Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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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Early airmail - Territory of New Guinea 1932

One of my favourite sets of airmail stamps comes from the Territory of New Guinea.  The former German colonies were taken by Australian forces in WW1 and remained an Australian protectorate until the Japanese invasion in WW2 and renamed the Territory of New Guinea in '25.

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Hungarian airmail C12-17 - Turul the Great Messenger

Turul - the great messenger in Hungarian mythology

Hungarian001

 

A couple more nifty Hungarian stamps for today's offering - 1927-1930 airmails (Scott's C12-17). I'm missing C14, so I'll have to go hunting for it this week. I picked these today because of the interesting Hungarian mythology behind them. That's one of the powerful draws for stamp collecting - the history, country mythology, politics and culture you can cull from the images. These stamps show Turul, the great bird messenger from Attila (or the gods, depending on which myth you read) and involves birth myth of the Hungarian people. Turul figures prominently in Hungarian mythology, and you can see his image on various buildings and statues around the country. The most well-known to many tourists is the one is on the bridge spanning the river dividing Buda and Pest. But if you collect Hungarian stamps, you'll see Turul on a lot.

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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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