Spring is in the air for stamp collectors, courtesy of Canada Post’s gardenia stamp.
Permanent stamps just in time for spring
Maybe, but not today. To help break up the winter doldrums and usher in Valentine’s Day, Canada Post is offering a pair of gardenia stamps.
Their annual flower offering doesn’t disappoint. Designed by Andrew Conlon & Lionel Gadoury, with artwork by Chantal Larocque, the stamps offer two views of Cape jasmine gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides).
You can pick them up in many formats, as expected – rolls, FDC, souvenir sheet, singles, strips of four and ten and booklets.
Gardenia stamp booklet
They go on sale Valentine’s Day across Canada. If your local post outlet doesn’t have them, you can purchase direct from Canada Post’s online store.
International Bee Day for May 20th
I’m not sure if Canada Post will have a new bee stamp for International Bee Day for May 20th, but they issued a couple of interesting ones last year.
These two stylized permanent stamps (forever stamps) were released May 1st 2018 and they’re kind of cool. Designed by Andrew Perro and illustrated by Dave Murray, the stamps show a bumble bee (currently on the endangered species list in Canada) and a metallic green bee, which is a type of sweat bee in all it’s vivid colours.
The stamps come in singles, a booklet of 10 stamps and a First Day Cover:
The cancel on the FDC is great! They did a good job on this set although there isn’t a lot of room for the address.
First day cover
They can still be purchased via Canada Post’s online shop.
If you want to learn a bit more about bees and International Bee Day, and look at a couple of bee photos, check out the article I wrote to accompany this post – International Bee Day is Coming
Nothing says romance and love like Valentine’s Day, right?. Unless you’re a stamp collector. Then Love can be found in Saskatchewan, Canada. That’s about 260 km north east of Saskatoon. The village of Love, all 12 or so streets of it, is a former railway stop named after CPR conductor Tom Love, so one story goes.
Love, Sask – Gateway to the Narrow Hills – population 50, boasts fishing, camping and “challenging golf”. I’m not quite sure what that means, I find the entire concept of golf challenging. You can also stop in at Cupid’s Coffee Shop, saunter down Cupid’s Way (also known as 1st St. N), enjoy camping, indulge in some shiatsu therapy, visit the Love Barn (not a clue but it sounds intriguing) and Jigger’s Tavern. And most importantly for Valentine’s, the Love Valentine’s Festival. From the looks of things, it’s a good place to go hiking and just chill with nature.
Now, why am I posting about Love & love & Valentine’s Day in a stamp collecting column? Well, the cancels of course!
There has been a post office in Love since 1936. In 1984, it was given permission, by Canada Post, to issue a special Valentine’s day cancel. That’s 34 years worth of love to go looking for.
If you are a cancel hound, you can send a stamped, self addressed envelope to the post office where they will cancel it and send it back. Or, if you know a cancel collector and want to surprise them, pop their name onto an envelope and have it sent directly to them.
For anyone who hasn’t done the self addressed stamped envelope thing, here’s how you do it. Put your name (or anyone’s name for that matter) on the envelope. Put a return address in the top left corner. This can be your address as well. Now, pick out a really nice stamp and stick it on the top right corner. Keep everything as tidy as you can so the cover becomes a nice collectable piece.
It should look like this:
But with a real stamp of course. If you are outside Canada, look up what the postal rate to your country would be (from Canada). The self addressed envelope must have a Canadian stamp on it. Canada Post’s website will help you find the proper postage. DO NOT SEND A COVER WITHOUT POSTAGE. It will end up in the garbage. Put a piece of cardboard in the envelope to help it keep it shape and seal it.
Now, get a bigger envelope, slide the self addressed one into it, put appropriate postage on it and send it to:
Please include a short, polite request for a special Love, Sask cancel and thank the Post Mistress for taking the time to do it. Then you wait. It might take awhile to get back to you so it’s important to be patient.
If you’re having difficulties finding a Canadian stamp, drop me a line and maybe we can come up with a couple of ideas. Don’t forget to ask at any local stamp stores, buy new ones direct from Canada Post or maybe swap them with someone who has spares.
If you’d like info on Love, check out Tourism Sask.
