The 1928-1930 Scroll Issue Part 2

Today's post will deal with the remaining aspects of this wonderfully attractive definitive issue.

Proof Material

Like most issues that have come before it, there is a large range of proof material ranging from plate proofs on horizontally ribbed India paper, to die proofs. What makes this issue distinct is that all of these items are readily affordable to a collector of moderate means, with none of the items selling for more than $2,000 generally. The BNA Proofs website does an excellent job of laying out exactly what exists on this issue (or at least what has been reported to exist), so I will not duplicate it here.  However, I will provide a summary and the link to their website, which you can then peruse in more detail. 

53 items are detailed there, which can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Essays of the King George V Portrait and the Parliament Buildings (4 different in black, light brown on the 1c and blue green on the $1)
  • Large hardened and unhardened die proofs in issued colours on India paper (28 items)
  • Small die proofs in issued colours on India paper (1c, 4c, and 10c only)
  • Trial colour proofs on india paper (7 different on 2c, 12c, 20c and $1 only)
  • Plate proofs on India paper (11 different in issued colours)
Immediately you can see gaps in the sequence of items that do not appear to make much sense, and suggest that other items can and should exist, such as small die proofs of the other values or other trial colour proofs. It would be a very satisfying project to seek these items out. The link for the BNA Proofs website is:

Complete Booklets and Booklet Panes

Image result for 1928 scroll issue booklets

There were three basic booklets issued by the post office for this issue:

  • One containing 4 panes of 6 1c orange, inside an orange yellow cover that had the coat of arms on the front and the words "Canada Postage". This booklet was issued in both English and French versions. It had a face value of 24 cents and sold for 25 cents. 
  • One containing  2 panes of 6 2c green, inside a dull green cover that had the coat of arms on the front and the words "Canada Postage". This booklet was issued in both English and French versions. It had a face value of 24 cents and sold for 25 cents. It was issued in both English and French versions. 
  • One containing 3 panes of 6 1c orange, 2 panes of 6 2c green and 1 pane of 6 5c blackish purple. There were three different versions of cover: one plain manila cover, one with a handstamp on the cover and one with "1928" in the centre of the handstamp. This booklet had a face value of 72 cents and must have sold for either 75 cents or $1. It was issued only in English, so far as anyone knows, though it would only make sense that a French version must also have been issued. However it it possible that none have survived. 
There are no documented varieties of front or back cover to collect on this issue, with the dotted covers not starting until the King George VI period. Consequently these booklets are fairly straightforward. One very challenging aspect to them concerns the booklet panes themselves. They were printed in sheets of 18 panes arranged in three tete-beche groups of 6. It is thus possible to collect from the imperforate stock, tete-beche pairs of the panes, like the 5c shown above. The pane shown above is from one of the three tete-beche groups of 6, but you can also find tete-beche pairs from opposite groups separated by wide gutters. There is a small difference in price between these two varieties, and they exist for all three values, so that there are 6 basic varieties in all. 


The use of CDS cancels was now a practice that had been well established for over 30 years, so most all small post offices were equipped with them. The larger post offices were using wavy line and slogan machine cancels, which are much less attractive on single stamps than the CDS cancels, as well as roller cancels. These less attractive cancels tend to dominate on values 4c and above, so that finding nice CDS cancels that are in-period can be quite a rewarding challenge. It is quite common to find the high values of this issue used out of period, sometimes as late as the early 1940's. There is nothing wrong with these, but they are not in-period usages and would be suitable only as basic used stamps rather than examples for a postal history exhibit. I would venture to suggest that a 50c Bluenose perfectly centered with a 1929 CDS cancel is much scarcer and more desirable than a perfectly centered mint copy, even one that is NH. The Unitrade values for this material are ridiculously low for how scarce the material is, especially the VF used material.

There were, by now many thousands of post offices in each province, so you could if you wanted, try to obtain CDS examples from as many post offices as possible from one or more provinces. I would not recommend worrying too much about centering if you go this route, but rather forcus on the legibility of the cancellation and its correct use in the period before these stamps were replaced by the next issue.

All of the low values to the 5c, except for the 4c are known precancelled:

  • The 1c occurs with 54 different styles of precancel.
  • The 2c occurs with 35 different styles of precancel.
  • The 3c is known with only 1 style of precancel.
  • The 5c is known with only 1 style of precancel.
  • The 1c orange coil is known with 2 styles of precancel.
Many of the styles of precancel can be found doubled, inverted, crooked etc. Walburn's Catalogue of Canandian Precancels does an excellent job of documenting the varieties that exist. 

