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Year of the Tiger

Chinese New Year

Stamp Info

Name Value
Date of Issue January 8, 2010
Year 2010
Quantity 750,000
Perforation or Dimension 12.5
Series Chinese New Year
Series Time Span 1997 - 2020
Printer Lowe-Martin Company Inc..
Postal Administration Canada

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Stamp Price Values

Condition Name Avg Value
Mint - Never Hinged - Very Fine Only available to paid users
Used - Very Fine Only available to paid users
* Notes about these prices:
  • They are not based on catalogue values but on current dealer and auction listings. The reason for this is that catalogues tend to over-value stamps.
  • They are average prices. The actual value of your stamp may be slightly above or below the listed value, depending on the overall condition of your stamp. Use these prices as a guide to determine the approximate value of your stamps.

Stamp Supplies on Amazon


Souvenir sheet

Quantity Produced - 750,000
Current Purchase Price: Only available to paid users
Original Purchase Price: $1.70
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 40 mm x 140 mm (vertical)
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours plus two foil stampings, embossing/debossing plus varnish
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: General, 4 sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Uncut press sheet of 12 souvenir sheets

Quantity Produced - 25,000
Original Purchase Price: $28.95
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 360 mm x 610 mm (tall)
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours plus two foil stampings, embossing/debossing plus varnish
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: General, 4 sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Souvenir sheet OFDC

Quantity Produced - 58,000
Original Purchase Price: $2.70
Cancellation Location: Markham, Ontario
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 32 mm x 32 mm (square)
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours plus two foil stampings, embossing/debossing plus varnish
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: General, 4 sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

About Stamp

It’s that time of year again—a time to explore the enchanting world of Chinese astrology; a time to celebrate the fascinating myths, legends and traditions behind this ancient calendar system. And at Canada Post, we like to celebrate in style. This January, we’ll kick off the Year of the Tiger with a commemorative issue that’s as bold and fierce as its namesake animal suggests.

The stamps, which mark the second release in a twelve-year Lunar New Year series, were designed by Wilco Design in Toronto. “The Year of the Tiger issue is a cross-cultural celebration of the tiger figure in the Chinese tradition,” says the firm’s principal, Wilson Lam. “This project has been guided by a desire to tell the story of the tiger through traditional Chinese icons and imagery.”

A Chinese seal, a stamp used as a form of signature, is featured on the international stamp, while its imprint, portraying the tiger in a traditionally stylized manner, appears on the domestic stamp. The seal was designed by Lam and sculpted by Chinese-Canadian artist Bill Lau, using Sculpey polymer clay. “Seals are often so well-crafted that they act as cultural artifacts in themselves. In the design, the seal works to establish a visual theme that delivers both a two-dimensional icon and a three-dimensional object,” Lam explains. “We applied gold foil to the seal’s imprint, because 2010 is dominated by the metal element and gold is the highest-valued metal in China.” A symbol of wealth and good fortune to the Chinese, the colour gold speaks to lunar hopes of good luck and prosperity. Clear foil and multi-level embossing techniques were applied to draw attention to the seal, notes Alain Leduc, Manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post. “These features combine to catch the light and really give prominence to Lau’s sculpture,” Leduc points out.

The fierce tiger, painted by Lam and featured in the background of the souvenir sheet, illustrates the status of the tiger in Chinese lore. “In China, the tiger is at once a figure of power and of obedience,” says Lam. “Tigers are respectful of their culture, community, and the authority of their tradition. They represent values that have helped guide generations of people into prosperity, while promoting a cohesive culture.” The long, scroll-like shape of the souvenir sheet—a format that will remain standard throughout the series—is also rooted in Chinese tradition, as decorative scrolls are believed to have originated in China.

A detailed look at the uncut press sheet reveals an abstract, forest-like pattern, against which all twelve animals of the lunar cycle have been imprinted. “We did not focus exclusively on the tiger, but placed it among the other lunar animals to present it as a commanding presence within the twelve-year cycle,” notes Lam. Speckles of foil are scattered throughout the background of the press sheet. Alain Leduc explains, “This gives the impression that gold flakes have been splashed across the surface, and the random spreading of foil is something we’ve never done before.” The feature was inspired by the works of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), an Austrian painter celebrated for his elegant use of gold foil.

“Year after year, it can be challenging to develop a new Lunar New Year issue that blends well with the series, while being completely original in its approach,” notes Leduc. This commemorative issue, with its rich use of colour, insightful design, and leading-edge printing techniques, was nothing short of a success. Happy Year of the Tiger!


Design: Wilson Chi Ian Lam (Wilco Design) Illustration: Wilson Chi Ian Lam (Wilco Design) Scuplture: Bill Lao Photography: Joseph Chan

Similar Stamps


Canada Post Corporation. Details, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2010, p. 6-7.

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