Friday, 5 March 2021

1840. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland Commemorates Oscar Wilde’s Mum.


๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช An Post, the postal service of the Republic of Ireland, issued a single stamp on 4 March 2021 to commemorate the Birth centenary of Jane Lady Wilde who was the mother of the controversial Irish writer, poet and playwright, Oscar Wilde. In her own right, Lady Wilde is described by An Post as having been, “an Irish nationalist feminist, multilinguist, translator and staunch advocate of women’s rights in the 19th century”. She was born in Dublin in 1821 and at the age of thirty married the distinguished ophthalmologist Sir William Wilde whereby she obtained her title. In 1848, during the great famine, she gained fame by writing an unsigned revolutionary article, Jacta alea est (the die is cast) in The Nation, the publication of the Young Ireland movement. She went on to write wide-ranging articles for various British publications. The stamp was designed by Design HQ from an illustration by Brian Cronin and was lithographed by Enschedรฉ and is self-adhesive. I wonder what Lady Wilde would have thought about the illustration of herself. Rating:- **.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ The extremely useful internet site Intelligent AR Post and Go has revealed that Guernsey Post will release the strip of its 6 new Aircraft Post and Go stamps on 25 March 2021 to note its participation in Virtual Spring Stampex 2021 which will be held on line from 25 to 27 March 2021. The issue will be dispensed from kiosk GG02. The additional inscription on the stamps will be “Virtual Spring/Stampex 2021”.

  Which Commonwealth philatelic entities have not yet issued stamps so far in 2021? (part 2). Quite a lot. Some are due to release their first issues of 2021 and are therefore not included in this list:-

Aitutaki Cook Islands


Antigua And Barbuda 

Ascension Island 




British Antarctic Territory 

British Virgin Islands 

Brunei Darussalam 


Cayman Islands 

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Cook Islands

Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus 



Falkland Islands 














Niuafo’ou Tonga



Papua New Guinea

Penrhyn Cook Islands

Pitcairn Islands

Rarotonga Cook Islands

Ross Dependency


St Helena 

St Kitts

Saint Lucia

 St Vincent And The Grenadines 



Sierra Leone

South Africa

South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands

Sri Lanka 




Trinidad And Tobago 

Tristan Da Cunha 

Turks And Caicos Islands




    Hence 59 Commonwealth philatelic entities are still to release their first issues of the year but there’s plenty of time left for them to do so. And no doubt most of them will.

Monday, 1 March 2021

1839. ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ Devoted To Your Service Omnibus Due 21 April.

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ญ  Pobjoy Stamps has sent out details of an omnibus issue to be released by the 7 postal services for which it and Creative Direction, produce, distribute and publicise new issues, to commemorate the 95th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The omnibus was designed by Bee Design and lithographed by Cartor and the stamps are perforated 13.5. As can be seen the designs are similar to those already announced or issued by the postal services of Isle of Man and Gibraltar to commemorate this memorable birthday and are on the the theme of Devoted to your Service. Each issue is made up of 6 stamps and there is an additional very charming single-stamp miniature sheet from The British Virgin Islands. It is planned that all issues will be released on the actual date of The Queen’s birthday - 21 April 2021. There will also be similar issues from Guernsey Post and Jersey Post. Perhaps we are over-familiar with some of the photographs used in the designs but it’s lovely to have a good old-fashioned omnibus issue beautifully produced:- *****.

Thanks to Juliet Warner of Pobjoy Stamps for information about these issues.

Ascension Island:- 


British Antarctic Territory

British Virgin Islands

Falkland Islands -

South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands -

Tristan Da Cunha

Royal Mail’s latest Philatelic Bulletin reveals that the next 2 issues from the company will be:-

16 March 2021 - ‘The Legend of King Arthur’ - 5x 1st Class rate stamps and 5 x £1.70p stamps. Total cost - £12.75p.

16 April 2021 - ‘Classic science fiction’ - 2 x 1st Class rate, 2 x £1.70p and 2 x £2.55 stamps. Total cost - £10.20p.

  While there is much about the United Kingdom that deserves to be featured on its national stamps but has never been honoured in that way, sets on both of these subjects have been released in the past. Bizarre. Those who plan the new issue programme obviously have a very limited world view and even more limited view and knowledge of the country.

