The Cameo Issue of 1962-1967 An Overview
This was really the first issue where heavy experimentation was done with Winnipeg tagging, which had just been introduced toward the end of the previous Wilding Issue. Most of the mid and high-values continued in use until the end of the life of this issue, without being replaced, with only the 7c, 15c and $1 being re-designed. The 7c was also surcharged and re-designed into an 8c value when the airmail rates were increased from 7c to 8c. This issue saw a minor perforation change, with the introduction of a new 11.85 gauge, which gradually replaced the 11.95 gauge that was introduced in the late 1950's. Finally, this issue has a limited range of fluorescent paper varieties just like the Wilding issue did. However, although the number of fluorescent varieties is small, there are a number of actual, physical variations in the papers themselves which I will discuss briefly here. There was also a good range of postal stationery items produced for this issue as well, and this provides a fertile field for specialization. This was also the last issue to have officially overprinted stamps, as the use of the "G" overprint was discontinued in 1963. So, although this is by no means as complicated an issue as the earlier Wilding Issue, or the subsequent Centennial Issue, there is still plenty of aspects to keep you occupied as a specialist.
The designers of this series included some new names and some familiar ones. Ernst Roch, a new designer, was responsible for designing the low values from the 1c to 5c. Allan Pollock, who had designed some of the earlier definitives and commemoratives, designed the $1 exports design, and Harvey Thomas Prosser designed the 7c and 8c jet plane stamps. The 15c Canada Geese was designed by another new designer, Angus Henry Shortt. Yves Baril was the principal engraver of all the main designs, while Donald J. Mitchell or Gordon Mash engraved the lettering. Donald J. Mitchell was the letter engraver on all stamps except for the jet plane stamps. On those, it was Gordon Mash who did the engraving. The stamps were all printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, who used several different sheet layouts:
- The low values were printed in sheets of 600, arranged in six panes of 100. This means that there are middle panes that contain no inscriptions.
- The jet plane stamps were printed in sheets of 400 that were divided into four panes of 100.
- The 15c Canada Geese were printed in sheets of 300 that were arranged in six panes of 50, so once again, there will be 2 middle panes that have no inscriptions.
- The $1 exports was the only stamp which was printed in sheets of 200 that were divided into four panes of 50.
- Shade varieties.
- Paper and gum varieties.
- Tagging varieties.
- Perforation varieties.
- Plate blocks.
- Booklet panes and complete booklets.
- Cello paqs and miniature panes.
- Coil stamps.
- Official stamps.
- Postal stationery.
- Proof material.
- First Day Covers.
- Postal history and cancellations.
- Precancels and Perfins.
- Imperforate Errors.
While there are a few fluorescent paper varieties on this issue, most notably on the 4c value, most of the stamps of this issue are found only with non-fluorescent paper. This is very surprising given the number of commemorative stamps issued during this period that are found with fluorescent paper. I suspect that this may simply be a reflection of the fact that the vast majority of the stamps were used for postage, and that these varieties exist, but may only exist in used condition.
I have noticed marked physical differences in the non-fluorescent papers though, between the low value stamps and several of the higher values. I have found thicker ribbed papers and softer, smoother more porous wove papers. I will detail these differences in a separate post. I believe that this is one aspect of this issue that has not received nearly enough attention and rigorous study of the different papers and their characteristics is sorely needed.
Generally speaking, Unitrade lists only a fraction of the tagging varieties that exist, and it is this aspect of the issue that provides a very interesting challenge.
Julian Goldberg, a Toronto philatelist has studied the perforations of modern Canadian stamps for quite some time and recently discovered that in 1962, the Canadian Bank Note Company adopted new perforating equipment that had a slightly different gauge from what had been used up to this point. Sometime between 1956 and 1958 the gauge was changed from exactly 12.0, to 11.95 - a very small change, but one that can nonetheless be accurately detected with a good Instanta perforation gauge. Then in 1962, the gauge was changed again to 11.85. I have found several stamps showing perf. 11.95, perf. 11.85, perf 11.85 x 11.95 and perf. 11.95 x 11.85. I will detail the various varieties that I have seen thus far in a separate post. However, suffice to say that the existence of these variations does mean that there could be up to 4 different varieties of every stamp, until the new equipment had been fully phased-in and all stamps were only perf. 11.85.
- The 7c, 8c and $1 were printed with only one plate.
- There were no inscriptions on the 8c on 7c jet plane surcharge at all.
- The 1c, 3c and 5c each used 3 plates.
- The 2c used 4 plates.
- The 15c used 2 plates.
- The 5c sheet stamp exists imperforate horizontally, as shown in the above image. Only a handful of these exist. Mint pairs are worth $6,000 according to Unitrade, while used pairs list for $850.
- The 5c miniature pane stamp exists in pairs imperforate horizontally, all from a single pane that was found by the famed Winnipeg dealer Kasimir Bileski. Again, it is worth approximately $5,750, and only exists mint.
- The 4c coil can be found in pairs that are perforated on the ends, but imperf between the two stamps. So far only two of these, both mint, are known. They list in Unitrade for $4,000 each.