The 1971 Emily Carr Issue of Canada

The Commemorative Issues of 1971 - Part One

This week, I begin a 2 part examination of the issues of 1971. 1971 is a significant year in Canadian stamp production for three reasons:

  1. This was the first year in which PVA gum was introduced. In fact, only four stamps, two of which were definitives, issued in 1971 had dextrine gum. All other stamps had PVA gum. On three of the issues: Emily Carr, Census and Radio Canada International, an experimental PVA gum that is streaky but at the same time has a satin sheen was utilized by the Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN). 
  2. Chalk surfaced paper continues to be used, this time by all of the printing companies except CBN on all issues. 
  3. There is a rate increase that takes effect in the second half of the year. This is the second rate increase to occur since 1968, after a 14 year period of no increases. 

This week, I will examine the first 6 commemorative issues, which comprise 9 stamps issued between February 12, and November 19. I have elected to deal with the Maple Leaves in Four Seasons issue in its entirety, even though the issue spans the full year, in the interests of keeping it together. Then, next week, I will deal with the last 4 issues. which comprise the final 7 stamps. 

The Stamp Designs, Designers, Issue Quantities, Issue Dates and Printers

The 1971 Emily Carr Issue of Canada

6c multicoloured

Big Raven, by Emily Carr

Issued: February 12, 1971

Issue quantity: 27,250,000

Printed by: Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) by lithography

Designed by: William Rueter

The 1971 Discovery of Insulin Issue of Canada

6c multicoloured

50th anniversary of the discovery of insulin issue

Issued: March 3, 1971

Issue quantity: 24,200,000 

Printed by: the British American Bank Note Company (BABN) using lithography

Designed by: Ray Webber

 

The 1971 Ernest Rutherford Issue of Canada

6c red, orange and black

Birth centenary of Ernest Rutherford issue

Issued: March 24, 1971

Issue quantity: 24,950,000

Printed by: the British American Bank Note Company (BABN) using lithography

Designed by: Ray Webber

 

The 1971 Maple Leaf in Spring Issue of Canada

6c multicoloured

The maple leaf in spring issue

Issued: April 14, 1971

Issue quantity: 27,280,000

Printed by: Ashton Potter using lithography

Designed by: Alma Duncan

 

The 1971 Maple Leaf in Summer Issue of Canada

6c multicoloured

The maple leaf in summer issue

Issued: June 16, 1971

Issue quantity: 26,440,000

Printed by: Ashton Potter using lithography

Designed by: Alma Duncan

 

The 1971 Maple Leaf in Autumn Issue of Canada

7c multicoloured

The maple leaf in autumn issue

Issued: September 3, 1971

Issue quantity: 26,550,000

Printed by: Ashton Potter using lithography

Designed by: Alma Duncan

 

The 1971 Maple Leaf In Winter Issue of Canada

7c multicoloured

The maple leaf in winter issue

Issued: November 19, 1971

Issue quantity: 26,000,000

Printed by: Ashton Potter using lithography

Designed by: Alma Duncan

 

The 1971 Death Centenary of L.J Papineau Issue of Canada

6c multicoloured

Death centenary of Louis Papineau

Issued: May 7, 1971

Issue quantity: 13,900,000

Printed by: the British American Bank Note Company (BABN) using photogravure and engraving

Designed by: Laurent Marquart

Engraved by: George Arthur Gundersen

 

The 1971 Samuel Hearne Issue of Canada

6c buff, red and brown

Bicentenary of Samuel Hearne's expedition to the Copper Mine River

Issued: May 7, 1971

Issue quantity: 14,300,000

Printed by: the British American Bank Note Company (BABN) using photogravure and engraving

Designed by: Laurent Marquart

Engraved by: Charles Gordon Yorke

Paper Characteristics Other Than Fluorescence

As was the case with the stamps of the past few years, the stamps of 1971 continue to show a wide variety of different papers used to print the stamps:

