Catalogue 276 Content

This is the first in a series of monographs presenting detailed inventories and studies of First Day Covers published for stamps issued during the reign of King George VI. This monograph deals with FDC's for the stamp issued to commemorate the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on November 20, 1947.

The stamp, Scott No. 276, (See Figure 1) was designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz and the portrait was engraved by William F. Ford from a photograph by Dorothy Wilding of London, England. The stamp was printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company Limited of Ottawa. It was printed in sheets of 400 because of its small size and separated into panes of 100. Plate numbers 1 and 2 were used, and the stamps were perforated 12. A total of 50,010,000 stamps were printed.

As was noted in the January, 1948 issue of BNA Topics (Vol. 5, No. 1, p. 8), production difficulties necessitated a delay of one month in the issuance of the stamp. Instead of Thursday, January 15, 1947 as was originally planned, the date of issue was Monday, February 16, 1948. This delay resulted in some interesting variations in FDC's as some are found with the original date, some with the original date scratched out, overprinted, or revised, and some with the later, actual first day of issue.

The philatelic literature revealed two prior attempts to document the array of FDC's produced for this issue. As part of a lengthy series of articles in First Days, the journal of the American First Day Cover Society, Melvin L. Baron reviewed the covers known to him at the time and in addition listed the cities and towns known to have day of issue postmarks. Baron listed and described fourteen different cachets although only five were illustrated, and those only in black and white. In an unpublished study dated 1992, B. G. Perkins included the Royal Wedding issue among FDC's reviewed for the 1947 to 1959 period. He identified 41 different cachets, including minor varieties.


More than four times as many cachets are represented here than were listed by Baron in 1981, and one and a half times as many as Perkins identified in 1992. Whereas Baron assigned each cachet a distinct number even if it differed only slightly from another cachet, here the variations on a basic design are assigned sub-types for ease of identification. The numbering method developed for this issue has also been applied in other studies of FDC?s in this monograph series. The system includes a three-digit Scott catalogue number for the issue (ie. 276 in this case) followed by a three digit major type number (eg. 205) and then a two-digit number for a minor variation in text, design, or colour (eg. 02). Thus, a typical classification for a cachet might be 276.205.02.

As shown in Table I, the cachets are arranged so that those bearing the likeness of the Princess alone (12 cachets) are shown first, followed by those showing the Princess and Prince together (12 cachets) and another 12 cachets with miscellaneous themes related to the Royal Wedding. Four of the categories of cachets shown here are also used with the FDC's of other stamp issues and have been designated as standard categories. These categories include Postcards, Hand-Drawn or Painted, Predominantly Text, and General Purpose cachets.


Thematic Categories of Cachets:
Princess Elizabeth only 276.100 12
Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth 276.200 12
Miscellaneous themes 276.500 12
Standard Categories of cachets:
Postcards 276.600 2
Hand-Drawn or hand-painted 276.650 4
Predominantly Text 276.800 9
General Purpose 276.900 12
Uncacheted Covers:
Business env., typed message 276.994 NA
Business env., hand-written or printed message 276.995 NA
Business env., FD dated only 276.996 NA
Personal env., typed message 276.997 NA
Personal env., hand-written or printed message 276.998 NA
Personal env., FD dated only 276.999 NA
Total 63

The last six categories noted in Table I are for uncacheted FDC?s which contain limited or no acknowledgement that they are related to the first day of this issue other than a brief notation or a postal marking on business stationery or personal use envelope. Such covers are virtually unlimited in number, and in many cases they are unique, hence a complete catalogue of them would be virtually impossible. Collectors could organize such FDC?s according to the six categories suggested, with a two digit indicator of each cover for inventory purposes. Thus, a collector?s sixth business envelope with a typed "first day" message, #276 franking, and first day cancellation would be catalogued as 276.994.06.


Ottawa was the designated official first day of issue city, but other cities and towns had supplies of the stamp on hand as first day postmarks appear on a variety of covers from places other than Ottawa. Baron listed ten unofficial first day locations while the 37 locations known now are included in the alphabetical listing shown below. While the largest number (16) of cancellations were circular date stamps, there were also 6 machine, 3 slogan, and 1 duplex cancellation. In some case, day-of-issue locations had been reported without the type of cancellation being noted.

Belleville ON
Brantford ON
Campbellford ON
Desoronto ON X
Dundas ON
Edmonton AB
Elmira ON
Fergus ON
Haliburton ON X
Halifax NS
Hamilton ON X
House of Commons ON
Kingston ON
Kitchener ON X
Lachute QC
Lindsay ON X
London ON X X
Montreal QC X
Notre Dame de Grace QC
Oshawa ON
Ottawa ON X X
Parry Sound ON Mail Early
Port Burwell ON X
Red Deer AB
Regina SK X X
Saint Thomas ON
Toronto ON X Canada Help
Toronto ON Save Time
Toronto Terminal A ON X
Toronto Station D ON X
Toronto Station E ON X
Toronto & Windsor RPO ON X
Vancouver BC X X
Vancouver Sub. No. 4 BC X
Victoria BC X
Windsor ON X
Winnipeg MB

Note: First day cancellations have been reported in some cases without the type of cancel.

Baron, Melvin L. "FDC's of the Canadian Postal Issues of 1940-1950: Part III-Sc.l 276-Royal Marriage Commemor. Issue of 1948.," First Days, Vol. 26, No. 1 (January-February, 1981. pp. 55-56.
Perkins, B. G. "Canada First Day Cover Cachet/Catalogue 1947-1959." Unpublished manuscript, 1992.