The postal stationery products available for this issue are reasonably extensive for an issue that saw less than 5 years use, and includes:
- Pre-stamped envelopes.
- Special order envelopes.
- Post bands.
- Air Letters
- Post Cards
- The first type in use from 1960 to 1966 shows a plane in the centre, and in bright red a maple leaf and "Canada" appears above the plane, while the 10c value and "Postes Postage" appears below the plane in a curved 2 pointed ribbon. The differences that are collectible in these envelopes have to do with whether the flap joins are rounded or squared, as well as whether there are 4 or 5 dotted lines for the address.
- The second type in use from 1966 to 1967 shows a stylized plane, like a paper airplane in the middle. Off to the right above the plane is "10c" in blue hollow numerals. A red maple leaf appears directly in front of the plane, and then below the plane appears "Canada" in large solid blue letters and then "Postes Postage" in smaller letters below "Canada". The back of these letter sheets had "Expo 67" and the Centennial emblem on the back. There were two sub-types of this air-letter. One has a dotted line where it says "first fold here", while the second has no such dotted line. The first type is the most common, but the second type is quite scarce, especially in used condition.
First Day Covers
I'm going to spend a bit more time discussing the covers from this issue than I usually do, as there are several varieties that you can pursue, both with regards to the cachets that you can collect, the configuration of the stamps on the cover, and the cancellations that can be found. The most common cachets that can be found on this issue are ArtCraft and Rosecraft cachets. Each of these cachet makers produced several different cachet designs, as well as several different colours of cachet, making for a very large number of collectible covers. In addition to these two cachet makers, there were upwards of 25-30 different cachet makers who were active at the time of this issue, who produced their own designs as well.
The general manner in which these were sold was to eventually address them to customers who had subscribed for them and to send them through the mail. So in order to go through, each cover had to have at least 5c postage, or 4c in the case of a local cover. This is one factor that determines how many, and which stamps appear on the cover. The cachet makers also recognized that many collectors liked to collect pairs, blocks, plate blocks and sets on cover. Thus many covers will be found that bear more than 5c or 4c postage in order to accommodate the interests of collectors. Thus in addition to differences in the cachets, there are also differences in the combination of stamps found on the covers.
Finally, there were several different first day cancellations used, which I will call attention to as I go through the different cachet that I want to illustrate. I do not know if each potential stamp and cancel combination exists with each type of cachet. This would be the basis for a potentially very fun and rewarding collecting project aimed at seeing exactly what does exist.
Art Craft Cachets
In my examination of the first day covers of this issue, I have so far come across three different cachets from ArtCraft, which are all shown below:
This third generic type seems to exist only in black and while as well.
Here is the fourth type, which also only seems to exist in black and white as well.
You will notice that all four of these covers have the same cancellation. It is an Ottawa duplex bilingual slogan cancellation which simply reads "Date of Issue" in English and French. The crown and E2R then appears in the lower left corner of the cancel. This is one of the types of cancellation that is often seen on these covers.
So far in examining the First Day Covers of this issue, I have come across six different types of Rosecraft cachet, although I do recognize that there may be more out there.
There are many, many other cachets possible as there were well over 30 cachet makers active during this period. Here are two from my stock:
Because this issue was released in stages between late 1962 and mid-1963, you can divide the covers into three basic categories:
- Pure frankings in which all of the postage was paid using only stamps of this issue. The earliest possible cover like that would be a single forwarded cover from October 3, 1962 with a copy of the 5c blue. But most covers like this will be from late 1963 or later.
- Mixed frankings involving this issue and commemoratives of the period. Again, these covers will generally date from after mid 1963.
- Mixed frankings using this issue and the previous Wilding Issue. These will be most common between October 3, 1962 and March 11, 1964 when the replacement of the Wilding issue was underway, but not fully completed.
So from a collecting standpoint, you can focus on either one or more of the above categories, or you can collect according to rates, and/or destinations. The possibilities are vast with this material being generally highly undervalued for its scarcity - at least for the better frankings.
In terms of types of precancel there are only two types. The first are the three sets of thin horizontal bars as shown above. These are found on all five low values. The second type three pairs of thicker vertical bars which are found only on the 2c and 3c coil stamps.
In terms of varieties, you may be able to find double or triple printed bars, or slanted bars. Another way to collect the sheet stamps with precancels is in warning strips of 20, which come from either the left side of the left panes, or the right side of the right panes:
This concludes my exploration of this often overlooked Elizabethan definitive issue. I had some requests by readers to do a series of posts dealing with philatelic terminology, which I think is an excellent idea. So for the next couple of weeks, I will write an illustrated glossary of sorts, consisting of several posts dealing with philatelic terminology from A-Z. Then after these are done I will look at the commemorative issues from 1963 to the end of 1966.