Re-Entries, Proof Material and Imperforates of the 1908 Quebec Tercentenary Issue
Today's post will address some of the more esoteric aspects of this issue: the re-entries, proofs and imperforate pairs that can be collected for this issue. All of this material is scarce and challenging, and will greatly enhance the experience you have in forming a specialized collection of this issue.
Ralph Trimble, the premier student of Canadian re-entries devotes a considerable amount of space on his website to this issue. Rather than copy what he has published, I will provide the link to his web-page and provide a brief summary of what he has found:
There are not a large number of re-entries to be found on this series, though for some values like the 5c dark blue, whose plate was not properly cleaned before being put to press, there are a large number of stray dots, guidelines and plate markings that can be found. However, these are not re-entries and Ralph has devoted a considerable amount of the coverage on this issue to an explanation of why the previously listed re-entry on the 5c was de-listed, as it was shown not to be a true re-entry.
The values that he provides illustrations for and coverage of are the 1/2c, 1c, 2c and 20c:
- The famous 1/2c major-re-entry in which there is a fine line through "Canada" and a stray curved line protruding from the bottom frameline.
- The minor re-entry of the 1/2c in which a fine horizontal line can be seen in the "EN" of "Cent".
- The major re-entry of the 1c. In this re-entry one can see traces of doubling in the right "1", the "90" of "1908" and "BEC" of "Quebec".
- A major misplaced entry of the 1c in which markings are seen in the "NA" of "Canada" and the "O" of "One".
- Another major re-entry of the 1c, in which a curved line appears in the oval above the "E" of "One".
- A third major re-entry of the 1c, in which doubling is seen both above and below the "E" of "One", near the oval to the right of Cartier's portrait, and the "AI" of "Air".
- One other major re-entry and misplaced entry for the 1c that are similar to those above.
- Re-entries of the 2c, which are not listed in Unitrade. Generally these involve protrusion of the diagonal shading lines of the value tablet into the white frame spaces and protrusion of the horizontal shading lines into the white space of the wedge shaped ornaments at the sides.
- The famous 20c major re-entry in which both "1908"and the entire right frameline are doubled. He also shows some minor-entries that are similar to the major, but not quite as strong and warns against purchasing these as the major re-entry.
All in all, re-entries on this series provide a nice little sideline, with a limited number of items so that you will not become overwhelmed as a collector in trying to obtain them all.
Like the last Edward VII issue, there are a lot of proofs that can be collected of this issue. They are all listed on the BNA proofs website whose link is shown below:
The website lists no fewer than 65 items . The values given for these proofs range from $700 for stamp sized proofs on India paper to $6,000 for handpainted essays and large die proofs. The items fall into four categories:
- Essays - 5 of the 1/2c; one combination essay of the 1c, 2c and 5c; an essay in black of the 2c with unfinished portraits; a handpainted essay of the 7c and the 10c in the issued colours; models of the central vignettes in grey for the 10c and 15c and finally, handpainted essays in orange and grey for the 15c and 20c. These are the most expensive items ranging in price between $1,000 and $6,000.
- Die proofs -these range from large hardened die proofs and large unhardened die proofs to stamp sized die proofs on India paper. These are generally printed in the issued colours and range in price between $700 and $5,000. The website lists 31 different die proofs which works out to be between 2 and 6 of each value.
- Progressive proofs - there are only four of these listed for the 2c, 7c and 20c. They are always printed in black and closely resemble the issued designs, being different only in a few incomplete details.
- Trial colour proofs - strangely, except for one proof of the 20c in sepia, all the listed trial colour proofs are black. There are 18 such proofs listed, being generally 2-3 of each value. In most cases there is a large size and a stamp size.
All of this material is rare, regardless of what the website says about value. In most cases these items are unique in that there is currently only one reported example of each item. There are a few items which have between 3 and 6 reported examples, but by and large you are going to find yourself waiting a long time and perusing a lot of auction catalogues if you hope to obtain a complete collection of this material.
All values exist in imperforate pairs. There were two distinct printings of these, each in a slightly different shade. One of the printings was on gummed paper, while the other one was on ungummed paper. The ungummed stamps are from the first printing and generally the shades are deeper. Unitrade values them all at $1,000 per pair, with an NH premium for the pairs that exist with gum.
This brings me near to the end of my coverage of this beautiful issue. My last post on this issue will look at some of the pitfalls associated with this set and collecting postal history of this issue.