There are those who still think definitives are boring. I suppose they have rows of identical stamps in mind, in a small format, with only the colour changing for each value. And even then I don't agree with them! But be that as it may, you can't really argue with the fact that Canada issues the most beautiful high value definitives you've ever seen. I was therefore very happy when Carmen mentioned them in the ongoing forum thread on which country issues the most beautiful stamps.
The $10 Blue Whale is indeed a stunner to look at and one in a row of magnificent stamps. The high value definitive series depicting mammals started in 1997, and by now an impressive range of stamps has been issued. One of my favourites of the lot is the one depicting a loon. I've had it for years but took it out again to have another loving look and scan it for this blog post. It was then that I discovered that there is some microprint included which gives you the Latin name for the mammal. Look under the DA of Canada. Or at the dark blue wavy lines on the whale stamp. Once you've spotted them, you wonder how you could ever not have noticed them!
What I also like very much about these issues is that you get all the necessary info on the sheet margins. They include the name of the printers, of the designer and of the engraver. Perfect! I'm only wondering why there is an "Illustration" mentioned as well. Is the design based upon an existing illustration, maybe?
The moose margins give even more information. There's a C1 which I suppose is a plate number? There's hooves for all the different printing colours. And there's the mention of petroglyphs and a national park. I had to Google that but it appears that the drawing in the bottom left corner is such a petroglyph. And what's more: if you take out your UV-lamp, you'll find a similar image, but mirrored, hidden in the design somewhere.
So you see, just a handful of definitive stamps yield a world of information and beauty. Well done, Canada!
See yous later!