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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Stamp Market Commentary

Commentary No. 45 - 17 March, 2003

Varieties of the 38¢ QEII Definitive Stamp
During the years 1987 to 1991, Canada issued a definitive set which included the wildlife series, the flag, QEII, Parliament buildings and the $1 and $2 architecture stamps (Scott 1155 to 1194C). It was quite a mixture of stamps. It included a sheet of 100 stamps of the 38¢ QEII, printed by the British American Bank Note Company and a booklet of 10 QEII stamps and 2 labels, printed by Ashton-Potter Ltd. 

Here is a copy of the stamp, displayed as a strip of three:

We previously reviewed this interesting set in some detail two years ago in our Commentaries No. 16 and 17. We continue to see evidence today that this set attracts unusual collector interest because of its many varieties. 

In this commentary, we look at the 38¢ definitive. Many of you may be surprised at the number of varieties this stamp has and their values. These varieties trade regularly at auction, and apart from one or two of the rarest, can still be obtained. Here then are the varieties of the stamp.

The Regular Sheet of 100 (BABN)
( Perf. 13 x 13 )

Unitrade No. 1164 Single copy
(Unitrade value $1)

Unitrade No. 1164c Imperforate pair
(Unitrade value $500)

Unitrade No.1164c Imperforate block
(Unitrade value $1500)

Unitrade No. 1164c Vertical strip of 10, including imperforate block

(Unitrade value $1500)

The discovery of the partially imperforate sheets from which the above varieties originate was reported in detail by Canadian Stamp News in its issues of November 7 and November 21, 1989. Five sheets were discovered in Halifax in June or July 1989 with missing perforations in rows 8 & 9. All 5 sheets were acquired by John Jamieson of Saskatoon Stamp Centre and were subsequently resold by him.

The Booklet pane of 10 stamps (AP)
( Perf. 13 x 13 1/2 ) 

Unitrade No. 1164a Single stamp
from the booklet

(Unitrade value $1)

Unitrade No. 1164aii single plus label - imperforate between

(Unitrade value $1250)



We first became aware this variety in March 1993 when Ian Kimmerly included it in his March 9,1993 auction as lot 1256. For some reason, the lot did not sell and it could be that people were suspicious of the new variety. Most of the examples we have seen have the label on the left. However, Saskatoon Stamp Centre offered an exception, shown above, of a label on the right in its September 2002 catalogue (lot 179, September 9, 2002).
Unitrade No. 1164aiii 
Horizontal pair with full perforations
(Unitrade value $150)

We were not able to obtain an image of the above variety. According to Unitrade, this unusual pair comes from a booklet pane that was perforated on the vertical edge instead of being guillotined

Unitrade No. 1164d
Horizontal pair,
imperforate between 
(Unitrade value $1250)

This concludes our review of this beautiful stamp. The fact that there are so many varieties is of great interest to collectors but does not say much for the quality control measures used by Canada Post at the time. Fortunately, in the past few years, we have seen far fewer errors of this kind getting out to the public and we would be glad to give credit to Canada Post and its printers for this improvement.

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©2003, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada