The public reaction toward the Karsh low value design had been so unfavourable, that it was decided almost immediately to replace the issue with a better likeness of her Majesty.
The low value Wilding portrait definitives were issued on April 1, 1954 (the 5c value) and June 10, 1954 (the other values to the 6c). These stamps were well received by the public and continued in use until they were replaced by the Cameo Issue late in 1962 and early 1963.
Eventually, plans were made to replace the 10c Furs Industry, which had been in use since 1950, the 15c Beaver design which had initially been part of the 1951 CAPEX issue and the 20c Pulp and Paper Industry stamp of 1952 with new designs. The new 15c was issued on April 1, 1954, the 10c on February 21, 1955 and the 20c on June 7, 1956. In addition on that same day there was a new denomination introduced, a 25c scarlet vermilion, depicting the Chemical Industry. This stamp was needed for local registered letters and to pay the 25c foreign, non-preferential airmail rate.
As we will see, this is another issue that offers a considerable amount of scope to the budding and ambitious specialist. When I was very young, there were practically no detailed catalogue listings of the stamps of this issue: just the basic stamps, coils, booklets, Winnipeg tags and officials. However, over the years paper varieties have begun to be listed, and there are still many more varieties that are not listed at all, even now. While most of the stamps of this issue are relatively common and easily obtainable, there are a few very rare varieties which come onto the market very seldom and offer a considerable challenge to someone choosing to specialize in this set.
This post will give an overview of the scope of this issue and then starting on Wednesday this week, I will write more detailed posts that deal with each aspect of this issue in detail.
The Stamps Designs, Designers, Plate Layout and Quantities Issued
The low value stamps (1c-6c) were designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz based on a photograph by Dorothy Wilding. They were engraved by master engraver Silas Robert Allen. Initially until 1958 they were printed in plates of 400 subjects, divided into four panes of 100, but sometime in 1958, the plate layout was changed to plates of 600 subjects in six panes of 100.
20c green - unknown quantity 25c scarlet vermilion - unknown
designed by Alfred Joseph Casson quantity. Designed by Alan L Pollock,
Engraved by Silas Robert Allen. modeled by Herman Herbert Schwartz
Plates of 200 in four panes of 50 and engraved by Silas Robert Allen
Shade Varieties and Aniline Inks
There are a considerable number of subtle shade varieties to be found on this issue, especially the 4c and 5c values, where I have seen up to 5 or 6 different shades. All values except the 6c and 15c can be found with at least one subtle variation. In addition, I have seen the 5c printed in an aniline ink where the design shows clearly through the gum and the colour is highly suffused on the surface.
Paper Varieties - The Appearance of Fluorescent Papers
On this issue we see the same non-fluorescent papers that were used on the Wilding Issue, namely:
1. A horizontal wove paper, about 0.003" thick that shows strong ribbing on the surface.
2. A horizontal wove paper of the same thickness that is smooth on the surface, only showing the mesh when held up to the light.
3. A horizontal wove paper that shows no mesh at all, even when held up to the light.
4. A vertical wove paper that only shows mesh when held up to the light.
On the vertical wove papers, we see the emergence of fluorescent papers for the first time. Unitrade classifies them as:
- Speckled fluorescent
Introduction of Winnipeg Tagging
On January 13, 1962, Winnipeg Tagging was introduced. The tagging was a fluorescent overprint in the form of vertical bars applied to the sheets, so that the automatic Sefacan facer cancelling machines could find the stamps on the envelope and place the envelopes in the correct position for cancellation. The bars give a bluish white glow under UV light that continues even for a few seconds after the UV light has been switched off.
The 1c, 2c, 3c and 5c values were issued with two vertical bands running down the sides, while the 4c violet was issued with one vertical centre band.
I have used a block of the 4c Cameo Issue to illustrate the tagging because it is usually rather hard to see on the Wilding stamps and would not show up well in a scan.
