Canadian Stamp Auctions
Stamp Market Commentary
In the April 14, 2009 edition of the Canadian Stamp News, there was an announcement of a discovery of three new imperforate varieties by Barb Houghton in Canada. Here they are:
It is curious that both of the 46¢ errors show the printer’s inscription in the bottom margin. It makes you wonder if their inclusion in the packets was completely random.
We were pretty interested in this news, and arranged through the newspaper’s editor, Bret Evans, to make contact with Ms. Houghton.
In this commentary, we describe how Barb made her discovery last December, using her own words:
time I purchased a Stamp Quest kit from my local post office to give
my grandson. I did however remove the stamp packet included before I
gave it to him and instead gave him many of my duplicate stamps to get
Stamp Quest Starter Kit
One of the things that is puzzling about this discovery is that, although the stamps in question were bought at the Post office last December, they were actually issued in 1999, a good ten years ago. Have they been lying around in someone’s drawer for 10 years, or were the packets put together way back when?
Barb’s comment about young beginners to collecting not realizing what they had rings true.
Sometimes even the Post Office employees cannot recognize a variety. You have to be a collector.
When David Stein, a Montreal collector, bought the blocks of Scott 1679b from a local Post Office in 2003, he discovered that all the imperforate stamps at the top of the blocks had been separated with a pair of scissors so they could be easily used. This was a very kind thing for the Post Office employee to do, but showed a lack of knowledge about stamp collecting.
As with most discoveries of this nature, the full story of how these errors got into the packets will probably never be known. Did an employee at the printers inadvertently slip them in without noticing, or might that person have known exactly what they were doing? The answer isn’t important to collectors. The fact the stamp errors ended up where they did is what is important, as is Barb’s discovery. It is that which will be remembered over the years.
Thank you, Barb, for sharing your discovery with us!