  1. A smooth, white horizontal wove paper that shows no distinct mesh pattern even when the stamps hare held up to a strong back light. The printing surface is smooth and has a light surface coating that is visible under magnification. This paper is found on most printings of the Emily Carr stamp. 
  2. A similar horizontal wove paper that shows very light vertical ribbing on the gum side, which is more visible as vertical mesh, when the stamps are held up to strong back lighting. The surface of the paper also has a light coating as (1) above. This paper is found on some printings of the Emily Carr stamp. 
  3. A thick, cream coloured horizontal wove paper that shows no distinct mesh pattern. When held up to strong back lighting, a faint vertical mesh is visible. This is difficult to see on the stamps, because of the design, but it is easy to see in the sheet selvage. The printing surface has a heavy chalk coating that show no pores under magnification. This paper is found on some printings of the insulin stamp. 
  4. A similar, whiter paper that also shows no distinct mesh, even when held up to strong back lighting. The printing surface has a heavy chalk coating that shows no pores under magnification. This paper is found on most printings of the insulin stamp. 
  5. A thick, cream vertical wove paper, that shows distinct horizontal ribbing on the back, which shows up as strong horizontal mesh, when the stamps are held up to strong back lighting. There is a thick chalk surfacing on the printed side of the paper that shows no pores under magnification. This paper is found on some printings of the Ernest Rutherford stamp. 
  6. A similar paper to #5 above, except that instead of being a light cream colour, the paper is a clear white colour. This paper also has the thick, chalk surface coating like #5. This is also found on some printings of the Ernest Rutherford stamp. 
  7. A medium, light cream coloured vertical wove paper that has a distinct horizontal mesh that shows through the back as light ribbing. The mesh is very distinct when the stamps are held up to strong back lighting. The printed side has a light surface coating of chalk, but it does not look, or feel chalky to the touch. This paper is found on the Maple Leaf in Four Seasons Issue, mainly on the 6c spring and summer stamps. However, I have found a few autumn stamps printed on this type of paper. 
  8. A medium, whiter coloured horizontal wove paper that shows no distinct mesh pattern, even when the stamps are held up to strong back lighting. The printing side has a light surface coating of chalk, as #7 above. This paper is found on some printings of the Maple Leaf in Four Seasons Issue, but is much scarcer than #7 above. I have found this type on some printings of the 6c spring, and most printings of the 7c autumn. Some of the 7c winter are also found on this paper. 
  9. A medium, light cream horizontal wove paper that shows no mesh until held up to a strong back light, when a fine horizontal mesh pattern can be seen in the paper. This paper also contains a thin, chalk coating on the surface. This paper type is found on the 7c winter stamp from the Maple Leaf in Four Seasons Issue. 
  10. A medium, white horizontal wove paper, with no clear mesh pattern, even when held up to a strong back light. The surface has an smooth chalk coating that shows no pores under magnification, nor any ribbing when viewed at an angle to the light source. This paper is found on some printings of the Papineau stamp. 
  11. A thinner, white horizontal wove paper, that is almost identical in all respects to #10 above, except that it is noticeably thinner and bends more easily. This paper is also found on some printings of the Papineau stamp. 
  12. A medium, white vertical wove paper that is identical to #10 in all respects, except that the weave direction is vertical, rather than horizontal. 

Paper Fluorescence

Most of the stamps from these issues are printed on variations of medium fluorescent, high fluorescent and hibrite papers. Only the Papineau and Samuel Hearne issues are on paper that is duller, being at most low fluorescent. However, each issue does exhibit variations within this, and because of the chalk surfacing found on many of the papers, the fluorescence on the front of the stamps is different from the fluorescence on the back.  

The Emily Carr Stamp

Here, the common paper is high fluorescent. There is a very slightly brighter version of this paper, but it is not really bright enough in my opinion to be classified as hibrite. Then, there is a less bright version, which I would call medium fluorescent. The pictures below show these differences:

High fluorescent paper on the 1971 Emily Carr stamp of Canada

Here is the high fluorescent paper. 

