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!


  1. Beautiful specimens, I do not own any of them.

  2. Some are expensive, but if you are patient and watch auction once in awhile and don't mind some small fault, you can have great deal. Now is the best time of the year to buy, between Dec. 5th and Dec. 21st people are too busy shopping, so now is the time to buy.