Tuesday, 19 September 2017

1084. 🇳🇿 New Zealand New Issue - Seedy Or Just Plain Daft?

  🇳🇿 New Zealand Post has finally gone too far with its new stamp issue programme. It plans to issue a set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 4 October 2017 on the subject of "Sustainable Food" which is a worthwhile enough subject for a new issue I suppose. But some clever person came up with the idea of attaching seeds to each stamp which could then be planted to grow real food products from them. This isn't a particularly original idea - we've already seen similar stamps being sold by the Trinidad And Tobago postal service.
  However, New Zealand Post has discovered that stamps being sent abroad can not have live seeds attached to them. Much head scratching ensued. Finally someone came up with the idea that there would be 2 versions of the stamps - one type to be sold in New Zealand only with seeds attached and the other type to be sold abroad without any seeds attached to them. Thus collectors in New Zealand will have 12 new stamps and 2 miniature sheets to buy and collectors anywhere else in the world will only be able to obtain 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet. You can not help but think that this is opening the door to stamp smuggling - desperate overseas collectors trying to smuggle a set of stamps with seeds attached out of New Zealand without Customs officers noticing. Anything to declare? Yes, a set of stamps.
  This issue was designed by Hannah Stancliffe-White and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and perforated14.5 while the miniature sheet is perforated 14.5 x 14. Rating:- 0.

  🇬🇬 Guernsey Post has released the design of one of the stamps from an upcoming set of 6 which will be issued on 8 November 2017 to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. The total face value of the set will amount to £4.06p and there will be an accompanying Prestige Booklet which will be sold for £16.24p. I shall add the basic set to my collection but keep the price of the booklet firmly in my wallet. Rating:- ***.

  🇬🇧 Autumn brings the political party Conference season with it here in Britain so Post and Go stamp collectors will need to look out for issues dispensed from kiosks sited at the various conferences as happened in 2016.
  The Liberal Democratic Party met at Bournemouth from 16 to 19 September but I have not yet seen any news that any Post and Go stamps were sold at the Conference just as there were no such items in 2016.
  The Scottish Nationalist Party will meet at Glasgow from 8 to 10 October. Stamps were dispensed at last year's conference so we might expect similar stamps with the additional inscription "Glasgow" again this year.
  The Labour Party will meet at Brighton from 24 to 27 September so look out for Post and Go stamps with additional inscription "Brighton".
  The Conservative Party will meet in Manchester from 1 to 4 October and so one might expect Post and Go stamps with additional inscription "Manchester" being sold there during the Conference.

  🇦🇮🇻🇬🇦🇬🇩🇲🇲🇸 Several Commonwealth territories have suffered terribly from the effects of the various hurricanes which have swept across the Leeward Islands recently. Affected to varying degrees have been Antigua And Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica and Montserrat. There have been a number of deaths and, on some of the islands, an incredibly large amount of destruction and devastation but from a philatelic point of view there has of course been severe postal disruption and probably destruction of post offices and loss of stamp stock. Doubtless stamp collectors will notice philatelic consequences in the coming months.

1083. 🇮🇳🇲🇾 Indian Birds And Malaysian Kings.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued a delightful set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 18 September 2017 on the subject of "Vulnerable Birds". Rating:- ****.

  🇲🇾 Pos Malaysia issued a sheetlet of 15 different stamps on 11 September 2017 which depict the current King of Malaysia - the Yang di Pertuan Agong - and his 14 predecessors The set was issued to coincide with the birthday of the current ruler, Sultan Muhammad V, and was designed by Shahrul Izhar. I have listed the Yang di Pertuan Agongs in a previous Blog. Rating *****.

  Pos Malaysia then issued a set of 4 stamps and an accompanying miniature sheet in 2 different values (Rm3 and Rm6) on 14 September 2017 on the subject of "Negaraku", the Malaysian national anthem, which had been derived from the State Anthem of Perak which had been devised by Sultan Abdullah of Perak during his exile in Seychelles whence he had been sent for abetting murder. The anthem is thought to have been based on a tune he heard in Seychelles and which was popular there and called "La Rosalie" composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Beranger. The stamp designs are based on winning entries in an art competition. Rating:- ***.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

1082. 🇬🇧 Autumn Stampex.

  🇬🇧 Today I visited Autumn Stampex 2017 in London. It looked rather like a venue for an all male Saga day trip. There were a reasonable number of visitors to the exhibition but there was not any reason to feel claustrophobic. As I have written, most of the customers were men - looking around me and doing a rough head count I reached the conclusion that male customers outnumbered female customers in a ratio of about 20-25 men to one female. I suppose it's true to say that for stamp collecting, t'was ever so.
  There was the occasional young person at the exhibition on the customer side of the counters but generally the people shuffling around the hall were greying men in various stages of balding making valiant attempts to disguise the hairless patches on their heads with comb overs of varying degrees of success.
  Apart from the latest deluge of philatelic items on sale at the Royal Mail stand and the Post and Go kiosks, only the Isle Of Man Stamps and Coins stand, shared with the Masonic Stamp Club, was selling new issues. There was no representation at all from Jersey Post or Guernsey Post or the Royal Gibraltar Post Office which suggests to me that their stamps have such a small following in Britain now that it's not worth them forking out the cost of a stand. The Isle Of Man stand had very few items for sale - all the effort seemed to be being put in to the sale of a pack containing the recent Masonic Lodge stamps along with a "Smilers" sheet which contains Royal Mail and not Manx stamps. The price being asked for this item was £45 which the sales assistant thought to be good value especially as it included a "free" booklet. I regret to say that I do not share his sentiments about what seems to me to be a rather expensive item, "free" booklet or not. The counter assistant did say that the pack had been selling well and that may be so - one was sold while I was standing at the counter. Perhaps it's the use of Royal Mail stamps in the sheetlet that was attracting attention.