The medium and high fluorescent papers on the 1971 Emily Carr stamp of Canada

The block is on high fluorescent paper, while the single is on medium fluorescent paper. 

The Insulin Stamp

On this stamp Unitrade lists no varieties, which is curious, because this stamp is printed on the same kinds of paper as the Ernest Rutherford stamp, which is listed on two types of paper, being hibrite and fluorescent. On this stamp, three levels of fluorescence are found on the front of the stamp, and three on the back. Those three levels are: hibrite, high fluorescent and medium fluorescent. It would appear that all combinations of front and back fluorescence are possible, so that there are 9 different levels of front and back fluorescence possible:

  1. Hibrite front, hibrite back (HB/HB)
  2. Hibrite front, high fluorescent back (HB/HF)
  3. Hibrite front, medium fluorescent back (HB/MF)
  4. High fluorescent front, hibrite back (HF/HB)
  5. High fluorescent front, high fluorescent back (HF/HF)
  6. High fluorescent front, medium fluorescent back (HF/MF)
  7. Medium fluorescent front, hibrite back (MF/HB)
  8. Medium fluorescent front, high fluorescent back (MF/HF)
  9. Medium fluorescent front, medium fluorescent back (MF/MF)

I have seen most, but not all of these combinations. The pictures below show the basic differences between these levels of fluorescence as seen on the front and back of the stamps:

Hibrite paper on the 1971 Insulin stamp of Canada

This block shows the hibrite paper as seen from the front of the stamp. The colour is a clean white under UV. 

The high fluorescent and medium fluorescent paper on the 1971 Insulin stamp of Canada

 The block on the left is the high fluorescent paper, while the one on the right is medium fluorescent. The high fluorescent paper looks slightly greyish white under UV, while the medium fluorescent paper appears fully greyish. 

The hibrite, high fluorescent and medium fluorescent paper on the 1971 Insulin stamp of Canada

This picture shows the papers as seen from the back. The block at the front right is the hibrite paper, which is the brightest white under UV light. The block on the left is high fluorescent, while the block on the back right is the medium fluorescent paper.  

The Ernest Rutherford Stamp

This stamp exhibits the same range of fluorescence on the front as the insulin stamp. In addition, the medium fluorescence is found appearing both bluish grey and grey on the front under UV light. However, the paper from the back is slightly different from the insulin stamp in that the paper is either high fluorescent with very sparse hibrite flecks, ot medium fluorescent with sparse hibrite flecks. I am not certain of this, but I suspect that both types of paper on the back likely exist with all three levels of fluorescence on the front, though I have not seen all eight combinations. Unitrade calls the high fluorescent paper hibrite, but in fact the true hibrite is scarcer than the medium fluorescent, which Unitrade refers to as fluorescent. 

The pictures below show the basic levels of fluorescence on the front and the back of this stamp:
The hibrite and high fluorescent papers on the 1971 Ernest Rutherford stamp of Canada
In this picture you should be able to see a very clear difference between the true hibrite paper, which is shown in the top block, and the high fluorescent paper, which is the common paper, and is shown by the bottom block. 
Two varieties of medium fluorescent paper on the 1971 Ernest Rutherford Stamp of Canada
Here we see two varieties of the medium fluorescent paper. The bluish grey is shown at the top, while the grey is shown at the bottom. Both blocks appear slightly brighter in this picture than they actually do in reality. 
The high fluorescent and medium fluorescent paper on the 1971 Ernest Rutherford stamp of Canada, from the back 

 In the above picture, the high fluorescent paper with hibrite flecks is shown by the top block, while the medium fluorescent paper is shown by the bottom block. 

The Maple Leaf in Four Seasons Stamps

Like the Insulin and Rutherford stamps, this issue displays a similar variation in fluorescence on both the front, and the back of the paper. Hibrite, high fluorescent and medium fluorescent, while the back shows either as hibrite, high fluorescent with very sparse high fluorescent fibres, or as medium fluorescent with very sparse high fluorescent fibres. The medium fluorescent paper on the back is also found without the high fluorescent fibres, so there are four different fluorescence levels from the back that I have seen so far. This makes for a total of 9 possible front and back fluorescence combinations. 

