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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The 1942-48 War Effort Issue Part One

This is an issue that took a long time to grow on me. I found the designs in general lacked the ornateness of the earlier issues. It was years before I understood that the simplicity of the designs was intentional and meant to send a no-nonsense message to the citizenry. The idea was that in a time of war, one should direct all extra resources and efforts to fighting the war. Therefore it was determined that it would be inappropriate to continue with the ornate designs of the earlier, pre-war period. Once I was able to evaluate this issue in the broader historical context, I found that I was able to appreciate it far more than I had previously.

It is a vastly under-collected set to be sure, with most collectors relegating it to a single page in their albums. However, it is probably one of the most complicated definitive issues of this period, as we shall soon see. The complexity comes mainly from the vast number of plate blocks and booklets, but as with the previous two issues, there are also, shade, paper and gum varieties that add greatly to the complexity of the material.

This issue is also the first to include both overprinted, and perforated official stamps. By now the 5-hole perfin type is completely gone from production, leaving only the 4-hole type. In 1949, the perfins were abandoned in favour of  OHMS overprints. These were however, only produced on the low values up to the 4c.

Finally, this issue was one of the first to be replaced in stages, rather than all at once. The first stamps to be replaced were the high values, which were supplanted by the Peace Issue in late 1946. The low values on the other hand remained in use until the Postes-Postage issue replaced them in November 1949.

The issue was designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz. The image for the portrait of King George VI was based on a photograph by Hugh Cecil Saunders. The vignettes for all stamps except the airmail special delivery stamps, and the special delivery stamp were engraved by Arthur C. Vogel. The vignettes for the airmail special delivery stamps were engraved by Joseph Keller,  and the vignette for the special delivery issue was engraved by Silas Robert Allen. The frames for all stamps were engraved by Charles H. Milks.

The Stamp Designs, Issue Dates and Quantities Issued


1c green - King George VI in naval uniform.
Sheet stamps issued July 1, 1942.
Booklet stamps issued September 14, 1942 & September 1, 1943.
Coil stamps issued February 9, 1943.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps replaced May 18, 1950.
Coil stamps replaced December 23, 1949.
2,543,000,000 sheet stamps.
46,696,000 booklet stamps.
26,000,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.




2c brown - King George VI in army uniform.
Sheet stamps issued July 1, 1942.
Booklet stamps issued September 14, 1942 & October 6, 1942.
Coil stamps issued November 24, 1942.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps not replaced.
Coil stamps replaced May 18, 1950.
471,000,000 sheet stamps.
4,228,000 booklet stamps.
8,465,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.




3c carmine red - King George VI in air force uniform.
Sheet stamps issued July 1, 1942.
Booklet stamps issued August 20, 1942 & September 14, 1942.
Coil stamps issued September 23, 1942.
Sheet stamps replaced June 30, 1943.
Booklet stamps replaced August 28, 1943.
Coil stamps replaced August 19, 1943.
606,000,000 sheet stamps.
44,888,000 booklet stamps.
9,975,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)




3c deep claret - King George VI in air force uniform.
Sheet stamps issued June 30, 1943.
Booklet stamps issued August 28, 1943 & September 1, 1943.
Coil stamps issued August 19, 1943.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps replaced April 1, 1950.
Coil stamps replaced December 23, 1949.
2,118,000,000 sheet stamps.
37,235,000 booklet stamps.
45,990,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.



4c greenish black - grain elevators.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, April 9, 1943
7,900,000 stamps


4c carmine - King George VI in army uniform.
Sheet stamps issued April 9, 1943.
Booklet stamps issued May 3, 1943 & September 1, 1943.
Coil stamps issued May 13, 1943.
Sheet stamps replaced November 15, 1949.
Booklet stamps replaced May 5, 1950.
Coil stamps replaced April 20, 1950.
3,149,000,000 sheet stamps.
179,478,000 booklet stamps.
47,590,000 coil stamps (perf. 8 vertically)
Quantity of perf. 9.5 coil stamps is not known.


5c Prussian blue - King George VI in naval uniform.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced November 15, 1949.
174,000,000 stamps.


8c deep lake brown - farm scene.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
22,979,000 stamps.


10c brown - parliament buildings, centre block.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
157.680,577 stamps. 


13c myrtle green - ram tank.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, April 16, 1943.
4,000,000 stamps.



