The first stamps inscribed “Canada” were issued in 1851, the three different values showing the American Beaver, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. The 12d black depicting a youthful Queen Victoria is Canadas most famous rarity, few have survived and several were allegedly destroyed in London during the 1970s when they blew out of a window during a heatwave!
During the ‘Colony of Canada’ stamp issuing period of 1851 to 1864 the stamps are of the same status as the provinces of British Columbia & Vancouver Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Is, however they are accepted as the first stamps of Canada and most collections run seamlessly from the 1864 2c rose-red ‘Colony’ stamp to the ‘Dominion of Canada’ 1868 Small & Large Queen stamps which with their different printings and papers display a fabulous array of colours & shades and include many plate flaws and re-entries recognised by collectors.
Canadian stamps are amongst the most studied in British Empire philately, the melancholy “Widows Weeds” design of 1893, the grandeur a few years later of the 1897 Jubilee series which riskily placed a young and old Victoria alongside each other, the spectacular engravings which dominated Canadian stamp design through much of the 20th Century and the beautiful modern stamps which surprise and delight still.
The postmarks and postal history of this vast country are hunted by collectors, the covers carried on those early postal flights between remote places, the beautiful revenue stamps, the excellent ‘back of the book’ Officials, Postage Dues, stamp Booklets & Special Delivery stamps to name a few. To collect this area we would recommend not only the SG listings but also the “Unitrade Specialized Catalog of Canadian Stamps”.