  I didn't stay long at what seems to me to be an antediluvian affair which is called Autumn Stampex. I'm sure even we grey-haired shuffling old men deserve something rather more imaginative and exciting than this especially if we're travelling a long way to go to it. Unless someone brings it and other stamp exhibitions in Britain into the 21st century British stamp collecting will die with us. Perhaps next year there could just be a Spring Stampex and we could be spared a second one of the year.

  🇬🇮 New Post and Go items launched at Autumn Stampex 2017 are dispensed by Royal Gibraltar Post Office kiosk GI01. There is a strip of 6 new designs which commemorate various anniversaries related to Freemasonry. The featured events include the Centenary of the United Services Lodge Gibraltar and the Tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England.
  It's quite an attractive collection of stamp designs but of course none of the stamps dispensed from GI01 are postally valid in The United Kingdom so they will have to be carted off to Gibraltar itself for use on real mail. I presume these same designs will become available in Gibraltar from kiosks GI02 and GI03 situated in the Main Post Office and Parcel Office there. Rating:- *.


  Also being dispensed from GI01 are the "Year of the Rooster" labels (in 6 different values) with the added inscription "Autumn Stampex 2017". Rating:- 0.


  Meanwhile, in addition to the Royal Mail Post and Go "Mail By Air" stamps mentioned in previous Blogs, kiosk A014 is dispensing the "Poppy" stamp with an additional inscription - "WWI Battle of/Passchendaele". The date code is MA15. Rating:- 0.

  The "Machin 50th Anniversary" labels are also being sold with additional inscriptions- "Autumn Stampex 2017". These are dispensed by kiosk A012 and A013. Rating:- 0.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

1081. 🇮🇴🇬🇬 New BIOT Corals Miniature Sheet; Guernsey Post And GoCruise Ships Issue.

  🇮🇴 The postal service of the British Indian Ocean Territory issued a miniature sheet containing 6 different stamps on 5 September 2017 on the subject of Corals of the territory. Although the face value of the sheet is a little high I like the issue very much - the photographs used in the stamp designs are well chosen and are colourful and interesting. Rating:- *****.

  🇬🇬 Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau has sent out its series of Post and Go stamps dispensed from kiosk GG01 situated for the summer season in Smith Street post office which are in the form of the "Lighthouses" designs with various additional inscriptions to welcome the passengers on board a number of different cruise ships on the days that they were visiting the island. The set is made up of 26 strips but does not include the first strip for the visit of the Caribbean Princess which was issued on 21 April 2017 and was sold separately to collectors. Unfortunately I cannot say how many additional strips were issued for the repeat visits of some of the ships.
  Some repeat visit inscriptions are included in the set for the days when 2 ships were in port with the inscriptions naming the 2 visiting cruise ships. Presumably the logistics of loading the kiosk with 2 different strips each with their own inscriptions was too daunting especially as the kiosk was also dispensing the "Guernsey Flag" stamps at the same time. For collectors this at least meant that they were only having to buy one strip instead of two.
  Excluding the first Caribbean Princess strip, the total cost of the 26 strips is £117.12p (£104.12p face value plus 26  x 50p handling charge for each strip). For that you get 156 stamps. I think it's an interesting issue aimed at meeting a justifiable need - that is - addressing the potential postal and souvenir needs of cruise visitors to the island. Quite Collectables, I think.

  21 April - Caribbean Princess:-

  22 April- Azura:-

  28 April - Marco Polo:-

  29 April - Saga Sapphire:-

  8 May - Celebrity Eclipse:-

  12 May - Oriana:-

  18 May - Queen Elizabeth:-

  23 May - Norwegian Jade:-

  30 May - MV Albatros :-

  1 June - Vision of The Seas:-

  3 June - Britannia:-

  8 June - Arcadia:-

  17 June - Celebrity Eclipse and Saga Sapphire:-

  21 June - Adonia:- 

  22 June - MV Ventura:-

  23 June - Silver Spirit:-

  27 June - Columbus and Silver Spirit:-

  1 July - Caribbean Princess and Azura:-

  12 July - CMV Magellan:-

  13 July - Queen Elizabeth and Caribbean Princess:-

  14 July - Columbus:-

  20 July - Celebrity Silhouette and Azamara Journey:-

  10 August - Oriana and MV Ventura:-

  11 August - Crystal Symphony:-

  16 August- MV Prisendam:-

  21 August - Mein Schiff 1:-

  24 August - Queen Elizabeth and Marco Polo:-