Tuesday, 24 April 2018

1212. 🇦🇺 Flood Of Australia Post Issues Continues.

  🇦🇺 Australia Post will issue a single gummed stamp on 1 May 2018 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first Australian cricket tour by an Aboriginal XI in England. The stamp was designed by Phil Ellet of Creative Ethos and Jo Muré and lithographed by EGO and perforated 14 x 14.5. It is pleasing that Australia Post is issuing a stamp commemorating a genuinely locally relevant issue - Rating:- ***** - but unfortunately many other issues have been announced along with it for which there is very little reason in a very large new issue programme.

  A set of 4 gummed stamps, 1 gummed miniature sheet and 4 self-adhesive stamps issued in 4 individual booklets of 10 x $1 will be released on 1 May 2018 on the subject of 'Cloudscapes'. An attractive issue but quite unnecessary at a time of so many issues being released by Australia Post. The issue was designed by Lisa Christensen of Three Branches Design and lithographed by RA Printing and perforated 14.5. Rating:- *.

  A miniature sheet will be issued on 27 May 2018 to commemorate Australia Post's participation in the World Stamps Championships 2018 being held in Israel from 27 to 31 May 2018. Rating:- *.

  A set of 4 gummed stamps, 1 miniature sheet and 4 self-adhesive stamps issued in 4 individual booklets each of 10 x $1 will be issued on 21 May 2018 on the subject of 'Silo art' (art applied to grain silos). This is an interesting and original subject but quite unnecessary when Australia Post is putting out so many new issues. The set was designed by Janet Boschen Design and lithographed by EGO and perforated 14 x 14.5. Rating:- 0.

  On 5 June 2018 Australia Post will issue 3 more attractive stamps depicting Finches. The colourful and attractive set was designed by Kevin Stead and John White and lithographed by RA Printing and perforated 14 x 14.5. Needless to say there is also an accompanying miniature sheet. Rating:- **.

  A set of 4 gummed stamps, 1 gummed miniature sheet and 4 self-adhesive stamps issued in 4 booklets each containing 10 x $1 stamps meaning that the total cost of the issue amounts to $48.will be released on 12 June 2018 on the subject of Art in Nature. The set was designed by Andrew Hogg Design and lithographed by EGO (RA Printing) and perforated 14.5 x 14. A colourful issue but what is the point of it in such a crowded new issue programme? Rating:- 0.

  On 15 June 2018 a stamp pack on the subject of Sustainable Development Goals containing a pane of 20 Greetings stamps and a second pane of non-postally valid will be released and sold for $23.

  Three $23 'stamp packs' containing 2 sheetlets each (both made up of 2 panes of 8 'Greetings' stamps with attached illustrated labels) will be released in May 2018 on the following subjects:- Jurassic World 2 Fallen Kingdom, Star Wars Han Solo and Disney Princess. Rating:- 0.

🇨🇨 Issue inscribed 'Cocos (Keeling) Island Australia - 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on the subject of 'Basket weaving' to be issued on 26 June 2018. Designed by Sonia Young and lithographed by RAPrint and perforated 14 x 14.5. Rating:- **.

1211. 🇯🇪 Jersey Post Commemorates Frankenstein.

  🇯🇪 Jersey Post will issue 8 stamps and 2 miniature sheets on 18 June 2018 to commemorate the Bicentenary of the publication of the Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. I can not find any link between the authoress and her work and Jersey and so this seems like a remarkably lavish issue for a subject of no local relevance (total face value is £20.62p). Nevertheless this is an eye-catching issue with the designs apparently based on staged photographs. The issue was designed by So Design and lithographed by Cartor with the £3 miniature sheet being printed in 'CMYK' on lenticular gummed paper. It's lack of local relevance and high price makes me rate it - **.

  In Blog 1204 I waxed lyrical about Jersey Post's new set of stamps which will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I now include an illustration of the delightful accompanying miniature sheet:-

  🇿🇼 Zim Post, the postal service of Zimbabwe was due to issue a set of 4 stamps on 18 July 2018 as part of its ongoing 'National heroes' series. This set was eventually released on 5 February 2018. The designs are dull and lacking in imagination but at least the total face value of the set is reasonable. Rating:- **.

  🇭🇰 Hong Kong Post will issue 6 stamps, 1 miniature sheet and 1 Prestige booklet on 8 May 2018 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department. The issue was designed by Yuen Kam-shing and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 14 x 14.5. Rating:- ***.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

1210. 🇬🇧🇸🇿 Gibbons Intoduces A 'Supplementary Appendix' And KingMswati Introduces eSwatini.

