Lot #172 Canada #455ii 2c Bright Green, Pacific Coast Totem Pole, 1967-1973 Centennial Issue, Two VFNH UL Plate 2 Blocks on Two Different LF-fl Papers, PVA Gum, Showing Blinky Flaw at 1/1 and 1/2

SKU Lot-172-August-11-2021

Two VFNH upper left plate 2 corner blocks of the 2c Pacific Coast Totem Pole from the 1967-1973 Centennial issue, printed in the bright green shade. Printed on two different LF-fl smooth papers. The first type gives a DF blue grey glow under UV, which is made brighter with the addition of very sparse concentrations of LF and MF fibres, and very few HF fibres. The second type gives a LF bluish white glow under UV and contains a sparse concentration of LF fibres and very sparse concentrations of MF fibres and brownish woodpulp flecks. Satin PVA gum. These blocks are from the upper left pane and shows the blinky flaws at 1/1 and 1/2.

The blinky flaws, or "totem pole eyes" as they have come to be known to collectors are a series of constant flaws that occur on the four eyes of the totem pole of the design. Normally the eyes appear as solid circles of color within larger circles. The flaws generally consist of either crescents or arcs of colour in place of one or more eyes, or they can involve one of more of the four eyes completely or partially missing. In all there are 33 different flaws that have been identified by specialists, that are distributed across the 12 panes produced by plates 1 and 2. Some panes, such as the upper left and left centre from plate 1, and the right centre and lower left panes from plate 2 have no flaws at all, while most others have between 1 and 6 in the entire pane. The panes with the most flaws come from plate 2, and are the upper left pane and the lower right pane. In all 37 flaws occur in the entire print run of 1,200 stamps, so they are not as common as might first be assumed, making up no more than just over 3% of the entire printing. They occur on both tagged and untagged panes, as well as the panes with dextrine and PVA gums.

    Although Unitrade and Harris list LF-fl paper, in reality there are several variations which differ according to the basic colour under UV light and the concentrations of LF, MF and HF fibres embedded in the paper, which make it look brighter than it is.

    The 2c sheet stamps printed by CBN were printed in a number of different shades, depending on when the printings were made:

    • Plate 1 and 2 printings made between 1967 and 1968 tend to be in shades of green, deep green and deep bright green.
    • Plate 1 and 2 printings made between 1968 and 1970 tend to be printed in shades of deep bright green.
    • Plate 1 and 2 printings made between 1971 and 1973 tend to be printed in shades of bright green, though deep bright green is also found.

    The collage shows the differences between some of these shades, though they are easier to see in the flesh for some reason.

    The gum used on all printings to 1971 is dextrine, but within this category, there are a number of different types, which differ by the way the gum appears, when viewed in light:

    • Early printings have yellowish gum that appears either completely smooth, mildly streaky, or very streaky, and has a semi-gloss sheen.
    • Later printings made toward 1970 have gum that has a distinct satin sheen, and can occasionally appear grainy.

    The PVA gum used on the plate 1 and 2 printings, shows very little variation, but a subtle difference can be found in the sheen and thickness of the gum, with the earlier printings having a thicker gum with a satin sheen, compared to a slightly thinner gum that has an eggshell sheen.

    We have not checked the perforations on these blocks, due to time constaints. However, each side can exist with the following measurements: 11.9, 11.85, 11.95 and 12.

    Harris values these blocks at $45, taking the normal value for a blinky flaw block with dex gum and adding the value of a normal block from the PVA gum printing. The blocks offered here grade 75 and 80.