The pictures below show the basic differences as they appear on this issue:

The hibrite and high fluorescent papers on the 1971 6c Maple Leaf in Spring stamp of Canada

The block on the left is the true hibrite paper, while the one on the right is the high fluorescent paper. 

The hibrite and medium fluorescent paper on the 1971 6c Maple Leaf in Spring stamp of Canada

 The block on the left, once again is the hibrite paper, while the one on the right is the medium fluorescent paper. Notice how strongly the vertical wove paper curls in the vertical direction on these stamps. 

High fluorescent and medium fluorescent paper on the 1971 Maple Leaf in spring stamp of Canada

The medium fluorescent paper is shown on the left, while the high fluorescent paper, with sparse high fluorescent fibres is shown on the right. 

Hibrite and high fluorescent paper on the 1971 7c Maple Leaf in Autumn stamp of Canada

The block on the left is on true hibrite paper, while the one on the right is high fluorescent. Notice how this set of two pictures does not appear that much different from one another, and yet the grades of fluorescence are different overall. I only show the varieties in general for this issue, as all four values can be found with all possible combinations of front and back fluorescence. 

The Papineau Stamp

Unitrade lists two basic varieties of fluorescence on this stamp. The first is a completely dull paper that is dull on both sides, while the other is listed as fluorescent on the front, and medium fluorescent on the back. In actual fact, the difference on the front is solely due to the chalk coating which dulls the fluorescence coming through from the back on the medium fluorescent paper. The fluorescence comes from the fluorescent fibres in the paper, the basic fluorescence being dull. A careful look at this stamp reveals that there are, in fact several varieties of each basic paper that differ according to the brightness and concentration of fluorescent fibres found in the paper. 

The pictures below show the two basic levels of fluorescence, as seen from both the front and the back:

The fluorescent and dull papers on the 1971 Papineau stamp of Canada as seen from the front

The so called fluorescent paper is shown on the left, while the dull paper is shown on the right. 

The medium fluorescent and dull papers on the 1971 Papineau stamp as seen from the back

The medium fluorescent paper is shown on the left, and the dull paper is shown on the right. 

I have found six varieties of paper, being three of each basic type:

  • Low fluorescent bluish white paper with a medium density concentration of low fluorescent fibres, a low density concentration of medium fluorescent fibres, a few high fluorescent fibres and a very sparse concentration of brownish woodpulp fibres. 
  • Low fluorescent bluish white paper with a medium density concentration of low fluorescent fibres, a sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres and a very sparse concentration of brownish woodpulp fibres.
  • Low fluorescent bluish white paper with a medium density concentration of low fluorescent fibres, very few medium fluorescent fibres and a very sparse concentration of brownish woodpulp fibres. 
  • Dull fluorescent bluish grey paper with a sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres, a very sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres and a sparse concentration of brownish woodpulp fibres. 
  • Dull fluorescent bluish grey paper with a low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres, a very sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres, very few medium fluorescent fibres and a very sparse concentration of brownish woodpulp fibres. 
  • Dull fluorescent bluish grey paper with a sparse concentration of low and medium fluorescent fibres, and a very sparse concentration of brownish woodpulp fibres. 

So, in actual fact, none of the papers are completely dull. They only appear so when compared to the papers with higher levels of fluorescence. 

The Samuel Hearne Stamp

This issue is generally known to exist on dull fluorescent paper only. I have found a very slight variation in which the paper appears very low fluorescent. Upon closer examination, the paper does contain fluorescent fibres, of different brightness levels and concentrations. The differences are shown (albeit not well) in the pictures below:

Two varieties of dull fluorescent paper on the 1971 Samuel Hearne stamp of Canada

Here you can see that the general appearance of the dull fluorescent paper on this stamp is: a greyish colour. In actual fact, the block beneath is a dull fluorescent greyish white colour, while the block above it is a pure grey colour under UV. 

