‘Symposium’ connects historians with history

From left: Postal History Society of Canada Symposium co-chair Bill Longley, dealer Shirley Coates and collector Jerry Piotrowski enjoy the bourse at the Fall 2018 National Postage Stamp and Coin Show.

A sign of summer holidays for some philatelists, the annual Postal History Society of Canada (PHSC) Symposium is now in its third year. Once again, this year’s festivities are set to kick off this July in Hamilton, Ont. From the 15-dealer bourse and 120-frame exhibition hall inside the Hamilton Sheraton Hotel, the symposium – in the truest sense of the word – will venture out beyond Hamilton and into the Greater Toronto Area and Niagara Region. “It helps to put the smaller aspect of what we do in postal history within the entire context of the history and development of our country,” said PHSC Symposium co-chair Bill Longley, owner of Longley Auctions. Continue reading →

Maresch bringing auction action back to Royal Convention

An 1870 Large Queen cover paying 10 times the domestic rate is expected to bring $1,500 as Lot 1595 of the Royal Auction on June 21.

For the first time in years, an auction will be held this June at the annual convention of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC).It will be R. Maresch and Son Auctions’ third sale at a show, its previous two being the Capex shows in 1987 and 1996, according to auctioneer Peter Maresch, the grandson of philatelic collector and dealer Richard Maresch. The elder Maresch was a collector since 1904 before establishing the business in Vienna, Austria, in 1924. His son, Bill Maresch – Peter’s father – joined in on the business in the ’50s before entering the auction business in 1957.“It’s been a while – we haven’t done any shows for quite a while – but we’re starting to get back to it,” said the younger Maresch, who was about 10 years old when he began collecting stamps under the guidance of his father. Continue reading →

Orapex unimpeded by record flooding

Bagpiper and Vietnam War veteran Vance McDougall kicks off Orapex 2019 with the sound of music as the doors open on May 4 of the two-day show.

It was a bright and sunny weekend in Ottawa following a week of record flooding, and with the water receding, it was collectors who began flowing uncontrollably into the city – in search of stamps.The philatelic festivities at the 2019 Ottawa RA Centre Philatelic Exhibition (Orapex) kicked off on May 4, one day after the Ottawa River reached its peak amid record flooding in the capital city. Days earlier, organizers reaffirmed it would “have zero impact on Orapex,” which is held about six kilometres south of Parliament Hill.“The Ottawa River is a totally different story,” said Doug Lingard, member of the Orapex 2019 organizing committee, on May 1. Continue reading →

‘Must have’ 1870 Small Queen die proof to highlight Sparks sale

An 1870 one-cent Small Queen large black die proof is expected to bring $10,000 as Lot 67 of Sparks Auctions’ four-session ‘Sale 30’ on May 22-25.

Described by auctioneers as a “must have for any serious Small Queen collector” and a boon to exhibitors of the long-running series, an 1870 one-cent Small Queen large die proof is expected to bring $10,000 at auction this May.To be offered as Lot 67 of Sparks Auctions’ four-session “Sale 30,” the black die proof is sunken in and pasted to a card measuring 51 millimetres by 77 millimetres with 10 guidelines around the design and lathework at the bottom.“This is a very rare item, and anyone who puts it in an exhibit is surely to have better results,” said Stéphane Cloutier, director of lotting and consignments for the Ottawa-based auction house. Continue reading →

‘Young Collectors’ turn up in full force at Trajan’s ‘National Show’

About $600 worth of material was offered to dozens of young bidders in the 36-lot Young Collectors Postage Stamp and Coin Auction this March.

Bidding was fierce between dozens of eccentric juniors vying for nearly 40 lots of material in the Young Collectors Postage Stamp and Coin Auction this March.Organized by Lisa McPherson, national youth co-ordinator of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) and first vice-president of the Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA), the auction offered 36 lots of material donated by hobby organizations such as Trajan Publishing, The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) and the RCNA as well as individual dealers and collectors.“There’s about $600 worth of material being offered today, and everybody will get something,” said McPherson, who served as the auction runner and added every participant who didn’t win a bid would receive a gift bag. Continue reading →

World of philately awakens as harbinger ‘National Show’ draws 1,100-plus to Mississauga

More than 1,100 people came through the doors of the Spring 2019 National Postage Stamp and Coin Show on March 23-24. It was a record attendance for the biannual show, the first of which was held in May 2016.

