Thursday, 4 February 2016

708. Monkeys, Ducks And Glowworms.

  Hong Kong Post issued 2 "Heartwarming" stamps on 16 January 2016 as part of its Lunar new year issue. The stamps are attached to 4 different labels as depicted below. Rating:- ***.

  Meanwhile, New Zealand Post will release a set of 4 gummed stamps, 1 x $2 self-adhesive stamp (sold in a booklet of 10) and  1 miniature sheet on 2 March 2016 on the subject of Local glowworms. The issue was designed by Hannah Stancliffe White and lithographed by Southern Colour Print. The stamps are printed so that they glow in the dark. Ho hum. Rating:- **.

  Sri Lanka Post issued a set of 4 stamps and 4 miniature sheets on 2 February 2016 to commemorate World Wetlands Day. All 4 designs feature various birds. Rating:- *****.

  The US-based philatelic agency, IGPC, appears to be about to put out an "omnibus" of philatelic products in the name of various territories with whom it has contracts on the subject of "First stamps of the United Nations Member States". The first such product is a sheetlet of 6 "stamps" inscribed "Guyana" and the designs depict the first stamp issues of Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka and Saint Lucia which is vaguely alphabetical and which results in the issue not depicting Guyana's own first issue which seems rather ridiculous to me. I do not know the intended "date of issue" yet. Rating:- 0.

  The British Postal Museum And Archives rebranded itself The Postal Museum recently (which seems rather presumptious to me as there are other postal museums in the world) and this has resulted in "Post and Go" enthusiasts having a new series of museum souvenir labels to collect in the form of the Union Jack and Heraldic Lion designs with the additional inscription "The Postal Museum" and the new uninspiring logo applied to them and sold in the usual "Collectors strips" of 6 different values. The first day of issue was 1 February 2016. Rating:- 0.

Friday, 29 January 2016

707. Guiding In Hong Kong, Music In South Africa, Gibraltar's Post And Go Monkeys.

  Hong Kong Post will issue a set of 4 stamps, a miniature sheet and a "Prestige" booklet on 22 February 2016 to commemorate the Centenary of Girl Guiding in the territory Rating:- ***.

   The South African Post Office issued a sheetlet of 10 different self-adhesive stamps on 2 July 2015 as the second part of its "Musicians of South Africa" series. Rating:- ****.

  A miniature sheet has also been issued which commemorated the centenary of the Oxford University Press South Africa. Apart from having been issued during  2015, I do not yet know its precise date of issue. Rating:- *.

  The design of the Gibraltar Post Office's new "Post And Go" stamps/labels reproduces the design of one of the "Year of the Monkey" stamps. The new design will make its appearance at the Spring Stampex exhibition in London on 17 February 2015 without any additional inscription and of course will only be on sale at the exhibition for a limited period of 4 days and have no postal validity in London where the machine will be sited. These are really therefore nothing more than exhibition souvenirs and I shall not bother to add them to my collection. 
  However I presume that they will also be sold from the kiosks in Gibraltar itself (at the Main post office and Parcel Office) with additional inscriptions which identify the place of sale and these will of course be freely obtainable by the Gibraltar mail-sending public and so are probably worth adding to a collection even if they are on a theme of no relevance to Gibraltar itself. Rating:- ***.

  The Royal Mail "Post and Go" stamps being sold from kiosk M001 went into opeartion at RAF Northolt from 1 February 2016 and are in the form of the Union Jack and Machin Head designs with no additional inscriptions, which seems to me to be a pity. I have not yet seen any dealers offering these for sale on the Internet.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

706. Ascension Seabird Caught Red-footed.

  The postal administration of Ascension Island will issue a set of 4 stamps on 22 February 2016 on the subject of the seabird, the Red-footed booby. The highly attractive issue which bears the logo of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) was designed by Andrew Robinson and lithographed by Cartor. Another excellent, colourful, interesting and attractive issue as we have come to expect from Pobjoy Stamps/ Creative Direction with the added bonus of good advance and detailed information to collectors who are bound to want to buy these stamps - CASCO could learn a thing or two from Pobjoy when it comes to keeping collectors informed (see Blog 705). Rating:- *****.

  In Blogs 682 and 686, I mentioned the new definitive series from India Post, identified as the "11th definitive series", titled "Makers of India". An additional stamp has appeared as a 25 paise value which features Mahatma Gandhi. Rating:- ***.

  Sri Lanka Post issued a set of 7 stamps and 1 miniature sheet which contains the whole set in a composite design on 26 January 2016 on the subject of Kumana National Park. Rating:- *****.

  Bhutan Post has issued a sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet on the subject of Traditional sports of Bhutan. I do not yet know the date of issue of this set but it seems to be Bhutan Post's first issue of 2016. Rating:- ******.

  Stamperija has released 9 "sheetlets", each containing 4 different "stamps", and 9 "miniature sheets"
In the name of Solomon Islands with a stated "date of issue" of 30 November 2015. The usual wide selection of subjects is featured on these items:- Lunar new year (Year of the Monkey), 25th anniversary of the Reunification of Germany, Fire engines, Orchids, Whales, Fish, Dinosaurs, Butterflies and Trains. Rating:- 0.

  Usually Stamperija productions with the "Solomon Islands" inscription are issued as 10 subsets (each consisting of a "sheetlet" and a "miniature sheet") which make up a complete "issue". It is to be noted that the above only number 9 subsets. That is because a World Wide Fund For Nature set, with its numerous varieties of format, made up the 10th part of the issue but after announcing the issue in its "newsletter" a revised announcement failed to mention the WWF products though I have little doubt that they will appear in due course.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

705. Flying Down To Jamestown.

  The St. Helena postal administration has issued (or is just about to issue - the usual lack of publicity information to collectors from the territory's morose philatelic agents, CASCO, means that I have not yet seen any precise details about this interesting and important set) 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the opening of the island's new airport.
   This is a momentous event for St. Helena and doubtless the local population is hoping that this will open the territory's doors to a steady stream of tourists; doubtless some will be drawn there by the knowledge about the island which they've obtained from their stamp collections - let's hope that St. Helena's philatelic agents will give us timely news about its philatelic commemoration. Rating:- *****. 

  The Isle Of Man postal administration will issue a set of 8 stamps on 6 February 2016 to commemorate the 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The set was designed by Isle Of Man Advertising using text and images by Arthur Edwards and printed in lithography. Rating:- *****.

  A huge number of philatelic items will be released by Australa Post on 3 February 2016 on the subject of the Lunar new year, the Year of the Monkey. The issue was designed by Dani Poon and Sharon Rodziewicz and lithographed by RA Print. The various items are inscribed "Christmas Island Australia". The release is made up of a "basic issue" - 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet (1 x$1, 1 x $3 and $4):-

  So far so good, but then there's the $8 "Zodiac Sheet":-

  The $9.95 "Lotus sheetlet" pack which includes 13 different stamps including a central circular $2 stamp:-

  The $25 "Silk Minisheet" pack which contains 3 examples of the "Basic" miniature sheet in "three different versions" - "Traditional offset-printed Minisheet gummed and perforated", "Digital printed on real silk, gummed and perforated minisheet" and "Digital printed on silk-like rayon paper, self-adhesive with mesh perforated minisheet":-

  and.....finally, a 20.95 "Prestige Booklet":-

  If you must have "one of each", dig deep into your pockets and pull out $71.90 (£35.28)!