Two varieties of dull fluorescent paper on the 1971 Samuel Hearne stamp of Canada as seen from the back

Here you can see a very slight difference between the two blocks as seen from the back. The top block is a dull fluorescent ivory colour, while the larger block is a dull fluorescent greyish white. Upon closer examination, the smaller block contains a low density concentration of dull fluorescent fibres, a sparse concentration of low fluorescent fibres, and a very sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres. These fibres are not present in enough concentration or bright enough to change the overall perceived fluorescence level from dull to low fluorescent. The larger block contains low density concentrations of dull and low fluorescent fibres, and a sparse concentration of medium fluorescent fibres. These fibres are almost enough to change the perceived fluorescence level from dull to low fluorescent, but not quite. 

Shade Varieties

Although there are fewer shade varieties on the stamps of these issues, there are still a few that although unlisted in Unitrade, are worth noting here:

Emily Carr Stamp

On this stamp the main variation lies in how prominent the pink colouring that is normally found in the mountains and the sky is. On one variety, the pink is mostly confined to the mountain, and while visible in the sky, is understated. The raven itself on this variety is a district slate colour that lacks any purple tone. On another variety, the raven has a distinct purplish tone to the slate, and the pink colour in the sky is noticeably more prominent. 

The scan below shows this difference: 

Two shades on the 1971 Emily Carr stamp of Canada

The first variety is shown on the left, while the second, showing more pink is shown on the right. 

The Insulin Stamp

On this stamp, the main difference lies in the appearance of the brown background, namely in how much red is present in the brown. On one variety, the brown contains very little red, appearing to be a deep brown. On the other variety, the brown contains a distinct reddish undertone. The scan below shows both of these varieties:

Shades on the 1971 Insulin stamp

The reddish brown shade is shown on the top stamp, while the deeper brown is on the pair that lies underneath. 

The Maple Leaf in Autumn Stamp

On this stamp I have found variation in the colour of the centre leaf. On some examples the leaf contains more red and on others the red contains way more orange. The picture below shows the difference between these two shades:

Two shades of red on the 1971 7c Maple Leaf in Autumn stamp of Canada

 Notice how much deeper the red of the left leaf is compared to the one on the right. 

The Maple Leaf in Winter Stamp

On this stamp the colour of the snow usually contains a hint of grey, caused by a light screening of grey dots across the background of the stamp. On some stamps, these dots are quite light, resulting in the snow appearing whiter, as shown in the scan below:

Two shades of grey on the 1971 Maple Leaf in Winter stamp of Canada

Notice how the grey of the snow is clearly deeper on the left stamp, compared to the one on the right. 

The Papineau Stamp

On this stamp, I have seen variation in the red of the Canada inscription and the dull green of the laurel above Papineau's head, as shown on the two stamps below:

Two shades of the 1971 Papineau stamp of Canada

If you compare the two stamps, you can see that the red of the right stamp is slightly darker than the red of the left stamp, as is the dull green. 

The Samuel Hearne Stamp

On this stamp I have seen distinct variation in the red inscriptions. On some stamps the inscriptions are a bright carmine red, while on others they are a deep carmine that is almost crimson. The scan below shows the difference between these two shades:

Two shades on the 1971 Samuel Hearne Stamp of Canada

The brighter carmine red is shown at the top and the deeper carmine at the bottom. 

Gum Varieties

This is the first period in which all the issued stamps have PVA gum. That being said, there are a number of different types of PVA gum found on these stamps:

  1. A streaky light cream gum that has a satin sheen. The streaky appearance comes from a regular pattern of blemishes in the gum that are spaced about 1 mm apart in the vertical direction. This gum is found on the Emily Carr stamp. 
  2. A smooth, cream gum that has an eggshell sheen. This gum is found on the insulin stamp, the Ernest Rutherford stamp and the Maple Leaf in Four Seasons stamps.
  3. A smooth, creamy white gum that has an eggshell sheen. This gum is found on some printings of the Papineau stamp. 
  4. A smooth, creamy white gum that has a satin sheen. This gum is found on most printings of the Papineau stamp or the Samuel Hearne stamp. 
  5. A smooth, invisible gum with a completely matte sheen. I discovered this gum on a large block of Papineau stamps. At first I thought the stamps had no gum, but then I moistened a strip of sheet selvage and stuck it to an envelope and found that it adhered fully. So, it would appear that this is an experimental gum that was never brought into widespread use. 

