Pobjoy Stamps seems very much like the natural successor to the old Crown Agents philatelic agency and the omnibus issue which it has just announced is very reminiscent of the classic royal omnibus issues that we grew to know and love. A dynamic collection of issues of 4 different stamps from 6 territories covers events that occurred during the reign of the soon-to-be longest reigning monarch along with issues which stress the local relevance of the issues to each individual territory participating in the omnibus series.
The designs, as usual, are excellent and the subjects featured on the stamps are interesting. We have grown to expect this first class approach to modern stamp issuing from Pobjoy Stamps/Creative Direction and this highly collectable issue does not let us down. The participating territories are Ascension Island, Bahamas, British Antarctic Territory, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and The South Sandwich Islands and Tristan Da Cunha. All sets are due to be released on 9 September 2015 which is the actual date when The Queen achieves her remarkable record of equalling and surpassing the length of the reign of her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria.
The stamps were all designed by Andrew Robinson and lithographed by BDT International. Rating:-*****:-
Meanwhile, if Pobjoy Stamps can currently be viewed as the premier philatelic agency producing stamps for Commonwealth territories, many collectors may consider Stamperija to be the opposite with its vast numbers of philatelic emissions of no or little relevance to the territories whose names appears on such products.
However, from to time, the agency handles real stamps produced for the use of mail senders in their client territories (Solomon Islands, Uganda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Maldives) and 6 stamps have just been announced as having been issued by The Maldives to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's independence. The set was released on 26 July 2015 and, unusually, was also issued in a special presentation pack which is depicted below. What a pity that Maldives does not stick with these locally relevant issues instead of the sort of stuff churned out by its philatelic agents on a regular basis which has no relevance to the country and is rarely, or even never, found to have received normal postal usage. Rating:- ****
Malta Post issued a single stamp on 14 August 2015 to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of St. John Bosco. The stamp was designed by Austin Camilleri and lithographed by Printex. Rating:- ***.
Australia Post issued a set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 14 August 2015 to coincide with the opening of the Singapore 2015 philatelic exhibition and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Australian diplomatic relations with Singapore. The issue is a joint issue with Singapore Post and New Zealand Post (see Blogs 599 and 615). Rating:-****
I derive no pleasure from seeing the latest products to be released by the US-based agency, IGPC, on behalf of their client postal administrations. The products generally have no real relevance to the countries whose names appear on them - the quality of production is slightly upmarket compared with the items which are released by Stamperija and the items are also less numerous but otherwise both agencies are very similar to each other. The following products highlight my comments:-
Antigua And Barbuda:- 2015 - Commemoration of the late Elvis Presley, American entertainer - 4 miniature sheets. Rating:-0
Ghana - 3 August 2015 - Singapore 2015 Philatelic Exhibition -Swans - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 3 different stamps and the other containing a single stamp. Rating:-0.
Grenada - 2015 - 10th anniversary of the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI - 1 miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps. Rating:- 0.
St. Vincent And The Grenadines - 3 August 2015 - Singapore 2015 Philatelic Exhibition - 1 miniature sheet containing 5 different stamps and 1 m.s. containing a single stamp. Rating:- *.
Tuvalu - 3 August 2015 - Singapore 2015 Philatelic Exhibition - 1 sheetlet of 6 different stamps and 1 m.s. obtaining a single stamp. Rating:- 0.