Voices from the Engraver - Finalizing the artifacts: the stamps
This exhibition is about engravers, production processes and the beauty of postage stamps and bank notes. In the previous episode of this series we talked about the process surrounding securing the bank notes for this exhibition and how it had to take into account both the needs of the exhibition team and the concerns of the collections department. Now we’d like to talk about stamps, (hopefully not as tediously as your bachelor Uncle Frank) and show you a few from the show.
Given our preoccupation with bank notes, what we find so amazing when we widen our focus to include stamps is the sheer assortment we are faced with. Whereas it takes several years to produce a new bank note series, Canada Post will now produce between 20 and 50 fresh designs each year. The Canadian Museum of History, with whom we are partnering for this exhibition, has large holdings of stamps and proved an amazing resource for our exhibition. As far as subject matter was concerned, anything we found hard to come up with in our collection of bank notes we found we could illustrate with ten stamps from any number of eras. Our ever-helpful stamp curator was always ready with a flood tide of stamp suggestions for subjects ranging from landscape to sports heroes, from history to royalty. Rocket Richard on a bank note? Sorry, but let me check the stamp index…
The Canadian Stamp Collection, now in a permanent space on Level One near First People’s Hall, displays every Canadian stamp ever produced since 1851 - when the Province of Canada’s first stamp was introduced. That’s a display of more than 3,000 stamps when you include the pre-confederation provinces. Never mind that most of the items are, well, postage stamp sized, take it from us—it’s very impressive. Check it out if you can, otherwise have a look at the website.
You may also want to browse through Library and Archives’ impressive database of stamps, where every Canadian stamp from 1851 until 2010 is available for viewing and for research. And yes, Maurice Richard is featured on a stamp from 2000.
All images: ©Canada Post Corporation.Reproduced with permission.
During World War Two, the Bank created the Foreign Exchange Control Board (FECB). One of its major tasks was to find as many US dollars as possible to pay for American imports.
Economic bubbles continued to pop up regularly throughout history, and still do today.
In heritage conservation, broken metal objects can be reassembled with an adhesive most commonly used for repairing glass and ceramics.
Used extensively in the 19th century, this type of hand-operated press printed secure financial documents using the intaglio method.
How on earth did an “S” with a line or two through it come to represent a dollar? Any ideas? No? That’s OK, you’re in good company.