The Arch Issue of 1930-1935 Part 2

Today's post will continue my discussion of the Arch Issue.

Shade and Gum Combinations Continued

The last post covered the shade variations found on the regular issue stamps to the $1. The list below details some of the shade and gum combinations found on the 5c airmail and 20c special delivery stamps:

5c sepia with cream gum and no visible mesh.
5c deep sepia with cream gum and no visible mesh.
5c agate with cream gum and no visible mesh.
5c agate with cream gum and coarse vertical mesh.
20c deep Indian red with deep cream gum and no visible mesh.
20c deep Indian red with coffee gum and no visible mesh.
20c deep Indian red with cream gum and no visible mesh.
20c deep Indian red with brownish yellow gum and no visible mesh.

I should mention that the colour names I have given in this and the last post are based on the Stanley Gibbons Stamp colour key, with the colour names modified as required to bring them into line with the actual colours.

In addition to the above, the 2c brown stamp is listed in a pale yellow brown shade in Unitrade as #166ii. I have never seen this shade, so I cannot comment on how it compares to the Stanley Gibbons colour key.


Re-entries on this issue were unheard of until very recently, when Ralph Trimble brought a few of them to our attention on his website, the link for which is given below:

Until recently, there were only two re-entries listed on this issue:

  • The major re-entry on the 1c orange, and 
  • The major re-entry on the 1c myrtle green.
Both these re-entries show doubling in the lower right "1" and in the letters of "Cent". In addition, a small coloured point appears in the white space just to the lower left of the numeral. The re-entry occurs on position 96 of the upper left pane from plate 2. There was an attempt made to re-touch this re-entry by hand, and the main way to identify this stamp is by the fact that the coloured point, just opposite the lower left tip of the right numeral is still present on the re-touched stamp. This retouch is now listed in Unitrade as 163iii, but has not, as yet been priced. My feeling would be that it should be just as scarce as the regular re-entry, if not scarcer, depending on when the retouch was made. 

In addition to these well known re-entries, Trimble identifies the following additional re-entries:

  • A re-entry on the 1c green in which diagonal lines are shown extending into the white border just to the left of the right numeral. 
  • A re-entry from position 15 of the upper right pane of plate 3 of the 2c green and 2c red. In this re-entry, clear doubling can be seen on the "ADA"of "Canada", as well as the "AN". 
There must be more re-entries in existence, given that hundreds of millions of stamps were printed from up to 10 different plates. I just don't think they have been discovered yet, given the relative lack of interest in studying this issue up until recently. 

Plate Flaws

The only listed plate flaws on this issue are the extended moustache, on the 2c red and 2c brown; the missing spire and broken spire on the 10c, and the cockeyed king, which occurs on the 2c coil stamps.

The Extended Moustache

Image result for extended moustache variety

The variety appears on the left hand stamp in this pair. A you can see, it is really a dot, located right at the left tip of the moustache, which has the effect of making it the same thickness at the end, that it is all along the length. Many collectors who haven't seen it, often think that stamps similar to the one on the right are the variety, as the moustache extends past the left cheek. However, in this case, it clearly tapers off to a fine tip, which is not the case on the variety. It is quite a scarce variety, as it occurs in only one position: position 65 of the lower right pane of plate 8. It is currently only known on the die 2 printings of the 2c scarlet and 2c blackish brown. 

The Missing Spire and Broken Spire

Image result for Missing spire variety

The scan above shows the spire as it normally appears on the 10c value. The scan below shows a example of the missing spire. Note how there is no point above the circle at the top of the tower. 

Image result for Missing spire variety   

There is also a second variety called the broken spire. On this, there is a small point protruding above the circle, that is much shorter than the spire shown in the first scan above. The position of these varieties have not yet been established. 

The Cockeyed King 

Image result for The cockeyed king

This is one of the more difficult varieties to identify, especially on single stamps. On the normal stamp, the left pupil (the King's right) is slightly higher than the other, and is partly hidden under the eyelid. On the variety the eyelid of the left eye (King's right) is more open and appears whiter then the other eye. It only occurs on the stamp immediately to the left of a line in a line pair. However, not all stamps to the left of a line will be the variety. Again, this is a fairly scarce variety that so far is only known on the 2c coil stamps. However, it could exist on other stamps as well.

These are the known varieties on this issue, but it is possible that there may be other undiscovered varieties.

