I have been very pleased to download recently the latest (December 2015) update of the extremely well set out, thorough and highly useful Norvic Philatelics Security Machin Checklist which gives collectors a splendid and easily accessible listing of all the British definitives of recent years and, more especially, all the varieties issued by Royal Mail during 2015.
From Ian Billings' up to date listing it appears that there have been 47 new definitive varieties (self-adhesive and gummed) issued during the year, one of which is only known to him in a used state (2nd class blue from coils M15L MRIL). I originally counted a total of 42 but Ian pointed out a further 5 stamps to me.
The self-adhesive list includes 4 x 2nd Class Blue (M15L MAIL from counter sheets, M15L MBIL from business sheets, M15L MTIL from booklets of 12 and the above mentioned M15L MRIL from coils), 5 x 1st Class Red (M15L MAIL from counter sheets, M15L MBIL from business sheets, M15L MTIL from booklets of 12, M15L MSIL from booklets of 6 and M15L MCIL from mixed booklets of 6), 3 x 2nd Large Blue (M15L MAIL from counter sheets, MA15 MBIL from business sheets and MA15 MFIL from booklets of 4), 3 x 1st Large Red (M15L MAIL from counter sheets, MA15 MBIL from business sheets and MA15 MFIL from booklets of 4) plus 11 other values all with code M15L MAIL - 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, £1, £1.33p, £1.52p, £2.25p, £2.45p and £3.30p).
The other self-adhesive values are the Special Delivery items - Royal Mail Signed For 1st class, Royal Mail Signed For 1st Class Large and Special Delivery 100g (these 3 are all M15L) and the "Long To Reign" values - 1st amethyst purple from counter sheets (REIGN), 1st amethyst purple from retail booklet of 6 (REIGS) and 1st amethyst purple from mixed booklets (REIGC).
Finally there are the gummed stamps:- 2nd class Blue from Star Wars booklet (M15L MPIL), 1st class Red from Star Wars booklet (M15L MPIL), 1st Class amethyst purple from Long To Reign miniature sheet (O15R REIGM), 1p from Great War booklet (M15L MPIL), 5p from Great War booklet (M15L MPIL), 10p from Waterloo booklet (M15L MPIL), 50p from Waterloo booklet (M15L MPIL), £1 from Waterloo booklet (M15L MPIL) and, finally, £1.33p from Great War booklet (M15L MPIL). Phew!
It is easy to lose track of what is appearing from Royal Mail and Norvic's checklist is the most useful tool in ensuring we are able to keep up to date with what is out there and what needs to be tracked down to fill gaps in our collections. I shall be going through the list and seeing if Norvic can help me fill some of those empty spaces.
12 December 2015 - Post scriptum. Ian Billings has now published a summary of the complete list of 47 new stamps on the Norvic Philatelics Blog site - an invaluable summary for anyone interested in these stamps.
Sri Lanka Post issued a pair of stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 6 December 2015 to celebrate Christmas, as it usually does. The exuberant miniature sheet depicts Father Christmas and rather jolly it is too though when I think of Sri Lanka the figure of Father Christmas has never before come to my mind. Rating:- ****.
Nampost, the postal service of Namibia, issued a miniature sheet containing 3 different stamps on 20 November 2015 to commemorate its participation in the 31st Asian International Philatelic Exhibition in Hong Kong which was held from 20 to 23 November. The theme of the miniature sheet, which itself has perforations around its edge, is "Working Together For Conservation". Rating:- *****.
|Whole miniature sheet|
|Stamps from miniature sheet.|
Meanwhile Hong Kong Post itself issued a set of 4 stamps on 8 December 2015 which depicts early Chinese scientists. The pre-issue publicity illustrations show a design error on the $5 value which commemorates Li Shizhen who wrote "Compendium of Materia Medica" although the illustration is inscribed "Compenium of Materia Medica". Rating:- *****.
Bhutan Post issued a sheetlet of 8 different stamps on 11 November 2015 on the subject of the wildlife conservation work of the 4th King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk . The stamps are based on marvellous photographs of some of Bhutan's fabulous wildlife. I thoroughly enjoy collecting the recent issues of Bhutan Post - they are mainly based on photographs rather than original art but the photographs are very well chosen and the subjects of the issues are always relevant to Bhutan and usually interesting and frequently exciting. Rating:- *****.