Monday 16 September 2013

305. Canada's Superman.

  Despite appearing to be the all-American hero, and despite Jersey Post Office recently making a claim on him (see Blog 253), a new issue of stamps from Canada seems to make it clear that the DC Comics super-hero, Superman, is in fact, Canadian or at least half-Canadian.  A set of 5 stamps from booklets, a miniature sheet which combines all 5 stamps and a 6th stamp produced in coil format were released on 10 September 2013 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Superman character by American, Jerry Siegel, and Canadian, Joe Shuster. The designs depict various images of Superman as he was shown over the 75 year period of his continuing appearance in DC Comics' publications as well as on television and in the cinema. The coil design depicts the famous S emblem which is emblazoned on the chest of Superman's costume.

  The five designs are united in the miniature sheet depicted below:-
  Canada Post may well have missed a trick in the philatelic commemoration of popular iconic science fiction characters since, following the same thinking that justified the issue of a Superman set of stamps, they should have probably also approached the BBC to join Royal Mail in the issue of stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr Who. Why? Well, the first producer of Dr Who in 1963 was a Canadian, Sydney Newman, and he played a pivotal role in the creation of the character who earlier this year appeared on the bumper stamp issue made by Royal Mail. A money-making opportunity missed?
 For sports enthusiasts, on 3 September 2013 Canada Post issued a set of 7 stamps, each design being produced in a separate booklet, and a miniature sheet which depicted National Hockey League jerseys. The stamps were lithographed by Lowe Martin:-
  In Blog 302 I mentioned an issue from Ghana which depicted world heritage sites and I complained that none of them were located in Ghana. However, it appears that the set is comprised of additional items which do indeed depict Ghanian world heritage sites and depicted are 3 miniature sheets which show scenes in Ghana. These are obviously of local interest and seem to me to be worthwhile buys.

  There is a range of interesting issues which recently appeared or will soon be released from Hong Kong China. The first of these issues was released on 23 July 2013 and depicts illustrations relevant to the subject "Chinese and western wedding customs". The set is comprised of 6 stamps, a single stamp miniature sheet and a "Heartwarming" "mini-pane" of 8 stamps. The stamps were designed by Eric Chan and lithographed by Cartor:-

  A single stamp miniature sheet was released on 22 August 2013 which was the second issue in the "World Heritage in China" series and depicts Lijiang Old Town in Yunnan Province. The item was designed by Gidian Lai and lithographed by Enschede:-

  A further new issue is due on 1 October 2013. Two stamps will be issued in coil format and booklet format and one is specifically for the local mail rate ($1.70) and the other for airmail postage ($3.70). The booklets contain 10 x $1.70 stamps (sold for $17) and 10 x $3.70 (sold for $37). The stamps were designed by Arde Lam and lithographed by Cartor.

  Footnote issues:

  The Lithuania-based philatelic agency,  Stamperija, has announced another flood of philatelic items produced in the name of the Mozambique Post Office. A second issue of philatelic items on the subject of transport is said to have been released on 25 March 2013 which was comprised of 15 sheetlets, each containing 6 different "stamps", and 15 miniature sheets. The subjects of each sub-set were:- Formula 1 racing champions, Concorde, Airships, High Speed Trains, the US astronaut Alan Shepard, Apollo 8 spacecraft, Drone aircraft, Public service vehicles, Steam locomotives, Rescue boats, Fire engines, Centenary of the Tour De France cycle race, Sled dogs, the Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei and the Vendee Globe Sailing Regatta. None of the designs of these products appear to have any relevance to Mozambique itself. So far, then, up until 25 March, Stamperija has produced 298 "stamps" and 61 miniature sheets (a total of 359 items) during 2013 with the name of Mozambique printed on them.
   Meanwhile the self-described "Boutique" New York-based philatelic agency, Philatelic Collector Inc.,  has announced another list of new products for its client territories, Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa.
   On 19 August 2013 a second issue in Samoa's waterfall series was made - again a single stamp and a $10 miniature sheet. The products were designed by "The Samoan Photographer".
   Tonga has had another 12 definitives and a miniature sheet which combines all 12 values produced with the name of Niuafo'ou printed on them. I do not yet know the date of issue of those items.
   Cook Islands, too, has had another 12 new definitives produced for it along with, of course, the obligatory miniature sheet which, of course, includes all 12 stamps. The new issue depicts insects and was released on 2 September 2013. The designer of the set was Alison Dittko. A single $8 stamp was also issued by Cook Islands on 18 September 2013 and it features an illustration of the first postage stamp, the Penny Black. No reason is given by the philatelic agents as to why it was felt necessary to choose this subject for a stamp issue at this particular time since the release does not appear to coincide with any particular anniversary or event relating to the Penny Black. I suppose we must draw our own conclusions about why such a stamp has been issued now.

