The 2c Pacific Coast Totem Pole Stamp of the 1967-73 Centennial Issue Part Two

Today, I will be looking at all the printings of the 2c tagged stamps from this series. Unitrade's listings for the tagged examples of this stamp are quite extensive now, with no fewer than 7 varieties listed. This has grown over the years from just four when I was young, in the early 1980's. However, if you take paper colour under UV light into account, there are even more than 7. Today's post will hopefully shed light on this.

The basic varieties of tagging, and the dates on which they were first introduced are:


  1. The Winnipeg 2-bar tagging, which was introduced when the set was issued on February 8, 1967. Such stamps only came with dextrose gum. 
  2. The Winnipeg centre bar tagged examples with dextrose gum. These were first issued in December 1968.
  3. The Winnipeg centre bar tagged examples with PVA gum. These were first issued in March 1972.
  4. The general Ottawa tagged examples with PVA gum. These were first introduced in December 1972, and remained in use until the 2c Laurier stamp of the next series replaced them in October 1973. 
It is curious that the general tagged stamps only seem to exist with the later OP-2 tagging and there have been no reported examples of OP-4 tagging. A careful look at the issue dates explains why. All of the stamps issued with OP-4 tagging were issued between April 1972 and September 1972. By the time the 2c was issued with general Ottawa tagging in December, the CBN had already replaced the unstable OP-4 taggant, with the more stable OP-2 version. 

The remainder of this post will examine each of these basic varieties in greater detail. It should be noted that where I refer to the number of collectible stamps under each major heading, that I am not taking into account the 33 identifiable "blinky" flaws, or "eyes" of the totem pole in the design. If these are taken into account, there are really 33 times as many collectible stamps in each section. This does not necessarily extend to blocks in the same way, as the blinky flaws only occur on certain positions of each of the 6 panes, and most of these are not the corner positions. 

Winnipeg 2-Bar Tagged With Dextrose Gum - Unitrade #455p

Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

Like the untagged stamps, the paper is a vertical wove paper that has a very smooth printing surface, appearing to be almost burnished under magnification. The fibres on the surface of the paper are visible, but they are pressed completely into the surface of the paper, and none of them are loose, or otherwise breaking loose of the surface. There is no horizontal ribbing, on either the front, or the back of the stamps in most cases. However, some stamps can be found showing light horizontal ribbing on the gummed side only. The gum on these stamps is usually the lighter cream dextrose gum that has an extremely glossy sheen. Generally the paper appears deep cream when viewed against a white background. 

Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade lists the Winnipeg 2-bar tagged stamps on dull fluorescent paper only. I do not believe this to be correct, as I have also found examples on paper, that in my opinion, is deep enough to be non-fluorescent. In addition, the dull fluorescent paper is found in a range of grey shades under UV, as shown in the following pictures:



This is the non-fluorescent grey paper. 


This is non-fluorescent blue grey paper. 


This is dull fluorescent greyish paper. 



This is dull fluorescent ivory-grey paper. It looks darker in this picture than it actually is. This might be because of the angle at which the picture was taken. 

None of these dull papers seem to contain any fluorescent fibres at all. 

Shades

Despite only being listed as "green" by Unitrade, I have found at least four different shades, as shown in the scans below:


The block on the left is light green on the Stanley Gibbons colour key. The block on the right is deep green on the Gibbons colour key.



The left stamp is green on the Gibbons colour key, while the one on the right is a bright version of the deep green, so deep bright green. 

Interestingly, these shades do correspond to some of the shades found on the untagged stamps, although I have not found any tagged stamps in the myrtle green shades as yet. Under UV light, the ink shades are merely deeper versions of the same colours in ordinary light. Therefore, I would classify the inks used to print these stamps as non-transformative. 


Gum 

The gum on these stamps is a yellowish cream dextrose gum. It can be either smooth or streaky application, but generally has a semi-gloss sheen, though a satin sheen is also found. The high resolution scans below show the streaky and smooth gum types:


Smooth dextrose gum.



Streaky dextrose gum.

If you are unsure of whether a stamp or block has streaky or smooth gum, look at the gum under UV light. If it is streaky, the streaks will show up very clearly. 

