I can see the attraction of having a thematic/topical collection - the collector obtains a nice hoard of jolly pictures which illustrate a subject of his or her interest and it brings alive the collector's passion at not too great a cost. I myself have little sideline albums which contain stamps on various subjects - national flags of the world, Labrador retrievers and, most recently, Shakespeare.
I don't take my thematic collections too seriously - I'm not driven to obtain everything that appears that is relevant to my subject - just nice appealing designs which interest me and which I can peruse from time to time when the fancy takes me. Some of the stamps I buy break the rules and may be considered to be irrelevant to the country whose name appears on them which would certainly exclude them from my main Commonwealth collection but I loosen the reins a little when it comes to my themes and have bought some of the items put out by agencies such as IGPC though I draw the line at buying anything from Stamperija.
Which is just as well as now I can possess a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio (published 1623, one being sold recently at Christie's for a cool £1,870,450 - the Second Folio sold for £194,450, the Third for £362,500 - it's rarer than the Second Folio because many copies of it were destroyed in the Great Fire of London - and the Fourth for £47,500) because that dear old bête noir, IGPC, has just issued a miniature sheet which features the First Folio as part of its commemorative issue which notes the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. The stamps have the name of Ghana printed on them which again is alright as in my opinion the works of Shakespeare belong to the world.
The issue also includes 2 sheetlets, one of 4 different stamps and one of 6 different stamps, which depicts scenes from Shakespeare's plays including some which rarely make it on to a stamp design including Coriolanus, The Winter's Tale and As You Like It. The issue is said to have been released on 16 May 2016. The face value of the First Folio miniature sheet is GHc19 or £3.49p.
I much prefer this issue to the Royal Mail release of 10 stamps earlier this year because it includes pictures rather a series of quotations. Rating:- ****.
After this burst of enthusiasm, it's worth recording that IGPC is putting out a lot more philatelic products about which I feel generally much less interested:-
Ghana - 16 May 2016 - 15the anniversary of the terrorist outrages in New York of 11 September 2001 - 2 miniatures sheets, one of 3 different stamps and the other containing a single stamp. Rating:- *.
- 16 May 2016 - 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II - 1 sheetlet of 6 different stamps and 1 single-stamp miniature sheet. Rating:- *.
Antigua And Barbuda - 25 May 2016 - Commemoration of the late Jimi Hendrix, musician - 1 sheetlet of 6 different stamps and 1 single-stamp miniature sheet. Rating:- 0.
- 25 May 2016 - Marine mammals (including species of the Arctic (!) - 3 miniature sheets (1 x 6 different stamps, 1 x 4 different stamp and 1 single stamp. Rating:- 0.
- Guyana - 20 February 2016 - 125th anniversary of the death of Vincent Van Gogh, artist (part II) - 1 sheetlet of 5 different stamps. Rating:- 0.
- 30 December 2015 - Fruit trees - 1 sheetlet of 6 different stamps and 2 miniature sheets (1 of 4 different stamps and 1 with a single stamp. Rating:- *.
- Montserrat - 30 May 2016 - Worldwide Fund For Nature (WWF), the Nassau Grouper - 1 sheetlet of 8 stamps (2 blocks of 4 different stamps) and 1 sheetlet of 16 stamps containing 4 blocks of 4 different stamps. Rating:- ***.
Nevis - 1 April 2016 - Achievement of Queen Elizabeth II in becoming the longest reigning British monarch - 2 miniature sheets (1 of 4 different stamps and 1 with a single stamp). Rating:- **.
Grenada - 16 May 2016 - 90th Birthday of Elizabeth II, Queen of Grenada - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet containing a single stamp. Rating:- ****.