Isn’t it all just completely dull now? and, one asks oneself, can I be bothered? I’m afraid the answers are a) yes and b) no.

  I see that the Bulletin also announces the withdrawal of the Treaty of Arbroath miniature sheet just before the holding of the elections to the Scottish Parliament. I guess that the withdrawal was probably due anyway but the withdrawal is timely since the elections will be all about having a second referendum (neverendum) on Scottish independence and so I assume that Royal Mail would have found it awkward  having on sale during the election campaign a philatelic item which commemorates a document which embraces Scottish independence. One wonders whether or not the Scottish Nationalists will notice that Royal Mail will still be selling the recently issued miniature sheet which celebrates the very existence of the entity called The United Kingdom. 

1838. ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong Issue To Feature 800 Year Old Novel.


๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ In recent years Royal Mail has felt that subjects worthy of being honoured with commemoration on Britain’s new stamps should be those which it perceives as being likely to earn it a quick buck rather than being worthy of mention in a future book telling the country’s history. This is a great pity. Much of the popular culture featured on Royal Mail stamps at present is hardly likely to be mentioned by historians of British social history writing their histories in 2521AD. Early English and British culture has largely been ignored by the planners of Royal Mail’s new stamp issue programmes even though these little islands have a stunning catalogue of early (by which I mean pre-Victorian) culture which could be featured and celebrated philatelically. So we have had Only Fools And Horses but not Piers Plowman, Star Trek (not British at all) but not Beowulf , Marvel Comics (again, not British at all) but not The Canterbury Tales (there was 1 stamp a long, long time ago) and JK Rowling and Alfred Bestall (who? you ask - the creator of Rupert Bear) and not Daniel Defoe or Jonathan Swift. I’ve written it before, and quoted Oscar Wilde, that those who plan Royal Mail’s new issue programme are the sort who know the price of everything and the value of nothing which, you might say, is probably the basis for running a successful business but not, I think, choosing who or what should be commemorated on a historical document which is how a nation’s postage stamp should be viewed.

  Other postal services have a better sense of history when choosing subjects for their postage stamps than does Royal Mail. One such postal service is Hong Kong Post which is to release a set of 6 stamps, 2 miniature sheets and 6 self-adhesive stamps (issued in the new ‘Collector Card’ format with the stamps on the front of the card and details of the issue printed on the back which I rather like) to commemorate the ‘Classic novel of Chinese literature - The Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ which is attributed to Luo Guanzhong and which dates back to the 14th century. The book itself is a historical novel about events in China which occurred in the Three Kingdoms period towards the end of the Han Dynasty from 169AD to the national reunion which took place in 280 AD. The events of the book are based on the Records of the Three Kingdoms which was written by Chen Shou.

  The stamp designs by Shirman Lai feature paintings by the artist Tung Pul-sun and were lithographed by Enschedรฉ. The $20 miniature sheet is also embossed. The stamps are perforated 14 x 13.5 while the triangular miniature sheet stamps are perforated 14 x 14.5 x14.5. The issue will be released on 16 March 2021. Rating:- *****.

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand Post will issue 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 3 March 2021 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. These colourful stamps were designed by John Morris and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and are perforated 14 x 14.5. Rating:- ***.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

1837. ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Botswana Scorpions And Alderney Vegetables.

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ Botswana Post has an excellent record of producing interesting, relevant, attractive and distinctive new issues and the latest, released on 27 February 2021, is a fascinating, if somewhat unnerving, set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet containing the same 6 stamps which depict Scorpions, being the third part of its ongoing Invertebrates of the Kalahari series. The excellent designs are by Monkgogi Samson from art by Totang Mokoloki and the issue was lithographed by Southern Colour Print. Rating:- *****.

 ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Guernsey Post will issue a set of 8 stamps inscribed “Alderney” on 24 March 2021 to commemorate the United Nations International Year of Fruit and Vegetables. Yes, really. The set depicts paintings by a local medical general practitioner, Petra Palmeri. The art takes the form of pleasant still life paintings though I have to admit that I always find it difficult to get excited about paintings of bowls of apples or pears or whatever. Rating:- **.