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Friday, September 25, 2015

Getting Started on Canada Back of the Book and Provinces, But Feeling Very Tired

I had said the other day that the late nights are taking a toll. I believe this to be so, but I also think that being alone day after day is giving me a bit of cabin fever. I like working alone, but I'm not working in a relaxed manner anymore. I can't stop thinking about how much more material there is that needs to be listed and how much more needs to be done. I think it may be warping my perception. I've managed to list over 800 items these past two months and keep two blogs up to date while reviving my third blog. I have to remember that this is not a bad amount of accomplishment for three months. But it is hard - I don't have any feedback from other dealers. Steph tells me that I'm doing very well, and perhaps I should internalize what she says more. I'm just having one of those doubt filled days where I wonder if I did the right thing.

Today, I start on what we collectors call back-of-the book material. This simply means stamps that are not regular postage stamps, but those used to pay for other charges, such as airmail (back when airmail was a luxury), special delivery, postage due (when the letter sent did not have enough postage), officially sealed (undelivered letters were opened and sent to the Dead Letter Office and these stamps were used to reseal the envelopes) and registration. During Queen Victoria's reign, the only material that falls into the back-of-the book category was the 1898 Special Delivery Stamp, the 1875-1893 Registration stamps and the Officially Sealed stamps. Examples of each are shown below:

This is a beautiful pristine mint block of the 1898 Special Delivery issue which was actually printed towards the end of its life sometime between 1920 and 1922. This issue was in use for 24 years before being replaced by the 20c carmine special delivery stamp in 1922. The stamp was a deep blue green when it was first issued in 1898. Then it gradually became green and then progressed to yellow green and finally deep yellow green as in the block above. 

This is the 2c registered stamp that was first issued in 1875. There were three stamps in this set, including a 5c deep green and an 8c blue. The 8c had a very short life from 1876-1877 as the registration fee on letters to the UK was dropped to 5 cents. The 2c stamp shown above paid the fee for local letters. It comes in a wide variety of colours from bright orange to very dark red. 

This was the 1902 Officially Sealed stamp, which replaced the 1879 design. This stamp is printed on bluish paper, and was re-issued on white paper in 1907. This is the rarer of the two. Usually used stamps of this issue are badly creased as this one is, because they were used to reseal envelopes and packages. This is the only example I have ever seen or handled in my 37 years as a philatelist. 

Sales activity has been very quiet this week. I have one sale to post today and then I can devote the entire day to lotting. Then I'm going to meet Steph at my favourite restaurant, House on Parliament and then we will spend the evening relaxing. Tomorrow, I'm having my friends over for a night of poker, which I'm really looking forward to, though I really must develop a different tell, because I think they are on to me, and I really can't afford to lose more than $40. 

Have a safe, and relaxing weekend everyone!

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