Archive for the 'Canada' Category

a landscape with cattle

January 31, 2021


1 July 1942, Canada
Canadian Farm Scene
designers: Douglas and Mary Patrick

It is a familiar landscape of farming – but those cattle were not indigenous. They were brought to the continent by farmers who emigrated from Europe. Where the climate is humid enough for the field to grow wild grass to feed cattle, the carbon footprint is not too high. But when the wild grass does not catch up to recover after being eaten, you have to grow vegetables to feed cattle – that is when sustainable efficiency goes down.

“Feast to Save the Planet” is BBC Horizon program, to check and compare the carbon footprint facts and scored on the environmental impact of each dish on the menu. These researches show us not only that the distance of transport is significant, but also efficiency of food production and the nature of animals and plants we grow.




January 23, 2021


4 April 1955, Canada
National Wildlife: Muskox
design: Emanuel Otto Hahn

Native to the Canadian Arctic, the Muskox is a huge animal which eats grass and tree leaves. Despite its gentle eyes, the males have violent battles in the mating season and are able to run as fast as 60 km per hour! They used to live in Eurasia until 3,000 years ago, but their downy fur is too nice and soft, so humans hunted them to extinction there. They are now reintroduced from Canada to Alaska and Sweden.


presenting hands / 贈る手

December 24, 2016

13 Octoebr 1965

13 October 1965, Canada
‘Gifts of the Magi’
designer: Helen Roberta Fitzgerald
engraver / picture: Yves Baril
engraver / letters: Donald J. Mitchell

Canadian archive shows names and pictures of designer and engravers of this stamp from 1965.  Wonderful!

Have a merry Christmas.



hand in hand / 手と手をつなぐ

August 19, 2016


29 May 1980, Canada
design: Rolf P. Harder

It took me two and a half months to get round to writing a new post – but I am still interested in stamps with hands.  I am impressed by this endurance of attraction.

This strong design is about hand in hand – simple, and delivers a message for help and coexistence.  This stamp is featured on the cover of a wonderful book called Graphic Stamps, published this June in London.  Hands are in two different metallic colours.


この切手は、リハビリテーションというテーマを手のモチーフで力強く表現している秀作です。この6月にロンドンの出版社から発表された『Graphic Stamps』という素敵な本の表紙に使われています。手は2色のメタリック。

beach holidays / 海の夏休み

August 17, 2013

7 March 1957, Canada
Canada – All Seasons Playground
designer: Laurence Hyde / engraver: Yves Baril

Another visual chill-out from Canada, where I found many cool stamps are from.  The girl is having great time in the water!


I like these crisply engraved single coloured stamps with geometrical expression of water.

designed by Laurence Hyde / engraved by Silas Robert Allen



in the Arctic seas / 北の海

July 21, 2013

10 April 1968, Canada
Narwhal, Monodon monoceros
design: John Alexander Crosby

This image, again showing below and above the sea – looks cool, too.  Narwhals are living in the Northern sea, where icebergs are floating around.  The long tusk is a sensory organ to detect temperature and atmospheric pressure.. amazing!


rich soil after snow / 雪が肥やす森

January 26, 2013

7 August 1990, Canada
Acadian Forest
Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Forest
design: Malcolm Waddell
leaves illustration: Jan Waddell
photograph: Sherman Hines

We have some sunshine finally!!  Patchy snow is seen on the ground and it will deliver rich minerals to the tree roots little by little.  I am amazed how little birds keep their feet warm during that snow – their chirping let us know that they have survived.

Two stamps are showing Canadian forests in winter and early spring, together with Beech and Eastern White Pine details.



cool portrait of the Queen / 女王肖像きりり

June 5, 2012

3 October 1962, Canada
Queen Elizabeth II
design: Ernst Roch
portrait engraver: Yves Baril
lettering and symbol engraver: John F. Mash

The Royal Mail have issued two sets of stamps for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in February and May, but from the graphical point of view, both are not exciting nor original.

Instead, I would nominate this portrait of the Queen – from 50 years ago.  Without a crown or jewellery, this Canadian stamp is depicting the steady and beloved personality of the Queen.



first stamp of Canada / カナダ最初の切手

November 20, 2011

1 July 1859, Canada
design: Sandford Fleming
engraver: Alfred Jones

I am a fan of Canadian stamps, especially when I learned the fact that their first stamp featured a Beaver!  OK, they made higher value stamps with the heads of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria at almost the same time, but they were issued a month later.  This perforated 5 cent stamp was the third edition of their very first Beaver, using the same design.

Another reason why I am a fan of Canadian stamps – is this fantastic archive.  People who made this archive are proud of their history and like to talk about the designers and artists involved.  I can see the face of the engraver, who carved a smiling sun behind the Beaver 160 years ago – this is great!

A beaver building a dam was symbolic of the people in the young country of Canada building their towns, cities, and communities’ – this is the reason behind the first stamp, according to the article in this archive.





animal of the nation / 国家的ビーバー

November 15, 2011

1 April 1954, Canada
design: Herman Schwartz
original illustration: Emanuel Hahn
engraver: Silas Allen

Another stamp with the Canadian Maple leaf, this time the main feature is their National animal, the Beaver.  This is the result of works by three people, the artist of the original art work, the designer and the engraver ( the job is completed by the printer, of course ).  It is interesting to read about them – their routes are from Germany, Holland and Canada.

