The Dated Die Issue of 1935-1938 Part Two
Plate Flaws and Re-entries
Unitrade lists all of the known constant plate flaws on this issue, of which there are eight as follows:
- The "mole on forehead" on the 2c Brown from position 21 of the upper left pane of plate 2.
- The "birdcage" variety on the 10c mountie, from position 48 of the upper left pane of plate 1,
- The "broken leg" on the 10c mountie, from position 48.
- The "narrow 1" on the 1c green coil stamp. This occurs periodically through the roll.
- The "damaged 2" on the 2c brown coil stamp. This occurs periodically through the roll.
- The "moulting wing" on the 6c Daedalus airmail, from position 14 of the lower right pane of plate 1.
- The "Air"die flaw on the 6c Daedalus airmail, from position 10 of the lower left pane of plate 1.
- The "dot in right 2" on the 20c special delivery issue. No position has as yet been specified for this variety.
The Mole on Forehead on the 2c Brown
The above scan shows an example of this flaw, which consists of a heavy dot of colour at the King's left temple. So the name by which this variety is known is somewhat misleading, since you will not find it if you are looking in the middle of the forehead.
This was not listed until just a few years ago, and if you aren't paying close attention, is a very easy variety to overlook. It consists of a very thin arc of colour just above the back end of the horse, just behind the saddle. While not nearly as rare or valuable as the broken leg, it is still a very desirable variety, listing for $500 in very fine mint condition.
The Damaged 2 Variety
The Moulting Wing
This is another variety that can be very difficult to spot. On the above block it is on the lower left stamp. Look at the white area on the left wing, closest to the right side, just above the left leg. If you look closely, you will see a thick arc of colour running almost parallel to the leg and crossing the white area. You can see it very clearly on the lower left stamp, but not on the other three stamps in the block. This is the "moulting wing" variety, and it is one of the most famous varieties on this issue.
The "Air" Die Flaw on the Daedalus Airmail
However, over the years specialists like Ralph Trimble have discovered others, which have now made their way into Unitrade:
- 'RCMP" doubled on the 10c Mountie, along with the left vertical framelines.
- The left scroll near the left maple leaf doubled on the 13c violet, along with many of the horizontal shading lines extending past the left vertical frameline.
- The left side of the 20c olive green doubled, including "postes". This occurs on position 35 of the upper right pane of plate 1.
- The left side of the 50c doubled.
Precancels and Cancellations
- 1c green - 84 styles.
- 2c brown - 31 styles.
- 3c dark carmine - 8 styles.
- 5c blue - 2 styles.
- 1c green coil - 1 style.
First Day Covers and Postal History
A wide variety of first day covers can be collected for this issue, with the differences being in the different cachets, which were produced by private cachet makers during the period. Some of these are quite scarce and highly desirable, but most can be had for a very reasonable price. Only the 50c and $1 are more expensive, and even then $250 is the most expensive you will find for this issue.
The postal history itself can be approached in many different ways:
- A wide variety of advertising covers, corner card covers and hotel covers can be collected for the printed matter and local domestic rates. Alternatively, you could focus on obtaining covers from small town post offices, that are either closed now, or those that opened or closed during the life of the issue.
- The higher values can be sought on high-value local, special delivery or registered frankings, or on bulk mailing receipts.
- You could focus on exotic foreign destination covers, including airmail covers. Airmail is still relatively in its infancy during this issue, so there are a number of first flight covers that can also be collected.
- You could also look at dogsled covers from the far north, as these are quite collectible, though many are philatelically inspired.
Generally speaking the postal stationery available during the life of this issue continued to follow the Medallion inspired design of 1932. However there were a few new items to appear during this period, whose designs were similar to the low values, though not exactly the same.
- There was a 1c green wrapper with a front face portrait of King George V. The design is kind of a hybrid of all the preceding issues, borrowing elements from each one.
- There are 5 basic types of postcards with the front face design as detailed below.
- There are 5 basic types of sideface design postcards as detailed below.
- One with no inscription at all - just the stamp impression.
- One that bears "Canada/Business Reply Card" in two lines at the top left.
- One that bears "Canada Post Card" at the top centre of the card.
- One that bears a bilingual "Canada/Post Card" at top centre.
- One where the message portion is the third type above, but the reply portion has "Canada Post Card /(Reply) in two lines.
- One where the message portion is the fourth type above, but the reply portion has "Canada/Reply Post Card-Carte Postale Reponse" in two lines.
- The 1/2c blue card exists in a type similar to the second type above, except that "Carte Reponse D' Affaires" appears on another line below the other two lines.
- The 1c green cards in the third type above can be found on mimeograph stock, as well as on mimeograph stock and rouletted. Mimeograph stock is a very thick, porous stock that was made for use in mimeograph machines, which were designed to mass produce cards with a generic message.
- The 1c green cards with no inscription can be found precanceled, with the plain bars style, as shown on the 2c brown stamp that was illustrated earlier in the section dealing with precancels.
- The 1c green + 1/2c blue reply card exists in a second type, where the message portion is the fourth type above and the 1/2c blue reply portion is like the additional type just described above, with "Carte Reponse D'Affaires".
- Looking for a used card from each major provincial city, i.e. Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Fredericton, Saint John, Charlottetown, Halifax, Whitehorse and Yellowknife. The last two of these will prove to be close to impossible and could have you searching for years.
- Looking for uprated cards. These were only designed to be used locally, but occasionally you can find them used to foreign destinations by adding additional stamps. You could form a collection of these arranged by destinations, rates or both.
