With 2 foreign philatelic agencies currently producing large numbers of expensive, poor quality, irrelevant philatelic products on behalf of, and with the permission of, the postal administrations of a large number of African Commonwealth territories, it is very pleasing that one or two Commonwealth territories in that continent continue to produce some fabulous new issues.
My favourites from this latter group are Nampost (Namibia) and Botswana Post which has just released (exact date of issue not yet known) a wonderful set of 4 stamps and accompanying miniature sheet on the subject of African buffaloes.
The wonderful art by Ditahupo Mogapi portrays beautifully these spectacular beasts and the P7.80 value, pictured above, is a marvellous portrayal of a group of buffaloes forming a wall with their horns as protection from a prowling lioness. These are excellent stamps and remind me just what a great pleasure it can still be to collect new stamp issues which even in these times can still be wonderful works of miniature art. Well done, Botswana Post! Rating:- *****.
Pos Malaysia, too, often issues some excellent, interesting and attractive new stamps - its latest set is made up of 3 stamps on the subject of Mosques of Malaysia and was issued on 27 August 2015. Rating:- ****.
Fiji Post is another Commonwealth postal administration which issues consistently excellent new stamp issues and the latest - issued on 16 June 2015 - is no exception. The subject of the issue is Levuka, Fiji's first capital and now, first UNESCO Heritage Site, and the stamps depict some interesting old sepia photographs of the town. Rating:- *****.
With the production and merchandising of the stamps of so many Commonwealth Pacific territories having fallen into the hands of foreign philatelic agents which churn out poor quality stamps Fiji is a breath of fresh air to stamp collectors of the area.
Meanwhile Philatelic Collector Inc. has announced a long list of new philatelic products which it has produced in the names of the postal administrations of Samoa, Cook Islands and Tonga. A set of 4 stamps, nicely designed by Derek Miller, has been produced for each of the 3 countries to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta - although the designs mainly concentrate on depicting King John and medieval English figures, the coat of arms of each country appears on at least one of the designs and I can see the relevance of the subject matter to these countries.
A sheetlet of 9 stamps has been produced to commemorate Samoa's hosting of the Commonwealth Youth Games as predicted in Blog 624 but the designs are excruciatingly underwhelming.
Samoa - 21 July 2015 - 800th anniversary of Magna Carta - 4 stamps. Rating:- ****.
2 September 2015 - Commonwealth Youth Games, Apia - 1 sheetlet of 9 different stamps. Rating:- *
4 September 2015 - 40th anniversary of Samoan diplomatic relations with The People's Republic of China - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps. Rating:- **.
Cook Islands - 15 July 2015 - 800th anniversary of Magna Carta - 4 stamps. Rating:- ****.
Tonga - 20 July 2015 - 800th anniversary of Magna Carta - 4 stamps. Rating:- *****.
1 April 2015 - WWF stamps with surcharges applied to revalue each stamp - 4 stamps. Rating:- *.
1September 2015 - EMS rates (high values - $15 and $50) - 2 stamps and 2 "deluxe" miniature sheets - total face value T$130. Rating:- 0.
Niuafo'ou Tonga - 1 April 2015 - WWF stamps with surcharges applied to revalue each stamp - 4 stamps. Rating:- *.
1 September 2015 - EMS rates (high values $15 and $50 - Tonga does need a lot of high valued stamps doesn't it?) - 2 stamps and 2 "deluxe" miniature sheets - total face value T$130. Rating:- 0.