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Canada/Stamps : small queen - Pelure paper

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jamesw
13 Aug 2013
11:17:01pm
I posted this on another site, and got some interesting information. I'd like to present this here, and see what you folks think (some of you may have seen this 'over there')
I have two half cent small queens and I was trying to determine whether they were Montreal (1882-1888) or Ottawa (1889-1897) printings.
The stamp on the left is unused (apparently) with no gum and the right one is used. Both, unfortunately have some faults (crease/poor centering on left, small tear on right) but the major difference between the two seems to be the paper.
The left hand stamp is on thin hard paper and is darker in appearance because the paper is somewhat translucent. It also has a somewhat waxy feel. The right hand stamp has thin but whiter woven paper and is opaque.
Unitrade mentions two printings of this denomination. The Montreal printing, starting in 1882 is on paper that " appears closer to newsprint". The later Ottawa printing (1889-1897) is on paper of "poor quality - more white". Neither of these stamps are on anything like newsprint.

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My other posting produced a web site with the Royal Canadian Philatelic Society and an article by John Hillson about the small Queens and paper. Hillson mentions a thin transparent 'onion skin' paper call Pelure, and states that this paper was used on this issue, but rarely.

http://www.rpsc.org/Library/SmallQueen/Small_Queens.htm

You can definitely see through this stamp (the one on the left). I wouldn't call it transparent, as Hillson does, but translucent, meaning some light and image pass through the paper. Here's an image of my stamp on top of a page in the Unitrade catalogue. Note how you can see the rules on the page through the stamp.

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So my question to you (and a rather long winded on it is, I'm afraid) is, is anyone here familiar with Pelure paper, and do you think that my little Queen here may be printed on it?
I'm not asking for a free expertizing. I won't hold anyone accountable. I'm just wondering what minds more experienced than mine think of it?
Hmmmm?


(Modified by Moderator on 2013-08-14 06:47:36)
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michael78651
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13 Aug 2013
11:28:56pm
re: small queen - Pelure paper

There are several Russian stamps that were printed on pelure paper. The best analogy I can make to give you an idea what it looks like is that pelure paper reminds me of wax paper. It isn't wax paper of course.

I don't know of Canadian stamps being printed on pelure paper, but some (see the Admiral issue) were printed on thin paper. You can tell the difference between thin and regular wove paper by how the image can be seen from the back like with your example on the left. With pelure paper, the complete image shows right through. I would say that your "Little Queen" (I like that phrase) is on thin paper.

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saleem
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14 Aug 2013
05:38:43am
re: small queen - Pelure paper

As per my observations old onion skin paper tends to curl up when soaked and dried on a flat surface. You can get some cheap example of stamp on this type of paper or try to get some older onion skin paper and soak it/dry it to confirm the results before soaking this stamp. Another method is to check with another example on similar paper with longwave U/V light.
Transparent and translucent paper confuses a bit as it is hard to imagine transparent paper used in earlier printings of stamps.

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"Experience is the name you give to the mistakes you made yesterday."
jamesw
14 Aug 2013
09:06:27am
re: small queen - Pelure paper

Michael, you mention a waxy feel. This stamp does have that feel. And where it is creased, you can see on the back, it does not bend, as such, but the surface has a white line, like a surface layer is broken.
It reminds me of the paper the Confederate stamps (#5 I believe, though I'd have to check the catalogue) printed in England were printed on. This so called 'high quality paper' is translucent and has that waxy feel as well. Unitrade does not mention Pelure paper. The only reference I have is the online article on the RCPS site.

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michael78651
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14 Aug 2013
11:39:39am
re: small queen - Pelure paper

James, I never mentioned anything about "feel". I was only saying what it looks like.

From your images, the Victoria stamp in question to me looks like it is on thin, wove paper. The weaving is clearly seen in the image. Pelure paper has different characteristics, such as you can see little or no weave to the paper, and the design is transparent from the back. Your image only shows the design showing partly through the back, but not entirely.

There are ways that a stamp can get a waxy "feel". Depends how it has been handled through the years. Soaking it off in a sweat box, the gum can glaze, or putting powder on it can give it a slick feel as well. Not having your stamp in-hand, I can't give you an answer as to why it feels "waxy".

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smauggie
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14 Aug 2013
04:01:53pm
re: small queen - Pelure paper

The stamp on the left that is transperent (technically translucent is the correct word to use in this case) is indeed the newsprint paper. Keep in mind that the newsprint paper of today is not the same as the newsprint paper of yesteryear.

Another piece of supporting evidence for it being from Montreal is the atrocious perf job. Overall Montreal had (based on my own observation) a much poorer quality control with regard to perforation. You could have stamps with barely margin at all, and stamps with super-jumbo margins in the same sheet.

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