The smooth gum can be divided into three sub-types:

  1. Cream gum with a satin sheen.
  2. Cream gum with a semi-gloss sheen, and, 
  3. Light cream gum with a very glossy sheen. 
The difference between the light cream gum with the high surface gloss, and the regular cream gum with the semi-gloss sheen is shown in the high resolution scan below:


The normal cream gum is shown on the left, and the lighter, high gloss cream gum on the right. The difference is more pronounced than the scan makes it appear. Usually, light horizontal ribbing will be visible on the lighter cream gum stamps. 

Perforations

As is the case with the untagged stamps issued with dextrose gum, four different line perforations can be found: 11.85, 11.95, 11.85 x 11.95 and 11.95 x 11.85. 

Colour of Tagging and Other Properties

The Winnipeg 2-bar tagging is a greenish yellow colour. The apparent colour can vary, but I believe that this is due to the colour of the paper of the stamps. Stamps printed on paper giving a dull fluorescent greyish colour will have tagging that appears more yellowish, while those on paper giving a dull fluorescent blue grey or bluish colour will appear more green or bluish. I believe that the same taggant was used for all printings that I have examined. 

The tagging bars were not applied continuously to both upper and lower panes in the sheet layout. These stamps were printed in sheets of 600 that were arranged into six panes of 100, in a 3 x 2 arrangement. The tagging was applied in two operations: one set of bands was applied to the upper panes, and then another was applied to the lower panes. This is apparent from the fact that there are clear inter-pane breaks in the tagging bars. The picture below shows an example of these breaks on a block from the upper right pane:


Here, you can see, from the narrow selvage at the base, and the wide selvage at the right, that this block is from the upper right pane. If you look at the lower selvage, you can see a wide break where the tagging bars end, and then at the very bottom of the lower selvage you can just see the beginning of new tagging bars. These are the tagging bars that were applied to the lower panes.


Here, we have a block from the lower centre pane. You can tell that the block comes from the upper centre pane by the narrow selvage on both sides. On the selvage at left, you can just make out a 2 mm gap to the left of the main tag bar, followed by a very narrow tag bar. This second bar would normally extend into the stamps from column 10 of the upper left pane. Note also, how the tagging bars in the top selvage are unbroken. This is because the tagging extends all the way to the edge of the selvage on the upper panes. 

The normal spacing between the tagging bars is 16 mm in the horizontal direction. However, on some panes, usually the centre panes, the spacing is noticeably narrower, being 14.5 mm. The picture below shows both spacings on two lower left corner blocks:



 The top block is from the upper left pane, while the bottom block is from the upper centre pane. I have lined the tagging bars on the left up so that you can see the difference in spacing. The centre tag bar on the bottom block begins a full 1.5 mm to the left of the centre bar on the upper block. So the upper block has the normal spacing of 16 mm between tag bars, while the bottom block is the narrower 14.5 mm spacing.




Tagging Errors

The Winipeg 2-bar tagging consisted of 8 mm bands that were applied down the vertical perforations in each column of the sheet, to result in the effect of 2, 4 mm bands, when the tagging was correctly applied. The spacing between the tagging bars varies from 14.5 mm to 16 mm in the horizontal direction, or at least it is supposed to. 

However, there exist instances where the tagging was mis-applied, resulting in 1-bar tagging errors in which a single 8-mm band is found on the stamp, usually close to the centre, or on the right side. The pictures below show several examples of these errors:


On the left, is a single from the left side of an outer pane, as can be seen from the wide selvage tab at the left. The tagging has been shifted strongly to the left, resulting in one tag bar in the selvage, and the other one on the right side of the stamp. This stamp shows the narrower, 14.5 mm spacing between the tagging bars, that is found in the outer columns of the left panes.

The stamp on the right is from the right side of one of the outer panes. There is a clear 8 mm band almost at the centre of the stamp. Then there is a 2 mm gap to the right of it, and then another band.  Normally, the band at the right would extend over the perforations of a stamp in the first column of a centre pane, and into the selvage of that pane. Then, the second band starts in the selvage between those panes and extends into the design of a stamp from column 10 of one of the left panes. The shift in the tagging has resulted in both bars appearing on the same stamp.