Perforations

For these issues, there are no fewer than four different basic perforations used by the three companies that were involved in printing the stamps:

  • Line 11.85, 11.95, 11.85 x 11.95 and 11.95 x 11.85, used by the CBN on the Emily Carr issue. 
  • Line 10.9, used by the BABN on the Insulin and Rutherford issues.
  • Comb 10.8 x 11, used by Ashton Potter on the Maple Leaf in Four Seasons issue. 
  • Comb 12.5 x 12 and 12 x 12.5, used by the BABN on the Papineau and Samuel Hearne Issues. 

Apart from the measurement, some of the issues show variations in the configuration of the perforation with regard to the selvage of the sheet. For example, most issues exist with the selvage perforated through in both directions. However, on the Maple Leaf in Four Seasons issue, some sheets can be found with upper selvage perforated through, while others can be found with the upper selvage imperforate. The scan below shows both types on the 6c spring:

Different perforations on the 1971 6c Maple Leaf in Spring stamp of Canada

The Emily Carr, Insulin and Ernest Rutherford stamps have selvage that is fully perforated through on all sides of the sheets. The Papineau and Samuel Hearne stamps have selvage that is fully perforated through on the top and bottom of the sheet. On the sides, the horizontal perforations extend one single hole past the outer vertical perforations. This is called partially perforated selvage with a single extension hole. 

Constant Varieties and Double Prints

There are a fair number of listed constant varieties on these few issues, none of which were listed by Unitrade only a few short years ago. 

The listed constant varieties are as follows:

  1. The "Seven Sisters" variety occurs on position 39 of panes of the Emily Carr issue. It consists of a cluster of small fine dots in the clouds behind the neck of the raven. These dots are darker than the dots normally found behind the neck. 
  2. The "blue throat" variety occurs on position 36 of panes of the Emily Carr issue. It consists of a blue spot under the throat of the raven. 
  3. The "hook on 6" variety occurs on position 15 of panes of the Maple Leaf in Spring stamp. It consists of a small hook-like mark on the upper end of the "6". 
  4. The "green frog on leaf" variety occurs on all stamps from column 5 of panes of the Maple Leaf in Spring stamp. It consists of a small green line across the blade of grass that is closest to the word "spring". Interestingly the name of the variety is a bit of a misnomer because the line is not on a leaf, but rather a blade of grass. 
  5. The "snow bug" variety occurs on position 49 of panes of the Maple Leaf in Winter stamp. It consists of a small bug-like flaw in the snow at the base of the lower maple leaf, just to the left of the stem. 
  6. The "scratch beside south spoke" occurs on at least three positions of panes of the Samuel Hearne issue. The variety consists of a fine line just to the right of the south spoke of the compass. The length of this line varies from short, which extends less than half way up the spoke, to medium, which extends to just past the half way mark, to long, which extends 3/4 of the way up th spoke. The short line occurs on position 41, the long line occurs on position 1 and the medium line occurs on a position yet to be determined. 

I do not have an example of the seven sisters variety unfortunately to show you here. I will however, be sure to include an example when one becomes available. The scans below show the "blue throat":

The normal throat on the 1971 Emily Carr stamp

Here is the normal throat. The blue colour of the sky underneath the beak is even. 

The blue throat on the 1971 Emily Carr stamp of Canada

Here is the blue throat. If you look in the blue of the sky below the beak you can just see a semi-circular line in the blue, enclosing a slightly deeper and brighter blue patch of colour. 