This is the first issue on which the more common 4-hole OHMS perfin appeared, although the scarce 5-hole perfin can also be found on all values as well. Unlike the 5-hole perfin, which is practically non-existent, the 4-hole perfins can all be found mint, and can also likely be found in plate blocks too, though I would expect them to be quite scarce. So with this issue, in addition to the ability to seek out eight different orientations of the OHMS perfin on each type, you can also seek out shades, paper and gum varieties, as well as plate blocks. With the 5-hole perfin, do not forget the "missing pin on s" variety that exists on all values, and in all orientations as well. All of this will combine to make this a very challenging aspect to this issue.
My understanding is that all 13 stamps can be found the 5-hole type, and the 5 hole type with the missing pin on S variety. In addition, on the 4-hole type can be found only on the 6c airmail, 10c, 13c, 20c, 20c special delivery, and the 50c. So there are at least 32 basic stamps, which can become as many as 256, if all 8 orientations exist for each one.
All of these stamps are very scarce. The minimum Unitrade price is $25 for a used copy of the 1c with 5-hole perfin in fine condition. The most expensive is $400 for a VF used copy of the $1 Champlain with 5-hole perfin.
As with all the OHMS perfins, very great care must be taken when purchasing them, as many have been extensively forged from cheap used stamps. Kennith Pugh has published a reference work titled "Reference Manual of BNA Fakes, Forgeries & Counterfeits, Series I - release 5". In this he details the characteristics of the genuine perfins and contrasts them with some of the better known fakes out there. It is an invaluable guide to have if you are thinking of buying these from someone other than a reputable dealer.
All values of this issue exist in imperforate pairs, and are all very scarce, with around 150 pairs of each being known. Despite this immense scarcity, the prices listed in Unitrade are very reasonable. The number of pairs known of each are:
- 1c green - 150 pairs.
- 2c brown - 150 pairs.
- 3c dark carmine - 150 pairs.
- 4c orange yellow - 150 pairs.
- 5c blue - 150 pairs
- 8c deep orange - 150 pairs.
- 10c carmine rose - 150 pairs.
- 13c violet - 150 pairs.
- 20c olive green - 150 pairs.
- 50c dull violet - 150 pairs.
- $1 blue - 150 pairs.
- 6c airmail - 125 pairs.
- 20c special delivery - 75 pairs.
In addition to the above imperforate pairs, the 5c blue exists as a horizontal pair, imperforate vertically. Only 150 pairs of this variety are known. All the high values from the 10c to $1 exist in an imperforate gutter blocks of 8. These are all rare, and worth between $2,500 and $3,750 depending on whether or not they are hinged or never hinged. Unitrade notes that there are probably fewer than 6 complete sets of these gutter blocks in existence, so their price in Unitrade is actually quite modest. Finally, the 6c airmail exists in an imperforate gutter block of 4, and again, this is very rare and expensive, with just 10 known.
All of the basic stamps of this set from the 1c to the $1 exist in imperforate plate blocks. The low values are collected in blocks of 8, while the high values are collected in blocks of 6. The low values are valued at $2,500 per block, while the high values are valued at $2,000 block.
The BNA Proofs website lists no fewer than 75 proof items, which can be summarized as follows:
- 1 typographed essay in red of the 1c instead of the issued green colour.
- 5 hand painted essays of the 3c, 5c, 10c and $1 in various colours.
- 16 photographic essays in black of the 3c, 8c and all high values.
- 2 progressive essays on card of the 50c, both in black.
- 1 essay of the central vignette of the 20c special delivery issue in black.
- 36 large die proofs, generally in the issued colours.
- 2 small die proofs on card of the 6c airmail in issued colours.
- 2 progressive proofs of the 6c airmail and 13c in the issued colour.
- 5 trial colour proofs on India paper, in various colours of the 20c, 50c and $1.
- 1 stamp sized die proof of the 50c on card in violet.
- 3 stamp sized die proofs on India paper of the 50c, 6c airmail and the 20c special delivery, in issued colours.
- 1 plate proof of the 20c special delivery on India paper.
These items are generally in the $1,000-$4,000 price range, so to acquire them all will take a lifetime, and very deep pockets.
For some reason, the website does not list the basic plate proofs, which first became available at the American Bank Note Company Archive sale, which was held by Christie's in 1990. Singles of these are printed on India paper, which is then mounted onto card. Their value generally varies between $100 for the low values and $200 for the high values. The number known of each is:
- 1c green - 800 proofs.
- 2c brown - 800 proofs.
- 3c dark carmine - 800 proofs.
- 4c orange-yellow - 800 proofs.
- 5c blue - 800 proofs.
- 8c deep orange - 800 proofs.
- 10c carmine rose - 400 proofs.
- 13c violet - 400 proofs.
- 20c olive green - 400 proofs.
- 50c dull violet - 400 proofs.
- $1 deep blue - 400 proofs.
- 20c special delivery - 198 proofs.
This issue is the first one to feature a printed on the gummed side error. It is found on the 3c carmine, and about 200 are known according to Unitrade. It also notes that most known examples are off centre.
This concludes my discussion of this beautiful and challenging issue. I love it because it offers you the opportuity to collect at both ends of the rarity spectrum. You can patiently search out the limited number of very rare items, and save for them, but at the same time you can still plug away very cheaply at the cancels for example. There are still possibilities of new discoveries as well - especially in the areas of re-entries, plate flaws, precancels and the OHMS perfins. Then as if that wasn't enough, there is the postal history, which I don't think has been really seriously tackled by very many collectors as of yet.