Here we have a block from one of the centre panes, as evidenced by the narrow selvage at left and bottom. The tagging is unbroken at the bottom, which suggests that this is from the lower centre pane. There is a narrow tagging bar in the selvage, which suggests again, that the tagging is shifted to the left. This block shows the wider spacing of 16 mm between the tagging bars in the horizontal direction.

The last picture below, shows how the degree to which the tagging can be shifted:


Without an adjacent tagging bar from a neighbouring marginal stamp, it is not possible to conclude definitely whether the shift is to the right, or the left. All of the stamps I have seen and examined where I have been able to ascertain this, all show tagging shifted to the left. The left stamp above is from an one of the lower panes, as evidenced by  the unbroken tagging and narrow selvage. The band on this stamp is to the right of centre, but close enough to the centre to be considered a centre band. The stamp on the right has the band shifted far over to the right. 

Bringing it All Together

I have identified 4 different paper types, 4 shades, 4 gum types, four perforations, and finally, three different tag types (regular 14.5 mm, regular 16 mm and 1 bar error).  Assuming that any variety can be found in conjunction with the others, this means that there are: 

4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 3 = 768 collectible varieties!

The corner blocks were all trimmed, as is the case with all Winnipeg tagged issues. Usually, these are collected in sets of four corner blocks. However, there are really 12 possible block positions:

  1. 4 with wide selvage on both sides.
  2. 4 with narrow selvage on both sides, and 
  3. 4 with wide selvage on one side and narrow on the other.
So, with 768 possible varieties for the singles, this means that it is possible to collect 768 x 12 = 9,216 different corner blocks!

Winnipeg Centre Bar Tagged With Dextrose Gum - Unitrade #455pi


Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

The characteristics of the paper on which these stamps were printed are the same as those found with the Winnipeg 2 -bar tagging. The only difference I would note is that I have not found any examples of this tag on paper that shows ribbing on the back. 

Paper Fluorescence

Unitrade only lists this stamp as existing on dull fluorescent paper. They are correct, but as with all dull fluorescent papers of this period, there are different colours of dull fluorescent paper, some of which are very close to non-fluorescent, as shown in the picture below:



The stamps on the top row are both deep grey under UV light, and are very close to being NF. They are not quite dark enough though, in my opinion. So I would call these dull fluorescent deep grey. The stamp on the bottom left is an ivory-grey. The middle stamp on the bottom is grey and the one on the bottom right is bluish white. 

Usually these papers contain no fluorescent fibres whatsoever, though occasionally you may come across a stamp that contains 1 or 2 fluorescent fibres. When there are this few fibres, the paper is not really a different paper, per se, because this will occur on only a few stamps in a sheet, and the rest will contain no fluorescent fibres at all. 


Shades

I have found a similar range of shades on this stamp as compared to the stamps with Winnipeg 2-bar tagging. Some of the shades I have found on this stamp are shown below:


The block on the left is closest to myrtle green on the Gibbons colour key, but is a bit brighter. The block on the right is myrtle green. 


This block is deep green on the Gibbons colour key. Note how this colour lacks the bluish undertone that the myrtle green has. 

Similar to the Winnipeg 2-bar stamps, the inks on these stamps are non-transformative, in the sense that they do not fundamentally change colour when viewed under UV light. 

Gum 

The gums found on this stamp are similar to those found on the Winnipeg 2 bar stamps. All of them are deep yellowish cream in colour, and have a semi-gloss sheen. I have not seen any examples of the light cream coloured high gloss gum found on some printings of the Winnipeg 2-bar stamps. The two main gum types I have found on this stamp are:

  1. Streaky deep yellowish cream dextrose gum, with a semi-gloss sheen, and
  2. Smooth deep yellowish cream dextrose gum with a semi-gloss sheen. 
Perforations

As with the Winnipeg 2-bar tagged stamps, four different line perforations can be found: 11.85, 11.95, 11.85 x 11.95 and 11.95 x 11.85. 

Colour of Tagging and Other Properties


The tagging bars on these stamps are 4 mm wide and glow either a greenish yellow, or a deep yellow. The difference between these is subtle, but nonetheless noticeable. The picture above does not show the difference quite as clearly as it actually appears in reality, but the stamp on the left is the greenish yellow, while the one on the right is deep yellow. The paper of the left stamp is dull fluorescent greyish, while the one on the right is ivory grey. 

