Thursday 29 October 2015

657. Excellent New Issues Highlight The Brilliance of Pobjoy Stamps/Creative Direction.

 News of a number of new issues from the client territories of Pobjoy Stamps/Creative Direction highlights just what shining light in this dark modern world of stamp releases this agency is for collectors. A series of spectacularly good stamps is to be issued by territories who are served by Pobjoy.
 Firstly the next issue from the Tristan Da Cunha postal administration is a wonderful set of 4 stamps titled "The Great Lifeboat Disaster" which will be released on 27 November 2015. The splendid designs by the artist Victor Ambrus depict the events which occurred on 28 November 1885 when 15 island men sailed out to trade with the vessel, S V West Riding, in the island's then newly donated lifeboat. At the time, food supplies were becoming desperately low for the island's inhabitants and the risk of sailing out to the distant ship through rough seas was very necessary. The boat sailed out of sight of those ashore and was never seen again and all aboard were considered to have drowned. A ship visiting the island a little later noted that the disaster had left 13 widows and the total population of the island then included just 4 men. 
   The stamps tell the story beautifully of a terrible and sad event in the little island's history.
   Rating:- ****** (yes, 6 stars).


 And so to this year's issues from British Antarctic Territory. So far there is news of 3 issues. The first commemorates the Centenary of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition and is the 3rd issue from the territory to commemorate this momentous anniversary. The issue was designed by Bee Design from the photography of Frank Hurley and lithographed by BDT International and will be released on an as yet unspecified date in November 2015. Rating:- *****.


    British Antarctic Territory will then release a set of 6 stamps on the subject of Whales of the territory on a date in November 2015 which has not yet been specified. The beautiful designs which appear on the stamps are by Nick Shewring and printing was carried out in lithography by BDT International. Rating:- ****** (yes, another 6 stars).

 The always excellent bird-stamps org. website draws attention to a third set of 5 stamps from the British Antarctic Territory, presumably to also be issued on an as yet unspecified date in November, on the subject of Historic Huts of the territory which are depicted along with illustrations of local birds and mammals.This is another beautifully illustrated issue designed by Robin Carter and I like it so much I give it ****** (6 stars ) again!

  The Post Office of Ascension Island will issue a set of 4 stamps on 1 December 2015 to commemorate the Tercentenary of the birth of the sailor and explorer, William Dampier, who was an early explorer of parts of Australia as well as being the first person to carry out 3 circumnavigations of the world. Some also describe him as the first natural historian of Australia.
  His ship, the Roebuck, featured on the 35c value, foundered off Ascension on 21 February 1701 and it was necessary for he and his crew to go ashore on Ascension on 24 February. They used The Roebuck's sails as tents, and lived off the fresh water on the island and the plentiful supply of fresh turtle meat. He and his crew stayed on Ascension for 5 weeks until rescued by a passing East Indiaman. 
 The beautiful art work that makes up the designs of the set is by Robin Carter and the issue was lithographed by BDT International. Rating:- ****** (6 again).

  The Falkland Islands Post Office will issue yet another excellent set of 6 stamps on 30 November 2015 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Elephant Seal Research Group. This is yet another wonderful set from Pobjoy/Creative Direction - time and time again I wish that other postal administrations would switch to the agency. 
  St. Helena is one of the postal administrations I should love to see with Pobjoy. The post office there is said to have issued a set of stamps in the past couple of weeks or so on the subject of the Bicentenary of Bonaparte's landing on the island to begin his exile there but as yet I've seen no publicity about such a set. If the St. Helena Post Office was using Pobjoy as its agents I suspect that there would have been a much more active effort to promote the set and give it plenty of pre-publicity. As I said before, CASCO, St. Helena's current agency, appears to be completely moribund which can not be a good thing when less and less collectors seem to want to continue with their collections - active promotion of new stamps and the hobby in general is greatly needed. 
  Rating of this issue:- *****.

  And so another philatelic year of new issues draws to a close. It's a relief to see that after another heavy year of philatelic releases, collectors have only 2 more issues from Australia Post to deal with (apart from a couple of exhibition miniature sheets) and they are both Christmas-related sets.

  Firstly, there is an issue inscribed "Australia" which was designed by Sonia Kretschmar (religious design) and John White (secular design) and lithographed by EGO (religious design) and McKeller (secular design). There are 2 religious designs and 3 secular designs plus 1 miniature sheet which continues the religious theme. The stamps come in numerous formats. 
  Thus there are 5 gummed stamps and 1 gummed miniature sheet (total face value $9.50), 2 x 65c secular self-adhesive "embellished" stamps from 2 booklets of 10 of each design (total face value $13), the $1.70c and $2.25 stamps in self-adhesive format from "sheetlets" of 5 of each value (total face value $21.25c) and the 65c religious design in self-adhesive format in booklets of 20 along with the 2 secular stamps again in self-adhesive format from booklets of 20 (10 of each design) (total face value $26). (I shall not mention, as I never do, the 4 "chequebook" booklets, each containing 100 stamps, which have a total face value of $945 - surely no-one actually collects such things).

Miniature sheet.

$8.50 "sheetlet" of 5 x $1.70 self-adhesive stamps.

  The second Christmas issue from Australia Post is inscribed "Christmas Island Australia" and consists of 2 gummed stamps, 1 gummed miniature sheet, 1 self-adhesive "embellished" 65c stamp from sheetlets of 10 and 1 x $1.80 self-adhesive "sheetlets" of 5 (total cost of this lot is $20.40c). Just for the record "chequebooks" have also been produced consisting of 100 x $1.80c stamps, cost:- $180). 

  The total cost of buying "one of each" of Australia Post's Christmas issues is therefore $90.15c(£41.08p) (unless you don't feel that your collection is complete without the chequebooks in which case you will have to handover $1215.15c - £563.39p!).
  A miniature sheet will be available to coincide with the 31st Asian International Stamp Exhibition 2015 to be held in Hong Kong from 20 to 23 November and will be sold for $2.80c. Sadly, presently I only have a very poor quality illustration of the item and I have no illustration at all of another miniature sheet which was sold in relation to the China International Collection Expo held in Beijing from 25 - 28 September 2015.

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