Cover of the Week, Map Covers – Maple Creek
I love squared circle map covers! For a number of reasons (see below)
In case you don’t know what I am talking about, the “so-called” world’s first Christmas Stamp, Canada #85 and 86, were issued during the squared circle period, in fact, fairly late for many squared circles. Date of issue was Dec 7th, 1898.
I featured a Christmas Day Map Cover from Halifax in a prior “Cover of the Week” post.
So what is so appealing about these stamps on cover with Squared Circle cancels?
Here are a few of my thoughts and you probably have your own as well. (Please feel free to comment !).
– First reason is visual appeal, beauty, it’s a pretty stamp and quite striking on cover.
– Secondly, if you are really lucky you can find these on the great illustrated covers of the day, beautifully engraved in their own right.
– Third reason, because the issue date of the stamp was fairly late in the peak squared circle period these are particularly hard to find, and are in fact, from scarce to rare. Hence, a new find is pretty cool! They actually exist on only a limited number of SC towns. Somewhere around 151 known items and several more possible in total if the goal was to acquire one from each town. (I will talk a bit more about this below).
– Fourthly, absolute rarity! Many of these are only known to exist on from 1 – 10 covers in total and the most common of these is Halifax known on around 50 covers and second is Brockville Type one with about 20 covers known. These are scarce items and a highly specialized field for the collector.
So let’s talk a bit more about the rarity of these gems. What else in philately do you know of where any relatively “Normal Joe” can own and/or acquire an item of major philatelic significance which is completely unique or at worse, fairly scarce. Let’s compare this to the “Bluenose” stamp for example, which by the way is another of my passions.
Sidebar: Earlier in the week I stopped in to Lunenburg to see the reconstructed “Bluenose II” still high and dry and awaiting her launch. It has been a thrill to be close enough to see this Nova Scotian icon come back to life. Now it would be a real thrill to find a Squared Circle Cancel on a Bluenose stamp! Wonder if one exists? I did once bid on a copy of squared circle on #145, the “Other” Map stamp (12c) from the confederation series. Can’t remember which town, possibly London.
Anyway, back to my topic. Today, from the comfort of your home you could bid on and buy probably 50 copies of the Bluenose stamp.
Or take a second example, the high Value Jubilees. It would be easy to get a $5.00 Jubilee in pristine condition any day of the week. (If you had the cash of course!)
I do not condemn or judge those who collect any of those items! They are beautiful and worthy of specialization.
But…in comparison! To have in my collection, several items that are unique in the world, only known example or even previously unreported copies. I consider this as a much stronger motivator (for me).
In a good year, I might add 2 -3 newly found items to this collection. The most recent of which is a nice copy of Maple Creek, Assa on a map cover. Thanks to Bruce Kalbfleisch for this gem. This Maple Creek is reported to be the second known example of this item. (Pictured above)
I’ll add this one to my growing collection of these Map Covers, now close to 80 different towns.
BTW, if you have covers of Antigonishe, Kentville, Northport, North Sydney, Port Williams or Yarmouth on Map covers that you wish to become detached from, please let me know! These items have eluded me in my quest to build my NS collection.