Friday 19 June 2015

589. Stamperija's Sierra Leone Philatelic Onslaught Begins; High Values From St. Kitts.

  As trailed in Blog 492 Stamperija has now released its first issue of "stamps" in the name of its new client postal administration, Salpost - the Sierra Leone postal service. Collectors will find that the "issue" is a veritable onslaught on the money in their pockets with this new "issue" consisting of 10 sheetlets each of 6 different stamps as well as a total of 20 miniature sheets with an astonishing total face value of Le 498,000, currently equal to £75.80p (!) - further details are given below. 
  Meanwhile, the postal administrations of the territories which have put their philatelic fates in the hand of IGPC are busy boosting their philatelic agency's finances by allowing them to issue very expensive high value definitive stamps. In Blog 567 I mentioned the new $50 and $100 definitive stamps recently issued by Antigua-Barbuda's postal administration and there now also seems to have been similar values issued by the postal administration of St. Kitts apparently at some time during 2014. The $50 value depicts a view of the island and the national flag of St. Kitts-Nevis while the $100 depicts the country's national coat of arms. The combined face value of EC$150 is currently equal to £35.07:-

  Back to Sierra Leone. The 10 sheetlets are all on the overall subject of Fauna of West Africa with the sub-set themes being Cuckoos (although the subject is described as "Cockoos" in the upper border of the sheetlet as depicted at the head of this blog), the African fish eagle, Birds of prey, Dinosaurs, Elephants, African buffalos, Chimpanzees, Dolphins, African bats and Butterflies. It is interesting that the number of stamps per sheetlet has been increased from the four stamps which are usually included in a Stamperija sheetlet and the usual additional single miniature sheet has been increased to two. Presumably more stamps per sheetlet and more miniature sheets per set equates with bigger profits. The "day of issue" is stated to have been 22 May 2015.
  To give collectors an idea of what has been produced in the name of Sierra Leone all sheetlets and miniature sheets are depicted below. I wonder if any of these will actually be sold at an ordinary post office counter in Sierra Leone and how often we will see them being used on normal mail from the country:-

  The postal administration of Pitcairn Islands will issue a se-tenant strip of 4 stamps with a central label on 24 June 2015 in the "Prominent Pitcairners" series - this issue commemorates Ben Christian BEM, a former Island Secretary and Secretary to the Pitcairn Council and wood carver. The issue was designed by Denise Durkin and lithographed by Southern Colour Print:-

  The postal administration of The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus issued a set of 2 stamps on 14 May 2015 on the subject of traffic safety. The issue was designed by GK Sonmezer and lithothgraphed by the State Printer, Lefkosa:-

  Botswana Post has issued a set of 4 stamps on the subject of local art.  I do not yet know the date of issue:-

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