14c dull green - ram tank
Issued, April 16, 1943.
14,878,643 stamps.


20c violet brown - corvette.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
62,028,166 stamps.


50c deep bluish violet - munitions factory.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
16,486,515 stamps.


$1 steel blue - tribal class destroyer.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
6,195,600 stamps.


6c steel blue - British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, April 16, 1943.
14,990,000 stamps.


7c steel blue - British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
Issued, April 16, 1943.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
97,793,000 stamps.



16c deep bright ultrmarine - Trans Canada Airplane.
Issued, July 1, 1942
Replaced, April 16, 1943.
814,841 stamps.



17c deep ultrmarine - Trans Canada Airplane.
Issued, April 16, 1943
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
868,689 stamps.



10c deep bright green - flags & coat of arms.
Issued, July 1, 1942.
Replaced, September 16, 1946.
3,276,404 stamps.

As you can probably see from the quantities above, these are very common stamps, which is wonderful, because it means that there is enough material around to afford you the opportunity to prepare a thorough, in-depth study of this issue. The quantities issued of the airmail special delivery stamps is surprisingly low, and of these, the vast majority are mint. A real challenge is to see how many of these you can find in used condition, or on cover. 


Points of Interest

This issue can be taken in all the usual directions by the specialist:
  • Shade Varieties
  • Paper and Gum Varieties
  • Plate Blocks
  • Imperforate Pairs and Other Imperforate Varieties
  • Gutter Pairs and Foldover Errors
  • Coil Stamps
  • Booklet Panes and Complete Booklets
  • OHMS Perfins and Overprints
  • First Day Covers, Postal History and Cancellations
  • Precancels
  • Postal stationery
  • Proof Material
Today's post will cover the first five of these aspects, and in the following week, I will deal with the next two, while the last post will explore the last five aspects of this issue. 


Shade Varieties

At first this issue appears to suffer from an almost complete uniformity of colour. However, upon close examination, it becomes apparent that many values exhibit shade varieties that are anywhere from subtle to prominent. The 1c, 4c greenish black, 13c green, 14c green and 10c special delivery stamps exhibit near uniformity of colour. However, the other values can all be found with shade varieties that can be summarized as follows:

2c Brown



The colour varies both in terms of tone, as well as brightness. I have seen bright yellowish brown and bright reddish browns, and at the same time, I have seen, deep dull brown shades as well. The scan above shows some of these shades. Hopefully you can see that the stamp on the right is the darkest shade of brown, while the stamp immediately to it's left is the lightest. The difference between these shades is obvious. The first three stamps on the left are all very similar, but if you compare them to the stamps on the right, they are all darker than the lightest shade, but not as dark as the right hand stamp. Finally, if you stare at these three stamps for a while, while relaxing your gaze, you should start to notice very minute differences in the tones. Here is a scan showing the lightest, brightest shade I have seen, contrasted with the normal dark brown:


3c Carmine


This colour varies quite a bit in both tone and intensity. The stamp on the left in the above scan is a light, soft carmine-red, while the second stamp from the left is a very deep, rich carmine-red. The third stamp from the left, is a lighter, brighter carmine-red, while the right hand stamp is a deep, bright carmine red. 

3c Rose-violet




This colour is really claret, rather than rose violet, and it varies in terms of how much red, or how much brown is contained in the mix. On one end of the scale there is the deeper brownish purples, which are not bright, but rather are very brownish, deep and rich, like the stamp at the left. Then, as the amount of brown diminishes, and purple predominates, we get stamps like the third and fifth stamps from the left.  On the other hand, there is the rosy claret, which contains very little brown, and is much closer to the rose violet. The lightest of these is the second stamp from the left, while the fourth stamp from the left , and the right stamp are both of similar tone, but slightly different intensities. I would actually venture to suggest that this colour exhibits the most variation of any stamps in the series, as it was the most commonly used stamp, and was in use from 1943 until it was replaced by the 3c Postes-Postage issue in late 1949.

4c Carmine



This colour is really more of a carmine red, but it varies both in terms of how much blue it contains, as well as its brightness. The brightest shades, contain almost no blue, and are more of a scarlet, while the deeper, duller shades of carmine, are quite bluish by comparison. In the scan above, I show the paler, softer carmine reds on the first, third and fifth stamps from the left. The fourth stamp from the left is the deep carmine red, while the second stamp from the left is a slightly duller deep carmine red, printed on a rose-tinted paper. This tint is likely the result of improper wiping of the printing plate.

