Printing History and Quantities
The initial printing of the Small Canoe issue replaced the Large Canoe values of d, 1d, 2d, 2d, 5d, 6d, and 1/-. The stamps were delivered to the post office in Tulagi on October 26, 1908 and were placed on sale on November 1. The following quantities were delivered: (All information on quantities in this section are taken from Gisburn.)
d 103,200
1d 104,940
2d 101,820
2d 103,560
5d 30,360
6d 31,200
1/- 30,480

On March 7, 1910, the set was expanded to include the higher values 2/-, 2/6,  and 5/-. These stamps were printed on slightly thinner paper than that used for the original issue. The following quantities were printed:

2/- 18,600
2/6 12,420
5/- 6,300

The adoption of Imperial Penny Postage by the Protectorate reduced the combined fee for postage and registration from 5d to 4d, and an appropriate new value on the thinner paper was issued on March 6, 1911. The Imperial Penny Postage also created increased demand for d and 1d values such that the two stamps were reprinted in March 1913. The paper for this reprinted issue was much thinner than for the original. The following quantities of the three new values were printed:

d 96,240
1d 104,940
4d 30,300

Note: Rowland Hill created the Penny Postage for use within Great Britain in 1840. In 1898, John Henniker Heaton was successful is having the program extended to the entire Empire as the Imperial Penny Postage, thus providing for inexpensive communication throughout the English-speaking world. For an engaging history of this innovation, see Staff.

Following the issue of the George V issue of 1913, the Small Canoes were withdrawn and destroyed. Gisburn quotes studies by the Pacific Islands Study Circle of the Sydney Philatelic Club that point to two episodes of destruction. The first in July-August 1914 destroyed remainders in the Tulagi General Post Office. The second in August 1915 destroyed remainders that had been recalled from the sub-post offices. When all the printings and destructions are tallied, the following are the most reliable figures available for the actual quantities sold:

d (1908) 96,240
d (1913) 6,000
1d (1908) 104,940
1d (1913) 10,320
2d 63,886
2d 28,503
4d 19,331
5d 17,084
6d 16,126
1/- 13,194
2/- 5,622
2/6 4,994
5/- 4,431