Canada #405xx 5c Bright Violet Blue Queen Elizabeth II, 1962-1967 Cameo Issue, UL, LL and LR VFNH Field Stock Precancel Corner Blocks With Wide Selvedge

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Upper left, lower right and lower left very fine NH (VF-75 to VF-84) field stock corner blocks of 4 of the untagged 5c bright violet blue precancelled stamp of the 1962-1967 Cameo Issue, which may include unlisted paper, shade and perfs, as discussed below. As explained in the blog articles here, here, here and here, these stamps can be found with a variety of paper, shade, tagging and gum varieties, some of which are listed in Unitrade, but most of which are not listed. These articles will explain what these varieties are and how you can identify them. 

The stamps were printed in plates of 600 stamps, divided into 6 panes of 100. In accordance with new directives established at the end of 1958, a portion of the panes were left with the plate inscriptions intact, and these were sent to the philatelic bureau. All other panes were trimmed to remove the inscriptions and were distributed to post offices. This is known as field stock. From the appearance of the cutting guidelines on the blocks, and the selvedge widths, it would appear that the panes are arranged in a 2 x 3 configuration, so that:

  • Upper and lower panes have wide selvedge at the top and bottom.
  • Middle panes have narrow selvage at the top and bottom.
  • Left panes will have wide selvedge at the left side, and narrow on the right side.
  • Right panes will have narrow selvedge on the left side and wide selvedge on the right side. 

This lot includes:

  • UL with wide selvedge at the top and bottom, printed on smooth paper, with smooth gum. This comes from the UL pane.
  • LR with wide selvedge at the right and bottom, printed on smooth paper, with streaky gum. This comes from the Lower right pane.
  • LL with side selvedge at the left and bottom, printed on smooth paper, with streaky gum. This comes from the lower left pane. 

I have not checked these blocks specifically for the perfs, but the notes below will prove helpful. 

In terms of paper, Unitrade only lists the untagged stamps on DF paper, except for some printings of the 4c, which are listed as existing on fluorescent paper.  There are at least two types of DF paper that can be found, as well as NF papers. This lot may include some of both types that have not been specifically identified, but which will generally be 1 of 2 types of the DF paper as follows: 

  1. A vertical wove paper that shows no clear mesh. 
  2. A vertical wove paper that shows clear horizontal mesh when viewed from the back (sometimes referred to as "ribbed")

Also, in most instances, the paper is opaque, showing only a faint image of the design through the back. However, some stamps are found with more of the design visible on the back.

In terms of gum, there are generally three types, two of which are present in this group:

  1. A smooth, cream coloured gum that has a semi-gloss sheen.
  2. A streaky, cream coloured gum that has a semi-gloss sheen. 
  3. A grainy cream coloured textured gum with a satin sheen. This is not present in this lot, but has been seen to exist on the 4c value. 

In terms of shades, there are subtle variations on the 1c, 2c and 4c, and the 3c and 5c values show clear variations.

The perforations also vary due to the fact that CBN used up to four different machines to perforate sheets during this period. The old machines gauging 12 and 11.9 were used to perforate most of the original printings, and then the newer machines were used for the later printings. One of these new machines gauges 11.95, while the other one introduced sometime in 1961 gauges 11.85. Compounds can also be found of both these gauges, so that all sheet stamps can be found with many different perforation measurements that at least include: 11.95 x 11.9, 11.95 x 11.85, 11.9 x 11.95, 11.9, 11.95, 11.85 x 11.95, 11.85 x 11.9, 12 x 11.9, 11.9 x 12 and 11.85 x 12. I did not measure the perfs of these blocks specifically, and the most common perf. appears to be 11.9, but they could be any of the measurements given above. 

Unitrade does not list field stock blocks, but counting them as 4 singles each would give a catalogue value of $6. A wonderful opportunity to get started on a more specialized collection of the corner blocks of this issue. 

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