Sunday, 23 February 2020

1611. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Gibraltar Commemorates Notable Birthdays And VE Day.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฎ The Royal Gibraltar Post Office has announced the issue of 2 new sets of stamps:-

25 March 2020 - Birth anniversaries, Centenary of Rosalind Franklin (English scientist and X-ray crystallographer who worked on the molecular structure of DNA and RNA), Bicentenary of Florence Nightingale and 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven - 3 stamps. Designed by Stephen Perera and lithographed by Cartor. Rating:- ***.

23 March 2020 - 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory of The Allies in Europe in the Second World War) - 5 stamps and 1 miniature sheet. Designed by Stephen Perera and lithographed by BPost Security Printers.  Rating:-***.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India Post issued a My Post stamp in the usual format of a small sheet of 12 with attached labels on an as yet unspecifed date in February 2020 on the subject of Brihadeeswarar Temple. Not without interest.

  Another My Post stamp was issued on 12 February 2020 also in the usual format and at a premium price. This particular issue commemorated the Centenary of NIBM (the National Institute of Bank Management). This is the best illustration I can provide at present:-

Saturday, 22 February 2020

1610. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง New Royal Mail Definitives.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Royal Mail will issue 15 new stamps on 17 March 2020 (in addition to the James Bond Stamps previously discussed) to deal with the change in postal rates which will take place on 23 March 2020. The 2nd Class internal rate will be increased from 61p to 65p and the 1st Class rate will rise from 70p to 76p. The new stamps are needed to cover other postal rates. Royal Mail describes the colours used for them rather imaginatively so that the new £1.42 will be garnet red, the £1.63 will be sunset red, the £1.68 will be tarragon green, the £2.42 will be purple heather, the £2.97 will be rose pink, the £3.66 will be harvest gold and the £3.82 will be holly green.
  The issue is printed in gravure by International Security Printers and perforated 15 x 14.

    In addition to the Machin Head definitives there will also be 8 regional stamps, two each for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These are also lithographed by International Security Printers and perforated 15 x 14. These are depicted below.
๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ England - 2 Stamps - 

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Northern Ireland - 2 stamps - 

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ Scotland - 2 stamps - 

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ Wales - 2 stamps- 

PS Reply to Ian Norvic’s comment (2 attempts to reply have both failed to publish). Thank you Ian. I have no idea why I mixed up the colours. I’m not very good at semi-precious stones even though I used to work every summer as a teenager in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham. I was paid £4 - 17 - 6d for a 40 hour week and very pleased with it I was too. It enabled me to buy my first ever copy of the Stanley Gibbons Part 1 Catalogue (1967 edition, cost 37/6d if I remember properly) as well as a new issue set of Gibraltar stamps with perforations in the shape of the Rock. These stamps were the pride of my collection until my father bought me a modest Penny Black for Christmas. 
  I will correct the error to avoid confusion. Best wishes WK. 
PPS. Nice poetry!

PPPS Reply to Chris de Haer’s comment - Hello Chris - Here are the new postal rates corresponding to the new stamps. It’s bizarre, isn’t it?, that Vladivostok is in the European Zone:-

Friday, 21 February 2020

1609. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ New Issues From Southern Asia.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India Post issued a single stamp on 17 February 2020 to commemorate the centenary of the industrial city of Jamshedpur. The issue was designed by Smt. Alka Sharma and wet offset printed by Security Printing Press Hyderabad. Rating:- ***.

  There have also been two recent India Post My Stamps sold as usual in sheetlets of twelve at prices above face value:- 

17 February 2020 - COP13 (Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species, held in Gandinhagar 17 - 22 February 2020) - 1 stamp with attached label.

5 February 2020 - DEFEXPO20 (Defence Expo India 2020 held in Lucknow, 5 - 9 February 2020) - 1 stamp with attached label.

๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Sri Lanka Post issued 3 stamps on 20 February 2020 on 3 different subjects. The first commemorated the Birth centenary of Mohideen Baig (1919 - 1991), a notable Sri Lankan musician. Rating:- **.

  The second was on the subject of ‘Towards Sustainable Development 2020’. Quite a striking design. Rating:- ***.

The third stamp is possibly the most interesting being one half of a joint issue with the postal service of Nepal. The issue specifically commemorates the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Nepali stamp, which was issued on 27 December 2019 is depicted beneath its Sri Lankan twin though the stamps are clearly not identical!

