Collectors will heave a sigh of relief now that the lunar new year has passed for another 12 months. We should be free of a deluge of "Year of ...." stamps for a few months at least. Numerous Commonwealth philatelic entities, or their philatelic agents, have released various philatelic products on to the market in relation to the Year of The Goat/Sheep/Ram (or whatever one chooses to call it) and many of these products have had little relevance to the countries whose names appear on these items.
To the best of my knowledge the following postal administrations or philatelic agencies of Commonwealth territories have issued philatelic products related to the Year of The Goat/Sheep/Ram in 2014 or 2015:-
Australia Post (issue inscribed Christmas Island Australia) (Blog 499J and 506),
Canada Post (Blog 501),
Gibraltar Stamps (Blog 514),
Guernsey Post (Blog 499J),
IGPC (philatelic products inscribed Antigua And Barbuda (Blog 517), Ghana (Blog 495), Grenada, Grenada Carriacou And Petite St. Vincent (Blogs 495 and 499E), Guyana (Blog 495), Papua New Guinea (Blog 506), Sierra Leone (Blog 499C and 506) and Turks And Caicos Islands (Blog 501)),
Isle Of Man Post Office (Blog 499F and 504),
Philatelic Collector Inc. (philatelic products inscribed Cook Islands, Aitutaki Cook Islands, Penrhyn Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Niuafo'ou) (Blog 507),
Pos Malaysia (Farm animals issue) (Blog 526),
New Zealand Post (Blog 499C),
Royal Mail (Smilers sheetlet),
Singapore Post (Blog 506 and 511),
Stamperija (philatelic products inscribed Maldives (Blog 526) and Solomon Islands) (Blog 522).
I wonder how soon it will be before the first of next year's Year of the Monkey philatelic products will appear.
A rather surprising issue is being sold by India Post for Rs400. New Zealand Post has redesigned the miniature sheet it issued to commemorate the ICC Cricket World Cup Championship (see Blog 510) so that part of the design at the centre of the sheet recalls the Indian Cup victories of 1983 and 2011. The inscriptions on the individual stamps in the sheet show that these are New Zealand stamps rather than Indian stamps and they priced in New Zealand currency. They are therefore New Zealand stamps being sold abroad by the Post Office of another country - a similar situation to the Jersey and Guernsey machine printed "Post And Go" stamps by which not only may the stamps of Guernsey or Jersey be purchased but also those of a foreign postal administration, Britain's Royal Mail. The Indian version of the sheet is not offered for sale on the New Zealand Philatelic Bureau website at present:-
|Special Indian version of New Zealand miniature sheet.|
|Original version of miniature sheet.|
Bhutan Post has revealed further stamps which were issued during 2014 but I have not yet seen the dates of issue:-
2014 - 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Thailand - 1 miniature sheet containing a single stamp:-
2014 - Ornaments of Bhutan - 1 sheetlet of 6 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-
2014 - Strong men of Bhutan - 1 sheetlet of 6 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-
2014 - Butterflies of Bhutan - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-
What a wonderfully interesting and colourful collection of issues and even though there are a total of 16 different stamps and 4 miniature sheets the total face value is very reasonable at 660 ngultrum which is equivalent at present to £6.89p. The designs are straightforward and attractive and the subject matter depicted on the stamps is wholly relevant to Bhutan. The stamps of recent years from Bhutan make an excellent and fascinating collection and are a great pleasure to collect.
Meanwhile, less pleasingly, Australia Post has not lost its appetite for stamp releases. It's upcoming issues are:-
3 March 2015 - Tourist Transport - 4 gummed stamps, 4 self-adhesive stamps from coil and 4 self-adhesive stamps from a booklet of 10 x 70c stamps. Total - 12 new stamps, cost of all items:- $12.60c. Designed by John White and lithographed by McKellar Renown.
17 March 2015 - Australian Trees - 4 gummed stamps, 1 miniature sheet and 1 gummed stamp printed on wood (only available from a special sheetlet pack sold for $14.95c). Total - 5 new stamps and 1 m.s., cost of all items:- $27.55c. Designed by Mary Callahan and litho. by McKellar Renown.
24 March 2015 - issue inscribed "Cocos (Keeling) Islands" - Visiting birds - 4 gummed stamps only - cost of issue :- $2.80c. Designed by Owen Bell and litho. by RA Printing.
7 April 2015 - ANZAC - Joint issue with New Zealand - 2 gummed stamps, 1 miniature sheet and 2 self-adhesive stamps from booklet of 10 x 70c and sheetlet of 5 x $1.85c. Total - 4 new stamps and 1 m.s., cost of all items:- $21.35c. Designed by Sonia Young and litho. by McKellar Renown.
7 April 2015 - Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II - 2 gummed stamps, 1 miniature sheet, 1 self-adhesive stamp from sheetlet of 5 x $2.75c and 1 prestige booklet (cost $14.95c). Total - 3 new stamps and 1 m.s., cost of all items:- $35.60c. Designed by Simone Sakinovsky and litho. by RA Print.
14 April 2015 - First World War centenary - Gallipoli - 5 gummed stamps, 1 gummed miniature sheet, 5 self-adhesive stamps from 10 x 70c booklet, 1 prestige booklet (cost $14.95c). Total - 10 new stamps and 1 m.s., cost of all items:- $28.95. Designed by Janet Boschen and litho. by EGO.
For "one of everything" collectors (if such people still exist), the total number of new items from Australia Post in the next 2 months will therefore be 38 new stamps, 4 miniature sheets and 2 prestige booklets (total cost from Australia Post for all the above will be $128. 85c. (£65.62p). Added to the January and February total (see Blog 499J) the cost of new stamp issues from Australia Post for the first third of 2015 will be $287.10c (presently equivalent to £146.22p).