Saturday 31 August 2013

299. Footnote Issues.

  As I have mentioned (probably ad nauseam) in previous blogs I am very selective about which new issue stamps I buy particularly from Commonwealth countries which allow foreign philatelic agents to produce large numbers of stamps in their name although the stamps have little or no direct relevance to the country whose name appears on the products. The latest list of issues from such a foreign agency seems to include a large number of products which indeed have little or no relevance to their client countries and for that reason I will not be buying any of them to add to my collection but I will add a footnote to my album page that mentions that a number of such issues have been made and that I have chosen to omit them from my collection. I call them "Footnote Issues" and here is the latest list:-

  St Vincent And The Grenadines

28 November 2012 - Crabs of The Caribbean (not necessarily of St. Vincent) - sheetlet of 4 stamps (mentioned in previous blog) but an accompanying miniature sheet has also been issued:-
  28 November 2012 - Reptiles of the Caribbean area - sheetlet of 4 stamps (previously reported), also accompanied by a miniature sheet. A list of reptiles which are found in the country can easily be found in Wikipedia but the designer of the set has taken no trouble to devote the set of stamps to those species which are found in St. Vincent which would have been both interesting for the collector and educational for the local population about their wildlife and its conservation. While the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle is found in St. Vincent seas some of the other species do not appear on the island and the design describes the iguana featured on the miniature sheet as a generic iguana rather than trying to illustrate the local species. Why should collectors pay money for such lazily produced items? It would have been so easy to have produced a locally meaningful set that would have been worthwhile to collect:-

  3 June 2013 - Commemoration of the late Baroness Thatcher, former British prime minister - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-

  27 July 2013 - Bicentenary of the publication of "Pride And Prejudice" by Jane Austin, a British novelist - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  Sierra Leone - 23 July 2013 - Elvis Presley (American musical performer) "gold stamp" commemoration - 1 stamp:-

  St. Kitts  - 12 August 2013 - Butterflies of the Caribbean region - sheetlet of 10 different stamps:-

  12 August 2013 - Moths of the Caribbean region - sheetlet of 4 different stamps:-

  The Gambia - 26 August 2013 - Election of Pope Francis - sheetlet of  4 stamps. The religion of more than 90% of the population of The Gambia is Islam!:-

  22 July 2013 - Elvis Presley "gold stamp" commemoration - 1 stamp:-

  Ghana - 19 July 2013 - The Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  Papua New Guinea - 7 August 2013 - Anniversaries of space events - a set of 4 stamps, 1 sheetlet containing 4 stamps and 1 m.s. containing 1 stamp:-

  Grenada - 29 April 2013 - The Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI - 2 sheetlets each of 4 different stamps and 2 m.s. It is arguable that this issue is of relevance to Grenada because the religion of a sizeable proportion o the local population is Roman Catholicism:-

  8 July 2013 - Elvis Presley "gold stamp" commemoration - 1 stamp:-

  Nevis - 3 June 2013 - Turtles of the World - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  3 June 2013 - Election of Pope Francis - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s. Unlike Grenada, Catholics make up a small part of the population of Nevis with the principal faith in the island being Anglicanism - it would have been more appropriate for Nevis to have issued a set of stamps to commemorate the installation of the new Archbishop of Canterbury which took place within a few days of the enthronement of the new pope (though no doubt less financially profitable for Nevis' philatelic agent):-

  3 June 2013 - Parrots of The Caribbean - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s. Apparently Nevis has no species of wild parrots which live in the island - the only types to be found there are specimens in the local Botanical Gardens!

  3 June 2013 - Fruit - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

Friday 30 August 2013

298. New Surcharges From Botswana And Zambia.

  I have just obtained, and can now illustrate, some previously mentioned recent surcharges from Botswana and Zambia (see Blog 293). I do not know the dates of issue of any of these issues yet. Shown above, is the 30t definitive stamp from Botswana of 1997 with additional P7 surcharge to produce a new P7.30 value.
  Below are 3 new surcharges from Zambia which are previously issued surcharged stamps reissued with new surcharges applied in the new devalued currency. Like the 2012 definitive set which was also completely revalued by surcharging and which therefore had only a very limited period of sale these stamps are in the currency which is one thousandth of the previous value. Two other similar surcharges on a surcharge have also been issued - the K5000 on K700 United Nations stamp, now surcharged K5.00, and the K2500 on "B" Sacred Ibis surcharge, now surcharged K2.50.

  I have also received one of the Livingstone Bicentenary miniature sheets which I mentioned in Blog 258 and illustrate one of the stamps from the miniature sheet which depicts David Livingstone himself along with a quite prominent identification of the name of the stamp's designer, Peter J. Westwood, at the left of the stamp. This item was apparently issued in an extremely limited edition of 500 sheets and is of a high face value of K145 (£17.30 - it must be that the face values are in the new kwacha rather than the old currency) so presumably this will be another one of those rare modern Zambian issues which come along from time to time.

  Finally, I illustrate another recent set from Tanzania which I thought was the second issue in the "Zanzibar Attractions" series but I now realise that it is actually the "Zanzibar Attractions" issue from 2009 - it is a real problem that there are now so many new issues that one can so easily confuse them all with each other. Nevertheless, it is an interesting set - well worth illustrating - and, like the 2012 set which I have not yet seen, consists of 4 stamps from ordinary sheets, a sheetlet and a single stamp miniature sheet. The stamps were printed in lithography by Enschede. As can be seen, continuing the wildlife theme of Blog 297, the appealing local red colobus monkey features prominently on 2 of the designs of the set:-

Wednesday 28 August 2013

297. Big Cats Of The Isle Of Man And Jersey Cattle.

  When you think about The Isle Of Man, large feline predators stalking the countryside are not topmost in one's thoughts. It's a little strange therefore to find the Isle Of Man Post Office issuing 6 stamps which depict some of the big cats of the world - about the largest animal predators you will find on the island are the appealing otters in the Wildlife Park. Nevertheless, complete lack of relevance of subject matter has never been a barrier to a desperate postal administration issuing a set of stamps to make money out of collectors and The Isle Of Man has the excuse that even if none of the cats are to be found on the island then at least the artist of these marvellous feline portraits, the excellent Jeremy Paul, is to be found resident on the island. This set of 6 stamps will be issued on 13 September 2013 and even if wholly irrelevant to this little island in the middle of the Irish Sea the stamps are certainly wonderful works of art and attractive items to collect.

  Not satisfied with the £5.92 that it will extract from the collectors who buy the set of 6 cat portraits, the Isle Of Man Post Office will also issue an accompanying miniature sheet with 4 more works of art by Jeremy Paul on the subject of a "Journey Through Africa". Again, The Isle Of Man isn't exactly famous for the great herds of wildlife that sweep majestically past one's hotel bedroom window in Douglas but this is a lovely item that is bound to be popular with collectors, especially of wildlife stamps but the cost of the sheet adds another £3 to the £5.92 price of the cats set.

  Jersey cows are to cattle what labrador puppies are to dogs - the most appealing of creatures. The Jersey Post Office has therefore come up with the idea of using portraits of Jersey cattle, beautifully painted by Kathy Roncel, to make up a set of 6 stamps which it will release on 20 September 2013. The stamps are lithograph printed by BDT International.
  There is no doubt that both the Isle Of Man and Jersey sets are excellent issues which show marvellous animal portraits and even though the relevance of the Isle Of Man's issue is tenuous to say the least, both sets are highly collectible and will find a place in my collection. Perhaps next year Jeremy Paul should produce a miniature sheet titled "A Journey Through The Isle Of Man".