From the first known cachet for a Canadian stamp issue which appeared in 1927, through the apex of FDC collecting in the 1950s and 1960s, to the gradual decline of new products following the introduction of Canada Post’s own line of official covers in 1971, privately-produced FDCs have rarely been studied and never thoroughly documented. This catalogue represents the start of a broader and more thorough treatment of FDCs as a sub-field of postal history.
Official Canadian FDCs are dealt with in detail in The New Specialized Catalogue of Canada Post Office First Day Covers by Andrew Chung and R.F. Narbonne which was published by Unitrade in 2015, so they are not included in this FDC catalogue. Also excluded from this first edition of the private FDC catalogue are such back-of-book covers as airmail, special delivery, official, and semi-postal stamps as well as the stamps of Newfoundland.
This catalogue is also a companion to the current edition of The Unitrade Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps which includes prices for FDCs from 1927 onwards, and these serve as minimum price points for the new volume. The assumption behind the stamp catalogue’s pricing is that all cacheted FDCs are worth the same amount, however, prices for privately produced FDCs often run higher or lower than those listed in the stamp catalogue depending on a variety of factors.
More than eight thousand different cacheted covers are included in the volume. All of the special purpose cachets produced for specific stamp issues are illustrated in colour, while general purpose cachets that could be used for any stamp issue are each shown once in a separate section and cross-referenced to every stamp for which examples have been documented by at least one reported cover.
The catalogue provides guidance to both novice and experienced collectors regarding their acquisitions by illustrating the range of covers that have been produced for specific stamps and suggesting market prices for a wide range of FDCs.