Proof Material and Errors of the Wilding Issue 1954-1967

Proof Material and Errors of the Wilding Issue 1954-1967

Today's post on this fascinating definitive issue will look at some of the error material that can be found, as well as the proof material.

Errors, Freaks and Oddities

A good number of the errors that are found on this issue are foldover errors that arise when the paper becomes accidentally folded in the wrong place during printing. This results in void areas in the stamps when the paper is unfolded as shown below:

Because of the random nature of these errors, the Unitrade catalogue generally does not list them. However, there are two gutter pairs that exist for this issue that are thought to have resulted from such an error, and are listed. They are:

  • The 4c violet. Unitrade does not state whether this is the horizontal or vertical ribbed paper.
  • The 5c blue on vertical ribbed paper.
I would guess that the 4c violet gutter pair is on vertical ribbed paper, as the above foldover pair and the 5c gutter pair are all on vertical ribbed paper. Both of these are extremely rare and worth well in excess of $5,000 each. So you will wait a lifetime to acquire both these pieces. 
In addition to the above gutter pairs, there are some partially imperforate varieties known as follows:
  • 3c Carmine rose - horizontal pair, imperforate vertically - 50 known, all mint. and one LR plate block from plate 2.
  • 5c blue - horizontal pair, imperforate vertically - only 5 known pairs. 
  • 5c blue -  imperforate at left margin - 1 known LL plate block from plate 11 and one margin block of 6 known.
  • 15c grey - imperforate  at left margin - 5 blocks recorded. 
Again, all of these are very expensive. The minimum catalogue value of $900 is for a single of the 5c imperforate at left margin without gum. The others are all worth around $3,000 each. There are no imperforate pairs of any of the stamps known. 
In addition to foldover errors examples of the stamps in this issue can be found with dramatically shifted perforations. Usually these sell for between $30-$150 each depending on how dramatic the shift is. Again, because of the random nature of this type of variety, none of them are listed in Unitrade. 
Proof Material
                                 Tinplate Proof of the 5c Queen Elizabeth stamp of the 1954-1962 Wilding Issue
The BNA Proofs website does not list a lot of proofs for this issue. Apart from the above tinplate proof of the 5c blue, printed in black, which is unique, and upon which they place a value of $2,500, the only other proofs they list are of the 15c Gannet stamp (all printed in black):
  • 2 large progressive unhardened proofs on card
  • 2 large progressive hardened proofs on card
  • 2 small progressive proofs on white paper
  • Photographic progressive proof on glossy paper
However, there must be much more proof material in existence than just this surely. At an absolute minimum, there should exist at least finished die proofs on card of all values in their issued colours, because that is the process by which stamps were printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company. That of course assumes that the CBN used all the proposed issue colours and did not go through several trial colours before deciding which colours to use. That would be highly unusual. So there should also be some trial colour proofs in existence. Finally, because this stamp design was based on a photograph, there should also be some photographic proof material in existence. 
Indeed there is. My online research turned up quite a few that are shown on the Postal History Corner Website. I don't want to plagarize this site by reproducing every image that he has on his site, but I will provide the link and a summary of what he lists:
He illustrates the following items
6c Orange:
  • Large die proof on card in brown.
  • Small die proof on card in orange.
  • Large die proof on card in orange.
  • Imperforate plate 1 LL strip of 30 in orange.
15c Grey:
  • Large essay of the approved design in what appears to be pencil.
  • Large proof on card with a smaller proof below and approval signatures. 
20c Green:
  • A black essay similar to the 1952 design, but showing the construction industry.
  • A three ring essay design in black showing a printing press, a book and typeface.
  • A finished essay on card of the approved design.
25c Scarlet vermilion:
  • Essay on card in black, similar to approved design, but with the motifs shown inside the flask, instead of outside, and the value in sign instead of words.
  • A larger version of the same essay on card. 
  • A photographic essay in black on card of the approve design. 
Based on what I found in my search, there must be a fairly wide range of essays, trial colour proofs and die proofs of this issue. The real question is how much of this material is available to private collectors, versus how much of it is kept in the national archives? Of course, just because the majority of them are public property now, does not mean they will be forever.
That concludes my discussion of all the stamps connected with this issue. My next post will look at the possibilities that exist with the postal stationery, first day covers and postal history of the stamps of this issue. I am quite far behind in my listings of this issue on e-bay and need some time to catch up before I start writing about the Cameo Issue. So I will probably do some general posts about collecting modern versus classic stamps and a post about paper fluorescence, in order to try and clarify some of the technical terms that are contained in my posts. 
Previous article The 2c Pacific Coast Totem Pole Stamp of the 1967-73 Centennial Issue Part Two

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