Friday 13 September 2013

304. Maldives Is Another Recipient Of China Diplomatic Relations Issue.

  Following on from Blog 301 where I highlighted the increasing number of issues produced by The People's Republic Of China which commemorate the diplomatic relations between China and various Commonwealth countries and which are then donated to those countries' postal administrations, a further example has come to light - this time it is the Maldive Islands.
  An issue was announced on 28 December 2012 which was to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between The People's Republic and Maldives and which seemed to coincide with the the visit of President Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik of Maldives, who had come to power on 7 February 2012 after the democratically elected Maldivian President, Mohammed Nasheed, had been deposed in a coup. Interestingly, in the first round of Presidential elections recently held in Maldives, President Waheed came last in the poll with the deposed President winning the first round, although he did not receive enough votes to secure victory without a run-off election.
  The stamp issue appears to be comprised of a sheetlet of 12 stamps, 2x6 designs, and a miniature sheet which also incorporates all 6 stamps and they depict boats, pottery and marine life representative of the 2 countries. The miniature sheet was also issued in plastic format like the 2011 miniature sheet produced for issue by Cameroun to commemorate Chinese-Camerounian relations. A single example of this has been on sale on an Internet auction site for a considerable sum, being sold by a vendor in China:-

  The first of the usual Commonwealth-wide multitude of issues for use on Christmas mail has been announced by New Zealand Post and is comprised of 5 gummed stamps from ordinary sheets and 3 self-adhesive stamps from booklets. The cheerful designs, which will be released on 2 October 2013, show modern but traditional-style family Christmas scenes. The stamps were designed by Martin Bailey and lithographed by Southern Colour Print. The 3 higher values are depicted below:-


   Unlike the same values from the gummed quintet, the 2 higher values of the self-adhesive trio include a blue strip at the bottom of the design which is inscribed "Par Avion Air":-

    I now depict the  miniature sheet  which accompanied 5 stamps produced by Australia Post with the inscription "Australian Antarctic Territory" and which were released on 10 September 2013 (see Blog 303):-

  The 2 latest issues from India are a single stamp issued on 21 August 2013 which commemorates the 101st birth anniversary of Raj Bahadur (presumably the Indian Post Office overlooked his centenary). Bahadur is celebrated as a notable parliamentarian and freedom campaigner. He was born on 21 August 1912 at Bharatpur in Rajasthan:-

   The second issue is comprised of 3 sheetlets, each of 4 different stamps on the subject of "Wild Flowers of India". The stamps were issued on 3 September 2013:-

  The latest issue from Pakistan was also released on 3 September 2013 but the subject could not contrast more with India's wild flower set. The stamp depicts a warship and celebrates the commissioning of the first F-22P ship to actually be built in Pakistan itself. The designs were prepared by PNS-ASLAT and lithographed by Pakistan Security Printing Corp. in Karachi:-

Tuesday 10 September 2013

303. Ugandan Miniature Sheet And Zambia Surcharges.

   Shown above is the miniature sheet which The People's Republic Of China presented to the Uganda Post Office to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the 2 countries and which I mentioned in Blog 301. Meanwhile, below I depict 2 more surcharged stamps from Zambia (see Blog 298) which are two previously surcharged stamps both with additional surcharges applied in the new devalued currency:-

   The upper stamp is the K2500 on "B" Sacred Ibis stamp with the new K2.50 surcharge applied and below is the 1995 50th anniversary of the United Nations K700 stamp surcharged K5000 with the new K5.00 surcharge applied:-

  I have recently obtained a new cover from Akrotiri which dates back to 1969 which has a 5d Machin definitive affixed to it and is cancelled by a rhyming slogan postmark "CORRECT ADDRESSING WHAT A BLESSING SAVES US GUESSING" with a circular date "FIELD POST OFFICE 2" and dated 4 FEB 1969. See Blogs 210 and 233:-