This picture shows another aspect of the tagging on these stamps, which is that the tagging bars did not run continuously from pane to pane. If you look at the selvage tabs on both stamps very carefully, you will see a clear horizontal break in the tagging bars. This is where the tagging bars or one pane stop and those of the next pane begin. These stamps were printed in sheets of 600 stamps, divided into six panes of 100 arranged 3 x 2. So, the tagging was applied in two applications: one of set of bars was applied to the top panes, with the bars being set 20.5 mm apart horizontally, and one identical set was applied to the lower panes. By looking at the lower selvage tabs of corner blocks, you can tell whether the block comes from an upper or lower pane. The blocks showing the breaks are from the upper panes. Those with continuous, unbroken tagging in the selvage are from the lower panes. 

The picture below shows an example of a block from a lower pane:



As you can see, the tagging on the bottom selvage is complete and unbroken. 

Tagging Errors

In theory, it should be possible to find these stamps with the tagging shifted in such a way as to create stamps with 2 mm, 2-bar tagging. However, no such varieties have ever come to light, that I know of. 

Bringing it All Together

On this stamp, I have identified four different dull papers, three shades, two gum types, four perforations and two colours of tagging. Therefore, the number of potential collectible varieties in the single stamps is: 4 x 3 x 2 x 4 x 2 = 192. As with the Winnipeg 2-bar tagging, the corner blocks only exist blank. However, 12 different positions are possible within the sheet layout, resulting in 192 x 12 = 2,304 possible different collectible corner blocks. 


Winnipeg Centre Bar Tagged With PVA Gum - Unitrade #455pii and #455pvi


Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

These stamps are found on two different types of white vertical wove paper. The white colour is quite marked, even when the stamps are viewed against a white background. The paper bends easily in the vertical direction, but is very stiff in the horizontal direction. The other attributes of the two papers differ as follows:

  1. One paper has a completely smooth surface, even under magnification. Very tiny indentations are visible in the surface, as though the topmost fibres have been stripped out. The paper also lacks the burnished finish that the dextrose gum tagged stamps have. 
  2. The other paper has a textured surface under magnification, that appears somewhat porous. The horizontal mesh is highly visible when the paper is viewed against strong back-lighting, and also when the stamps are viewed at an angle to the light. 

Paper Fluorescence

Smooth Paper

Unitrade lists the stamps on smooth paper as being low fluorescent with fluorescent fibres. Unfortunately, I do not have an example of the smooth paper with Winnpeg centre bar and PVA gum. I would assume that the smooth paper for this stamp is very similar, if not identical to the smooth paper of the general Ottawa tagged stamps, which is to say a dull fluorescent grey-blue or blue grey, with a either a low density concentration of low fluorescent fibres, or a sparse concentration of low and medium fluorescent fibres, that give the paper an overall low fluorescent appearance. I will add examples of this paper as they become available, and will describe them fully here.

Ribbed Paper

Unitrade lists the stamps on ribbed paper as being low fluorescent, with low fluorescent fibres. Based on my examination of the stamps in my stock, this does not appear to be correct. I have found two slightly different examples of dull fluorescent paper. Both might be mistaken for low fluorescent because of the colour under UV, but I believe that they are not bright enough to be low fluorescent


The block on the left is a dull fluorescent grey-blue, under UV light, whereas the one on the right is less blue and more grey, so a dull fluorescent blue-grey. Neither stamp shows any fluorescent fibres in the paper at all, as can be seen from the picture of the back:



This picture shows quite clearly that the stamps in the block are much bluer than the single stamp on the right. Note the complete lack of fluorescent fibres as well. 

Shades

On this stamp, the range of shades is quite narrow. In fact I have only found two, very close shades as show below:


The stamp on the left is closest to deep green on the Gibbons colour key, whereas the one on the right is closest to deep dull green. The two colours are very, very similar, with the right stamp being just a touch duller than the one on the left. 

Gum 

The gum found on these stamps is a white PVA gum with an eggshell sheen. 

Perforations

All of the stamps that I have examined are line perf. 11.85, which is consistent with my observation that the 11.95 gauge machine that the CBN had been using to complete some of the perforating on some of the earlier printings of this issue, had been fully retired by March 1972 when these stamps were issued. 

