Philately is a destination

I’m a big fan of collecting, but not a big fan of structure. For instance, when I look at stamp exhibits I’m more interested in the story than the details of the exhibit. I have to remind myself that judges look at more than just a good read, but have to take so much more into consideration. From the perspective of exhibiting that makes a lot of sense. It is a scored event that moves from the local to the international levels, so consistency among judges is the only way a serious exhibitor can move ahead. Continue reading →

A virtual Canadian philatelic club?

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years over the future of philatelic clubs, societies and associations. We have seen some clubs fold, others near the brink of extinction due to a lack of volunteers, and then there are clubs that are very active. A recent survey by Canadian Stamp News certainly suggests there is opportunity for growth. We asked, “Do you belong to a stamp club in Canada?” Of the 67 per cent of respondents who answered the question, a total of 122 (40 per cent) said yes. The remaining 183 (60 per cent) said no. Wow, what a surprise. Think about it…almost two-thirds of the collectors who responded are not members of a stamp club. Continue reading →

‘Let’s Talk Exhibiting’ columns now available to all philatelists

David Piercy’s popular columns on exhibiting are now available on the RPSC’s website, www.rpsc.org.

Philatelic exhibitors and anyone thinking about becoming involved in the fascinating world of exhibiting now have full access to a treasure of helpful columns written by well-known philatelist, exhibitor and judge David Piercy. Thanks to the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC), a series of columns written by Piercy is now available for free on the society’s website. The columns, which were only available exclusively to RPSC members through The Canadian Philatelist, are written under the header, “Let’s Talk Exhibiting.” “Personally, I believe the columns will be of great assistance to exhibitors, experienced or not, looking to better their exhibits,” says the RPSC’s executive manager, Robert Timberg. “Our hope is that they will also show collectors who have never exhibited that preparing an exhibit is not complicated, and can be a lot of fun to boot.” Continue reading →

Revived show will bring collectors – of all stripes – together

The show will go on! I am referring to the National Postage Stamp Show, formerly run by the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association (CSDA). However, we are expanding it to include coins, paper money and other exonumia materials. First, I want to deliver a loud shout-out to Rick Day, president of the CSDA and its executive director, John Sheffield, for their great help and support in making the transition. Secondly, another loud shout out to the Canadian stamp dealers who have been very supportive of our efforts to make sure the show continues. We had sent out a survey shortly after we announced Trajan Media was acquiring the show assets from the CSDA. Almost two-thirds of the dealers responded with positive feedback and suggestions on how to improve the show so we can turn it into a profitable and rewarding experience for the show organizers, the dealers and the public. This is a partnership that can benefit all of us. Continue reading →

Brigham’s ‘outstanding material’ now in hands of new owners

The Brigham sale had three offerings of the 1959 St. Lawrence Seaway inverted error. Lot 310 featured a rarely-seen used example, off cover with a wavy line cancel. It had a catalogue value of $10,000 and sold for $9,500.

Edward VII items proved popular in the seventh sale of the famed Brigham collection, held Jan. 16 at the Brampton Golf Club in Brampton, Ont. According to Charles Verge, chief executive officer of Brigham Auctions, the sale followed what has become a regular pattern. “It had a small floor and lots of bidders over the internet,” he said. “That has become the norm.” As with other sales in the series, the Edward VII portion included a staggering selection of proofs and essays, as well as representative of various plates. Varieties and postal history are always popular, Verge said, but some ways of collecting have changed over the years that the collection was assembled. Continue reading →

The hobby is evolving

or years, I have maintained that stamp collecting isn't about to die out, but it is evolving. It is easy to complain that young people are no longer collecting stamps, but I don't think that young collectors have ever played much of a role in the financial health of the hobby. Young collectors usually have limited financial means and even years ago, rarely bought high-end stamps. Continue reading →

Riel Rebellions rarities, postal history dominate Eastern’s February sale

While several earlier Canadian flights carried mail, the 1918 flight from Montreal to Toronto was the first officially sanctioned to carry mail. This rather routine-looking cover is given some flash with the addition of two special triangular cancels.

Western Canadian postal history will dominate Eastern Auctions’ Feb. 19 sale, as well as several interesting Canadian and world lots. According to Eastern’s Yohann Tanquay, the western postal history includes a fair number of unusual and scarce items, including an essay for a stamp issue from the Riel era. The collections are from the estate of Dr. Don Thompson, which includes rarities from the first and second Riel Rebellions, many of them part of his award-winning exhibit. The red stamp, showing a head of liberty with the words “Republique Canadienne / Canadian Republic,” was printed in red without a denomination. It is believed to date from the first rebellion of 1869. There are two examples, one on watermarked paper, with an estimate of $1,000, and one on un-watermarked wove paper with an estimate of $750. Continue reading →

Hobby in need of more helping hands

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” That familiar quote is from America’s beloved funny lady, Lucille Ball. It’s an adage we know is so true. We have all experienced it. The people we lean on the most are individuals who already have a lot on their plates and have difficulty saying no when it comes to helping others and the causes they are passionate about. Continue reading →

New stamps honour Queen, monkey and UNESCO sites

Within the first two weeks of 2016, Canada Post released stamps honouring, from top left, Year of the Monkey, Queen Elizabeth and the new Canadian UNESCO heritage sites, including Old Town Lunenburg, N.S.

Canada Post is off to a busy start in 2016 with the launch of stamps celebrating the Year of the Monkey, five definitive stamps featuring Canadian UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a new black and white stamp of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth taken by a legendary fashion photographer. Continue reading →

Mail’s decline keenly felt at Christmastime

I come from a large family with my siblings living across Ontario and Alberta. Each year, my “out-west” sister-in-law faithfully sends a Christmas card to my wife and I, accompanied with a photo and a one-page, one-sided letter featuring that year’s “family highlights.” Not this year, however. Instead, I received by email a really cool Christmas card video. The video starts in a nice, rustic living room decked out in Christmas decorations with a jolly, live Santa Claus poking the fire, before he takes a seat in his comfy chair and reaches for a newspaper, called the Walsh Family Herald. Continue reading →

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