Thursday 28 April 2016

750. Important New Surcharges From Samoa And Papua New Guinea.

  I feel fortunate to have just obtained from the excellent Steven Zirinsky Stamps 6 new surcharge stamps from the Samoa postal administration. I have not seen these offered for sale anywhere before and presently do not know the dates of issue. These items are illustrated above and below. The issue is made up of a $2 surcharge on the 90s value from the 2001 Siva afi Fire Dancing set, 2 x $2.70c surcharges on the se-tenant pair of 70s Millenium stamps of 2000, $5 surcharge on the 95s "Sporting legends of Samoa" stamp, a $15 surcharge on the 95s value of the "Samoan Scenes" set of 2002 and a $20 surcharge on the $1.85 value of the 2002 "Faces of Samoa" set. Rating:- *****.
   It will be interesting to discover if these stamps were issued before the Philatelic Collector Inc. issues began or whether they are more recent and were necessary despite the philatelic agency producing numerous stamps in the name of the Samoan Post Office.
 Post scriptum - in his latest blog, Steven Zirinsky has revealed that these new surcharges were issued in 2016 and also depicts some inverted surcharges which are offered for sale on his website.

  Steven Zirinsky now has some other important surcharges for sale on his website which, unfortunately, are rather more expensive than I can afford.  These are surcharges which were produced by the Papua New Guinea postal administration during 2014 and 2015 and which are very interesting. 
  The issues featured are 4 x K1.30 surcharges (a. 2012 Traditional clay pots issue K1.20 value, b. 2012 Cuscus and possums issue K1.20 value, c. 2012 Orchids issue K1.20 value and d. 2012 Orchids issue K1.20 value), 2 x K15 surcharges (e. 2009 Bats issue 85t value and f. 2011 Law and Justice issue K1.05 value), 4 x K25 (g.2010 Orchids issue K6.30 value, h. 2010 Traditional Dance (II) issue K5 value, i. 2010 Orchids issue K4.65 value and j. 2010 Beche de mer issue K6.30 value), 2 x K40 (k. 2009 Oil palm issue and l. 2010 Girl Guides issue K4.65 value) and 3 x K90 (m. 2010 Census issue K3 value, n. 2010 Girl Guides issue K6.30 value and o. 2011 Traditional Dance issue K7 value).
  The rarest of these items appear to be (k.), (h) and (f.) which are all priced at US$ 2150 each. I expect that we will see a publication about these remarkable issues from Steven Zirinsky in the future.
Rating:- ***** (if you have the money!)

  Other interesting items I have obtained recently are the RAF Northolt "Post And Go" "Collectors strips" which I mentioned in Blogs 703 and 707. As the first stamps to be issued for ordinary postal usage by the British Forces Post Office (on 1 February 2016) I believe these to be significant items even if they do not have an additional inscription which identifies the site where they were dispensed though, of course, the number of the kiosk, M001, is included in the string of lettering on the stamps and pins down the origin of the stamps. Rating:- *****.

  Australia Post will issue 7 stamps in June 2016 to commemorate National Stamp Month. The theme of the issue will be endangered wildlife of Australia and the rest of the world and will also commemorate the centenary of Taronga Zoo in Sydney. There are no other details of the issue as yet, including the date of issue, but I presume that the stamps will be available in multiple formats - gummed, self-adhesive coils and booklet stamps, and a miniature sheet. It seems to be attractive issue which features some local species and commemorates a local anniversary. Rating:- ***.