The engraving work is really delicate and enjoyable to magnify… I know it’s a bit minor, but joyful!



Maple leaf / カエデの赤

November 9, 2011

14 May 1964, Canada
‘Floral Emblem Series’
design: Harvey Thomas Prosser

The Maple leaf is the queen of autumn colour for me and of course, the Canadian national symbol as shown on their flag.  Even a small Maple tree shows its existence very strongly in this season.

This stamp allows me to imagine the chilly and fresh air of the late autumn in Canada.  Beautifully simple.



The Enchanted Owl / 魔法のふくろう

May 30, 2011

27 January 1970, Canada
Centennial of the Northwest Territories
design: Norman E. Hallendy & Sharon Van Raalte
based on a stone-cut print by Kenojuak Ashevak

Since last autumn I have not heard the sound of an Owl at all, until tonight.  I am really pleased to hear it!

This beautiful Owl stamp is based on an Inuit artist‘s work from 1960, named ‘The Enchanted Owl’.  How magical the Owl was in their tradition – I would like to find out.  In Canada, the indigenous people’s full political rights were entitled in 1960 – two years earlier than the Australian Aborigine – just 51 years ago.  That is a surprise.



less land? / あれ?

February 22, 2011

29 June 1927, Canada
map of Canada
design: Herman Herbert Schwartz
engrave: Edwin H. Gunn

This beautiful stamp celebrates 60 years of the first Canadian Confederation, and the map shows its expansion.  Ah – wait a moment, the previous map of 1898 shows a little more land in red – the East end of the continent and the island in front.  The area called Labrador and Newfoundland were not the parts of Canada until 1949.  But it was British territory anyway, so the map of 1898 was correct.

Enjoy the magnified part below, showing those two lightly hatched areas.




vast lands on the earth / 広大な領土

February 21, 2011

7 December 1898, Canada
XMAS 1898
design: Warren L. Green
based on a map by George Robert Parkin
engraver: Charles Skinner

It says on the bottom ”We hold a vaster empire than has been”.  This stamp celebrates Canada’s participation in the British postage system.  In this Mercator’s Projection, the Suzerain Country is a little island not even in the centre of the map… but it ruled a ‘vast empire’ from there.

The red colour is letter press printed over the intaglio, which is slightly off centre and some of the territory is floating in the sea – it was not a great matter, but the number of dots were important at that time, I imagine.



rabbity looking / うさぎらしいうさぎ

January 4, 2011

3 October 1988, Canada
Varying Hare: Small Canadian Mammals series
design: Peter Adam

There was a comment ( off-line ) on the previous post of Amami Rabbit – ‘it looks like a Rat!’…  All right – the length of the ears, isn’t it?  Here is a more authentically Rabbit looking one, but this is technically a Hare!

This is a definitive stamp, featuring a fluffy animal adopting its appearance to the Winter colour.  The surrounding pattern is ecovatively 80’s for me.



riding in the woods / 森の中を走る

December 30, 2010

22 March 1974, Canada
‘Cycling’ in Olympic Games, Keeping Fit series
design: David Hunter
based on a photograph by Crombie McNeill
engrave: Donald J. Mitchell

Another stamp featuring a family cycling in the woods from Canada, in mono-colour.  This one has unusual Intaglio effect on it – you can see the Olympic rings over the picture if you enlarge.

I don’t have a catalogue of Canadian stamps.  Is anyone able to tell me about the designer who did this optical illusion?



p.s. Name of designer, original photo and engraver were tought by Jürgen of Europa Stamps.  Thanks, Jürgen!

追記:デザインに関する詳細はのちにEuropa Stampsを主宰するJürgenより教えてもらいました。ありがとう!

map making in snow / 極寒の地で地図を作った人

January 15, 2010

5 June 1957, Canada
David Thompson (1770-1857)
design: George Arthur Gundersen
engrave: Yves Baril

There is no sign of spring here in London yet.  The car is covered with frost and it takes extra time to get to work in the morning.

I watched a TV program on David Thompson recently, an English man who lived in Canada and dedicated his life to map making of North Canada.  He learnt a lot from his wife, a native American, and members of her family – how to survive in severe climate.  I like this stamp, as it pictures the atmosphere of cold Canada and this committed man.



wood industry in Canada / 製材所

September 23, 2009

1 April 1952, Canada
Forestry Products of Canada
design: Alan L. Pollock
engrave: Joseph Keller

Simple composition, single coloured stamp depicting factory of wood veneer.


tools for everyday / 日常の道具たち

September 22, 2009

19 October 1982, Canada
design: Jean Morin

I like this idea of Definitive stamps depicting the everyday objects.  Stable Lantern for example, hand made with tin.  Fishing spear reminds me native Canadian’s history, which had been heavily relying upon fish.  Skate blades makes me imagine how North the country is.