Sale 311

Canada and Provinces

Printing Contract for Canada's First Stamps
Lot Photo Description
Lot 2001

Contract to print Canada's first postage stamps, seven-page handwritten contract between the Province of Canada, represented by the Provincial Post Master General, James Morris, and the New York engraving firm of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson. The contract spells out which stamps are to be printed: "three (3d.) pence, six (6d.) pence and shilling (1/-)" and that the stamps should be "on suitable paper of the best quality, prepared for use with gum, at the rate of Twenty Cents per thousand stamps". The contract also stipulates that the dies and plates will remain "the exclusive property of Her Britannic Majesty for the use of Her Provincial Government of Canada" and details security arrangements for said dies and plates when not in use.

Signed and sealed by Post Master General Morris on June 21, 1851; signed and sealed by Freeman Rawdon, Neziah Wright, George W. Hatch and Tracy R. Edson on July 7, after adding a clause providing for destruction of the dies and plates "in the event of this agreement being annulled"; and finally, signed again by Morris on July 12, agreeing to the destruction clause.
Estimate 30,000 - 40,000


Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson were also the printers of the first issue of United States postage stamps, the 5¢ and 10¢ of 1847. The contract for that issue, however, has never been found, making this one nearly as important to collectors of the United States 1847 Issue as it is to the collectors of Canada's first stamps.

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