Thursday, 31 August 2017

1073. 🇲🇹 Malta Commemorates 17th Century Artist.

  🇲🇹 MaltaPost will issue a set of 5 stamps on 4 September 2017 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the death of Melchiorre Gafa', a Maltese sculptor who achieved his greatest work whilst working in Rome in the workshop of Ercole Ferrata His work included sculpting the altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St. Eustace in the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone. His works were untimely ended by his early death at the age of 31.
  Wax versions of his work are currently displayed at Mdina Cathedral museum.
  The issue was designed by Sean Cini from photographs by Daniel Cilia and lithographed by Printex and perforated 14. Rating:- ****.

  🇧🇩 Information about new stamp issues from Bangladesh Post seems to be coming thick and fast at the moment - on 3 August 2017 a set of 4 stamps issued in 2 se-tenant pairs, was released on the subject of Local wild flowers. It is a colourful and attractive little set. Rating:- ****.

  🇬🇬 Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau "tweeted" on 30 August 2017 that Post and Go kiosk GG01 sited in Smith Street post office had dispensed more labels to welcome visitors to the island who were travelling on board the cruise ship "Caribbean Princess". As usual the "Lighthouses" labels carried an additional inscription naming the ship. Previously, the day before, the Bureau had "tweeted" that the Caribbean Princess issue of 30 August would be the final issue of the Lighthouse labels with additional cruise ship inscriptions for this summer season. The illustration depicted the "Caribbean Princess" type of inscription rather than the "Welcome to the/Caribbean Princess" as depicted in Blog 1041.

  🇸🇧 As usual the notorious Stamperija has released paraphilatelic products with the names of 3 countries printed on them again this week. Only one Commonwealth country is involved this week - Solomon Islands - in all a total of 12 sheetlets each made up of 4 different "stamps" and 12 accompanying miniature sheets have been put on sale. Also, as usual, the subjects featured on these "stamps" have little or nothing to do with Solomon Islands but we should not be surprised about that. For the record the subjects featured on these lurid items are:- 55th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe, 180th death anniversary of Alexander Pushkin, Stamps on stamps, Pope Francis, 20th anniversary of the death of Diana Princess Of Wales, Cruise ships, 190th anniversary of the death of Ludwig van Beethoven, Death Centenary of Edgar Degas, Birth centenary of former US President Kennedy, Bees and orchids, Commemoration of former US astronaut John Glenn and Dinosaurs. Stamperija claims that the "date of issue" was 21 August 2017 though whether that was in Lithuania or truly in the Solomon Islands is not made clear. Rating:- 0.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

1072. 🇻🇬 Turtles Featured On New Virgin Islands Stamps.

 ðŸ‡»ðŸ‡¬ An announcement from Pobjoy Stamps/Creative Direction tells us that another excellent set from them and issued by the postal administration of British Virgin Islands will be released on 6 September 2017 on the subject of "Turtles" as the first part of a series featuring local marine wildlife. The issue was designed by Bee Design and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. The photographs used in the designs were taken by the BVI Conservation and Fisheries Department. The issue is produced in sheetlets of 20 so that 5 x 4 se-tenant strips can be obtained from the sheetlet.vrating:- *****.
  Thanks to Juliet Warner for supplying information about this issue.

   ðŸ‡¬ðŸ‡§ The deluge of Royal Mail Post and Go labels/stamps continues with the news that the 2 types of labels which were only put on sale on 19 August 2017 from kiosk A002 sited at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) are to be replaced with labels with a revised inscription. Apparently the NMRN had requested and approved an original inscription which read "QEII Carrier 2017" for use on the Union Jack label and "Queen Elizabeth II Carrier 2017" for use on the Machin Head label but the 2017 was omitted from both because it caused the inscription to be too long and thus to run on to the Flag and Queen's Head logos.
  The inscriptions have now been amended and the "2017" added to both because there is now room for the date in the revised inscriptions. The original date-less types are shown below. It seems that the new inscriptions have come into use today, 29 August 2017,  so that the originally formatted labels have only been on sale for 10 days thus creating another potential rarity for Post and Go collectors. Unbelievable. Go tell it to the Navy, as they used to say. Rating:- 0.

  🇭🇰 The set of 6 stamps, 1 miniature sheet and 1 "mini-pane" which were originally due to have been issued by Hong Kong Post on 23 March 2017 on the subject of the "Paintings and Calligraphy of Professor Jao Tsung-I" are now to be issued on 5 September 2017. The attractive issue was designed by Carl Chang Chi-meng and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 14.5 with the $10 miniature sheet being perforated 14 x 14.5. Rating:- *****.