  🇬🇧 The editor of the Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogues has revealed that he has created a 'Supplementary Appendix' in the new 4th edition of Stanley Gibbons East Africa Catalogue to accommodate stamps which were originally placed in the Appendix section of the catalogue but have subsequently been found, sometimes years after their original issue date, to have actually been sold in post offices and to have received genuine postal usage.
  Mr Jefferies states that, "The listing uses temporary numbers and is unpriced as we are sure that there will be a great many more stamps to add to it".
  It's a difficult problem for the editor. He mentions that, "In recent weeks I have heard that Antigua And Gibraltar, to name but two, do not sell anything but definitives in their post offices" and questions whether or not "we should cease to list all their special issues". In reply to that one, I say that if the stamps are not being sold with the primary intention of their being used on mail, then they are 'Collectables' first and foremost and not true 'postage stamps' and therefore should be listed in the Appendix, so that collectors know that they exist but do not feel pressured to buy them just because they have a catalogue number.
  In all events, the status of new issues seems to have taken a very complicated turn when one now has 3 sections of a catalogue - main list with numbers, appendix and a supplementary appendix. I think it emphasises the point that 'completion', 'one of everything', is impossible in this modern day and age and wouldn't make for a very nice collection even if one did  have the inclination and money to pursue such a goal. Collectors should ensure that they know what they're collecting and make it clear in their mind about what they want to get out of a collection and not feel as though they have to follow a catalogue listing which is generally based on someone else's opinion and nothing more. That way leads to being able to derive maximum pleasure from one's collection and not to gloom which is associated with a collection full of stuff one's not interested in nor doesn't like.

  🇸🇿 King Mswati III, the absolute ruler of what up to now has been known as Swaziland, declared on 18 April 2018 that thenceforth the country would be known by a new name - The Kingdom Of eSwatini. Presumably this will have philatelic consequences, possibly an overprint of the new name on the current definitive series which depicts Trees and dates back to as long ago as 2007 so e-Swatini's postal service may wish to release a completely new definitive series without bothering with overprints. Presumably too all future stamp issues will be inscribed with the new country name including the set due on 6 September 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's achievement of Independence. Time will tell.

  🇹🇷 The postal service of The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus released its first stamp issue of 2018 on 6 April in the form of 2 values from the 'Struggle against Cancer' set of 2015 with surcharges applied to them. Rating:- **.

  🇬🇧 Royal Mail has commemorated the celebrations in Stratford upon Avon which mark the anniversary of the playwright's birth which take place this weekend by adorning a postbox in the town with quotations from some of Shakespeare's works. It's interesting for tourists to see and doesn't cost stamp collectors a penny. A free commemorative you might say.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

1209. Commonwealth Leaders' Meeting Opens In London.

  🇬🇧 As previously mentioned Royal Mail has failed to issue a stamp to commemorate the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which takes place this week in London and Windsor. The heads of government or senior ministers of 53 countries are attending the meeting (46 are represented by their presidents or prime ministers and the others by their foreign ministers) but Royal Mail did not consider this to be an important enough event to be worth commemorating philatelically. Royal Mail pronounced that preparation and production of such an issue would take too long though I managed to 'design' the above, perfectly workable 'design' on my I Pad in 5 minutes. It was of course much more important to produce countless philatelic items on the subject of the television programme Game Of Thrones.
  Queen Elizabeth II, who will celebrate her 92nd birthday tomorrow on 21 April, in her welcome to the Commonwealth leaders, expressed her wish that her son, The Prince Of Wales, would be allowed to succeed her as the Head of The Commonwealth, a purely honorary title.
  The meeting is also being attended by the Foreign minister of Zimbabwe in an observer role in anticipation of that country's readmission to The Commonwealth and President Adama Barrow of The Gambia is present after that country's return to membership of the organisation.

  🇮🇳 India Post released a previously mentioned miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps on the subject of the 125th anniversary of the Goan Tiatr on 17 April 2018. I like this issue which is rather more interesting and colourful than a number of India Post releases. Rating:- ***.

  🇱🇹 Stamperija has announced the release of more paraphilatelic products with the name of Sierra Leone printed on them. As usual there are 10 'sheetlets', each containing 4 different 'stamps', and 10 accompanying miniature sheets on the following subjects:- Dogs, Dinosaurs, Shells, 205th Birth Anniversary of Richard Wagner, Birth centenary of Nelson Mandela, 55th anniversary of the Lamborghini company, 120th anniversary of the death of Alexander Shishkin, Orchids, 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King and the 65th anniversary of the film and book character James Bond (there must be all sorts of copyright problems with these particular latter products). Rating:- 0.
  The 'date of issue' is stated to have been 30 March 2018.