Friday 25 May 2012

Pigs, Flags And New Zimbabwe Definitives.

"Post & Go" machine-printed self-adhesive stamps are highly popular among British collectors at the moment and Royal Mail has not hesitated to cash in on this latest area of collecting of Great Britain stamps. Having issued 4 different sets of "British birds" Post & Go stamps last year, they have set about issuing a further series which depicts rare breeds of British farm animals - 6 different sheep which were issued on 24 February 2012 and, more recently, 6 British breeds of pig, issued on 24 April 2012. The designs, by Robert Gillmor and Kate Stephens, are excellent and feature the following breeds:- Berkshire, Gloucestershire Old Spot, Oxford Sandy and Black, Welsh, Tamworth and British Saddleback. Post office machines can print out a "collectors" set which contains one of each value (the value and design will vary so that there is a potential 36 different stamps to be obtained from each 6-design set - 1st class up to 100g, 1st large up to 100g, Europe up to 100g, and worldwide up to 10g or 20g or 40g).
Royal Mail also sells a pack with the six designs all in the 1st class up to 100g rate with the inscription printed on them by Walsall Security Printers so that they are different from the stamps obtainable with their inscriptions printed by the machines in the post offices where the machines are situated. The pack is a very attractive item and makes a composite picture when placed beside the sheep pack and the upcoming cattle issue.
The latest addition to the Post & Go series is the "Union Jack" issue which is part of the Diamond Jubilee commemoration and was issued on 21 May 2012. In the Head Post Office in Victoria Square in Birmingham, Britain's most important city after London, the pig Post & Go stamps had been replaced by the flag stamps on 21 May which means they had only been available as machine-printed stamps for about one month which must surely make them rather rare and well-worth tracking down if they have not already been obtained by the collector. The "collectors' set" sold from the machine was again in all six "values" though this time only six different stamps are available rather that 36 as mentioned above.
Elsewhere, Zimbabwe has produced eight new definitive stamps which depict local sculpture. They come in the values 5c, 25c, 30c, 50c, 75c, 85c, $1 and $1.50. These are also quite attractive stamps but Zimbabwe has joined the growing trend of issuing miniature sheets which contain an example of every stamp in the definitive set. In recent months we have seen such miniature sheets from Cook Islands, Cook Islands Rarotonga, Cook Islands Aitutaki, Cook Islands Penrhyn, Tonga, Tonga Niuafo'ou and Vanuatu. Fortunately the face values of the new Zimbabwe definitives are not too high so buying the equivalent of two sets instead of one is not so arduous as it has been with some of the aforementioned philatelic entities.
The date of issue of the new definitives was 27 March 2012. I include illustrations of 5 of the 8 new values which make up the set below:-

No comments:

Post a Comment