower selvage. I do not know what the significance of these dots are, but it seemed as though every issue from 1935 onward printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company has these dots only on the two lower positions. 

The above scan shows the position of the dot on the lower right position under the "C" of "Canadian". The scan below shows the position of the dot below the period of "Limited.". 

It would be easy to assume that all the blocks have these dots in the same position, but then I came across the blocks from the high numbered plates on the vertical wove paper, and this is what I found:

On these blocks, we can see that instead of being located on the two bottom positions, they are instead found on the two right positions, which is consistent with the fact that the printing plates were rotated sideways when the sheet format was changed from 400 subjects to 600 subjects.

So it would seem that all of the plates on horizontal wove paper should have the dots on the lower positions as in the first two scans, but all plates on vertical wove paper have them on the two right positions as shown above.

However, it is not nearly so simple as this. In working with some of the blocks from the higher plates, I noticed that some of them have no position dots at all, like these two 5c blocks from plate 17:

As you can see, there are no dots at all on these, even though there should be, based on what we have seen so far. It is possible that none of the blocks from plate 17 have dots, or that maybe some do and some don't. This is a ripe topic for further detailed study.

In addition there are other differences as well. I have seen some blocks that have two dots, as well as blocks that have dots in the upper positions instead, and those that have dots in slightly different positions from those shown as follows:

This 3c lower left block has two dots instead of the usual one. The first dot is in the usual position: under the period of "Limited.". However, the second dot is under the "L" of "Limited.".

On this lower right block there are two dots, the first of which is where you would expect it to be. However, the second dot is located in the right selvage, just as it would be if this were one of the later printings on vertical wove paper. Now all of the sudden, there is a third type on the 4c value and it begs the question as to how many plates it exists on. 

 Again this lower right position has two dots, but the second dot is in a lower vertical position from the one above.

Finally on this block there are two dots, one above the other, over the "A" of "Canada's". Furthermore, you can just make out a feint horizontal line under the lower position dot. What is interesting about this block is that the dots appear on the upper right position at the top, which is not seen on any of the other values.

So in conclusion, what at first appears to be a small minor detail, has become a source of intrigue. What do these position dots represent? How many different combinations are there? What plates are they found on? Are any rare?

Shade Varieties Of The 4c Wilding Issue -1954-1963

The 4c violet in this issue rivals the 5c in terms of its complexity. The shades range from rosy violet and milky violet on the one hand through to deep purple violet, to deep blackish violet on the other hand. The progression is so gradual though that it is easy to see a large group of 4c stamps and think that they are all more or less the same. However, as with all the stamps of this series, patient and careful examination will reward you with many variations that are actually quite obvious when youn see them.

The shade varieties that I have found are as follows:

On plates 1-12n, the booklet panes and coil stamps:

1. Deep violet
2. Violet
3. Deep bright violet
4. Deep milky violet
5. Milky violet
6. Bluish violet
7. Bright violet
8. Bluish milky violet
9. Purple violet
10. Dull  violet

On plates 15-19:

1. Bluish violet
2. Violet
3. Dull violet
4. Deep violet
5. Light violet
6. Milky violet
7. Rosy violet
8. Deep rosy violet
9. Blackish violet

Shade Varieties Of The 2c Green and 3c Carmine Rose Wilding Issue 1954-1963

The next two stamps in this series have fewer shades than the others. However, there are a few that are very distinct:

On the 2c value the following shades are found:

1. Bright green
2. Green
3. Light dull green (usually on the high plates 11-20 and the cello-paqs.)
4. Dull green (usually on the high plates 11-20 and the cello paqs.)
5. Deep green (usually on the low plates 1-9)

On the 3c value:

1. Carmine
2. Carmine rose
3. Deep carmine

On this value, the carmine rose shade is almost a bright cerise. It seems to be found usually on the earlier printings. The later printings and tagged stamps seem to mostly be either carmine or deep carmine.

Shade Varieties Of The 1c Brown Wilding Issue - 1954-1963

As promised, I have a clear afternoon on this Boxing Day to sit and write some posts summarizing some of my additional observations that have come from working with over 1,200 items from this series over the past month. It is no exaggeration to say that this issue really is the modern equivalent of the "Admiral Issue". But the wonderful thing for collectors is that this set is both much more affordable, and it is possible to form a complete collection of all the plate blocks. It may even be possible to acquire a complete collection of plate sheets. I can say with reasonable confidence that such a feat is no longer possible on the Admirals, given that over 200 different plates were used to print each of the low values in that issue. However, it is possible to master this series without having to be a millionaire to do it. However, from what I can see after working on this issue for a month, I can see that doing so rigorously, with proper statistically valid paper and shade studies could well take a couple of decades.

Like the Admirals, one major point of interest for this series is the different shades that can be found on all the values of this series. Some of them are so subtle that they may at first appear to be identical and it will only be after close examination that you will see the differences. However, some are so drastic that one wonders how they have never been listed in the Unitrade catalogue.

I have already identified some 22 shades of blue and ultramarine that I have found on the 5c value and these were the subject of my last post. The 1c value has many fewer shades than this, but still quite a few as follows:

Predominately found on the low plates to plate 10:

1. Violet brown (by far the most common shade)
2. Pale violet brown
3. Deep violet brown
4. Deep brown

Predominately found on the higher plates from 11 to 12:

1. Brown
2. Pale brown
3. Violet brown
4. Chocolate brown

There may be others such as pale chocolate brown, and red-brown. However, more stamps would have to be examined to establish the existence of more shades.

