Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Early French airmail

French Airmail


I don't own any of the very first French airmail stamps. They are a wee bit out of my price range.   The first 2 airmail stamps were issued June 25, 1927, and are lovely little overprints. They weren't issued to the general public, but were sold at the International Aviation Exhibition held in Marsailles in '27. Attendees could buy one set each. They currently sell for about $150 to $200 Cdn each, depending on the auction. I've seen excellent used copies go for more at a couple of auctions in the last year.  They had excellent cancels that made them very attractive.

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Early Canadian Air Mail Routes

1935 Canada Post airmail - Daedalus
I'm an inveterate collector of all things airmail - maps, stamps, tags, ettiquettes, covers, pamphlets detailing the routes and even stocks for the complanies themselves. I used to focus solely on Canadian airmail until someone gave me a set of lovely Mexican airmails from the 1930s. I looked up a map of the mail routes and was hooked all over again - I had to have more. So, my modest little collection of Canadian airmails exploded into two hefty binders and a number of books on international airmail routes.

While scouring through the Canadian Archives one day, I came across a 1940 map laying out the various routes in Canada. It includes the remote northern routes that relied heavily on the bush pilots for delivery. A lot of the small northern routes used to be served by private arilines like Cherry Red and Patricia Airways, but by 1940, they had pretty much all disappeared, with the routes being folded into Canada Post.

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Canada - 1859 5c beaver stamp

5c Beaver 1859 Canada

I picked up a small set of the 1859 Canadian beaver stamp (Scott's #15) years ago. Top qualify ones were out of my budget range at the time, so I looked around for some flawed ones - just so I could have these famous stamps in my collection.  Although I couldn't afford the layout hundreds of dollars for a good stamp, I could afford the "defects".  They are space fillers, but I love them anyway. I looked around for ones with good cancel marks - increases the value in my not so humble opinion.

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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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