Monday, 28 August 2017

1071. 🇸🇬🇮🇲🇲🇾 Sheetlets Starting To Dominate The New Issue Market?

  It seems to me that more and more of these Blogs are reporting the issue of numerous, often  personalisable, sheetlets rather than straightforward new stamps. Read on ....

  🇸🇬 In Blog 1069 I mentioned the set of 5 stamps which Singapore Post intends to issue on 1 September 2017 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the issue of the first Straits Settlements stamps, Singapore Post will also issue a sheetlet of 10 stamps on the same date (5 each of 2 My Stamp designs) and attached labels which will depict post boxes used in Singapore from the earliest days of its postal service up to now. The item will be sold for $8 (Singapore).
  I like the issue from the point of view of the theme of the subject depicted on the labels but would have much preferred it if the issue had been a set of 5 stamps. Rating:- **.

  🇮🇲.The Isle Of Man Post Office will do its best to cash in on the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana Princess Of Wales, as so many postal administrations are trying to do, by issuing a sheetlet of 12 stamps (3 x 4) on 6 September 2017. It has been produced, inevitably, in a limited edition - 5000 - and is made up the stamps previously released in 1998. The item was designed by Glazier Design and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 14. At least the purchase price is only £3. Rating:- *.

  🇬🇧 Royal Mail has long accepted that the subjects of its new stamp issues should be dumbed down to a populist triteness and so we find that in recent years we have had philatelic items released to commemorate people, particularly veteran popular musicians, whose fame may or may not survive the passage of time. The most excruciating example of this crass populism is the sheetlet which Royal Mail issued in 2010 to commemorate the 64th birthday of David Gilmour, a musician with the over-featured musical group, Pink Floyd, which was made up of 10 identical stamps depicting the music album cover of "The Division Bell". I may be wrong but I doubt that the Britons of 350 years in the future will talk very much about the works of David Gilmour.

  However a figure of immense importance that we do remember from 350 years ago is that of John Milton. 2017 is the year in which the 350th anniversary of the publication of his work, Paradise Lost, is celebrated and indeed Royal Mail has decided to commemorate this important anniversary - but, alas, not with a stamp but with .... a postmark.
  I received today a letter from the Philatelic dealer, Nigel Haworth, which had a nice "Smilers" stamp and label attached to it and even more interestingly, a postmark which is a little difficult to read but which says, I believe, "350 years since/publication of/John Milton's/ Paradise Lost". A nice little item but what a pity that Royal Mail hadn't had a sense of what's really important and commemorated the anniversary with a postage stamp or even a complete set. Still, it's a postmark of interest to collectors of the theme of Literature on stamps. Meanwhile I'll add my Spacehopper stamp to my collection.

John Milton dictating Paradise Lost 

    🇬🇬 Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau "tweeted" on 25 August 2017 that Post and Go kiosk GG01 was dispensing that day "Lighthouses" stamps with 2 different inscriptions - one to welcome passengers on board the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth visiting Guernsey that day and the other to welcome passengers on board the cruise ship Marco Polo. It must have been a pretty hectic day in St. Peter Port.

  🇮🇳 India Post will issue, date to be confirmed, a pair of stamps and a miniature sheet which unites the two stamps to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Goan Tiatr. This is an attractive and interesting set. Rating:- ***.

  🇲🇾  Pos Malaysia issued a My Stamp sheetlet of 8 stamps (2 x 4 different designs) on 21 August 2017 to commemorate National Day and Malaysia Day. This is colourful and interesting item but it's yet another sheetlet. Rating:- **.

  Are simple commemorative stamps approaching the end of the line and this period of new issue philately evolving into an era where postal administrations commemorate notable events and anniversaries by the production of personalisable sheetlets, usually sold at a large premium, or just by producing a cheap post mark for any worthy commemoration which however is not seen as a money spinner? It's beginning to look like it.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

1070. 🇸🇱 Hundreds Die In Sierra Leone Tragedy But Stamperija Carries On Regardless.

What better subject to feature on a "stamp" for impoverished and tragedy-hit Sierra Leone than a luxury cruise ship?

  🇸🇱 In the week of terrible news from Sierra Leone of the death of hundreds of people in another natural disaster which has occurred in that tragic country, we are not surprised to find that the notorious Stamperija has had the brazen bad taste to announce the release of another collection of exploitational paraphilatelic products which provide the company with a financial profit at a cost to Sierra Leone's good name.
  The products take the usual form of sheetlets of 4 different "stamps" and 10 accompanying "miniature sheets", the subjects of which have very little if anything to do with Sierra Leone. The featured subjects are:- Sledge dogs, Dinosaurs, Lighthouses, Cruise ships, Motor cycles, Horse-drawn transport, Mail transport vehicles, Icebreakers (ships), Public transportation and the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1
  The date of issue is stated to have been 28 July 2017. Rating:- 0.