  Pos Malaysia's "National Laureates" set of 3 stamps was issued on 29 April 2016. The set features 3 rather grim-faced middle-aged men and could not be less interesting if it tried. Rating:- **. 
  The next issue from Malaysia is scheduled to be a set on the subject of "River transportation in Sarawak" to be released on 26 May 2016 to be followed by an issue on 16 June 2016 highlighting Kedah and Kelantan as tourist destinations. Let us hope that the coming issues have more appealing designs than the Laureates set.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

749. Large Issue From Malawi Depicts Local Fish.

  The Malawi Post Facebook site now shows illustrations of the "Endemic fish of Malawi" set which was due to be issued on 6 April 2016 and which has certainly now been released. There are a number of  illustrations which suggests that Malawi Post is attempting to make up for not having issued any stamps during 2015. The centrepiece of the issue seems to be a sheetlet of 8 different stamps and then there are also 4 single-stamp miniature sheets plus one miniature sheet which contains 2 different stamps. There is an additional illustration of a K1 stamp contained in a resin or plastic paperweight but the extremely low face value of the stamp suggests that it is only sold as part of this Collectable rather than being issues as a true postage stamp. Interesting. Rating:- ***.

  An Post, the postal service of Ireland, will issue a single stamp on 23 June 2016 to commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of The Somme. The stamp was designed by Red And Grey Design and lithographed by Cartor, perforated 13 x 13.5. Rating:- ****.

  India Post issued a single stamp on 27 April 2016 to commemorate Govardhanram Triparthy, a novelist in the Gujarati language of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His most famous work is the 4 volume Saraswatichandra. Rating:- **

  In Blogs 424, 601 and 717 I have told the story of Iraq, a country whose early issues are included in catalogues of Commonwealth stamps, as reflected in its philatelic products. Currently the country is tied up in a war with the terrorist forces of the so-called "Islamic State" and stamp issues appear from time to time reflecting what is going on in that conflict. 
  The Iraqi postal service issued another interesting set of 2 stamps and 1 accompanying miniature sheet on 23 November 2015 which highlighted the appalling destruction of Iraqi antiquities by the thugs of the so-called Islamic State which is one regular aspect of the terror group's activities. The first day cover includes a spine-chilling illustration of 2 of the ISIS thugs dressed in black and holding sledge hammers, the tools for their destructive work. A very interesting and moving issue.

  Canada Post has now revealed 7 designs of its upcoming Star Trek set, one or 2 of the values emphasising the link between the television programme and Canada (see Blog 739). Of the 7 designs which have now been revealed one features James Doohan who played Scotty and who was born in Vancouver. The latest 2 stamps to be revealed feature a Klingon and a Kingon war spaceship. The issue will be released on 5 May 2016. Rating:- ****.

  It's hard to believe that Jersey Post has gone a whole 10 days without announcing a new stamp issue but things are now back to normal and this time collectors are being enticed to buy a new Post And Go issue unusually dispensed actually on Jersey itself from kiosk JE02 sited in the Broad Street Post Office.
  The latest gems take the form of the Jersey Crest labels with an added inscription which commemorates the Centenary of the inter-insular football competition between Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney and the award of the Muratti Vase to the victors. JE02 will dispense these desirable items in the form of "Collectors strips" from 14 May to 14 June 2016 at a price of £4.38p. Rating:- *.
  This week's products from the notorious Stamperija include items with the name of Sierra Leone printed on them - the usual "sheetlets", each containing 4 different "stamps", with 10 accompanying miniature sheets. Some of the products are truly dire and in shockingly bad taste. Worst of all is an appalling sub-set titled "Dogs and tanks of World War II" with one stamp and the accompanying miniature sheet featuring Nazi stormtroopers with their officer holding the lead of a slathering German shepherd dog. The item is a disgrace and if the Sierra Leone postal administration ever finds out what has been released with its name printed on it then it should immediately distance itself from such a shocking product and the agency that produced it.

  Rendering these items even more appalling is the fact that other products in this set commemorate worthy subjects including Pope Francis (and his visit to New York):-

  as well as items commemorating ostensibly the 120th birth anniversary of Otto Lillienthal, The outbreak of Zika virus, The 5th anniversary of the death of the film actress, Elizabeth Taylor, 75th anniversary of the death of Lord Baden Powell, Ice Hockey, Champions of the "Winter Games Sochi",  85th anniversary of the death of Thomas Edison and a "Tribute to Edgar Mitchell" (astronaut). The stated da te of all this stuff is 26 February 2016. I await a chance to see contemporary genuine mail from Sierra Leone with any of these items fixed to it. Rating:- 0.