(Published on the Saskatoon Stamp Centre website in July 1999)
1995 $2.00 Truro definitive, Canadian Bank Note printing, normal and inverted inscriptions
In April of 1996, the discovery of the $2.00 Truro Provincial Normal School definitive issue with inverted inscriptions was announced, and two of the four panes discovered were exhibited at the CAPEX’96 International Philatelic Exhibition in Toronto in June of that year.
The first announcements of the discovery called them inverted centers likely to make a more direct comparison to the Seaway Invert. Although it matters not, the Truro errors are now listed as INVERTED INSCRIPTIONS as it was the school building and background colours that were printed first. These colours were printed on a lithographic press on a continuous roll of paper. The sheets were then guillotined into large printers’ sheets and run through a second press where the intaglio inscriptions were printed. It was between these two presses that somehow at least one of these printer’s sheets was pulled, likely to examine the printing quality, and then placed back on the pile “upside-down”. According to Canadian Bank Note Co. officials, these stamps were printed with four panes of 25 to the printers’ sheet.
The Seaway Invert has generally been referred to as an inverted center error. It is generally agreed that it, too, was really an inverted inscription error with the center having been printed properly and the inscriptions printed upside-down. As it was, in fact, the already printed center portion that was inverted, and the inscriptions that were printed right side up on an inverted sheet one could call it either and be correct. Depends on whether you put the emphasis on the piece of paper or the printing presses. It is a given that no one turned the printing press over.
A total of only four panes of 25 were discovered in franchise post office stocks and reached private hands. Two were found in Moncton, NB, and the other two in Hamilton, ON. Each pair of panes was different as shown in the photos that follow. Canada Post, after hearing of these discoveries, pulled all $2 off sale and checked their entire stock from coast to coast. They apparently found six more invert panes, all of which are in the secure hands of Canada Post and most likely in the Postal Archives by now.
New Brunswick dealer Gary Lyon purchased the four panes from three different individuals. Shortly after acquiring them, he sold the entire group to U.S. dealers Dan Eaton and Dana Okey. They, in turn, split up and began to offer these exciting errors to the philatelic market.
Pane of the $2.00 Truro definitive with inverted inscriptions found in Moncton
The MONCTON discovery panes each contained:
The MISSING BLOCK:
In January of 1997, we became aware of reports of the loss of a block of 15 inverts. It was the left margin block of 3 x 5 from one of the Moncton panes. This block was in a shipment being sent back to Dana Okey’s office in San Diego. The insurance companies for the two partners in the inverts settled the claim on these later in 1997, confirming that the loss did occur. What a shame that was. The block contained nine of the inverts and three each of the two “white” margin invert errors, the rarest of the whole Truro Invert group.
Pane of the $2.00 Truro definitive with inverted inscriptions found in Hamilton
The HAMILTON discovery panes each contained:
Firstly, it must be noted that there are far fewer than 70 normal inverts available as single stamps to collectors. Firstly there are the nine stamps in the missing block. Then there are the inverts with the margin and gutter error stamps attached. These will never be available as single inverts (I certainly hope no one is foolish enough to split up any of the wonderful error strips with the margin and gutter error stamps.)
|1376b singles or blocks||37||—||—||—|
|1376b,v,vi Moncton top strips of 3. 3 exist.||3||3||3||—|
|1376b,v,vi Moncton corner blocks of 6. 2 exist.||4||4||4||—|
|1376b,vii Hamilton pairs. 3 known at present||3||—||—||3|
|1376b,vii Hamilton UL block of 6.||4||—||—||2|
|1376b,vii Hamilton UR strip of 3.||2||—||—||1|
|1376b,vii Hamilton UR block of 6 location unknown||4||—||—||2|
|1376b,vii Hamilton interior block of 6 location unknown||4||—||—||2|
|TOTAL STILL KNOWN TO EXIST||61||7||7||10|
|The Lost Block of 15||9||3||3||—|
|THE TOTAL FIND||70||10||10||10|
Copyright © 1999 John Jamieson
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