In addition to the listed varieties on this stamp, I have also found a "blue line on the raven's back", which results from mis-registration of the colours:

The normal back of the raven from the 1971 Emily Carr stamp of Canada

Here is the normal backed raven. Notice how clean the line of the back of the raven is. 

The blue line on the back of the raven on the 1971 Emily Carr stamp of Canada

Here is the blue line on the back of the raven. As you can see, it is quite a prominent variety - much more so than the two that are listed in Unitrade. 

The next two scans show the hooked 6 and the green frog on leaf varieties:

Hooked 6 variety on the 1971 Maple Leaf in Spring stamp of Canada

Here is the hooked 6. 

Green frog on leaf variety from the 1971 Maple Leaf in Spring stamp of Canada

The green frog is the green dot that appears toward the bottom of the second blade of grass from the left in the foreground. 

The next scan shows the Snow Bug variety on one stamp, next to a normal stamp in the same sheet:

The snow bug variety on the 1971 Maple Leaf in Winter stamp of Canada

The variety can be seen on the left leaf, if you look directly above the inner end of the stem. You will see two small black arc-like markings that do not appear on the right leaf, which is the normal leaf. These two markings are known to collectors as the "Snow Bug" variety. 

The "scratch beside the south spoke" varieties are all very difficult to show in a scan, due to the close proximity that the scratch has to the spoke. However, I will attempt to illustrate them here. In addition, I have found one unlisted variety which has the scratch, bit for which the middle left spoke is broken, and another variety in which there is a scratch inside the south spoke. I don't illustrate the last one here, as I know it will not show up, even in a 1200dpi scan.

 

The long scratch beside the South Spoke variety on the 1971 Samuel Hearne stamp of Canada

This is the long scratch from position 1. If you look closely the right side of the spoke appears doubled, to about half way up, and then it becomes a clean, solid line. The doubling of course, is the scratch. 

Short scratch beside south spoke variety on the 1971 Samuel Hearne stamp of Canada

Here is the short scratch. Here, the doubling goes about one quarter of the way up the spoke. This comes from position 41 in the sheet. 

The medium scratch beside south spoke on the 1971 Samuel Hearne stamp of Canada

Here is the medium scratch, plus the broken west spoke. Here, the doubling on the south spoke ends just under half way up the spoke. This also comes from position 1. 

Both the Samuel Hearne and Papineau issues are found with doubling of the red inscriptions, called "Ghost Prints". The strength of this doubling varies widely from weak kiss prints showing just a shadow of doubling, to strong double prints that show a distinct, second impression. 

The scan below shows a very weak example of a kiss print on the Papineau stamp:

A kiss print on the 1971 Papineau stamp of Canada

 The kiss print is shown on the left. If you look carefully you can see a shadow on the outside of the "a's". But what is most noticeable is that the left inscriptions look fuzzy compared to the sharp and clear inscriptions on the right. This is not the priced ghost print in Unitrade - that must show much stronger doubling than this. I don't have an example of that to show here. But I will add one, when one becomes available. 

The scan below shows a stronger kiss print on the Samuel Hearne stamp:

The ghost print on the 1971 Samuel Hearne stamp of Canada

Again, I doubt this is strong enough to be an example of the Unitrade listed ghost print, but is rather one of the weaker kiss prints. Still, it is quite noticeable compared to the normal inscription shown below:

The normal inscription on the 1971 Samuel Hearne Stamp of Canada

Notice how much clearer the normal inscription is. 

Errors and Imperforates

This is the first period in several years to feature five major errors, which are all listed in Unitrade. Two of these are colour omitted errors, one is a double paper and two are imperforate errors:

  1. The "Missing Atom" variety on the Ernest Rutherford Issue, where the stamp is missing the black colour. 
  2. The imperforate pair of the 6c Maple Leaf in Spring issue. 
  3. The "missing grey" on the 7c Maple Leaf in Autumn issue. 
  4. The double paper error on the 7c Maple Leaf in Winter issue. 

