Five-stamp set celebrating six female athletes among latest new issues

Sharon and Shirley Firth transformed Inuvik into a hotbed of Nordic skiing.

Weeks before the cauldrons are lit for the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in South Korea, Canada Post unveiled five stamps honouring some of Canada’s most accomplished athletes. Dubbed “Women in Winter Sports,” the new issue commemorates six female athletes across five Permanent stamps, including Sharon and Shirley Firth (cross-country skiing); Sonja Gaudet (wheelchair curling); Danielle Goyette (hockey); Nancy Greene (alpine skiing); and Clara Hughes (cycling and speed skating). Continue reading →

New York reporter will be at our Show to dish the quest for The One-Cent Magenta

The New York reporter who investigated and authored a book on the intriguing story surrounding the world’s most famous stamp – the British Guiana one-cent magenta – will be speaking at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show on April 7. James Barron is author of The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World and a journalist at The New York Times, where his articles have appeared in virtually every section of that paper. Continue reading →

‘Spectacular’ lathework to highlight February Eastern Auctions sale

Lot 226 is a single 1923 50-cent stamp (SC #120ii) with a catalogue value of $12,000.

The John Smallman Collection of the Admiral Issue of Canada will be offered in a 646-lot sale by New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions this February. Described by auctioneers as “spectacular,” the Smallman Collection was assembled throughout four decades and includes extensive examples of strong lathework and imprint multiples. “Looking at famous Admiral collections of the past and where this would rest, I think it’s certainly in the top three, and I think the lathework is the best that’s ever come to market at one time,” said auctioneer and owner Gary Lyon. “John was at it for 40 years, and it was a real passion for him. He had a few other collections, but the Admirals were his main focus. He particularly liked lathework, and he always tried to get the strongest impression of lathework that he could find for each variety. He has some extremely rare and even unique things.” Continue reading →

St. Catharines Stamp Club revved up to host 90th RPSC Convention in June

Stuart Keeley, right, chair of the 2018 Royal Convention in St. Catharines, Ont., meets with Ronald Lafreniere, author of the Field Guide to the Cinderella Stamps of Canada, at last year’s RPSC Convention in Boucherville, Qué.

Later this year, The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) will be returning to St. Catharines, Ont. for its 90th convention. Hosted by the St. Catharines Stamp Club, the 2018 convention of The RPSC will be held June 22-24 at the Holiday Inn and Suites Parkway Convention Centre on 327 Ontario St. It will mark only the second time the convention has been held in the “Garden City”; in 2009, it was held at the same location. Continue reading →

Stamp Advisory Committee chair calls 12-year role ‘a great privilege’

Robert Waite is resigning from the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee. Photo submitted.

After more than 12 years at the helm of Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee, Robert Waite announced he will resign from his post in February 2018. Waite, who said he viewed his role as “that of a facilitator and a consensus-builder,” recently informed Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra of his intention to resign. “Chairing this committee has been a great privilege and has brought me into contact with some of Canada’s pre-eminent designers, historians and collectors. I was especially fortunate to have (Canada Post Director of Stamp Services) Jim Phillips and his team supporting me through my 12-plus year tenure,” said Waite, who also served as vice-president of the Crown corporation from 2005-10. Continue reading →

Barrie philatelist researching retailers’ letters from Santa

This 1918 cover, franked with a 1911 one-cent King George V stamp (Scott #104), includes another ‘letter from Santa Claus.’

Barrie philatelist Dave Hanes is researching Canadian letters from Santa Claus for a forthcoming book slated to be published by the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS). Hanes is compiling a listing of letters from Santa sent via iconic Canadian retailers T. Eaton Company (commonly known as Eaton’s) and the Robert Simpson Company (known as Simpsons since 1972). “It’s history that a lot of people have seen, but they’ve never taken any great interest in it,” said Hanes, who has been a member of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) for about a decade. “I’m getting older now, and I’d like to see this stuff recorded for posterity.” Eaton’s Toyland, which was the retailer’s fifth-floor Christmastime toy section, began writing letters from Santa as early as 1909. The earliest known letter – “so far,” added Hanes with cautious optimism – was written on Eaton’s letterhead. Continue reading →

Canada Post issues ‘stop selling’ Hanukkah covers and booklets

The original booklet of 10 stamps (right) depicted the Star of David on the cover. It was replaced with the left side of a menorah on the reprinted version (left).