Postal History

There were quite a few new postage rates in effect during the life of this issue, which govern the type of postal history that can typically be found and its scarcity. One notable change is that local, domestic, USA and UK rates up to one ounce were all the same: 2c. This is why the most common stamp from this issue by far is the 2c. The only rate to use the 1c continued to be the printed matter rate under 4 ounces. Occasionally you will see pairs of the 1c used in place of the 2c, but generally this value was used on printed matter and received roller or smudge cancels, which accounts for the surprising scarcity of VF used examples.

The 3c rate was for domestic mail over 1 ounce and less than 2 ounces. It is not, by any means a common rate, which is why the 3c value, used before the introduction of the war tax in 1931 is so scarce. This value is commonly found with late cancellations after 1931, but trying to find one dated before the issuance of the 3c Arch in 1931 is very challenging indeed.

The 4c stamp was issued for the double weight 2c rates, and is much less common because of this, while the 5c was intended for use on heavier surface mail, or any rate divisible by 5 and then could be used for the new domestic airmail instead of the airmail stamp after August 24, 1928. It is more common than the 3c and 4c, but by no means is it common overall.

The non-UK surface rate went up from 5c to 8c in this period, so the 8c value was for use on these letters. Again it is a surprisingly difficult stamp to find on cover.

The 10c value was for use on acknowledgement of receipt or registered letter cards, on registered letters, special delivery (in pairs) or parcels. Quite often one finds it on cover with a 2c stamp to make up the local registered rate, or in pairs with a 2c stamp to make up local special delivery rates.

The 12c value was issued solely for local registered mail. The 20c value was intended to pay special delivery rates, registered letters with additional insurance, bulk mailings or parcels.

The 50c and $1 were for use either on parcels or bulk mailings. They are very difficult to find with contemporary CDS cancels. Quite often one finds them with CDS cancels dated in the 1930's or 1940's, but not often before 1931.

First day covers can be collected of all values. They are all extremely expensive, with the 50c and $1 listing in Unitrade for $7,500 and $5,000 respectively.

Postal Stationery

The only postal stationery that was issued in the Scroll design were some post cards, post bands and wrappers as follows:

  • 1c orange post band
  • 1c orange wrapper
  • 1/2c blue postal card with two different types of inscription.
  • 1c orange postal card with three different types, one of which is precancelled. 
  • 1c orange + 1/2c blue reply card with two different types of inscription.
  • 2c green postal card.
One very rare variety that can be found is the reply card with the reply printed on the back of the message card. The inscriptions that exist are as follows:

  • On the 1/2c, "Canada/Business Reply Card" in 2 lines at top left, or as this, but with an additional line "Carte Reponse D'Affaires".
  • On the 1c: either no inscription at all, or "Canada Post Card" at the top centre of the card. 
  • On the reply card, there will either be "Canada Post Card" on the message card and "Canada/Business Reply Card" on the reply, or "Canada/Business Reply Card" on the message card and "Canada/Business Reply Card" and "Carte Reponse D'Affaires" on the reply card. 
  • On the 2c green there is no inscription at all. 
Although no specific envelopes were issued with the Scroll design, the 1923 Issue and 1926 surcharged Admiral Issue envelopes can be found uprated using Scroll issue stamps for use on overweight mail or foreign mail, and can make an interesting study in themselves. 

5 Hole OHMS Perfins

All values of this set exist with the 5-hole OHMS perfin. As on the other issues, this perfin can be found in eight different positions:

  • upright, reading from left to right.
  • upright reading from right to left.
  • Sideways pointing right and reading top to bottom.
  • Sideways pointing right and reading bottom to top.
  • Sideways pointing left and reading  top to bottom.
  • Sideways pointing left and reading bottom to top.
  • inverted, reading from left to right.
  • inverted, reading from right to left.
In addition, the perfin can be found double punched as well. Unitrade only lists and prices used examples in the most common orientation. Roy Wrigley published a long since out-of-print catalogue which listed and priced the different orientations. While the prices themselves are out of date, you could use the relative premiums to derive a price using Unitrade's baseline prices. 

Due to the fact that these perfins can be easily faked, it is recommended that you purchase them either with certificates, or from a well established and reputable stamp dealer. 


This issue has the potential to provide a specialist with a lifetime of challenge and enjoyment. It has the advantage of containing large pockets of very cheap material (used singles, precancels) and smaller concentrated pockets of expensive, but not impossible items (the booklets, OHMS, plate blocks, FDC's and proofs). While none of the expensive items are out of reach, they do add up and over a lifetime you could easily spend upwards of $200,000-$250,000 on this issue. 

We have an excellent selection of these stamps listed in our e-bay store now, with the specific paper and shade varieties expertly identified. If you would like to peruse these, please click on the following link:


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