Saturday 30 January 2016

707. Guiding In Hong Kong, Music In South Africa, Gibraltar's Post And Go Monkeys.

  Hong Kong Post will issue a set of 4 stamps, a miniature sheet and a "Prestige" booklet on 22 February 2016 to commemorate the Centenary of Girl Guiding in the territory Rating:- ***.

   The South African Post Office issued a sheetlet of 10 different self-adhesive stamps on 2 July 2015 as the second part of its "Musicians of South Africa" series. Rating:- ****.

  A miniature sheet has also been issued which commemorated the centenary of the Oxford University Press South Africa. Apart from having been issued during  2015, I do not yet know its precise date of issue. Rating:- *.

  The design of the Gibraltar Post Office's new "Post And Go" stamps/labels reproduces the design of one of the "Year of the Monkey" stamps. The new design will make its appearance at the Spring Stampex exhibition in London on 17 February 2015 without any additional inscription and of course will only be on sale at the exhibition for a limited period of 4 days and have no postal validity in London where the machine will be sited. These are really therefore nothing more than exhibition souvenirs and I shall not bother to add them to my collection. 
  However I presume that they will also be sold from the kiosks in Gibraltar itself (at the Main post office and Parcel Office) with additional inscriptions which identify the place of sale and these will of course be freely obtainable by the Gibraltar mail-sending public and so are probably worth adding to a collection even if they are on a theme of no relevance to Gibraltar itself. Rating:- ***.

  The Royal Mail "Post and Go" stamps being sold from kiosk M001 went into opeartion at RAF Northolt from 1 February 2016 and are in the form of the Union Jack and Machin Head designs with no additional inscriptions, which seems to me to be a pity. I have not yet seen any dealers offering these for sale on the Internet.

Thursday 28 January 2016

706. Ascension Seabird Caught Red-footed.

  The postal administration of Ascension Island will issue a set of 4 stamps on 22 February 2016 on the subject of the seabird, the Red-footed booby. The highly attractive issue which bears the logo of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) was designed by Andrew Robinson and lithographed by Cartor. Another excellent, colourful, interesting and attractive issue as we have come to expect from Pobjoy Stamps/ Creative Direction with the added bonus of good advance and detailed information to collectors who are bound to want to buy these stamps - CASCO could learn a thing or two from Pobjoy when it comes to keeping collectors informed (see Blog 705). Rating:- *****.

  In Blogs 682 and 686, I mentioned the new definitive series from India Post, identified as the "11th definitive series", titled "Makers of India". An additional stamp has appeared as a 25 paise value which features Mahatma Gandhi. Rating:- ***.

  Sri Lanka Post issued a set of 7 stamps and 1 miniature sheet which contains the whole set in a composite design on 26 January 2016 on the subject of Kumana National Park. Rating:- *****.

  Bhutan Post has issued a sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet on the subject of Traditional sports of Bhutan. I do not yet know the date of issue of this set but it seems to be Bhutan Post's first issue of 2016. Rating:- ******.

  Stamperija has released 9 "sheetlets", each containing 4 different "stamps", and 9 "miniature sheets"
In the name of Solomon Islands with a stated "date of issue" of 30 November 2015. The usual wide selection of subjects is featured on these items:- Lunar new year (Year of the Monkey), 25th anniversary of the Reunification of Germany, Fire engines, Orchids, Whales, Fish, Dinosaurs, Butterflies and Trains. Rating:- 0.

  Usually Stamperija productions with the "Solomon Islands" inscription are issued as 10 subsets (each consisting of a "sheetlet" and a "miniature sheet") which make up a complete "issue". It is to be noted that the above only number 9 subsets. That is because a World Wide Fund For Nature set, with its numerous varieties of format, made up the 10th part of the issue but after announcing the issue in its "newsletter" a revised announcement failed to mention the WWF products though I have little doubt that they will appear in due course.

Wednesday 27 January 2016

705. Flying Down To Jamestown.

  The St. Helena postal administration has issued (or is just about to issue - the usual lack of publicity information to collectors from the territory's morose philatelic agents, CASCO, means that I have not yet seen any precise details about this interesting and important set) 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the opening of the island's new airport.
   This is a momentous event for St. Helena and doubtless the local population is hoping that this will open the territory's doors to a steady stream of tourists; doubtless some will be drawn there by the knowledge about the island which they've obtained from their stamp collections - let's hope that St. Helena's philatelic agents will give us timely news about its philatelic commemoration. Rating:- *****. 

  The Isle Of Man postal administration will issue a set of 8 stamps on 6 February 2016 to commemorate the 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. The set was designed by Isle Of Man Advertising using text and images by Arthur Edwards and printed in lithography. Rating:- *****.

  A huge number of philatelic items will be released by Australa Post on 3 February 2016 on the subject of the Lunar new year, the Year of the Monkey. The issue was designed by Dani Poon and Sharon Rodziewicz and lithographed by RA Print. The various items are inscribed "Christmas Island Australia". The release is made up of a "basic issue" - 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet (1 x$1, 1 x $3 and $4):-

  So far so good, but then there's the $8 "Zodiac Sheet":-

  The $9.95 "Lotus sheetlet" pack which includes 13 different stamps including a central circular $2 stamp:-

  The $25 "Silk Minisheet" pack which contains 3 examples of the "Basic" miniature sheet in "three different versions" - "Traditional offset-printed Minisheet gummed and perforated", "Digital printed on real silk, gummed and perforated minisheet" and "Digital printed on silk-like rayon paper, self-adhesive with mesh perforated minisheet":-

  and.....finally, a 20.95 "Prestige Booklet":-

  If you must have "one of each", dig deep into your pockets and pull out $71.90 (£35.28)!

Sunday 24 January 2016

704. Isle Of Man Commemorates Somme And Jutland Centenaries.

The Isle Of Man postal administration will issue a set of 6 stamps on 17 February 2016 to commemorate  the Centenary of the Battle of The Somme. This is an excellent set which depicts different aspects of the terrible battle. Rating:- *****.

  A miniature sheet will also be issued on 17 February. 2016 to commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland. The stamps were designed by Francesca Jellicoe, great grand-daughter of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, the Commander of the British Grand Fleet who is depicted on one of the stamps, and were printed in lithography. Rating:-*****.

  Fiji Post issued a set of 4 stamps, which I have overlooked up till now because of a complete lack of publicity about the issue, on 31 August 2015 on the subject of Uto-Ni-Yalo ocean voyaging. The issue was lithographed by Southern Colour Print. This is an excellent issue but how does Fiji Post expect to sell any sets of the stamps without any accessible international publicity? Rating:-*****.

  A second issue from Fiji Post has also turned up without any publicity to collectors of which I am aware - a set of 4 stamps released on 7 December 2015 to commemorate Christmas and featuring the unusual subject of "Archangels". Rating:- ***.

  Bangladesh Post Office issued 2 stamps on 23 January 2016 to commemorate the Centenary of Scouting in Bangladesh. Rating:- ***.

  India Post issued a single stamp on 24 January 2016 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the result is a remarkably uninspired stamp design for a remarkably uninspiring subject. Rating:- *

  The following day, 25 January 2016, India Post then issued a Rs25 miniature sheet titled "Vibrant India" to commemorate Republic Day. The sheet featured a design which had won a public design competition. The stamp is altogether more interesting and colourful than that which had been released 24 hours before. Rating:- *****.