  If I were ever contemplating spending my money on any of these dubious products I would certainly change my mind and send the money as a donation to one of the charities which is helping with the relief efforts in Sierra Leone rather than help to fill the Stamperija bank account.

1069. 🇲🇾🇸🇬 Singapore And Malaysia Commemorate 150th Anniversary Of First Straits Settlements Stamps.

  🇸🇬 Singapore Post will issue 5 stamps on 1 September 2017 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the issue of the first stamps to be issued in Singapore. The stamps depict stamps and covers which represent various values from the set which was issued for The Straits Settlements of which Singapore was a part along with Penang, Malacca, Province Wellesley and Dindings, a Crown Colony which came into existence in 1867.
  The first stamps were Indian stamps with an overprint depicting a crown and with surcharges applied according to various postal rates. They were put on sale on 1 September 1867 so that the new 150th anniversary stamps will be released on the actual notable anniversary. The issue was designed by Wong Wui Kong and lithographed by Lowe Martin Group and perforated 13. Rating:- *****.

  🇲🇾 The Singapore issue will also be released in a pack along with the stamps being issued by Pos Malaysia also on 1 September 2017 to commemorate the 150th anniversary. The Malaysian issue appears to be made up of 3 stamps, each depicting 3 different stamps from the 1867 issue and look as though they will be very interesting. Rating:- *****.

  🇦🇬 In Blog 1039 I mentioned the issue being released by IGPC in the name of Antigua And Barbuda which is on the subject of Fallow deer, which I was surprised to discover is the national animal of the island country in the Caribbean.
  This issue is apparently made up of 3 sheetlets including that depicted in Blog 1039. The second of these items is now depicted below. I do not know the stated date of issue.

  🇯🇪 Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau "tweeted" on 21 August 2017 that Post and Go kiosk GG01, situated in Smith Street post office, dispensed "Lighthouses" stamps on that day with an added inscription to welcome passengers on board the cruise ship Mein Schiff 1 which was visiting Guernsey on that day.

  Norvic Philatelics Blog has recently reported that labels dispensed by kiosk GG01 to welcome passengers from the cruise ship Silver Spirit were initially wrongly additionally inscribed "Sliver Spirit" but were corrected to "Silver Spirit" once the error was discovered. So, there are two versions of this issue, presumably one being rarer than the other. Norvic Philatelics Blog also remarks that the Guernsey cruise ship issues have not had a "great" uptake.

  🇲🇾 In Blog 1063 I mentioned the set of 4 stamps issued by Pos Malaysia on 21 September 2017 to commemorate the South East Asia Games and I now include better illustrations of the stamps:- 

  🇺🇬 In Blog 1038 I mentioned a recent set of stamps from Posta Uganda which depicted primates of that country. I included illustrations of 11 of the stamps used on piece but in a comment AlexRu detailed the values of the set and mentioned that the set was made up of a total of 13 values. I now illustrate below all 13 stamps which are in the issue. I still do not know the date of issue. Rating:- *****.

  🇮🇲 In Blog 1057 I mentioned and illustrated the new counter-printed variable rate stamps which have been sold at Isle Of Man Post Office postal counters since 18 July 2017 being produced from Epsom printers.
  The Philatelic Bureau is now offering these items for sale. It appears that the first post office to vend these stamps was Purlose post office in Douglas and the Bureau is selling these items printed on the first day of issue in packs costing £5. Strangely the packs only contain 2 of the designs (total face value 94p). From what I can see one needs to buy 2 packs, cost £10, face value £1.88p, to obtain the complete set of four.
  That's a new little dodge for pack collectors - insert only half the set in a pack so that collectors must buy 2 packs, priced at 500% of face value, in order to obtain the whole set. What greed!
  But that's not all. The Philatelic Bureau has also produced a first day cover cancelled at Purlose post office and sold in a limited edition of 100 which is said to have all 4 stamps used on it ("The full set of the Triskelion Definitives stamps (sic) are displayed beautifully on this first day cover....") though illustrations of the item depict the cover as having only 1 stamp with a £4.82p face value. The price is .... £20. The item is actually as illustrated rather than as described in the flyer having just a single £4.82p stamp attached to it. Why couldn't the Isle Of Man Post Office have presented all 4 stamps at lower face values on the cover? Presumably that would have meant 4 times as much work for the post master at Purlose but really for £20 aren't collectors entitled to expect a little more for their money whether or not it's a "limited edition"? Rating:- 0.