A sure sign of spring’s arrival, the hobby season began to bloom this March as the biannual National Postage Stamp and Coin Show opened its doors in Mississauga.On March 23-24, more than 1,100 show-goers, about 50 dealers and dozens of competing exhibitors returned to Hilton Mississauga’s 9,000-square-foot Graydon Hall for what was the largest gathering since the show began in 2016.“It’s always one of the best spring shows, and it’s a great way to start the season,” said dealer Stephan Bilodeau, owner of Canadian-Stamps, who has attended all seven shows since the first in May 2016, about six months after Trajan Publishing acquired the rights to the former “National Postage Stamp Show” from the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association. Continue reading →

Turned covers highlight recent Pence-Cents meeting

A ‘two-era turned cover’ was first sent during the Pence era (top) but later reused during the Cents era. (Photo by Ron Majors)

Long considered an ingenious aspect of postal history in early Canada as well as the U.S., “turned covers” was the topic of a recent meeting of the Pence-Cents Study Group of the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS).One of more than 20 active study groups affiliated with BNAPS, the “Pence and Cents” people focus on the area of classic Canadian philately that started it all. Issued by what was then known as the Province of Canada prior to Confederation in 1867, the Pence and Cents issues are Canada’s earliest stamps.“We’re a fairly new group,” said chair Ron Majors, who has served at the helm of the study group since its formation seven years ago. Continue reading →

Update coming to squared circle handbook

Paul Grimm chaired the most recent Squared Circle Study Group meeting in Québec last September.

Originating in Great Britain in 1879, the 140-year-old squared circle cancellation is the main focus of one the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) study groups. The group’s latest venture, which was unanimously agreed upon at its most recent meeting, is updating the 18-year-old fifth edition of The Squared Circle Cancellations of Canada. The 329-page handbook was edited by the late Jack Gordon, who also served as the group’s chairman and newsletter editor before his death in 2013. “I remember my first introduction to squared circles was a book,” said study group member William Radcliffe, who’s also the vice-president of BNAPS’ more than 20 active study groups. “The more information you get out, the more collectors you can get interested in your hobby.” Continue reading →

Gardenias bloom early for wedding season

Canada Post’s annual springtime flower stamps have ‘a very big print run that’s always among the biggest next to our definitives and Christmas stamps,’ said Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips.

With less than a month before the official start of spring, Canada Post has issued a pair of flower stamps, these featuring the gardenia, to meet the demands of the upcoming wedding season. The two stamp designs feature the cape jasmine gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides), one of nearly 150 species of flowering plants belonging to the gardenia genus. Originating in Asia, the cape jasmine was most commonly found growing wild in Vietnam, Southern China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh before being introduced to English gardens in the mid-18th century. “This issue is a harbinger of spring and a very, very strong seller for consumer mail and weddings,” said Canada Post Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips, who added this stamp has “a very big print run that’s always among the biggest next to our definitives and Christmas stamps.” Continue reading →

Family cheers stamp honouring likely first Black Canadian letter carrier

From left to right: Great-granddaughter Shawne Jackson-Troiano, her brother Jay Jackson and Lawrence Jackson, who's letter carrier Albert Jackson's only surviving grandson, attended the unveiling of a stamp depicting their ancestor.

Ahistoric Toronto building echoed with applause and music for the launch of a commemorative honouring a man “thought to be Canada’s first Black letter carrier,” the 10-stamp booklets note. Albert Calvin Jackson’s descendants and four Members of Parliament were among more than 300 people attending the 2019 Black History Month stamp, which was launched Jan. 24. Designed by Andrew Perro and illustrated by Ron Dollekamp, the Permanent commemorative was released the following day and shows Jackson in uniform while holding letters. “This is like a family reunion,” Canada Post communications vice-president Jo-Anne Polak said in her opening address. Continue reading →

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