Saturday 14 March 2015

535. Kenya Commemorates Don Bosco; New Issues From IGPC, Universal Mail, Post And Go's, South Asia.

  Kenya Post issued 1 stamp and 1 miniature sheet on 1 February 2015 to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco. Don Bosco was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who dedicated his life to helping street children and disadvantaged youth. He was canonised as a Saint in 1934:-

  The March 2015 list of IGPC issues wth the name of Commonwealth countries printed on them is not long this month:-
  St. Kitts - 31 December 2014 - Sunflowers (part 2) - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet (see Blog 521):-

  St. Vincent And The Grenadines - 2 March 2015 - "Taipei 2015" Philatelic Exhibition", sites and scenes of Taiwan - 1 sheetlet of 7 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet:-

   1 January 2015 - Centenary of the First World War, The Battle of The Somme - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet. Why the Battle of The Somme should be commemorated this year rather than in 2016 which will be the actual centenary year is a mystery to me:-

  Ghana - 2015 (no date given) - Horses part 1 - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and. 1 m.s. (see Blog 529):-

    Not all African or Caribbean post offices allow themselves to be exploited by philatelic agents who produce philatelic products in their name so that such "stamps" feature subjects which have no relevance to them. Contrast the "Battle of The Somme" items depicted above with St. Vincent's name printed on them and which feature designs which demonstrate that no attempt has been made to relate the events on The Somme in 1916 to St. Vincent itself with the stamps depicted below which were issued by Senegal to commemorate the First World War anniversary and which clearly depict subjects of direct relevance to Senegal and its role in the World War I.
   I do not often feature stamps of countries outside The Commonwealth in this Blog but this Senegal set makes the point that those who produce stamps from which they aim to extract a lot of money from collectors can produce extremely interesting stamps if they do the research rather than randomly choose subjects which are wholly irrelevant to those countries whose names are printed on the "stamps":-

  India Post is planning the following issues in the near future:-
  20 - 22 March 2015 - The Indian Ocean and Rajendra Chola I
  27 March 2015 - Engineers India Ltd
  March 2015 - Old Seminary Kottayam
  18 April 2015 - Patna High Court
  April 2015 - BHEL.

  Barely a day seems to go by without news of yet another Royal Mail stamp issue in general and "Post And Go" issue in particular (see recent Blogs 531, 532 and 534). Now there is further news of even more "Post And Go" exhibition souvenir labels - "Collectors' strips" of 6 labels in both the Machin Head and Union Jack designs will be released, both with additional inscriptions, to coincide with the annual congress of the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies which will be held in Perth on 17 and 18 April 2015. These items therefore have a limited sale period of just 2 days and each strip will cost £7. 68p (total cost £15.36p). Kiosks A003 and A006 will be used at the congress.
  Jersey Post, never able to resist a revenue-generating opportunity, will also be selling "Post And Go" labels at Perth from its JE01 kiosk. Joyous collectors will be able to buy exhibition souvenirs, with no postal validity in Scotland, in the form of Collectors' strips of 6 values in the Jersey flag design with additional inscriptions relevant to the Perth congress, "86th Scottish Congress 2015".
  The total cost of Royal Mail postally valid philatelic items (see Blog 532) issued from 1 January 2015 to 1 April 2015 has therefore increased again to £157.24p.
  Universal Mail United Kingdom appears to have released a further 3 "Bespoke Booklets" which are only available at the sites which are featured on the respective stamps. This gives them a status similar to the Royal Mail "Post And Go" Museum souvenirs except that Universal Mail's products are much more interesting because they feature scenes and other illustrations relevant to the site where the booklet is being sold rather than being a standard design such as the Union Jack or Queen's head with an added inscription which is the nature of the "Post And Go" souvenir labels. The subjects of the 3 new booklets are:- Madame Tussaud's, the Science Museum in London and the National Railway Museum in York.
  While these booklets make attractive souvenirs of visits to sites of tourist interest in Britain and are valid for use on postcards mailed to overseas addresses, the limitation of their sale at a single site which makes it extremely expensive both in monetary cost and time to obtain them, means that I do not include them in my collection and view them like the "Post And Go" labels as tourist souvenirs rather than true postage stamps of general availability to ordinary members of the public for use on ordinary mail (see also Blogs 395, 410 and 426).

