Rare pioneer, semi-official airmails to lead November Eastern sale

A 1927 Red Lake-to-Sioux Lookout flight cover with a rare handstamp variety (top left) crosses the block as Lot 416 of Eastern Auctions’ Nov. 18-20 public auction. In addition to two Admirals (top right), the cover is franked by one of the ‘great rarities’ of Patricia Airways’ airmail stamps (bottom left), according to chief describer Yohann Tanguay.

Mint examples of most of the pioneer and semi-official airmail stamps, varieties and errors listed in the Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps are set to cross the auction block in New Brunswick this November. Eastern Auctions will offer the D’Arcy Mosher Collection of Canadian pioneer and semi-official airmail material as part of a three-session public auction with 979 lots on Nov. 18-20. The Mosher Collection will open session two (Lots 297-659) on Nov. 19 at 1:30 p.m. (AT). Pioneer airmail stamps run offered from Lots 297-408 followed by semi-official airmail flight covers from Lots 409-422. “It is a substantial holding for anyone looking for these airmail stamps in mint condition,” said Yohann Tanguay, a stamp specialist and chief describer with Eastern Auctions, who added multiples, panes and “a few airmail” covers are also on offer. Continue reading →

RPSC’s virtual exhibition in October includes seminars

More than 70 exhibits will compete in the Oct. 14-17 Royal Virtual National Philatelic Exhibition, to be held via canpex.ca.

The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) is set to kick off its first virtual exhibition this October in conjunction with this year’s online-only convention. The Royal*2021*Royale Virtual National Philatelic Exhibition runs from Oct. 14-17, during the second and final part of this year’s convention, which began on June 14 with the society’s annual general meeting and a pair of seminars (“Two-part virtual Royal coming in June, October,” CSN Vol. 46 #3). This October’s virtual Royal exhibition will be hosted via canpex.ca by the organizers of Canpex, another national-level show typically held each fall in London, Ont. The four-day event will also include a series of eight English- and French-language seminars. “I am hoping the viewing public will enjoy the exhibits and events surrounding the virtual show,” said RPSC director Steve Johnson, a national-level judge from London, Ont., who’s serving as the virtual exhibition’s exhibits chair. “The show has been in the works since May, so there has been a great deal of planning.” Continue reading →

Rob Leigh wins third Grand for Western District exhibit

Ontario-born exhibitor Rob Leigh, who now lives in Illinois, won the Grand Award at BNAPEX 2021 Virtual in early September for his five-frame postal history exhibit on Upper Canada’s Western District.

For the third time since 2017, Rob Leigh has won a Grand Award for his five-frame exhibit exploring the seminal postal history of Upper Canada’s Western District in the first half of the 19th century. Leigh’s latest victory came during BNAPEX 2021 Virtual, the first virtual exhibition of the British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS), held from Sept. 2-6 via the society’s website, bnaps.org, and Zoom. An Illinois resident who was born in Chatham, Ont., Leigh also won two special BNAPS awards for his exhibit, “The Western District of Upper Canada: the Development of Postal Communications and Postal Markings, 1800-1850.” “It’s an extremely comprehensive story about the early history of a large chunk of Upper Canada – the western part of Upper Canada – from 1800 to 1850,” said chief judge David Piercey, of Edmonton, Alta., one of four judges on the BNAPEX jury. “He’s done an inordinate amount of research to talk about the development of the postal routes and postal communication in those little, far-flung communities in the early parts of the settlement of Ontario.” Continue reading →

Elegant, efficient mail chutes still in use across Canada, U.S.

The mail chute letterbox located in the lobby of Pennsylvania’s Hotel Bethlehem’s dates back to the building’s 1922 construction. Submitted photo.

Apostal history relic dating back to the golden age of early skyscrapers, the mail chute remains an integral part of many buildings’ iconic stories. A logistical godsend for late 19th-century letter writers and postal carriers alike, mail chutes came on the scene in the 1880s alongside taller office and residential buildings plus the first modern skyscrapers. As urbanization brought more and larger cities to Canada and the United States, and with mail as the main form of communication, postal officials on both sides of the border sought ways to accommodate fast-growing mail volumes. “Mailboxes and their chutes were once as essential to the operation of any major hotel, office, civic, or residential building as the front door,” wrote Karen Greene and Lynne Lavelle in their 2014 book Art Deco Mailboxes. Continue reading →

BNAPEX 2021 Virtual to go live early September

The BNAPEX 2021 Virtual exhibition, which will feature 45 exhibits across 115 exhibit frames, will be fully uploaded by Aug. 22. The winners will be announced after the online-only convention begins on Sept. 2.