Colour of Tagging and Other Properties

The tagging bars on all the stamps that I examined were a deep greenish yellow. I have not seen any variation in the colour of this tagging. The layout of the tagging on the panes and sheets, including the 20.5 mm spacing between bars is the same, and the tag bars themselves are 4 mm wide, as before. 

Tagging Errors

As was the case with the Winnipeg centre bar stamps with dextrose gum, I have not found any examples of these stamps, with narrow 2 bar tagging that would result from shifting of the tag bars significantly to the right, or the left. 

Bringing it All Together

For this stamp, I have identified two major paper types, at least two levels of fluorescence for each type of paper, two shades, one type of gum, one perforation measurement and one colour of tagging. Consequently, the number of collectible singles for this stamp is much less than the other 2c stamps, at 8. The corner blocks of this stamp are also blank, but once again, there are up to 12 different collectible positions. So the number of collectible corner blocks of this stamp is 96 blocks. 


General Ottawa Tagged With PVA Gum - Unitrade #455piii, #455piv and #455pv


Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

Like the untagged stamps, the general Ottawa tagged stamp was issued on both smooth paper and horizontally ribbed wove paper. In both instances, the paper is vertical wove, and bends easily in the vertical direction, but is quite stiff if an attempt is made to gently bend the paper in the horizontal direction. The ribbing on the ribbed paper for these stamps is not quite as strong as it is on the stamps with the Winnipeg centre bar tagging.

Paper Fluorescence

Smooth paper

Unitrade lists the smooth paper stamps as existing with either high fluorescent paper with fluorescent fibres, and low fluorescent paper, with fluorescent fibres. In reality, there are at least two different varieties of the low fluorescent paper, as will be shown below.

The picture below shows the basic difference between the papers listed as high fluorescent, and the paper listed as low fluorescent:


The high fluorescent paper is shown on the left, while the an example of the low fluorescent paper is shown on the right.

The high fluorescent paper as listed in Unitrade, is really more of a medium fluorescent in my opinion. I haven't found any variation in the fluorescence level of this paper, but I should point out that I only have two examples to work from at the moment. Both examples are shown below:



If you look closely at the paper under UV light using a loupe, you will see that the actual ambient fluorescence in the paper is really a dull fluorescent greyish colour. There is a low density concentration of both low and medium fluorescent fibres, which give the paper an overall medium to high fluorescent bluish appearance. 

The low fluorescent paper exists in at least two varieties as shown in the pictures below:



The block on the left is a low fluorescent grey blue colour under UV light, while the single stamp on the right is greyer, being more of a blue grey. Under a loupe, you will see that the ambient fluorescence level of the block on the left is dull fluorescent grey-blue, while the stamp on the left is dull-fluorescent grey. The overall low fluorescent appearance is obtained from different concentrations and intensities of fluorescent fibres that are embedded in the paper:


  1. The block on the left contains a low density concentration of low fluorescent fibres.
  2. The single on the right contains a sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres.

The picture below shows the different appearance of these two papers more clearly, when the backs are compared:



Ribbed Paper

Unitrade lists the ribbed paper general tagged stamps as existing only on low fluorescent paper. However this is not correct, as the picture showing three distinct fluorescence levels shows:


The stamp on the left is the same overall fluorescence as the so called high fluorescent smooth paper, while the stamp in the middle appears dull fluorescent overall. Only the stamp on the right appears low fluorescent overall under UV light. 

Each of these stamps has a different level of ambient fluorescence, which is modified, or not, by the inclusion of fluorescent fibres in the paper.

The back of these stamps show the differences clearly, and I will describe these in more detail:




The stamp on the left has an ambient fluorescence of dull fluorescent greyish white. However, it contains a low density concentration of low and medium fluorescent fibres. Together, these fibres are a medium density concentration, and they make the paper appear medium to high fluorescent overall. 

The stamp in the middle is a dull fluorescent yellowish grey, which contains a sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres. These fibres are not present in enough quantity to significantly alter the overall appearance of the paper, so that it still looks dull fluorescent. This paper appears cream coloured in normal light, compared to both other stamps with PVA gum, and when viewed against a stark white background. 

