Wednesday 18 May 2016

760. Isle Of Man Not At The Games But Still Issuing Olympic Stamps.

  In Blog 749 I mentioned the "Post and Go" stamps actually dispensed in the Broad Street post office in Jersey itself which commemorate the centenary of the Muratti Vase Inter-island Football Competition from kiosk JE02. This is a locally available issue on a local subject and so, after thinking about it, I may well add it to my Jersey Post collection unlike most of the other stuff being sold by Jersey's philatelic bureau during 2016. Rating:- **.

  After the issue of literally thousands of Olympic Games stamp issues over the decades it's hard to believe that anyone can come up with an original approach to an Olympic Games stamp design and the Isle Of Man postal administration proves the point with 4 fairly humdrum stamps which will be released on 23 May 2016. Just for good measure each stamp has a high face value of £1.27 so they're obviously not intended to be used on local mail in the island itself. Of course Isle Of Man does not send its own team to the games so one might question why it should issue a set on the subject at all. Perhaps the £5.08p per set it charges collectors to buy the stamps is the reason. 
  If spending £5.08p isn't enough for you then another £5.08 can be spent on a sheetlet of 4 stamps and 8 non-postally valid labels depicting sports other than those featured on the stamps themselves. 
  The stamps were designed by EJC Design and lithograped by BDT Internatioal Security Printers, perforated 13.5. Rating:- *.

  Another philatelic entity which feels the need to issue Olympic Games stamps without being represented in Rio De Janeiro is the postal administration of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This time a set of stamps was issued on 28 April 2016 and they are probably a little more eye catching than the products coming out of Isle Of Man. Rating:- ***.

  The USA-based philatelic agency, which likes to call itself "The world's most respected philatelic agents", has issued (or will issue) a set of 4 stamps on the subject of WWF,  the Worldwide Fund For Nature, which depicts the Nassau Grouper, a large fish. The issue is inscribed "Montserrat" and I have so far seen it being issued in the familiar format of a sheetlet of 16 stamps (4 different designs issued in se-tenant in blocks of four). Rating:- ***.

  In addition to the sheetlet of 3 stamps with the name of St. Vincent And The Grenadines printed on them which is stated to have been issued by IGPC on 11 April 2016 to commemorate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, a miniature sheet of 2 different stamps was also released. Rating:- **.

  Moving from the philatelic products of the "World's Most Respected Philatelic Agency" to the stamps "issued" by, er, .... Stamperija (I don't know what term it likes to apply to itself). This time this admirable "agency" has announced proudly the "issue" of another 10 sheetlets, each containing 4 different "stamps" along with 10 accompanying "miniature sheets". The name of the country which appears on this stuff is pretty irrelevant but for the record on this occasion it is Sierra Leone which has allowed its name to be used in such a way. This is the second part of a series of "Marine life" subjects with a stated "date of issue" of 25 March 2016
  Even if one viewed these products as real postage stamps (as opposed to labels with theoretical postal validity if they ever found their way to a post office counter for sale to the public) they are quite appalling. One of the featured subjects is "Piranhas" (these are neither marine fish nor found in Africa - so why on earth are they appearing in a "Marine life"-themed issue from an African country?). 
  Other featured subjects are Water snakes, Whales, Terns, Lighthouses, Tall ships, Crocodiles, Polar bears, Penguins and Kingfishers. Rating:- 0.

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