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Edition #638  Friday, November 3, 2017

Artists and Designers

The top row are (left to right) Dorothy Wilding, Arnold Machin and Bryan Adams with their stamp designs aligned below them.

Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976) was a world famous photographer with studios on both sides of the Atlantic. She was the first woman photographer to be appointed Official Royal Photographer for the George VI Coronation in 1937. Her striking portrait of the young Queen Elizabeth II was used not only on definitive stamp issues of Great Britain but can also be found on stamps of many Commonwealth countries (including the Canadian block of four pictured here). It's one of the best known images of the Queen and has been adapted for everything from banknotes to teacups and cookie tins.

Relying on more sculptural classic lines, Arnold Machin (1911-1999) created in 1967 the understated and regal cameo that is the most reproduced royal image of Queen Elizabeth II seen on stamps and currency of many countries.

Bryan Adams (1959- ), Canadian rocker and photographer, took the above photograph of Queen Elizabeth II at a 2002 Golden Jubilee function in England. It is probably the jolliest and most informal image of the Queen to be portrayed on a stamp.

For a change of pace, we go back to the absolute roots of stamp portraiture, the portrait of Queen Victoria as portrayed on the 1840 Penny Black. The portrait of Victoria was engraved by Charles Heath and his son Frederick, based on a sketch provided by Henry Corbould. Corbould's sketch was in turn based on the 1834 cameo-like head by William Wyon, which was used on a medal to commemorate the Queen's visit to the City of London in 1837. This profile of the 15 year old Princess Victoria was adapted to many uses over the years until her death in 1901.

Further reading on the people involved:

Alfred Chalon (1780-1860) a European portrait painter moved with his family from Switzerland to England in 1789. His attractive water colour of Queen Victoria painted for the occasion of her first visit to the House of Lords in 1837 quickly became the portrait of choice for a myriad of British Empire Colonial stamp issues.

On the 1897 Canadian Jubilee issue, the young Victoria on the left is based on the Chalon painting, the older Victoria on the right is based on a photograph by Alexander Bassano taken in 1887.

Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), the world renowned Ottawa based photographer is probably best known for his riveting portrait of a war-time Winston Churchill. Recording the likenesses of Canadian and world "Who's Who" was his specialty. His 1951 portrait of Princess Elizabeth was chosen to grace not only the stamp issue shown above but numerous Commonwealth stamp and banknote issues.

Here are some coin or medallion designs. You'll recognize that some of them have also been used on stamps.

(left)The Celebrated Victoria "Gothic" Portrait used on Silver Crowns and Florins 1847-1878

(right)The celebrated William Wyon Victoria "Young Head" Portrait 1839-1887

(left)Victoria "Bun Head" Portrait used for all Bronze Coins 1860-1894

(right)Victoria "Jubilee" Portrait used for all Gold and Silver Coins 1887-1892

(left)Victoria "Veiled or Widow" Portrait used variously for all Gold, Silver and Bronze Coins 1893-1901

(right)Victoria Colonial style portrait used in 1862 for the British India One Rupee

(left)Victoria Colonial style portrait used in 1869 for the Jamaica One Penny

(right)Victoria Ornate widow style portrait on a school attendance medal - 1900

The most complete listing of Canadian stamp designers and information on all Canadian stamp issues is certainly the Canadian Archives Postal website at

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Answer to Last Week's Salvation Army Quiz

We received seven correct answers to our last stamp identification quiz. That means a $7.00 donation to Salvation Army.

Here's the portion of the stamp we asked you to identify

Here's the answer - Canada #977, the $2.00 Map of the World issued for Commonwealth Day in 1983.

The Salvation Army Quiz

We show you a minute portion of the design of a postage stamp. You have to determine which stamp it is. Send us an email with your answer.

We hold a contest almost every newsletter. For every correct answer we will donate $1.00 to our favourite charity, the Salvation Army. Click here to go to the The Salvation Army International Home Page to see what services they offer to communities around the world.

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Edition #646
Thursday, September 27, 2018

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Edition #638  Friday, November 3, 2017
Artists and Designers

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