Friday, April 6, 2012

Bluenose Schooner

Date of Issue: 1928-29
Scott #: 158, SG #: 284

I am very happy to own this perfectly centered MNH 50c stamp of Bluenose schooner, as it was my longtime dream to have it in my collection and this became true when I made a bid at the Sandafayre auction house, February 14, 2012.

This stamp is widely cited among philatelists to be the most popular stamp design from Canada, depicting the fishing schooner 'Bluenose' is certainly a very attractive stamp deserving of praise, not only for it's design but also for it's superb engraving.

A celebrated racing ship and hard-working fishing vessel, Bluenose became a provincial icon for Nova Scotia as well as important Canadian symbol in the 1930s. The name "bluenose" originated as a nickname for Nova Scotians from as early as the late 18th century.

The subject of the stamp was built in 1921 as Nova Scotia's challenger for the "International Trophy", a working boats' version of the prestigious 'America's Cup', she won on her first attempt in 1921. The boat then maintained an unbeaten run for the next 17 years including the last event, held in 1938.

In 1942 she was sold to a freight carrier and taken to work in the West Indies where in 1946 she foundered on a reef near Haiti and broke up. This iconic boat was honoured by being placed in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and in 1983 a full scale replica, 'Bluenose II', was built and is now used as Nova Scotia's sailing ambassador.

Schooner: A schooner is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts with the forward mast being no taller than the rear masts.

Such vessels were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century (but may not have been called that at the time). The development of the schooner is connected with that of the Bermuda sloop. In Bermuda, countless vessels of otherwise identical description were built with between one and three masts, carrying Gaff or Bermuda rig. Although Bermudians generally describe all as sloops, purists elsewhere limit that term to single-masted vessels, those with more than one mast being historically described as Ballyhoo schooners. Schooners were further developed in North America from the early 18th century, and were more widely used in the United States than in any other country.

Two-masted schooners were and are most common. They were popular in trades that required speed and windward ability, such as slaving, privateering, and blockade running. They were also traditional fishing boats, used for offshore fishing. They were favoured as pilot vessels, both in the United States and in Northern Europe. In the Chesapeake Bay area several distinctive schooner types evolved, including the Baltimore clipper and the pungy.

Click here to read more about the Bluenose.

Source: Sandafayre auctions newsletter and Wikipedia

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