Saturday, 29 September 2012

Canada's First Stamp Set.

On July 1st 1867 the British colony of Canada joined with two other British colonies, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, to form the Dominion of Canada. Until this point each colony had its own stamps, some of which are quite stunning. On April 1st 1868, the new government issued a new series of stamps for the entire Dominion.

It is this first set of Canadian definitives that I wish to have a look at. It was actually a stamp from this series that got me hooked on Canadian stamps. But more on that later.

This set, which became known as the 'Large Queens', comprised 10 stamps, ranging from 1/2 cent to 15 cents. Seven different designs can be found in this set. Let's take a look at the different designs. All of the stamps pictured are mine and the quality varies.


The 1/2 cent stamp was smaller the the other values, but the Queen's head remained the same size.

The 1 cent value was the stamp that got me hooked on Canadian stamps. I love what was done with the numeral '1'. This stamp came in multiple colours.

The 2 cent stamp has a different frame and no numeral at the top.

The 3 cent stamp was the standard letter rate, and therefore most widely used.

The 5 cent stamp utilised a rope-like border around the Queen.

The 6 cent stamp is another favourite of mine. It conjures images of the American Wild West for me.

The 12½ cent design.

The 15 cent stamp, like the 1 cent, came in multiple colours.

Of this set the 15c value survived the longest, remaining in use as late as 1897. The rest of the Large Queens had a relatively short life. They were replaced in 1870 by the 'Small Queens', smaller stamps which employed same basic design. Apparently these were adopted in order to increase the efficiency of stamp production.

I prefer the Large Queens, and the 1c value will always hold a special place in my heart.

Stay Stamp Crazy!

Friday, 28 September 2012

A Genuine Cancellation!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Slaying the Nazi Dragon

The Netherlands Dragon Prevails.

A sub-set to my dragon collection is Dragon Slaying. Generally St George is depicted slaying said beastie, but often the motif was used for different purposes. Take this amazing block of 4 for instance. It is a WWII liberation stamp printed in 1945. The dragon in this image represents the Nazis. The lion of the Netherlands is slaying the oppressor...
     It is interesting to note that during the design phase of this stamp, the title was altered to suggest the stamp was a depiction of the Lion of Netherlands slaying tuberculosis, which takes the form of the dragon. This was to ensure the Nazi's didn't twig to the significance of the image. But by the time the stamp was released the Netherlands had been liberated so the TB reference was removed.
     It is always nice to have postally used examples of stamps. Recently I picked up a nice cover with four copies of this stamp affixed. I think it is a beauty...
     This letter was posted on the 13th of December just a couple of months after the stamp was released. Anyone else have any examples of this stamp postally used?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012



Hi Everyone! Welcome to my new blog - Stamp Crazy! As the title suggests, I'm crazy about stamps. I have been since I was introduced to stamps in High School. My friend's father owned his own stamp shop in Parramatta - SW of Sydney. How cool is that?? Often I'd stay at my friend's place on a Friday night and go to the Stamp Shop on Saturday mornings. I spent hours perusing his massive bin of cheap stamps. The very first stamps I purchased were from that store - at a discount :). They were a set of Australian Antarctic Territory ships.

I was immediately fascinated. I went away and learned all I could about Antarctica. I think that's what I like most about stamps, the rich and colourful history lessons one can have by just studying little pieces of paper.
     So with the idea of Firsts in mind, I have decided to dedicate my first few blog posts - after this one - to looking at some of the first stamp issues of the countries I collect. The selection is myriad, but I will choose only a few.
     The series will be entitled In The Beginning... My first country selection will be Canada. Please feel free to make comments and suggestions. I love chatting about stamps!
     Stay tuned....