The Type Differences and Constant Varieties on the 1972-1978 Caricature Issue Part One

In this week's detailed blog post, I tackled two topics that relate to the stamps from the 10c Forests to the $1 Vancouver:

1. The type differences listed in Unitrade.
2. The constant varieties listed in Unitrade and other varieties that can be found.

Most collectors who are relatively experienced with Canadian philately are aware that the 10c Forests, 15c Mountain Sheep, 25c Polar Bears and 50c Seashore exist printed in two types for the first perforation, being 12.5 x 12, and just the second type for the later perf. 13.3. However, what collectors may not be fully aware of is that there is also evidence to suggest that different screens displaying different levels of coarseness were used to print these stamps as well. I illustrate several examples for each value that show that generally, the photogravure printing started off coarse, with very clearly identifiable screening dots, and then later becomes very fine, with the inking appearing to be more or less solid. None of these d…

The 1972-1978 Caricature and Landscape Issue

This week I begin a long series of posts that explores, in depth, my favourite definitive issue: the 1972-1978 Caricature Issue of Canada. This issue followed on the heels of the extremely popular 1967-1973 Centennial issue. Because of how popular the Centennial issue was, many collectors did not pay a lot of attention to this series, with the result that a lot of what are now known to be very scarce printings were overlooked and used for postage. This has resulted in the series being quite challenging to collect. It offers a specialist nearly everything they could want in a stamp series, including:
Shade varieties.Design type differences.Constant plate varieties.Perforation differences.Tagging differences.Paper fluorescence varieties.Other paper varieties, such as thickness, texture and coating.Line and comb perforations, as well as perforated an imperforate selvage.Interesting postal historyMultiple plates and printings of the same stamps done by 2 different printing firms.  The det…

The Commemorative Issues of 1972 - Part Two

This week's post, my first of the New Year, is the last one that will deal with commemorative issues for a while, as next week I will begin my foray into the complicated 1972-78 Caricature Issue, which I expect will be a very popular series with my readers.

This post deals with just three issues: the Earth Sciences Issue, the Christmas Issue and the Cornelius Krieghoff Issue. Collectors will already be familiar with the fact that there is the Ottawa and Winnipeg tagging on the Christmas issue, and the five constant varieties on the Krieghoff issue. However, as the detailed post on my website illustrates, these three issues are much more complicated than you Unitrade would lead you to believe.

For starters, there are the paper varieties. Each issue was printed on paper having different physical characteristics, in terms of thickness, colour, texture and weave direction. The usual range of fluorescence on the front and back of stamps are found. making for a lot of collectible varie…

The Commemorative Issues of 1972 - Part One

This is my last post before my Christmas break, and my second last post before I get into another very long series of posts for the 1972-1978 Caricature Issue. This week, I have explored the first four commemorative issues of 1972. Like the previous issues of 1971, a good grounding in the paper varieties of these stamps will prove to be a very useful reference for the specialist of the 1967-73 Centennial issue, who is trying to sort the 1972 printings of some of the stamps from the 1971 printings, as the stamps of 1972 exhibit characteristics that were not seen on the earlier stamps.

In my detailed post I go through the usual discussions of paper types, fluorescence, gum and perforations. There are several things though about these issues that stand out:

There are more se-tenant stamps being issued again, but this time, they can only be found in horizontal or vertical pairs. There are many fewer varieties of fluorescence on most of these stamps, with most having fewer than 5 varieties…

The Commemorative Issues of 1971 - Part Two

This week's post completes my examination of the last six commemorative issues from 1971. This is the last year to include stamps with dextrine gum, and the formula for PVA gum had more or less been perfected by both the BABN and CBN by the end of the year, after several months of experimentation.

The use of chalk-surfaced paper continued and by the end of the year, only 2 stamps were issued on non-chalky paper. BABN introduced, with the last stamp of 1971, the Pierre Laporte stamp, a ribbed, chalk-surfaced paper, that continued to be used to produce the first printings of some of the 1972-78 Landscape definitives.

Fluorescence turns out to be a far more complicated topic on these issues than it has been for any other period in quite a long time. The main reason is that the fluorescence on the front and the back of the stamps varies, due to the chalk surfacing on the front of the stamps. Most issues show at least 3 or 4 varieties of fluorescence on the front, and almost as many o…

The Commemorative Issues of 1971 - Part One

In this week's post I explore the first six commemorative issues of 1971, which comprised 10 stamps, including the "Maple Leaf in Four Seasons" which was issued over the course of the year, at the beginning of each season. 
As I note in my detailed post, 1971 was a significant year in three respects, the main one of which os that this is the first time that PVA gum is introduced to replace dextrine gum.  As we will see next week, this replacement is not completed until 1972, with two of the Christmas stamps having the old dextrine gum. 1971 was, therefore a year in which experimentation was undertaken by the printing companies to find a gum that was optimal for use. In addition to the so called "spotty white gum" that is found on a few of the stamps from this year, there were also gums with a distinctly dull sheen, which I refer to here as eggshell, and I have even discovered a small number of stamps with what appears to be almost completely invisible gum. Thi…

The Commemorative Issues of 1970 - Part 2

My apologies for being late with this week's post. I had a computer hardware disaster yesterday that saw me lose most of my data, and I spent most of yesterday trying to recover it, without any success I might add. So, I did not get a change to write this week's post until today.

Today, I delved into the last 17 stamps of 1970, 12 of which came from the Christmas issue. These issues were replete with varieties that are not listed in Unitrade, such as:

A distinct smooth/ribbed paper distinction that is found on all of the issues except for the Alexander Mackenzie issue and the Oliver Mowat issue. Additional plate flaws on the Christmas issue 5c and 6c stamps.A double print of the Canada inscription on the Group of Seven issue. Three or more varieties of paper fluorescence for nearly all the stamps listed.Shade varieties on several of the Christmas stamps and the Group of Seven issue. In addition, there are the usual variations in perforation on the stamps printed by CBN, which …