Canada 1898 Imperial Penny Postage 2c blue "Map", SG167a, imperforate upper marginal block of 4 (R1-2/3-4) with full "AMERICAN BANK NOTE CO. OTTAWA" imprint.
Unused, very fine and a wonderful rarity in this positional form.
A total of 600 imperforate pairs (all three colours) are believed to have existed, from 12 panes of 100, with just four imprints per pane.
The Imperial Penny Postage issue of 1898 from Canada, known as the "Map Stamps" was an innovative stamp issue at the time. It was the first Canadian stamp to use multiple colours and multiple printing techniques.
It is also considered to be the first Christmas stamp issued in the world. Ironically, it was not issued as a Christmas commemorative but became one as it does show "XMAS 1898" in the design and its official first day of issue was on Christmas Day.
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