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan Post - 18 February 2020 - Birth centenary of Mahmoud Ali (politician) - 1 stamp. Rating:- **. (PA20.3).

17 February 2020 - High level International Conference in Islamabad, 40 years of presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan - se-tenant block of 8 (4 different) stamps with 2 labels between 2 blocks of four. Rating:- ****. (PA20.4 - 7).

Thursday, 20 February 2020

1608. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช The Anglo-Irish War (I). Map Stamp Not Issued.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช An Post, the Irish postal service, released 1 stamp on 20 February 2020 to commemorate the Centenary of events which took place during the Anglo-Irish War fought between 1919 and 1921. 
  Several events leading up to the Easter Rising of 1916 (see Blog 731) have previously been commemorated philatelically and the Rising centenary itself was featured on a large number of stamps during 2016 but after 1916, with the Easter Rising crushed, the British Government turned its attention to defeating the Triple Powers as the First World War dragged on towards November 1918.
  On 17 January 1919, the Irish rebels summoned the Dรกil ร‰ireann, the forerunner of the Irish Parliament (the Centenary of which was commemorated by a pair of stamps released on 17 January 2019, see Blog 1362) though the only party to be represented in it was that known as Sinn Fรฉin. The Dail issued a Declaration of Irish Independence and set up the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Michael Collins set up ‘The Squad’, a group of gunmen responsible to himself who worked as assassins of the police and suspected informers within the IRA.
  On the very same day that the Dรกil was convened, 21 January 1919, members of the IRA attacked and shot two policemen in County Tipperary. This event, known as the Soloheadbeg Ambush is considered to be the opening incident of the Anglo-Irish War. The IRA then began a general campaign of attacking government property, staging raids to steal arms and funds and murdering important figures in the administration and government, the first victim of which was Resident Magistrate John C Milling who was shot dead in County Mayo for sending Volunteers to prison for illegal assembly and drilling.
  The Irish people were firstly disapproving of the violence but the government’s heavy-handed response changed the general population’s opinion. The IRA’s main targets were the 9500 members of the mainly Catholic Royal Irish Constabulary and on 11 April 1919 the Dรกil announced a policy of ostracism against the RIC and the policemen became demoralised with many resigning from the police force. In 1919 the IRA killed 11 RIC policemen and 4 members of the Dublin Metropolitan police as well as injuring another 20 RIC officers.
  Strikes were held against the government in various parts of Ireland and strikes by dockers and railway workers greatly affected the government’s ability to support the British troops in Ireland. 
  The stamp depicts the second version of the painting Men of the South, also known as An IRA Column, by Seรกn Keating. The paintings date to late 1921 when the Anglo-Irish War was drawing to a close and were based on photographic studies carried out by the artist in his studio of the gunmen. The first and second versions of the painting are depicted below together with one of the photographic studies. The stamp was designed by Ger Garland and lithographed by Enschedรฉ and perforated 13.5 x 14.

  A second stamp in the set was preadvertised in An Post’s quarterly bulletin, The Collector, but made a non-appearance on the prescribed date of issue. It was intended that this second stamp should commemorate the Centenary of The Government of Ireland Act passed in the Westminster Parliament on 11 November 1920 and which passed into law on 23 December 1920. The law set up two distinct entities with Home Rule in the island of Ireland - that which was made up of the six counties of Northern Ireland and the larger entity of southern Ireland. It was intended that the design of the proposed stamp would depict a map of the two entities and of the border between them. I assume, without seeing any official explanation, that the stamp was withdrawn following political pressure since the depiction of a non-United Ireland was just asking for trouble. This may be particularly pertinent as Sinn Fรฉin, following recent parliamentary elections in Ireland, may be on the verge of forming the government for the first time in a century.
  There’s another philatelic lesson here - the issue of stamps depicting maps showing national boundaries is as dangerous as releasing stamps depicting flags and national emblems.

  Sadly I can only include here a poor quality picture of the Map stamp. Interestingly I cannot now download the first edition of 2020 of The Collector and I assume that the non-issue of the Map stamp featured in it may be the cause of its disappearance.

  An Post intends to issue another 2 stamps marking the Centenary of the war in the latter part of the year and we will take the story forward then.