The day after being unveiled in Toronto, and only one day before it was slated to go on sale across the country, the new Hanukkah stamp issued by Canada Post was removed from display and returned to head office because of what the Crown corporation called “a design issue” with the stamp booklet and first-day cover. Initially slated for release on Nov. 14 as a booklet of 10, the Hanukkah stamp was unveiled on Nov. 12 at the Starry Nights event held at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon. However, according to a Canada Post memo sent to all dealer post offices on Nov. 13, entitled “IMPORTANT: Stop selling Hanukkah stamp products immediately,” the booklet (product code “414066111”) and official first-day cover (product code “414066131”) were ordered to be “immediately removed from display and returned.” “These products are not to be sold to customers and they are also no longer available through mail order or online,” reads the memo, which also explains “the reprinted version” of the stamp booklets and OFDC would “be back on sale in the next coming weeks.” The products were to be returned no later than Nov. 22. Post offices were also requested to remove the November 2017 issue of Details magazine, which featured the original Hanukkah products on page 10. Continue reading →

National Postage Stamp & Coin Show continues to grow

Dealer Hugo Deshaye (left), of Québec City, on the bourse of the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show with eight-year-old Jack Nixon, of Toronto, who recently won the American Philatelic Society Youth Grand Champion of Champions award. Photo by Jesse Robitaille.

The biannual National Postage Stamp and Coin Show returned to the Greater Toronto Area this October for its fourth showing since 2015, when Trajan Media took the reigns of what was then known as the National Postage Stamp Show. Nearly 1,000 collectors attended the Oct. 28-29 show, and they were greeted by a familiar 9,000-square-foot bourse located in the Hilton Mississauga’s Graydon Hall, which has been the show’s home since last spring. “I liked that there’s a mix of postal history and postcard vendors,” said collector and award-winning exhibitor Leon Matthys about the bourse, which included 25 dealers of all kinds of philatelic material as well as about two dozen numismatic dealers. “If I had more time, I bet I’d have ventured into uncharted territories and browsed the coin merchants for non-philatelic ephemera such as medals, badges, pins and tokens.” Matthys added the event was “a breeze for drivers” with free on-site parking at the hotel, which is located directly off Highway 401 on Mississauga Road. Continue reading →

Canpex 2017 Grand Award features ‘extraordinary’ research, rare covers

Rob Leigh’s five-frame exhibit, ‘The Western District of Upper Canada: The Development of Postal Communications and Postal Markings, 1800-1850,’ won the Grand Award at Canpex this October. Photo by Jesse Robitaille.

A five-frame exhibit entitled “The Western District of Upper Canada: The Development of Postal Communications and Postal Markings, 1800-1850” was the big winner at Canpex 2017. Created by Rob Leigh, the Grand Award-winning exhibit was one of eight Large Gold winners among 35 total exhibits at the national show held in London, Ont. on Oct. 14-15. Leigh’s exhibit – his first exhibit ever – was only being shown for the second time ever in a competitive exhibition. It also won the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) Best BNA Exhibit Award and BNA Postal History Award as well as the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) Canada Research Award. “Rob’s exhibit was what I consider an extremely fine showing of an area of postal history that is most important; that is, with a major emphasis on how postal services followed the development of the Western District,” said Chief Judge Steve Reinhard, of Mineola, N.Y. “Research shown was extraordinary, and the rarity of many of the covers excelled. I hope that Rob will show this exhibit in the Champion of Champions competition being held in Columbus, Ohio next August.” Continue reading →

‘Magnificent’ China stamps highlight Eastern fall sale

A complete set of imperforate corner blocks from the 1962 Stage Art of Mei Lan-fang issue is being offered as Lot 21 of Eastern Auction’s Nov. 3-4 sale. Issued by the People’s Republic of China, this lot has a catalogue value of $117,000.

A “magnificent and very fine set” of sought-after imperforate stamps issued in 1962 by the People’s Republic of China is expected to bring big money at a New Brunswick auction this November. Described as an “outstanding complete set” of imperforate corner blocks from the 1962 Stage Art of Mei Lan-fang issue (Scott #620-627), the stamps are being offered as Lot 21 of the two-day sale hosted by New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions. Altogether, the 18-stamp set – one of nearly 1,100 lots from the Max Goldman Estate – has a catalogue value of $117,000. “Advanced collectors are well aware that these are rarely offered on the marketplace and will receive much attention and spirited bidding,” said Yohann Tanguay, chief describer at Eastern Auctions. “I don’t think there will be much demand coming out of Canada. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the Chinese stamps are sold primarily in Hong Kong, the U.S., Europe and of course China.” Other popular People’s Republic of China items, which will be offered on Nov. 3 as Lots 1-124, include Lot 37, an “extraordinary” offering of six miniature sheets of the 1962 $3 Stage Art of Mea Lan-fang issue (Scott #628). Continue reading →

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