5c Blue



This colour exhibits the usual range of steel and Prussian blues. The steel blue shades all contain some grey to the blue, while the Prussian blues all contain some green. The above scan shows three shades of Prussia blue, with the darkest on the left, the lightest in the middle, and a deep, bright shade on the right.

8c Red-Brown



This generally always a bright red brown, though a slightly duller version is sometimes seen. The above scan shows these two shades. Although very slight, you be able to see that the stamp on the right is slightly brighter than the one on the left. The right stamp is the normal bright lake brown, whereas the one on the left is the bright red-brown, which is duller than the lake-brown.  I once saw a used example that was a pure brown shade, that contained absolutely no red undertone. I have not seen another one since. Being used, it is possible that it was a chemical changeling, but I don't think it was, given how close the colour was to other denomintions, like the 10c. It is possible that this was an error of colour. Unfortunately I did not keep the stamp, throwing it into a large accumulation of used singles - something I now regret given that I have never seen it since.

10c Brown


This colour varies in terms of how much red, or how much yellow it contains, much the same as the other brown shades found on the stamps of this issue. The shade variations in general are subtle, but there are generally four major shades: brown, a deep brown with a hint of red, a deep brown with a hint of yellow, and a light brown. In the above scan, the brown is on the left, while the light brown is on the right. Then the two deep brown shades are on the middle stamps, with the one on the right, being yellowish compared to the stamp on its left.

20c Chocolate



This colour is referred to by Unitrade as chocolate, but it is far too dark to be thus. It is more of an violet brown. It varies both in intensity, and tone. In the above scan, the stamps at left and right contain more purple in the mix than brown, while the two middle stamps contain less brown.

50c Violet



There are many variations of this colour, both with respect to the brightness level as well as the amount of red contained in the mix. In addition, it can be found in a deep bright bluish violet shade. In the above scan, the first two stamps are shades of bluish violet, with the left stamp being deeper than the one to its immediate right. On the left we have the violet shades that do not contain the bluish undertone. The stamp on the right is a slightly deeper shade than the stamp to its immediate left.

$1 Deep Blue




This colour is generally not a pure dark blue, but is usually either a steel blue, which contains some grey, or it is a Prussian blue that contains a greenish undertone. The shades are so similar that the differences are difficult to see in a scan. What I have done here in the above scan is to take a plate block of the deep dull blue shade, and lay a deep Prussian blue over top of the lower right stamp. Hopefully you can see that the lower right stamp in the above scan is greenish compared to the other three stamps. You have to look at it for a few minutes and allow your eyes to adjust, but the difference should become apparent as your eyes acclimatize.

6c Deep Dull Blue



This airmail stamp does exhibit some variation, from Prussian blues to steel blues, though the differences are very difficult to see in a scan. In the above scan, it should be apparent after a few minutes that the middle stamp is a brighter blue than the ones at the sides.

7c blue



This second airmail stamp that was issued in 1943, and in use until 1946, exhibits quite a bit of variation, from steel blue to a dull greenish blue. Here we see the steel blue on the left, and the dull greenish blue on the right.

16c and 17c Ultramarine 



The airmail special delivery stamps show quite a bit of variation in terms of how bright the ultramarine is, as well as how much violet is included in the colour. In the above scan of the 16c, we have from left to right: deep ultramarine, deep bright ultramarine and violet blue. The 17c is usually a lighter, softer shade compared to the 16c. The scan below shows some shades of the 17c, with the centre stamp being a deep aniline ultramarine, and the outer stamps being a deep ultramarine.



Paper and Gum Varieties

Although there are fewer paper and gum varieties compared to the previous two issues, there are enough to make this a very complicated issue. Interestingly, Unitrade completely ignores this aspect of the issue.