   Following on from Blog 298 where I depicted the "Zanzibar Attractions" set of 2009 from Tanzania I depict the second set about the subject which was issued on 26 April 2012. As with the first issue, there are 4 individual stamps, a miniature sheet of 6 different stamps and a single value 1000/- miniature sheet. The 500/- value depicts the impressive new House Of Representatives Building on the island while the other values depict more traditional Zanzibar attractions such as the ornamental doors which are found on the island (700/-) and boat sailing on the 800/- value:-

   The 6 values of the miniature sheet appear to be dedicated to depicting the President of Zanzibar, who is also the Vice-President of Tanzania, in various activities and it is hard to see how this subject fits into the "Zanzibar Attractions' theme of the overall issue but at least the designs inform stamp collectors about another aspect of the island (and doubtlessly boosts the President's profile among Zanzibaris at the same time):-

  The latest issue from Australia which was released on 3 September 2013 consists of 3 stamps which depict Australian breeds of poultry and the 3 designs are combined in a miniature sheet. The stamps were designed by Kevin Stead and Lisa Christensen and printed in lithography by EGO:-

   Four stamps and 1 miniature sheet have also been released by Australia Post on 10 September 2013 with the inscription "Australian Antarctic Territory" to commemorate the centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The issue was designed by Andrew Hogg Design and printed in lithography by RA Print.
  Finally, back to Uganda which has recently had a set of 2 sheetlets, each consisting of 4 different stamps, and 2 accompanying miniature sheets issued in its name, apparently by the large NewYork-based philatelic agency which has produced many philatelic items in Uganda's name in recent years. This agency seems to be continuing to produce items bearing Uganda's name despite the fact that the notorious philatelic agency, Stamperija, has also been producing numerous philatelic items for Uganda since 2012 so you might say that Uganda is twice-blessed with 2 such agencies using its name on their products. As much as I like dogs as subjects for stamps, I'm afraid that the items depicted below will not find their way into my collection since there is nothing in the designs that has any direct relevance to Uganda.

Saturday 7 September 2013

302. Dominica Back With A Vengeance.

  It seems that Dominica which had greatly reduced the number of stamps which it allowed its New York-based philatelic agents to issue in its name has now sadly returned to allowing many more stamps to be produced with its name on them again. Several issues, none with any specific relevance to the island, have appeared on the market and I am afraid that they all qualify for me to label them as "Footnote issues" which means that I do not feel the need to add any of them to my collection of Dominica stamps. For the record, there is a sheetlet of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on the subject of "Cats" (depicted above and below):-

  A sheetlet of 8 stamps and 1 m.s on the subject of "Coral reefs":-

  A sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s. depicting "Domestic Dogs":-

  A sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s. which depict "Wasps and Bees":-

  and on the subject of "Butterflies of The Caribbean", 2 sheetlets of 4 stamps each (2 stamps each of 2 designs):-

  The subjects of the remaining issues depicted in this blog from other countries which are clients of the same philatelic agent also have little or no direct relevance to the countries in whose names they have been produced and so therefore are all (except 1 set) "Footnote Issues"-

  Grenada Grenadines - 3 January 2013 - 15th death anniversary of Diana Princess Of Wales - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  Ghana - "Thailand 2013 World Stamp Exhibition" - sheetlet of 3 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  - World Heritage Sites (none of them in Ghana) - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  - "Camellias" - sheetlet of 9 stamps:-

  Guyana - 17 July 2013 - 270th anniversary of Lutheran Church in Guyana (discussed in detail in previous blog but now illustrated - of local relevance and interest):-

  - Constellations - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:--

  The Gambia - "The Fruit of Africa" - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  - Foreign aircraft carriers ("100th anniversary of the first aircraft to be launched from a moving vessel") - sheetlet of 4 stamps and 1 m.s.-

  Grenada Grenadines - 11 March 2013 - 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy, former US President - sheetlet of 6 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  Tanzania - "Flora" - sheetlet of 8 stamps:-

  - Fruits of Africa - sheetlet of 6 stamps and 1 m.s.:-

  - Cats - 2 sheetlets each of 4 different stamps:-