Monday, May 9, 2016

Amazing blog resource for collectors of Canadian stamps worth visiting!

My neighbors to the north in Canada have a long, distinguised philatelic history.  And growing up in the St. Lawrence Valley of New York, collecting the stamps of Canada was a natural for both my father and I (where we lived, Ottawa was only a couple hours away by car and Kingston was just across the river via the Thousand Island Bridge or the summer ferry service. New York City, on the other hand, was over six hours away on the other end of New York State!)

My father developed a beautiful collection of Canada during his life, and while he did sell much of it when he was working as a part-time stamp dealer in the late 1990s and early 2000s, his sales books still had a lot of material that I inherited when he passed, including some very nice pre-1937 Canada, such as these 1897 Victoria Diamond Jubilees.

My collection of the Victoria Diamond Jubilee issue gleaned from my father's sales books from when he was a dealer. Kind of like winning the lottery, just need the 20c to have complete to the Can$2.00 value!

Anyways, as I have been slowly getting material worked into a Canada album from his salesbooks, I have been trying to learn more about the fascinating early issues of Canada.  I have the Unitrade 2016 Specialized Catalogue, but while it is an AMAZING catalog, it can be a bit opaque in listing exactly what is available. This is especially true since my goal for my albums I am making is to include spaces all color, perforation and paper varieties of stamps issued.  I am not so much into collecting things like constant flaws, but I do like to have an overview in my collection of the changes made in the base production of an issue during the course of its life.

Thankfully, the internet can be an absolute gold mine of information, and I struck the equivalent of the Klondike when I came across the blog Canadian Philately.  Written by a dealer in the metro Toronto area, it is an absolute GEM of information regarding Canadian stamp issues, and the varieties possible on many of the longer definitive issues.  What is more, the author of the blog is more than helpful in aiding and guiding newish collectors like myself for advice. He recently posted a couple of blog entries further summarizing the varieties that exist on the Perforated Cents issue of 1859-1865 and the Large Queen issues of 1867-1875.  As a result, I feel I now have an album setup that reflects the goals I wanted. No, I may never fill every space, but as I have said before, better to have space and maybe win the lottery and be able to fill it some day than to just accept that you may never fill a space.

So if the stamps of the Great White North interest you to any degree, please check out the Canadian Philately blog. It is hyperlinked in my list of "Blogs of Note" on the upper right of this blog sidebar. Your visit will be well worth it.


  1. Gene- Those Jubilee Issue stamps in your collection look nice indeed. :-)

    And thanks for the tip on the Canadian Philately- 1851 to Present blogsite- what an entertaining read, especially for the classical era.

    I am amused and delighted, but not surprised, by how far one can stretch collecting the classics.

    Scott, for the Large Queen 6c dark brown, lists some five minor numbers for such variables as shade color, watermark, and paper.

    The Canadian Philately blog author has parsed the 6c brown, based on six colors, two plates, and nine varieties of paper, to 55 possible collectible stamps! What fun!

  2. Hey Jim yes I quite hit the jackpot on that issue from working thru my dad's sales books, pre-1897 I picked up a few Pence/Large Queen/Small Queen issues as well, but random items. Having chatted with the Canadian Philately blog writer it is simply amazing how much detail these early issues have, and even the later ones (his blog posts on the George V Admirals shows how complicated they can be. Even the Victoria and Edward VII medallion issues have a lot of variety.)

    This is why I love specialized collecting, it let's you follow lines of investigation that goes beyond just the basic yellow brick road of the main global catalogues, often for not a great deal more cost especially if the items are lurking unnoticed in a dealer stock. As the say over at Stampboards forum.. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

  3. Gene- I noticed on Stampboards a thread where you are listing all the new specialty country catalogues you are acquiring. I, of course, was aware that you have an interest in specialty catalogues, but the number you have is impressive...and growing!

    The thought occurred to me that you might consider doing regular blog reviews of catalogues? Perhaps you could compare them to the coverage in, say, the Scott 1840-1940 catalogue or similar "standard" catalogue?

    I, for one. would be quite interested in your results. If a catalogue has markedly better coverage than the Scott 1840-1940, well, I might very well purchase it. OTOH, I think there probably are catalogues that do not offer a significant advantage, and I can save my money. ;-)

    1. That is a brilliant idea, Jim! I hopefully will have enough free time in RL to be to do this (work has been very crazy for me, so been hard to get a lot of free time). But I think you have hit on something that would be beneficial.

      Speaking of my collection, with the Pound dropping since the victory of Leave in the Referendum and with Gibbons future as a company on thin ice, I put a big order in to complete my collection of the Commonwealth Specialized Regional catalogs, so I about to add another dozen pieces to the library.