Paper Varieties





There are at least five paper types that I have seen in working with the stamps of this issue:

  • A soft white vertical wove that shows a clear mesh when viewed from the back. This appears to have been used for all the early 1942 printings, as it generally is not found on those stamps which were not issued until 1943 or later. 
  • A soft, almost translucent wove paper that shows no clear weave at all. This paper often appears toned. 
  • A harder, thicker opaque wove paper that shows no clear weave at all. This paper was used on the latest printings of the low values made after 1946. 
  • A soft horizontal wove paper that shows very fine horizontal mesh when viewed from the back. This was used on the first coil stamps perforated 8 vertically. 
  • A horizontal ribbed paper, showing distinct ribbing on the gummed side, but not the face generally. 
  • A ribbed paper that shows ribbing on both the front and back. The first scan of the 1c shown at the beginning of this post illustrates this type of paper. 
In the scan above of the 1c stamps, you can see some of the variations in the colour of the paper that are found. 

Gum Varieties








The gum on this issue shows a considerable amount of variation in colour, as well as the thickness of the gum and the sheen. I have seen at least ten types of gum on this issue:

  • A brownish yellow gum with a high gloss sheen. I have seen this on the 10c brown, 10c special delivery and the 16c airmail special delivery. An example can be see in the second scan above on the second stamp from the left. 
  • A brownish yellow gum with a mottled appearance and a satin sheen, which I have also seen on the 16c airmail special delivery. An example is the fourth scan above. 
  • A cream gum with a satin sheen. This gum can be seen on the right stamp in the top scan above, as well as the end stamps on the second scan and the right three stamps in the third scan above.
  • A cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen. I have seen this gum on the 17c airmail special delivery stamp. 
  • A deep yellow gum with a grainy texture and a satin sheen. An example of this gum can be seen in the first scan above, on the stamp on the left. 
  • A cream gum, with a patchiness and a satin sheen. 
  • A white gum with a satin sheen. An example of this gum can be seen on the middle stamp in the first scan above. 
  • A deep yellow-cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen. An example of this gum can be seen on the second scan above, on the third stamp from the left. 
  • A light brownish cream gum with a satin sheen. An example of this can be seen on the third scan above, on the left hand stamp. 
  • A yellowish, streaky gum with a satin sheen.
There may be others, but these are the main ones. The brownish yellow and the white gums would appear to correspond to the earlier printings, while the patchy cream gum with the satin sheen is attributable to the later printings. 


Plate Blocks



All the plate blocks of this issue are corner blocks of 4. There are no centre positions, and while a block can be more than 4 stamps long, it is not necessary, as the full imprints will be visible on a block consisting of 4 stamps. There are a staggering number of different plates, as follows:


  • 1c green - 32 plates = 128 different blocks, plus 5 different cracked plates.
  • 2c brown - 6 plates = 24 different blocks.
  • 3c carmine red - 10 plates = 40 different blocks.
  • 3c deep claret - 28 plates = 112 different blocks, plus 7 different cracked plates.
  • 4c greenish black - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 4c carmine red - 47 plates = 188 different blocks, plus 9 different cracked plates.
  • 5c Prussian blue - 4 plates = 16 different blocks.
  • 8c bright lake brown - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 10c brown - 6 plates = 24 different blocks, plus 1 cracked plate.
  • 13c myrtle green - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 14c dull green - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 20c violet brown - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 50c bluish violet - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • $1 steel blue - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 6c airmail - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 7c airmail - 5 plates = 20 different blocks, though plate 5 UL has not been reported as yet.
  • 16c airmail special delivery - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 17c airmail special delivery - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 10c special delivery - 1 plate = 4 different blocks. 
  • 1c green OHMS overprint - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 2c brown OHMS overprint - 1 plate = 4 different blocks.
  • 3c deep claret OHMS overprint - 2 plates = 8 different blocks.
  • 4c carmine red OHMS overprint - 2 plates = 8 different blocks. 
So at a minimum, the basic set of plate blocks consists of 654 plate blocks! This is not considering any shade, paper, or gum varieties which could exist. In addition, except for the OHMS overprints, the remaining blocks could all exist with 4-hole OHMS perfins, in up to 8 different positions, making for a total of 5,008 potential additional plate blocks! That is a staggering number that is hard to visualize. Basically, you could spend your entire life collecting these plate blocks, and getting them all will be a real challenge 


In addition to the different plate numbers and positions, some of the plates are known with cracks that show up as jagged lines in the selvage.