Madame Tussaud's, London.

Science Museum, London

York Railway Museum

 On 8 April 2015 Canada Post will issue the third part of its 5 year programme of stamp issues on the subject of Canadian photography. The 7 different designs are produced as self-adhesive versions available in a $8.50c booklet of 10 stamps which includes the 5 Domestic rate stamps, a $7.20 booklet of 6 x US rate stamps and a $15 booklet of 6 x International rate stamps. The stamps are also issued in gummed format as 2 miniature sheets, one of 3 different stamps and one of 4 different stamps. 
  My main complaint about these ongoing photography stamps is that the stamps are far too small to enable one to appreciate the photographs themselves though I suppose Canada Post would argue that if one really wants to see the fine details of the photos then one can always buy the accompanying set of 7 postcards at a price of $15 which I suppose is not too bad for a collection of Canadian historical classic photographs. The stamps were designed by Stepanie Huot and lithographed by Canadian Bank Note:-

  Here's an interesting question - why would a country that has absolutely no connections with The Commonwealth issue stamps to commemorate the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow? I have no idea except that the country is Guinea and its philatelic agents are Stamperija. A territory's lack of membership of The Commonwealth and its not participating in the Games seem to be no barrier to the release of Games-related philatelic items which have its name printed on them - that is certainly the case when it comes to Stamperija and its continuing quest to make money out of naive stamp collectors. So  I depict below more philatelic items from a Francophone country, this time Guinea. As can be seen they are well worth spending money on if only because of the excellence of their designs (you may detect a note of sarcasm in that statement). One British dealer is offering these "philatelic gems" at an incredible price of £13.55p for the sheetlet of four and £10.80p for the miniature sheet which gives a total price of £24.35p to be paid by the collector who feels he or she can not live without these philatelic masterpieces. 
  Oh, by the way, another set produced by Stamperija with Guinea's name printed on it celebrates the Asian Games (!) (total price from the same British dealer also £24.35p) - does not the philatelic agent even know in which continent its client nation is located?

  Back to reality -  I depict 2 issues from Pakistan Post which were released at the end of 2014:-

  31 December 2014 - Centenary of the death of Moulana Altaf Hussain Hali, a writer and poet in Urdu (1 stamp):-

  25 December 2014 - Joint issue with Ukraine - a fascinating se-tenant pair depicting artifacts from prehistoric sites in the 2 countries:-

  I now illustrate 2 of the stamps issued by Bangladesh in late 2014 which I have mentioned in a previous Blog and additionally illustrate 2 other issues from 2014 which I have not previously mentioned (I do not know yet the date of issue of the latter 2 stamps):-

1 December 2014 - Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh 2014:-

  16 December 2014 - Victory Day:-

   15 December 2014 - 75th anniversary of Bangladesh Betar (the state-owned radio broadcasting organisation in Bangladesh):-

  2014 - 50th anniversary of television in Bangladesh:-

  26 January 2015 - International Customs Day - (see Blog 517):-

  The latest Commonwealth philatelic products to have been announced by Stamperija have the name of Maldives printed on them. The "date of issue" of these items, on the subject of Wildlife of the Indian Sub-continant, is stated to have been 28 January 2015 and the "issue" is made up of the usual 10 sheetlets, each containing 4 different "stamps" and 10 accompanying miniature sheets. This time the themes are Owls, Snow leopards, Butterflies, Turtles, Fish, Asian elephants, Parrots, Tigers, Rare monkeys and Dolphins. Most of the featured creatures are not found on the land of or in the waters around Maldives.

  In previous blogs (524 and 532) I have depicted some stamps of the upcoming 10  "Comedians" set due for issue by Royal Mail on 1 April 2015 and the remaining stamps are depicted below:-

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