Uniform four-penny post sets stage for comprehensive reform

This cover was mailed from Ipswich to Norfolk on the first day of the uniform four-penny post as indicated by the ‘P4’ in the bottom-left corner.

The first “real reform” of Great Britain’s postal system came in December 1839, when the uniform four-penny post was implemented. The short-lived change, which was in effect for only 36 days – from Dec. 5 until Jan. 9, 1840 – saw the end of rates calculated by distance. Instead, postage was now charged based on weight – four pence for pre-paid letters up to half an ounce – and there was no penalty for multiple sheets. What’s more, for mail with rates already less than four pence, the existing lower rates applied. Before the uniform four-penny post was implemented, the Select Committee, of which Sir Rowland Hill was a member, did an “amazing investigation of the number of letters mailed,” said Tom Slemons, a U.S.-based director of the Great Britain Collectors Club. Continue reading →

$25K expected for ‘best Small Queen cover’

A registered cover mailed to Tonsberg, Norway, in July 1875 is one of only three examples still in existence after being mailed to continental Europe prior to the Universal Postal Union’s establishment. Described as ‘the best Small Queen cover,’ it’s expected to bring $25,000 at auction.

What’s widely regarded by experts as the greatest, most important Small Queen cover is expected to bring $25,000 during a general sale hosted by New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions this November. Offered as Lot 887 of the Nov. 9-10 sale, this “phenomenal” registered cover was mailed to Tonsberg, Norway, in July 1875. It includes a se-tenant pair along with a single 10-cent pale milky rose lilac Small Queen from the Montreal printings. The single is tied by a “superb” straight-line “REGISTERED” hand stamp, and the pair is tied by three strikes of a Halifax split-ring dispatch circular date stamp (CDS). The cover also displays an oval registered “7 AU 75” London transit stamp in red as well as red crayon accountancy marks. Continue reading →

Pre-reform mail system fraught with inefficiency

Great Britain’s iconic postal reforms of the mid-19th century were highlighted by Tom Slemons, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, during a recent presentation in St. Catharines, Ont.

Great Britain’s postal reforms in the second half of the 1830s – just before the beginning of the postage stamp era – allowed communication to flourish while transforming the empire into a mobile society. These reforms were the subject of a June 22 presentation by Tom Slemons, a U.S.-based director of the Great Britain Collectors Club and a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London. Continue reading →

Once-in-a-lifetime ‘Opportunity’ in first part of Eastern’s ‘Highlands Collection’ sale

An imperforate example of the 1865 Vancouver Island five-cent rose stamp (Scott #3) is expected to bring $125,000 as Lot 8 of Eastern Auctions’ Nov. 8-10 sale.

One of the rarest mint pieces in all of British North America philately, an “outstanding” imperforate example of the 1865 Vancouver Island five-cent rose stamp (Scott #3), is expected to bring $125,000 at auction this November. Described by auctioneers as “a handsome and peerless example with impeccable provenance,” the stamp comes from the famed Gerald Wellburn Collection. It will be offered by New Brunswick’s Eastern Auctions in the first part of the Highlands Collection of British North America on Nov. 8. Continue reading →

National show connects dealers with ‘very strong’ Toronto market

Centred in Toronto, the strength of Canada’s philatelic market was out in full force at this fall’s National Postage Stamp and Coin Show, held Sept. 8-9 in Mississauga.

The National Postage Stamp and Coin Show recently returned to Mississauga, where its location within the Greater Toronto Area connected dealers to a significant portion of Canada’s philatelic market. The Sept. 8-9 show was held at the Hilton Mississauga, fewer than 40 kilometres from what was formerly known as “Toronto’s philatelic heart” – Victoria Street and Adelaide Street East – in the city’s Garden District. Continue reading →

Western Fair’s 150th anniversary focus of this fall’s Canpex 2018

Co-chairs Steve Johnson (left) and John Sheffield (right) said one of the reasons Canpex is held in October is to celebrate Stamp Collecting Month.

This fall’s Canpex 2018 will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Western Fair, which has been held in downtown London, Ont., every September since 1868. Organizers are hoping for continued growth this fall for its third gathering, when scores of people are expected to gather for Canpex 2018 –  hosted by the Middlesex Stamp Club – on Oct. 13-14. “With summer coming to an end, people are getting back into the hobby. One of the reasons we have the show in October is to celebrate Stamp Collecting Month,” said show co-chair John Sheffield, who’s also the executive director of the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association. Continue reading →

Final ‘Birds of Canada’ set completes three-year series

Clockwise from top left: The chickadee, snowy owl, whooping crane, Steller’s jay and Canadian goose are among the five birds featured in the third and final ‘Birds of Canada’ set, issued Aug. 20.

The final five-stamp set from the three-year “Birds of Canada” series was released on Aug. 20. The Canadian goose (Branta canadensis); whopping crane (Grus americana); chickadee (Poecile atricapillus); snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus); and Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) are among the five birds featured in this year’s set. Continue reading →

Postal history symposium builds on inaugural show

From left to right: Postal History Society of Canada (PHSC) Webmaster Rob Leigh; symposium vice-chair Bill Longley; dealer Hugo Deshaye; PHSC President Stéphane Cloutier; and symposium chair David Hobden were among the key organizers of the 2018 PHSC Symposium.

There was no shortage of postal history at the second annual symposium hosted by the Postal History Society of Canada (PHSC) in Hamilton this July. The five-day show, which included a two-day bourse on July 21 and 22, was a marked improvement over last year’s inaugural show, said symposium vice-chair Bill Longley. Continue reading →

‘Travelling Postal Museum’ highlights show circuit

Grégoire Teyssier, curator of the Travelling Postal Museum, uses the 1930s-era stamping machine produced by Pitney Bowes, a mailing equipment and services company founded in 1920.

A “Travelling Postal Museum” produced by long-time philatelist and award-winning exhibitor Grégoire Teyssier, of Québec, is making the rounds at stamp shows across the country. First presented this March at the Lakeshore Stamp Club exhibition in Dorval, Qué.; at Orapex in Ottawa this May; and at the Postal History Society of Canada (PHSC) Symposium in Hamilton this July, the museum will also be displayed at BNAPEX – the annual convention of the British North America Philatelic Society – in Québec this September. Continue reading →

McLaughlin’s ‘Maple Leaf Issue’ wins Grand at Royal

Exhibitor David McLaughlin (right) won the Grand Award at the 2018 Royal Philatelic Society of Canada Convention. His exhibit, ‘The Maple Leaf Issue of Canada 1897-1898,’ was a ‘thorough, in-depth study,’ according to Chief Judge Joel Weiner (left).

David McLaughlin’s eight-frame exhibit, “The Maple Leaf Issue of Canada 1897-1898,” won the Grand Award at the 160-frame exhibition held during The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) Convention this June. The exhibit also earned the RPSC Excellence Award (Title Page/Synopsis); the American Philatelic Society (APS) Medal of Excellence (Research); the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) Best BNA Exhibit Award; and the BNAPS Best BNA Research Award. Continue reading →

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