The stamp on the right is a dull fluorescent greyish colour under UV light. It contains a sparse concentration of both low and medium fluorescent fibres. These fibres make the paper appear low fluorescent overall. 

There may be more of variations of the ribbed ad smooth paper, but I simply do not have enough examples of these stamps on hand to be able to find any more. However, I will be sure to include additional varieties as I come across them. For now though, it would appear that there are at least three varieties of the ribbed paper and three varieties of the smooth paper. 

Shades - Smooth Paper


I have found two shades of the green on the stamps printed on smooth paper, as shown above. The block on the left is closest to green on the Gibbons colour key. The stamp on the right is closest to deep bright green. 

Under UV light, the ink used to print the stamps on low fluorescent paper still appears green, so the ink is non-transformative. However, the ink used to print the stamps on high fluorescent paper appears almost black under UV. Consequently, I would classify this ink as transformative. 

Shades - Ribbed Paper

On the ribbed paper stamps, I have found three shades, which each correspond to the different papers identified earlier. I am not sure if these shades are specific to these papers, or whether they can be found on all the varieties of ribbed paper. 


The stamp on the left is printed in bright myrtle green, while the one in the middle is myrtle green, and is not quite as bright, and a little more bluish than the shade of the stamp on the left. Finally, the stamp on the right is deep dull green. 

The inks used on the two end stamps are non-transformative, as they still appear deep green under UV light. The ink used to print the middle stamp on the high fluorescent paper is transformative, since it appears almost black under UV light. 

Gum 

The gum used on these stamps is a white PVA gum that has an eggshell sheen. 

Perforations

All of the stamps with general Ottawa tagging that I examined were line perf 11.85. This is consistent with my general observation that the 11.95 machine that CBN had been using for the earlier printings had been fully retired by 1972. 

Colour of Tagging and Other Properties

The Ottawa tagging on this value consists of 3 mm bars down the perforations between each column of stamps. According to Rose, 2 mm tag bars can be found as well. I have never seen these, but he states that they do exist. The spacing between the tag bars is 21.5 mm in the horizontal direction. Like the Winnipeg tagging, the Ottawa tagging does not appear to have been applied continuously to all six panes in the sheet layout. The picture below, of a 4c block with general Ottawa tagging shows the same type of gap between the tag bars in the lower selvage, from where one set of vertical tag bars ends, and the other begins. 



On the upper panes, it would appear that the tagging bars do not extend all the way through the selvage, extending only about 2 mm or so past the margin of the stamps. 

Tagging Errors

Rose lists four tagging errors involving the general Ottawa tagging:

  1. A single 3 mm band near the centre of the stamp on medium (high) fluorescent paper.
  2. A single 3 mm band to the right of the stamp, on medium (high) fluorescent paper.
  3. A single 3 mm band to the right of the stamp, on low fluorescent paper.
  4. A single 2 mm band to the right of the stamp, on low fluorescent paper. 
Unfortunately, I do not have any examples of these to show here at the moment, but will be sure to add some images when examples become available. 

Bringing it All Together

Determining the number of collectible varieties on these stamps is a little more complicated because not every variety exists in conjunction with all the others. For example Rose lists for possible tag errors, but does not state whether or not they are found on smooth paper, or ribbed paper. So in the absence of further information, I have to assume they exist on both types. 

So, for the smooth paper, I have 2 shades, 3 fluorescence levels (one high and two low), and four possible tagging errors. So the number of collectible varieties for the smooth paper is:

(2 x 2) + (2 x 2 x 2) = 4 + 8 = 12 varieties and 12 x 12 = 144 possible corner blocks. 

For the ribbed paper, the number of collectible varieties is:

(3 x 2) + (3 x 2 x 2) = 18 varieties and 18 x 12 = 204 possible corner blocks. 

So as you can see this value continues to offer specialists a lot of scope for those who wish to seek out all possible varieties of each stamp. 

This brings me to the end of my discussion of this value. Next week I will cover the 3c Oil Rig and Harverster stamp in its entirety. 






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Printing Inks Used On The 1967-1973 Centennial Issue - Part Five of Eight

The Federal Bill Stamps 1864-1890's

Stamp Dealers: The Travel Agents of Philately