The British North America Philatelic Society (BNAPS) is set to kick off its first virtual convention, BNAPEX 2021 Virtual, in early September. It comes on the heels of the in-person event’s cancellation – the second in a row – as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause uncertainty across the country despite widespread vaccination efforts. Instead of the three-day in-person event originally planned for Winnipeg, the virtual convention runs for five days, from Sept. 2-6, with much of the same aspects of a traditional BNAPEX. Featuring a competitive exhibition, study group seminars and – a rarity among virtual shows – a bourse, the convention is free and open to everyone to attend, but registration on the BNAPS website is required. “After assembling a virtual convention team early in the year as a backup to the now postponed Winnipeg BNAPEX 2021, just about all facets of typical BNAPEX face-to-face conventions have been ‘virtualized,’” said BNAPS President Ron Majors, of West Chester, Pa., on Aug. 11. Continue reading →

Commemorative envelopes through the years

The 75th annual Royal Philatelic Society of Canada Convention is marked on a 2003 commemorative envelope.

A smaller, more focused collecting area has been complementing Canada’s annual stamp program since 1976, when the Post Office Department issued a series of covers marking that year’s Montréal Olympics. The Post Office Department and its post-1981 successor Canada Post have marked 126 themes on special event, custom and commemorative envelopes since the 1976 Olympic Games issue. Across those themes are 178 individual covers, including the latest – issued this June – marking the sesquicentennial of the Régiment Blinde du Canada. “Since 1990, their frequency grew as their popularity mushroomed,” said collector and cataloguer Andrew Chung, who added these highly collectible envelopes differ from first-day covers (FDCs). “The challenge is forming a complete collection, including the 22 exclusive ones that were never placed on sale.” Continue reading →

In-person stamp shows survive, set to return this summer in Canada

Stamp collectors may be able to return to the bourse as early as August, when the Gananoque Stamp Show is scheduled to take place in Ontario.

As Canada’s COVID-19 caseload continues its downward trend, and with more than 35 per cent of the country’s population fully vaccinated, stamp collectors are eying a return to the bourse later this summer. As of July 9, more than 25.8 million Canadian adults (67.9 per cent of the population) have received at least one shot of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. More than 13.6 million adults (27.5 per cent) are also fully vaccinated. A few days later, on July 12, Canada reported a seven-day average of 496 new cases, down from a high of 6,730 on April 17. On July 12, health officials across the country reported only 277 new cases, including 114 in Ontario, 52 in Québec and 30 in Alberta, where the majority of the in-person stamp shows still slated for this summer and fall will take place. Continue reading →

World, international, general, specialized—what’s the difference in exhibitions?

David McLaughlin, a national-level judge who chairs the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada’s international liaison committee, explains the difference between various exhibitions.

To outsiders and newcomers, the world of international exhibiting can at first glance appear complicated. Exhibitions are generally held locally, regionally, nationally or internationally, the latter of which is overseen by the Swiss-based Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP). Also known as world shows, these international exhibitions focus on either general or specialized collecting interests. But what exactly is the difference between world, international, general and specialized exhibitions? “Exhibitions classified as world exhibitions are those which have obtained FIP patronage,” said David McLaughlin, chair of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) international liaison committee. Continue reading →

CSN survey reveals top stamps of 2020

A seven-stamp set marking the centennial of the first Group of Seven exhibition fared well in the first CSN Stamp Survey in a decade.

Canada’s seven-stamp set marking the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven’s first exhibition topped the 2021 CSN Stamp Survey as respondents’ favourite issue of 2020. Released on May 7, 2020, the Group of Seven set earned 31 of 149 votes (20.8 per cent) as the overall favourite Canadian issue from the 2020 stamp program. The responses came in from across the country this spring, when CSN revived its annual stamp survey for the first time in a decade. The survey was announced in March (“Announcing the 2021 CSN Stamp Survey,” Vol. 45 #23) and then extended until April 18 to increase the response volume. Continue reading →

Late prime minister John Turner remembered on commemorative

A set issued on June 7 celebrates former prime minister John Turner, who died last September. Its booklet cover and official first-day cover (shown) feature a 1970 photo (left) of Turner, then the justice minister, presenting a bill to establish a national law reform commission.

Canada Post fulfilled the latest chapter in a long tradition on June 7 with the issue of a single stamp commemorating former prime minister John Turner, who died last September. Chosen by Turner’s family, the stamp’s design shows the former leader in a different light – as an enthusiastic outdoorsman – with him at the helm during a 1985 sailing trip through Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off British Columbia’s west coast. His Montréal Gazette obituary recalls Turner sharing a memory on his 77th birthday about being “out on the water” for 70 summers. Continue reading →

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