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Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 134 - 17 August, 2010

Scott 9 – One of Canada’s Most Beautiful Stamps

Collectors of Canadian stamps all have their own favourites, and ours is this lovely 7½p dark green Queen Victoria of 1857. We show below some of the best examples we could find.

“Sir Gawaine Baillie” Collection

May 10, 2006
Lot 781

According to Unitrade, 100,080 copies were ordered by the Post Office. The Queen’s image was reproduced from a full length printing by Alfred Edward Chalon, engraved by Alfred Jones.

Clifton Howes’ book, “Canadian Postage Stamps and Stationery”, states that the stamp was issued to facilitate the prepayment of letters passing from Canada to England by the Canadian steamers; the new stamp bearing the value of 6 pence sterling, or 7 ½ pence currency, being the Canadian Packet rate.

The design of this stamp was simply adapted from that of the discarded 12p stamp. The inscriptions were changed to CANADA PACKET POSTAGE, which of course referred to the fast mail steamers then known as “packets,” and SIX PENCE STERLING, a new departure in labelling a Canadian stamp. Like the 10p that preceded it, however, the corresponding values were inserted in the spandrels.

The 7½p stamp is known to have been arranged on the plate for printing sheets of 120 stamps, ten rows of twelve stamps each, this being to facilitate the reckoning in English money. There was but one supply received on the first order of 100,080 stamps which, if we divide by 120, gives an even 834 sheets.

According to Charles Firby’s “The Canadian Posted Letter Guide”, the 7 ½p stamp was to be used for the single Allan Line rate; this was the line whose packet steamers took the mail to the United Kingdom

Two outstanding examples:

“William Gross” Collection

Spink Shreves
Nov. 19, 2009
Lot 219
$10,500 US

Described as a gem mint single of this classic period, boasting generous intense colour and full original gum. Ex-Moody.

“Mount Royal” Collection

H. R. Harmer Inc.
May 22, 2008
Lot 2045

This stamp has four full to very large margins and full original gum.


“Duane Hilmer” Collection

Sotheby Parke Bernet
Sept. 28, 1977

Lot 111
$15,000 US

Top sheet margin horizontal pair with full crackly original gum.

“William Gross” Collection

Spink Shreves
Nov. 19, 2009
Lot 220
$40,000 US

Described as a phenomenal right sheet margin vertical pair in the finest condition imaginable, showing just a trace of the imprint at the top right margin. Full original gum. This pair was illustrated on page 80 of “The Stamps and Postal History of Canada” by Boggs. It is ex- Pack and Lilly.

Strip of 3

The “Sir Gawaine Baillie” Collection

May 10, 2006
Lot 783
$86,000 US

This pale yellow green horizontal marginal strip of three came with large margins, a light crease and original gum. We first came across it in 1977 when it was offered in a private treaty sale by Bill Maresch for $20,000. Then in 1987, it was offered by Irwin Weinberg Rarities as part of the “John Foxbridge “collection for $40,000 U.S. Its price kept doubling. When originally offered by Maresch, it was never hinged. But then one of its owners apparently added a hinge as this shows up in the subsequent descriptions. Ex Hart.

Block of 4

“Duane Hilmer” Collection

Sotheby Parke Bernet
Sept. 28, 1977
Lot 112
$22,000 US

Described as a famous unique block of four, beautiful fresh rich colour, a great rarity of Canadian philately. Ex- Gill and Fox.

Re-entry – Position 7

Re-entry – Position 7

R. Maresch & Son
Oct. 23 2007
Lot 343

Large to very large margins showing the Major Re-entry, position 7, doubling in oval and some letters, the scarcest of all the Pence Issue Major Re- entries.

Singles with Printer’s Inscription

Eaton & Sons
June 16, 1995
Lot 382

This copy came from Jim Sisson’s sale of the Jarrett collection in 1959 where it realized $1,100. It has a “faint horizontal bend” at the bottom.

The “John Foxbridge” Collection

Irwin Weinberg Rarities
Nov. 20, 1987
Page 48

This single was unused and came with very generous margins. Weinberg refer to it as “Certainly one of the Finest, if not the Finest Known Example of this Stamp.”


The “Loch” Collection

Charles G. Firby
Apr. 28, 1999
Lot 147

This cover was sent from Hamilton to England on November 12, 1857. It is an excellent example of the Allan Line rate.

“The K. L. Collection of Classic Rarities”

Robert A. Siegel
Apr. 23, 1996
Lot 28
$80,000 US

This extraordinary cover with a block of the 7½p came with three large margins and a single neat “37” target cancel. It was inscribed “Quebec L.C. June 11, 1859” and sent on a folded letter to New Ross, Ireland. It was featured on the front cover of the CAPEX 1987 private treaty sale published by William and Michael Lea.


This was one of our lengthier commentaries for which we ask your patience. It was such a pleasure to research and put together. We hope our viewers have enjoyed it.

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