Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

George V St Helena Stamp Colony Badge – Cleft Rock Flaw

George V St Helena Colony Badge
Scotts # 79 doesn’t list flaws
SG # SG 97c

St Helena is a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean, best known for it’s infamous exile, Napoleon. It’s also home to some beautiful stamps.

The particular issue today is the St. Helena Colony Badge series from 1922-1937.   The badge shows a 3 masted ship sailing by two rocks. The stamps were printed on both chalk-surface and regular paper with two different watermarks – either Multiple Crown CA or Multiple Script Ca. These lovelies were designed by Mr. T. Bruce. I’ve tried to find information on the mysterious T. Bruce, but so far I’ve dead ended. I think it’ll take a long trip to the library to source the information.

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Soruth 1868 - two stamps from a Princely State


Indian Philately - Looking at one of the Princely States

Here are a couple of lovelies - Soruth 1868. I aquired them about a year ago at auction. Soruth (or Sorath, Junagadh, and Saurashtra ) was a small Princely State in Gujarat until 1947 when it became part of the state of Saurashtra and then part of Bombay State.

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Canadian Small Queens - ink variations

Small Queens

Canadian Small Queens - looking at ink variations

While doing research on the Small Queens awhile ago, I ran into a couple of articles that listed what inks were used for the Small Queens. Problem is, for the life of me, I can't remember which book. I suspect it was POSTAGE STAMPS AND POSTAL HISTORY OF CANADA by Winthrop Boggs. At any rate, what's  fascinating is the fact the inks were hand mixed for each run. Printers had their own recipes, which explains the wide variety of colour variations in the early stamps. The Small Queens are a bonanza for stamp collectors. You can get some pretty good colour charts, but if you're like me, they still don't help a lot. I struggle with the different and often subtle variations in colours, plus trying to decide if it's a changeling or a genuine rare colour. You'd think that someone who's collected as long as I have would whistle through colour identification, but nope, not so. It's both maddening and fun. More often than not, my rare colour is actually a changeling.

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Queen Victoria - small queens

Canadian Small Queens

Not in a pithy mood lately so I'll just share some of my Small Queen's collection with you. I have a couple hundred - collected mostly for the various cancels and colour variations. Good fun on a cold miserable winter day. I spent a week, in the spring, scanning them all in to my laptop and cataloguing them. 

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Canada war revenue poster - Great War propaganda

BOBs, or Back of the Book stamps are a fun, and often over looked area of collecting. Revenues and war stamps are represented in my collection, but I’m more a dabbler than a serious collector. If something falls my way and in my budget range, I’ll scoop it. My collection is pretty modest – I tend to focus more on airmail, especially the earliest issues, but I can never pass up a good excise stamp. Stamps issued during the Great War are among my favourites. They are beautifully engraved, rich sources of propaganda. If you are doing any research into propaganda from the period, look no further than the iconography used in the posters used to sell them.

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And here I sit with my stamps in a complete muddle, and nobody has bothered to tell me what it's all about."
"Listen now, Hemul," said Snufkin slowly and clearly. "It's about a comet that is going to collide with the earth tomorrow."
"Collide?" said the Hemulen. "Has that anything to do with stamp-collecting?”

- Tove Jansson, Comet in Moominland   

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