Online Resources and Exhibits

1930-1933 Arch Issue & Commemoratives Collection

Saskatoon Stamp Centre

(Based on an article published on the Saskatoon Stamp Centre (SSC) website
and SSC catalogues published between 2009 and 2013)


This page features examples from a remarkable collection of 1930 - 1933 Arch Issue & commemoratives. All the items on the page were offered as a single lot for $169,500 in SSC catalogues dated 7 July 2009 (lot 46) and 15 March 2013 (lot 25). The material is ex Bishop, Sessions and “AFAB“.

Some of the varieties in the bottom half of this page were offered as individual lots in subsequent catalogues.

The die proofs include the following:

  • 1¢ - $1 Arch die essays (22) including 10 black and 12 in colour with “POST“ instead of “POSTAGE“ at right
  • Unissued 7¢ in black & brown
  • Finished die proofs (21)
Die proofs of the 1930 King George V Arch Issue

Besides the die proofs, the lot included the following:

  • Set of 16 first day covers
  • Eight imperforate plate blocks
  • Broken X flaw on a imperf pair of the 20¢ Grain Harvesting overprinted “WORLD'S GRAIN EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE“ (only three imperf pairs exist)
  • Five imperforate pieces from an irregular block of the 2¢ green
  • Two corner fold varieties on the 5¢ blue
  • Two corner pieces from a unique pane of 100 of the 1930 10¢ Postage Due imperforate horizontally
Two first day covers of the 1930 King George V Arch Issue

Two of the 1930 Arch Issue first day covers from the set of 16

1930 King George V Arch Issue imperforate plate block of the 20 cent Grain Harvesting 1930 King George V Arch Issue imperforate plate block of the 50 cent Grand Pre
1933 20 Special Delivery imperforate plate block

Three of the eight imperforate plate blocks, including the 1933 20¢ Special Delivery with “CENTS“ at the bottom

Broken X flaw on a imperf pair of the 20 cent Grain Harvesting overprinted “WORLD’S GRAIN
                EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE“

Broken X flaw on a imperf pair of the 20¢ Grain Harvesting overprinted “WORLD’S GRAIN EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE“ (only three imperf pairs exist)

Five imperforate pieces from an irregular block of the 2 cent green

Imperforate pieces from an irregular, ungummed block of the 2¢ green

Notes on the imperforate irregular block of the 2¢ green

75 imperforate pairs of each of the high values of the 1930 King George V Arch Issue, 12¢ to $1, are recorded, whilst only 50 imperforate pairs of the 1¢ green and the 10¢ are believed to exist. It is unlikely that any passed over a post office counter.

The Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps also lists a strip of three 1¢ orange and three pairs of the 2¢ green, ungummed, and indicates that they are probably printer’s waste. It is most unusual within Canadian philately for such material to reach the marketplace, unlike some countries where printers were less security minded.

On the evidence, a sheet of the 2¢ green was indeed salvaged. It would seem the printers destroyed the sheet, but someone must have rescued three pairs from the debris. The horizontal margin between the central stamps indicates at least two panes so, almost certainly, the whole sheet was involved. It is reasonable to assume that the same applied to the 1¢ orange. This probably explains why only the isolated pieces exist.

The five pieces in the lot are shown in colour. Two other pieces, shown in black and white, are known. The whereabouts of the remaining horizontal pair, the gap in the illustration, is not known. The five pieces, ex David Sessions, were offered as an individual lot, # 95, for $1,950 in the SCC catalogue dated 23 September 2013.

Corner fold on the 5 cent blue, plate 3, lower left corner

Corner fold on the 5¢ blue, plate 3, lower left corner

Notes on 5¢ blue, plate 3, corner fold lower left corner

This corner fold, ex David Sessions, was offered as an individual lot, # 97, for $1,295 in the SCC catalogue dated 23 September 2013.

Corner fold on the 5 cent blue, plate 3, upper left corner; corner is unfolded Corner fold on the 5 cent blue, plate 3, upper left corner; corner is folded

Corner fold on the 5¢ blue, plate 3, upper left corner. The corner is unfolded at left, folded at right.

Notes on 5¢ blue, plate 3, corner fold upper left corner

The “missing“ upper left corner of the design was printed on the gum side, showing that the fold must have occurred before the stamps were printed. The perforations are normal, indicating that the corner was unfolded before the stamps were perforated.

Two corner pieces from a pane of 100 of the 1930 10 cent Postage Due imperforate horizontally

Two corner pieces from a unique pane of 100 of the 1930 10¢ Postage Due imperforate horizontally


For further reading

David Sessions wrote an excellent series of articles, “Underneath the Arches”, on the 1930 King George V Arch Issue in Maple Leaves, the journal of the Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain. The articles were published in Vol. 27, Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5. He wrote several more articles on the Arch Issue, all in Maple Leaves:

  • “Enough on my Plate”, Vol. 26, No. 6.
  • “Arch Supports”, Vol. 27, No. 7.
  • “The Arch Issue 1930 - Marginalia”, Vol. 29, No. 5.

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This page was last modified on 2022-01-20