Order Numbers, Cutting Guides, Dashes and Position Dots

Order Numbers

As is the case with many of the stamps printed by the CBN, there are various markings to be found on the plate blocks, which exhibit some variation, and are long overdue for a detailed study. The first of these are the order numbers, which appear on the lower left position. The CBN placed these on all LL plate blocks until the fall of 1957. I have seen different numbers, and different spacings between the numbers, which would indicate the use of more than one plate to print the inscriptions. Compiling a complete list of these numbers is no easy task, due to the very large number of plates that were used to print these stamps, and I have seen very few plate blocks of this issue. However, I will list what I have seen here, and will add to the listing, as I examine more and more blocks:

1c green plate 30 - #1170, closely spaced numerals (i.e. 2.5 mm apart).
1c green plate 31 - #1170, also closely spaced numerals.
2c brown plate 5 - #1121  with widely spaced numerals (i.e. 5 mm apart).

Cutting Guides

The small size stamps were printed in sheets of 400 which were then guillotined into four panes of 100 stamps each, while the larger format stamps were printed in sheets of 200 that were guillotined into four panes of 50. Lines were placed both horizontally and vertically inside the gutters that separated each pane to act as a guide for the guillotine. Ideally, the guillotine was supposed to cut along this line, splitting it, so that it wouldn't be visible on the resulting pane. However, this was often not achieved, with the result that blocks will often show a horizontal line, a vertical line, or both inside the selvage. The block at the left in the above scan is an example of a block that shows a horizontal cutting guideline at the top.

Dashes


Some blocks such as the one shown above can be found with a dash to the left of the "N" of "No.". If you compare this to the right hand LL block from the same plate, in the first scan above, you will see that no dash appears in that block. So it would appear that there are two different types of LL block for this plate. There could of course be others on the other values as well. I will detail them here as they come to my attention. The positions that I have seen with this dash so far are:


  • 1c green, plate 31.
  • 2c brown, plate 5 with widely spaced order number #1121.


Position Dots

On the CBN issues well into the late 1950's the lower positions of plate blocks often show one or more coloured dots inside the selvage. Starting in the late 1950's, these dots can also appear on the top positions, or in the selvage at the sides. However, on this issue they seem to be confined to the lower positions as follows:


  • On the lower left positions, the dot is located under the "D" of "Limited" in the inscription.
  • On the lower right positions, the dot is located under the "C" of "Canadian" in the inscription.


Imperforate Pairs and Other Imperforate Varieties

Image result for Canada War Issue Imperforate pairs

All the regular issue stamps of the series exist imperforate, and these are generally collected as pairs. Some of the coil stamps exist partially imperforate vertically, as a result of a missed strike by the comb perforator. The following varieties and the quantities produced are as follows:


  • 1c green - 150 pairs.
  • 2c brown - 150 pairs.
  • 2c brown, vertical strip of 3, imperforate horizontally - 3 strips.
  • 3c deep carmine-red - 150 pairs.
  • 3c deep claret - 150 pairs.
  • 4c greenish black - 150 pairs.
  • 4c carmine red - 150 pairs.
  • 5c deep blue - 150 pairs.
  • 8c bright lake-brown - 150 pairs.
  • 10c brown - 75 pairs.
  • 10c brown, imperf. at right margin - 10 singles.
  • 13c myrtle green - 50 pairs.
  • 14c dull green - 75 pairs.
  • 20c violet brown - 75 pairs.
  • 50c bluish violet - 75 pairs.
  • $1 steel blue - 75 pairs.
  • 3c deep claret perf. 9.5 coil strip, imperforate at bottom. - 1 strip.
  • 6c airmail - 50 pairs
  • 7c airmail - 50 pairs
  • 7c airmail - imperf at right margin - 10 singles from plate 4 LR pane.
  • 16c airmail special delivery - 75 pairs.
  • 17c airmail special delivery - 75 pairs.
  • 10c special delivery - 75 pairs.


Gutter Pairs and Foldover Errors


The 1c green exists in a unique gutter block that resulted from a paper foldover error. It occurred where the stamps of one pane got folded over to the stamps of a second lower pane, so that when it was opened out, there are two vertical pairs with a full horizontal gutter in between. As far as I know this piece is still intact, and consists of two vertical strips for 4 with the gutters, and then two lower pairs attached to the left.

Then the 3c deep claret also exists in a horizontal gutter pair which came about due to a foldover error that prevented two panes from being properly guillotined. Twenty of these pairs exist.

This concludes the first post of three dealing with this very attractive and interesting wartime set. Hopefully after seeing just how much scope there is for specialization, some of you may be inspired to try your hand at collecting the issue in more depth.




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