The strip of three of the 12 ½¢ Large Queens shown in Figure
1 is impressive as a multiple but closer examination reveals an even more
Figure 2 shows a close-up of the first stamp showing Harrison variety “C” which
is described in Duckworth1 as “flaw in the vignette frame under the “PO” of
POSTAGE”. Duckworth states that they have seen the statement that this
is position 52.
Figure 3 shows the detail of the second stamp in the strip which has the Harrison
variety “I” described as “position dot in lower right margin”1
and has been reported to be position 53.
Figure 4 shows the Harrison “D” variety, “flaw in the ‘A’ of
HALF”1. The plate position of the “A” flaw is not recorded
by Harrison and its position was unknown by Duckworth2
as of January 2006.
If the previous statements that Harrison varieties “C” and “I” can
correctly be attributed to position 52 and 53, this strip would serve to confirm
the plate position of the Harrison “D” variety, the flaw in the
A of HALF as being plate position 54.
As of February 2006, I have been informed that the Brigham collection includes
a multiple that confirms this plate position as well.
1 Duckworth, H.E. and H.W. Duckworth (1986). “The Large Queen Stamps
of Canada and Their Use 1868-1872”, The Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic
Research Foundation, Toronto, 488 pp.
2 Duckworth, H.E., Personal communication, January 8, 2006.
One of the most reassuring elements to philately is to see the dealer enjoying
the hobby just as much as the collectors they serve. A collecting dealer shares
the passion, the quest, and the knowledge that are essential elements to being
a collector. A collecting dealer is in a better position to appreciate your
collecting interests and locate items that are key to your collection or exhibit.
Some people have said that dealers shouldn't be collectors because they are
in competition with them. Collectors are in competition with people from all
walks of life, dealers included. Just because a dealer may collect the same
thing as you doesn't mean it has to be at cross-purposes.
Quite a few dealers I know collect areas that are not heavily collected. Perhaps
they collect their hometown or home country but more often than not it is an
obscure area that receives little attention.
As a dealer, I decided that I wanted to collect areas that were understudied.
Well, I first started with my hometown, Sandwich, Upper Canada and focussed
on the stampless period.
A dealer that collects is your best friend. He loves the hobby as much as
you do and will go to great lengths to help you build your collection - far
more than the regular non-collecting merchant.
The following is a transcript of a letter from a gold miner in the Klondike,
Yukon gold fields.
March 15 / 99
I was very glad to get your letter even if it was a little behind time; the
one you wrote Oct 22nd, I received a week ago. Up to the beginning of this
year we had a wretchedly poor mail service, no one knew when there would be
any mail arriving and very little did reach here until about a month ago. The
Canadian and American governments had let the contracts for carrying the Yukon
mail to a man named Richardson, who must have been a regular dummy at the business,
for he was making no headway at all; however it had been taken from him and
the Northwest Mounted Police have taken charge of the mail-bags and are rushing
it in pretty lively now; there is such a large quantity in Post Office now,
that they cannot sort it quick enough to have it all distributed for several
weeks, although they have a large number of clerks and they close the PO everyday
for sorting. Just fancy, there was 20 tons of mail matter scattered along the
Yukon at various places, between Dawson and Skagway – at one time.
I have had one letter from our Jim dated Oct 17th and one from Bob Ward and
another from father, got them all last week. I have had no late news, in fact
it is very little news we get from the outside, now and again we hear scraps
about the wars and rumors of war. Bob Ward says he is going to tell me all
about his trip, in the next. I have already written to him. I have been greatly
disappointed about the failure of the mail carrying business and have already
sent word home how it occurred. I saw a Daily Graphic a while ago, which had
a portion of an article about the Stickeen-Teslin trail to the Yukon; that
famous London paper had a special correspondent over that route, who wrote
up some interesting and amusing notes and made some good sketches by the way.
I wish that you or Will could get the whole series and keep them till I could
see then, for I should recognize everything that is mentioned almost. Some
of the pictures are very comic. I would not be at all surprised if he had me
down for something, for I came across him often on the trail, he was always
writing and sketching and taking snapshots.
I felt myself thrilled with interest when you mentioned Van Bien and the Broken
Melody, for I have heard and read a great deal about that celloist, and can
well imagine the treat. I often wish I could have a practice with you once
in a while. If you were shut up in a place like this for a year, without your
music you would know how to appreciate the chances you now have of listening
to the masters. This is almost as bad as starvation, but I have sent out for
my cello, to get here by the first through boat after the breakup of the Yukon
ice; it will be a great comfort to me, if I don’t use it for earning
money. I could have had good pay with it, if I had brought it last summer.
Oh what a big mistake that was.
The weather is already getting quite mild and the days lengthening out about
the first of may will have a grand sight, when the ice breaks and piles up
in huge masses with a noise like thunder, then drifts away down to the Bering
Sea. A good many steamboats were caught in the middle of the river by the ice
and frozen fast, last fall; they will all be wrecked and carried away as the
ice goes down the river, besides hundreds of barges and small boats. I am getting
a little work to do now again, but have only just about made a living since
I came here. However there will be surely lots of work at good bay during the
spring cleanup in the rivers and I hope to do well yet before leaving this
country. A good many people are still going out over the ice and I expect there
will be a general exodus after the cleanup, that will relieve the overcrowded
state of the camp and perhaps there will yet be a chance to get hold of a good
I am glad to hear that Dorothy is coming on so well , when you have the chance
give Sam my best respects. I think this is all at present; but i wish you all
good luck and good health especially father. I hope to see him next year. I
shall write to him and Martha Ann very soon; with love to all. From your affectinate
In 1975, The Collectors Club of Chicago reprinted the United States Mail and
Post Office Assistant from 1860 to 1871. This remarkable 2 volume, 30 pound
reference provides the postal historian with a wealth of information relating
to the operation of the post office, rates and other important data. As its
name implies, its primary focus is on United States mail, but the August 1861
edition (Vol 1#11) relates this interesting story:
A Brush with the Canadian Officials
It appears that in making up the mail pouch for Kingston, Canada, recently
a dust brush used by the porters in New York’s office, by some accident
got among the contents of the aforesaid bag, and made the passage safely to
Kingston. The appearance of so unusual a visitor, in so strange a place, no
doubt caused not a little surprise and conjecture, and finally excited the
poetic genius of some of he officials, who returned the innocent intruder by
the next mail, with the following lines posted upon its back:
Post Office, Kingston
Whether this little stranger, hither came,
As friend or foe, no matter –
I hope he may reach home again,
Much wiser if not better.
Our whiskered friend, pray don’t abuse,
He acted like a sage,
Surrounded by the whole world’s news,
Yet never read a page.
Nor yet in confidence disclosed,
His name, nor his profession;
Nor how his mind has felt disposed,
To Union or Secession.
While sultry Summer’s heat intense,
Makes city life a toil,
He came disguised without pretence,
And stood on British soil.
And fain ‘neath Britain’s glorious throne,
He longer would sojourn,
His country needs her subjects now,
And so he must return.
To this the following reply was returned from the New York office:
Your lines on the brush we received in due time,
And we found a news tyle for all future epistles.
One side of the paper was covered with rhyme,
And the other o’ergrown with a thicket of bristles.
If the brush had been longer, we might well presume,
That a poem of similar length, you’d have sent us –
So next time we try, we will forward a broom,
For no lyric that’s shorter than that will content us.