Thursday 16 July 2020

1703. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช At Last, Ireland’s 2020 Europa Stamp.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic the Europa issue from An Post, the postal service of the Republic Of Ireland was eventually issued on 16 July 2020 in the form of a two stamp set with the designs related to this year’s theme for the omnibus series of ‘Ancient postal routes’. The stamps, designed by Red&Grey from an illustration by Orlagh Murphy, depict an early medieval Irish monk writing a letter as well as depicting another monk sitting in a coracle with a boatsman on the way, I assume, to deliver the communication and the second depicts a monk on horseback riding to a convent where he is delivering a letter to a nun with a greyhound-like dog racing to greet him. They are delightful illustrations and very pleasing stamps. The issue was lithographed by Enschedรฉ and perforated 13.5 x 14. Rating:- ****.

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan Post issued a single stamp on 11 July 2020 to commemorate World Population Day 2020. The stamp design was supplied “by the customer” (whoever that was) and lithographed by National Security Printing Company, Karachi and perforated 13. Rating:- ***.

๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช The Joint Stamps internet site mentions that Posta Kenya may participate in the COVID-19 omnibus issue which was featured in Blog 1697 but no details of the issue from there are yet available.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง I now have 2 more Royal Mail Machin Head definitives with M20L codes in my collection.They are:- 

Self-adhesive counter stamps from ordinary sheets 

M20L MAIL - 10p value.

Gummed stamps from Prestige booklets 

M20L MPIL - 1p value from Queen Prestige booklet. The pane contains 8 stamps and 1 stamp-sized label at the centre of the pane. The 8 stamps are 4 x 1st Class identical definitive-sized stamps depicting the veteran popular music group, Queen, and 4 x 1p definitives positioned so that they occupy the four corners of the pane. To obtain an example of the 1p stamp for a specialist collection of Machin Head stamps the collector must therefore pay £19.10p (191,000% of the face value of the definitive stamp) or more sensibly buy an example from a dealer at a reasonable mark-up price who will be paying £19.10p for 4 x 1p stamps (just 47, 778% of the face value of the 4 x 1p stamps though of course if the dealer also sells commemoratives those items in the booklet can also be sold or otherwise used for postage).
  The 1p definitive with attached Queen stamp is the only item I shall buy from the vastly expensive Queen issue apart from the counter booklet containing 4 x 1st Class Definitives (code M20L MCIL) plus 2 of the commemorative stamps as it seems to me Royal Mail’s new issue programme is excessive beyond words and I shall likewise boycott the tiresome Palace Of Westminster issue and the quite unnecessary Sherlock issue which commemorates an infrequently broadcast television programme that is just 10 years old (though I admit I shall again buy the counter booklet of 6 stamps - but that only).

Addendum Reply to comment by Gene/DJCMH (below). Thank you. I have corrected the text above to avoid confusion. How I overlooked the second stamp, I do not know but thanks for pointing out the error. Best wishes, WK.

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