Or, you could email directly to the village for info: TRAVELLER INFO Email: email@example.com
Collectors of early Canadian (and British colonies) will recognise the phrase “Chalon head”. There is only one – the famous Queen Victoria Chalon depicting a very young QV. Vance Auctions has an intriguing ephemera offering in next week’s sale (Jan 30, 2019) :
Queen Victoria Chalon head vignette (engraving)
7909 – Engraved b/w 19th Century vignette depicting the QUEEN VICTORIA CHALON HEAD oval portrait sunk directly on to card (60 x 78mm). VF, Scarce. Would make a perfect opening page item for an early Canada collection. Ex Highland ….Est 500.00+ from the Vance catalogue
It’s about 2.3” x 3” in size (for those who don’t speak metric) so, yea, it’d make a great faceplate for any Chalon collection. Usually, we see the image in a squished down format (Chalons aren’t terribly large) so it’s nice to see it in a (slightly) larger format.
The oval portrait appears on a number of early stamps from Canada, New Zealand, Tasmania, Bahamas, Queensland, Natal and Grenada, comprising some of the most collectable stamps I know of. I’ve met people who go gaga over them and dedicate a hefty portion of their collections to Chalons. They are alluring little beauties to chase. Although I’m more a Small Queens fan, I do appreciate the odd time a Chalon passes my desk, even if it’s a Jubilee edition.
1887 Queen Victoria Jubilee 1/2c stamp
I’ve had a few low quality Chalons in my collection, but have to confess to swapping them years ago for some early airmail stamps. Push comes to shove, I’ll sacrifice my Queen for airmails. So about the only ones I have are the few Jubilees, which really aren’t Chalons in the strictest sense in my opinion.
The Chalon image is from an Alfred Edward Chalon painting, c 1837, of Queen Victoria in full robes shortly after she came to the throne. I tried to find out where the original painting hangs, but pretty much every article I read looped to Chalon stamps. It’ll take a trip to the library to find out, so next time I’m at the reference library, I’ll pop into the art section and see if I can find an answer. If you know, drop a note in the comments section.
An engraving of Victoria’s head from this portrait, by Samuel Cousins, was distributed to the public as souvenirs on coronation day. It was later the basis for the famous Chalon stamps.
Queen Victoria, portrait by Alfred Edward Chalon c 1837 | [Public domain]
So, back to the topic, the engraving, if your interested, wander over to Vance and check it out. It’s auction item #7909, listed under ephemera. http://www.vanceauctions.com/searchsetter.asp Don’t forget to search for Chalons stamps as well. There are a couple of bargains, including a New Zealand lot (#7381).
If you’re looking for a bit of fun, check out the mystery novel The Chalon Heads by Barry Maitland. I read it a few years ago and found it thoroughly enjoyable. I mean, how many murder mysteries are centred around stamp collecting? This one has it all – murder, forgery, Scotland Yard, stamp collecting, Chalon heads, what more do you want? Check out Good Reads.
A short bio on Alfred Chalon: Archives Canada
For information on engraver Samuel Cousins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Cousins
A kickass article on New Zealand Chalons can be found at Ashford Stamps Limited: http://www.stampsale.com/Chalons.html
I’m back lurking around Vance Auction’s October listings, this time looking at the airmails. Oh and be still my beating heart! The first offerings in Canadian semi-postals knocked my socks off. Now is the time to dig up some extra cash and go wild. What has my pulse racing? Check them out:
I’m always blown away by them when I see them. They are on my fantasy “one day I’ll own them” list. The first is an Aug 1918 CLP2 tete beche pair. Vance describes them as VF, OG and well centred. Estimate on this is $1,500 (lot #6759). I went to a stamp show (quite a few years ago) and one of the sellers had a couple singles on display. That was the only time I’ve been able to get so close I could see all the detail. Great propaganda pieces.
Moving on through the list – 3 CPL3 AUG 25, 1919 Aeroclub Canada stamps, including a used with a good cachet estimated $900.
The cachet is strong and doesn’t look like it’s suffered any fading over time – ‘AERIAL MAIL AUG 25, 1919 TORONTO CANADA’ . All three are worth checking out if you’re a semi-official collector. Check out lots 6760 to 6762.
Rounding out the list are two beautiful deep red Estevan – Winnipeg FF semis from Oct 1 1924.
If you have an eye for cachets, CLP5 and CLP5i are the ones to look at. Both have a little biplane stamped under the By Air Mail | First Flight, but CLP5i version is picture perfect and still strong 94 year later. Estimates $250 and $275.
Vance Auctions #333 Oct 11 catalogue is online now – http://www.vanceauctions.com. While over there don’t forget to check out their blog. They recently posted an interesting bit on the lathe work on Canadian Admirals.