I have not been able to find images of the first and last of these, but I have been able to find images of the second and third:

The imperforate pair of the 1971 6c Maple Leaf in Spring Issue

The imperforate pair of the 6c Maple Leaf in Spring Issue

The missing grey on the 1971 7c Maple Leaf in Autumn stamp of Canada

The missing grey on the 7c Maple Leaf in Autumn

 

Plate Blocks

Corner block of the 1971 Insulin stamp issued by Canada

This is the first period for which the corner blocks bear no plate numbers at all. All of the blocks for these issues bear only the inscription of the printer and usually the designer. In addition, field stock corner blocks exist as well for all issues. As was seen on the Maple Leaf in Four Seasons issue, these field stock blocks can be found with different selvage widths as well. Some blocks which had both sides fully trimmed can be found with narrow selvage on both sides, while others can be found with narrow selvage at the top or bottom and wide selvage on the sides. 

This it would seem that most issues can be collected in:

  • A complete matched inscription block set.
  • A complete set of narrow selvage field stock blocks.
  • A set of narrow and wide selvage field stock blocks. 

So, this would mean that every variety can be collected in up to 12 different blocks. 

First Day Covers

Official first day cover of the 1971 Maple Leaf in Spring stamp of Canada

Starting with the above issue in 1971, Canada post began producing and selling first day covers. These generally only had one single cachet design, and one official Ottawa cancellation. However, generally Canada post issued several different configurations of stamps on each cover, which would usually include:

  • A single for each value.
  • A combination cover showing all values (though not for this issue)
  • A block of 4 without selvage
  • A plate block of each position. 

So, for most issues there are at least 6 different official first day covers. Then the envelope stock itself can show collectible variations. These can be in the paper stock, as well as its fluorescence. For example, on the above issue, many of the envelopes can be found with the papermaker's watermark. In fact, if you look closely at the above scan you can see the watermark reading diagonally across the envelope. 

Of course, the private cachet makers continued to produce covers as well. Art Craft and Rose Craft continue to be seen quite frequently, but also Cole and Kingswood to name a few. These are generally worth a premium over the Unitrade prices because they are much less common in this period than they were before. The scan below shows a Cole first day cover of the Discovery of Insulin issue:

Cole first day cover of the 1971 Insulin Issue of Canada

Postal History and Cancellations 

Among these issues there are no high value stamps. All of the stamps were issued to pay the basic, first class letter rate within Canada. So, used examples and covers with single usages are not uncommon at all. However, given that the foreign airmail rate was 15c to Europe and 25c to other continents, and the fact that the denominations are 6c and 7c, it is possible to find the higher rates made up using two or more of the commemorative stamps. The most desirable and challenging covers will be those that use more than one issue, within the correct time period. 

The cover below shows an airmail cover to Germany, for which the postage has been paid using a block of 6 Emily Carr stamps:

Airmail cover to Germany from 1971, franked with a block of 4 Emily Carr stamps

The postage on this letter, which was mailed on April 1, 1971 is 24 cents. The airmail rate to Germany at this time was 15 cents per half ounce. So, if it is truly an airmail cover, as the envelope suggests, then either:

  • It is a double weight letter that is shortpaid by 6 cents, or
  • It is a single weight cover that is overpaid by 9 cents.

Both of these scenarios are unlikely. So I did some further research and found that the UPU surface letter rate to Germany on April 1, 1971 was 12 cents per half ounce. So, what this actually is, is a full one ounce letter that was sent surface mail. It says airmail at the bottom because a pre-printed airmail envelope was used, but it was not sent this way. 

It is an interesting cover, I think. These covers can be quite fun to collect because they are not that common. People generally did not save modern covers like this regrettably. So, it can be quite a fun challenge to assemble a collection of different covers showing all the postage rates. 

This concludes my examination of these first issues from 1971. Next week I will cover the last five issues, and then it will be on to 1972. 

 

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Comments

Dennis Jamieson - 6, 2018

Again learned a lot about these stamps from 1971. Will have to try and find some time to check out mine. Need to get a UV light. Have to get to see the Watermarks off my Law stamps. A big job ahead.

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