It appears that the first group of shades is found both in the sheet stamps and the booklet stamps, which first appeared in 1956. The second group is found on both the tagged and untagged stamps.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Shade Varieties On the 5c Wilding Stamp of 1954-1962

As promised, I am augmenting my posts on the Wilding Issue with a series of additional posts to cover off some of the detail that has become apparent to me while I was listing the plate blocks of this issue. I'm going to start with the shade varieties of the 5c blue as this is the value that I have just been working on, so the shades are all fresh in my mind.

As I have written in previous posts, this value was printed from no fewer than 19 plates, although plate 14 cannot be positively identified because the inscriptions were trimmed off all sheets. This variety of printings has produced no fewer than 22 identifiable shade varieties of blue or ultramarine. Some of these are very subtle, but some are not at all, as shown in the picture below:

How anyone can think that the two blocks on the left are the same colour is beyond me. These differences are every bit as significant as what we are used to seeing on the popular Admiral series of 1911-1928. There may even be more shades than I have identified, since I have only examined a relatively small number of plate blocks. The shades seem to extend across multiple plate numbers, and trying to tabulate which plates exist with which shades would be a very challenging and worthwhile research project indeed.

The shades that I have found so far, are:

Predominently on plates 15-19:

Dull ultramarine
Deep bright ultramarine
Greenish ultramarine
Deep ultramarine
Bright ultramarine
Navy blue
Dark blue
Light bright ultramarine
Milky ultramarine
Pale ultramarine
Light ultramarine

Predominantly on plates 1-13:

Light bright blue
Deep bright blue - the most common shade by far
Deep greenish blue
Pale dull ultramarine
Dull greenish blue
Deep blue
Bright Blue
Royal Blue

Some of these shades would appear to be relatively uncommon, based on their infrequent occurrence among the blocks that I examined.

If you would like to look at my listings of the plate blocks of the 5c value, please click on the following link:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Additional Posts for The 1954-1967 Wilding Issue

After working extensively with the plate blocks of this issue, I feel that it is necessary to write some additional in-depth posts about this issue before moving on to the next definitive issue. In the next three weeks or so, I will start to write posts on the following topics:

1. Shade varieties on the 1c violet brown
2. Shade varieties on the 2c green
3. Shade varieties on the 4c violet
4. Shade varieties on the 5c blue
5. Position dots on the plate blocks
6. The gum on the Wilding issues - collectible varieties versus random variations.
7. The Dull Fluorescent Papers.
8. The scarcity of superb stamps in modern Canadian philately.
9. Forming a specialized collection of plate blocks of the Wilding Issue.
10. The existence of cracked plates on the Wilding Issue.
11. Constant plate varieties on the booklet covers.

Watch this space starting after Christmas for these posts. In the meantime, if you would like to see the plate blocks I have listed so far, click on the following link:

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Plate Block Post For The Wilding Issue Continues To Be Updated

I am still working on listing the plate blocks of the 4c, 5c, 6c, 10c, 15c, 20c and 25c stamps from this issue. This week I hope to finish the listings for the 4c plate blocks.

I have been updating my post dealing with the plate blocks of this issue, specifically for the printing order numbers found on the lower left positions:

I am now up to plate 5 of the 4c value and I still have some 15 plates of this value and 19 plates of the 5c to go in addition to the high values. So please be sure to check this post regularly for updates. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Listings for the 1954-1967 Wilding Issue Taking Much Longer Than Expected And Some Other Observations About This Issue

I had promised an update today or an overview post of the 1963-1967 Cameo Issue. Unfortunately, the Wilding Issue is taking much longer to get through than I thought. As of today, I expect to complete the 3c value and as the 2c value took a full week to get through, I think this set will take me another 3 weeks to complete - so probably around Christmas.

In the meantime, I will post any new observations that come to light as I continue to list the stamps and plate blocks of this issue. In particular, I am updating my post dealing with the plate blocks of this issue as I examine more and more blocks and new printing order numbers become known. Be sure to go back and re-read this if this topic interests you.

One comment that I can definitely make at this point is that the paper differences that I have written about are becoming more and more pronounced as I examine more and more blocks. Also, I am finding that many plate positions have characteristics with regard to paper texture and position dots that seem to be universal across the plate number. For example, there are some blocks of the 2c that have no position dots on any of the positions, while there are other plate numbers that seem to only exist on ribbed paper and others that exist only on smooth paper. On some of the 3c lower left positions, I am finding two position dots instead of the usual one and on the later printings, I am finding the dots in the right selvage, instead of at the bottom, which is in keeping with what I have seen on the post 1958 printings of the 1c and 2c values.

The 3c value presents somewhat of a mystery so far as it does not conform to the 1c and 2c in as much as it only seems to exist on horizontal wove paper. Also it is the only value that is found in plate block form with Winnipeg Tagging. Why this is the case remains a mystery for another philatelist to study and solve.

The gums used on this issue are problematic. There are definite differences between them, but they are hard to describe accurately. Also, it appears that there may be variation within a block, where some stamps in a block have completely smooth gum with no streaks, but then others will have streaky gum. This may mean that the distinction streaky versus smooth my be less meaningful than I first thought. Additional study will be required to resolve this issue.