In 1961 it was decided to try a new portable format for issuing stamps other than the 25c booklets so that the public could have the convenience of having a larger supply of stamps on hand than just the 25c booklets, which ran out rather quickly. The 2c and 5c values were thus issued in panes of 20 (5c) and 25 (2c) as shown above that were contained in cellophane packages that sold for $1 each. Thus the packages contained two panes of the 2c and one single pane of 5c stamps. There were two different kinds of packages. One contained the printed instructions on the sides and the other along the top and bottom. The cello-paq experiment would be continued for six years until it was finally abandoned at the end of 1967.
I have not seen any paper varieties on these panes, though I think they must exist.
All the low values except for the 3c and 6c were issued with G overprints in the 14 point Casson font. So far they are not known with the 14 point bold "flying G" font. As you can see from the illustrations below, the G is normally found just to thee left of the chin. Paper varieties of all values exist, as do narrow spacing varieties, which are often collected in strips of three.
Imperforate Varieties and Gutter Pairs
There are a few very rare imperforate and gutter pair varieties that exist on this issue:
- 3c carmine rose - horizontal pair imperforate vertically
- 4c violet gutter pair
- 5c imperforate at left margin
- 5c plate block imperforate at left margin
- 5c gutter pair
- 5c horizontal pair imperforate vertically
Unlike the prior issue there are very few proofs known of the stamps in this issue. The above scan shows a tinplate proof of the 5c blue, printed in black.
Periods of Use
The following periods of use can serve as the basis for assembling a comprehensive collection of cancellations and usages on cover:
1c violet brown - June 10, 1954- February 4, 1963
1c booklet single - January 1, 1956 - February 4, 1963
1c Winnipeg tagged - January 13, 1962- May 15, 1963
2c green - June 10-1954 - May 2, 1963
2c cello paq. single - 1961 - May 2, 1963
2c Winnipeg tagged - January 13, 1962 - May 15, 1963
2c coil - September 9, 1954 - May 2, 1963
3c carmine rose - June 10, 1954 - May 2, 1963
3c Winnipeg tagged - January 13, 1962 - May 15, 1963
4c violet - June 10, 1954 - February 4, 1963
4c booklet single - July 7, 1955 - February 4, 1963
4c Winnipeg tagged - January 13, 1962 - February 1963
4c coil - August 23, 1954 - April 4, 1963
5c blue - April 1, 1954 - October 3, 1962
5c booklet single - July 14, 1954 - October 3, 1962
5c Winnipeg tagged - January 13, 1962 - February 1963
5c cello paq. single - 1961 - October 1962
5c coil - July 6, 1954 - October 3, 1962
6c orange - June 10, 1954 - date unknown as there was no 6c issued to replace it.
10c violet brown - February 21, 1955 - February 8, 1967
15c grey - April 1, 1954 - October 30, 1963
20c green - June 7, 1956 - February 8, 1967
25c scarlet vermilion - June 7, 1956 - February 8, 1967
The exact issue date in 1961 of the cello-paqs. for this issue is not currently known. A rewarding pursuit would thus be a cancellation study aimed at identifying the earliest known use. As you can also see, the 5c cello paq had a very short period of use as it was replaced by the 5c of the Cameo issue in October 1962.
All values up to and including the 5c are known with a single style of precancel, consisting of three pairs of horizontal black bars running across the stamps. Unitrade does list a few paper varieties on these, but no shades. It is also not known whether the tagged stamps were issued with precancels.
Postal History, Cancellations and First Day Covers
As with the prior issue the postal history of this issue provides a fascinating field of study for the specialist with a variety of different frankings possible to pay the different rates. There are also plenty of world events that took place during the period of this issue that can be documented through the postal history such as the Berlin Wall, the invasion of Hungary and the Great Leap Forward in China.
The stamps are also widely available in used condition and thousand's of different post office CDS cancels from each of the major provinces can be collected on all values of this set.
First day covers are known on all stamps except for the coils. A variety of cachets in addition to the common Art Craft and Rosecraft cachets can be found.
That concludes my overview of this issue. Wednesday's post will look at the shade and paper varieties that exist.
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