Plate Blocks

This issue featured a relatively large number of plates. The imprints are found in all four corners, depending on which pane they are from, and in addition, each pane also has a centre position. The centre positions are distinguished by the fact that the imprint is 6 mm from the stamps, whereas on the corner positions, the imprints are 5 mm from the stamps. The blocks of this issue are all scarce, as they are valued at a premium over the price of four single stamps. The number of plates used, combined with the number of positions, makes for a very large number of collectible blocks, particularly if we consider shade, gum and paper varieties:

  • 1c orange - 1 plate, 2 positions (2 blocks)
  • 1c deep green die 1 - 2 plates, 2 positions (2 blocks)
  • 1c myrtle green die 2 - plates 5-8 (16 blocks) - no centre positions
  • 2c deep dull green - plates 1-6 (22 blocks)
  • 2c deep red die 1 - plates 3-6 (26 blocks)
  • 2c deep red die 2 - plates 7-8 (8 blocks)
  • 2c blackish brown die 2 - plates 7-10 (16 blocks)
  • 2c agate die 1 - plates 5-6 (11 blocks)
  • 3c scarlet - plates 1-5 (20 blocks)
  • 4c yellow bistre - plates 1-2 (8 blocks)
  • 5c dull plum rotary - plates 1-2 (7 blocks)
  • 5c deep dull purple - plate 3 (4 blocks)
  • 5c Prussian blue - plate 3 (4 blocks)
  • 5c Milky blue - plate 3 (4 blocks)
  • 8c deep blue - plate 1 (2 blocks - upper left and upper right)
  • 8c red-orange - plate 1-3 (7 blocks)
  • 10c olive green - plate 1 (4 blocks)
  • 12c grey black - plate 1 (6 blocks)
  • 20c brown red - plate 1 (6 blocks)
  • 50c dull blue - plate 1 (6 blocks)
  • $1 bronze green - plate 1 (2 blocks)
Most all of these are collected as blocks of four, but some, like the centre position of the 4c are collected as blocks of 8.

Booklets and Booklet Panes

Image result for arch issue booklets          Image result for arch issue booklets

In this issue, 6 basic booklets were issued, each containing various combinations of panes of 6 or 4 of the 1c, 2c and 3c stamps as follows:

  • 25c booklet containing 4 panes of 6 of the 1c dark green, with a light green cover;
  • 25c booklet containing 2 panes of 6 of the 2c deep dull green, with a light green cover;
  • 25c booklet containing 2 panes of 6 of the 2c deep red, with a bright red cover;
  • 25c booklet containing 2 panes of 6 of the 2c agate, with a deep brown cover;
  • 25c booklet containing 2 panes of 4 of the 3c deep red. 
  • 25c booklet containing 1 pane each of 4 of the 1c deep green, 2c agate and 3c deep red. 
All of these booklets had a face value of 24 cents, but sold for 25 cents, with the extra cent, being a kind of service fee for the convenience of the booklet. All of the above booklets were issued in both English and french versions. The booklet covers were generally plain coloured covers, with a black coat of arms and the words "Canada Postage" typographed in black on the front cover. There was no binding tape on any of the covers either. 

With the exception of the 2c deep dull green, which exists in a rotary press printing, all of the panes contained in the above booklets were printed using flat plates. Where the collecting of the booklets becomes very challenging is in seeking out the examples that show plate, or partial plate inscriptions in the selvage tabs of one or more panes. The selvage tabs that show plate inscriptions are as follows:

  • 1c myrtle green, which can show either "plate" or "No.4" on the tab.
  • 2c deep dull green, which can show either "plate", "No.4", or "No.5"on the tab. These panes can also be found perforated on both sides. 
  • 2c deep dull green rotary, which can show a partial "3"on the tab.
  • 2c deep red, which can show either "plate", "No.4", or "No.5"on the tab.
  • 2c agate, which can show either "plate", or "No.4"on the tab.
  • 3c deep red which can show either "plate", "No.1", or "No.2" on the tab.
  • 1c deep green pane of 4, which can show either "plate" or "No.1" on the tab.
  • 2c agate pane of 4, which can show either "plate", "No.1" or "No.2" on the tab. 
Although Unitrade does not list them, in theory at least, it is possible to find booklets where the plate inscriptions are on some panes, but not others, and in different orders, i.e. a booklet containing 4 panes of 6 1c, where only the first pane has the inscription, or say the second and fourth panes have it, etc. 

The 2c deep dull green booklet can also be found with the panes perforated at the right side only.

Potential Design Size Differences

In US philately, the 1923 Presidential Issue exists printed both with flat plates, as well as rotary press printings, much like this issue. In this issue there are some very well known rarities, whose design sizes differ from their more common counterparts by only a fraction of a millimeter. These are generally understood to have resulted from the conversion of coil waste into sheet stamps by perforating vertically. 

Julian Goldberg, a Canadian philatelist based in Toronto, has suggested that such rarities may reveal themselves on this issue as well, and he urges philatelists to carefully measure their stamps and look very carefully at perforations as well, given that he has found differences between the exact gauge of the rotary press printings (which he says are perf. 11.25 x 12) and the flat plate stamps (which he says are almost exactly 11). 

 That brings us to the end of the second post dealing with this fascinating issue. My next post will deal with the remaining aspects of the issue. 


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