Thursday 21 July 2016

790. Sri Lanka Post Commemorates Olympic Games.

  Sri Lanka Post issued 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 21 July 2016 to commemorate Sri Lanka's participation in the Games of the 31st Olympiade in Rio De Janeiro. The set was designed by Givantha Arthssad and printed in lithography. The colourful set features various sports - swimming, judo, javelin throwing and weightlifting - with the statue of Christ The Redeemer, a famous Rio De Janeiro landmark, in the background of the stamps. Rating:- **.

  Australia Post will issue a set of 2 gummed stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 26 July 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the children's programme "Play School" on Australian television. Clearly it's an anniversary of greater significance to Australians than the rest of us can understand. 
  The issue was designed by Jonathan Chong and lithographed by McKellar Renown and perforated 14.5 x 14. Rating:- **.

  Last year's Ghana ECOWAS omnibus stamp (see Blog 754) has made its appearance on Delcampe with the seller asking a price of €39 for a mint single example. I've no idea how rare the stamp is but this seems rather high and I think I shall wait to see what comes along in the next few weeks.

  Fortunately, since The Gambia left The Commonwealth in 2013 I no longer have to worry about obtaining any further issues from that tiny territory which is a relief since I see that the same dealer is asking for €179 for its ECOWAS stamp. Phew! The dealer describes the stamp as being "Ultrarare! Scarce!". I have not yet seen any dealer offering the Sierra Leone stamp from this set, perhaps the Sierra Leone Post Office will channel its sale through its philatelic agents .... Stamperija.

  Royal Mail seems to think that Britain begins and ends at the boundaries of London. It's a rare year that does not see at least one London-centric stamp issue from the postal organisation. 
  Although this year sees the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, an event which shaped dramatically the subsequent history of the whole of England, there will be no stamp issue to commemorate the extremely important anniversary (unless one includes one of those annoying and ridiculously expensive "Collectors sheets").
   What there will be again, however, is a 6 stamp set to commemorate an event, admittedly historically notable, which is, of course, all about London - this time the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. The designs, actually pleasingly original, take the form of a comic strip which tells the story of the Great Fire.
  However, perhaps in the future those who choose Royal Mail's new issue programmes will drop the compulsary issue about London and feature more of the rest of Britain on its stamps.
  Despite my moaning about the subject, it looks like being an excellent and original set and therefore my Rating for it is:- *****.

 This week 2 Commonwealth postal administrations have the pleasure of knowing that even more philatelic products have been produced in their names by .... Stamperija.
  Fifteen new "sheetlets", each containing 4 different "stamps" have been produced with the name of Mozambique printed on them and these, as usual, are accompanied by 15 "miniature sheets". The issue seems to take a mainly natural history overall theme featuring the following subjects:- Snow leopards, Red pandas, Elephants, Monkeys, Owls, Marine turtles, Penguins, Cats and dogs, Fish, Cactiand birds of the desert, Poisonous mushrooms, Orchids, Polar bears, Extinct animals and cave paintings, Minerals and volcanoes.
  It seems extraordinary that the philatelic agency has chosen to feature so many foreign animals on its products produced with Mozambique's name inscribed on them when the country itself has so many of its own native species which could be depicted. But remember, that as I have stated before, I visited Mozambique earlier this year and no Stamperija-produced stuff was on sale at any of the ordinary post offices I visited - indeed they had no postage stamps in stock at all!

 This week Stamperija has also brought us some delightful new products with the name of Maldives printed on them which I'm sure the citizens of Maldives will be rapturous to put on their mail if any of it ever makes it to an ordinary post office counter. The general theme of the stuff is "Fauna and Flora of the World" and there are 10 "sheetlets" each containing 4 different "stamps" with 10 "miniature sheets". 
  The subjects featured are a rather belated "Year of the Monkey" issue along with Shells, Turtles, Owls and mushrooms, Dogs, Polar Bears, Butterflies and orchids, Dinosaurs, Dolphins and Big cats. Rating:- 0.

  For those who must have 1 of each of all the above from Mozambique and Maldives, if there is such a person, the total face value of the Mozambique products is 6585MT (£75.74p) and the total for Maldives is MVR1490 (£73.44p). Those totals do not include, of course, the "Deluxe" imperforate versions of the same stuff which are sold at a premium. And of course you can buy first day covers as well. 


  1. Interesting to see the prices of those Ecowas stamps! I also wonder where the prices will go in the near future. Joint issues are a popular theme to collect.
    Togo's Ecowas stamp is for sale in Stamperija's shop for less than a euro. On IGPC's website I can't find any 2015 Ecowas stamps. If they were really issued in december 2015 you think they would have them for sale by now.
    I think these Ecowas stamps are issued by the countries' postal authorities themselves instead of by an agency. Only issued for postal use and sold at local PO's.
    More African countries issue(d) stamps only for postal use. Most by Francophone countries, so they fall outside of this blog's scope. Notorious are the overprinted stamps, like the ones from PNG you wrote about a few blog posts ago.

    1. Hello Stewie1911, thank you for your comments.
      It's these sort of stamps, and I agree with you that they are real stamps - that is - they actually get sold in local post offices for use on mail by the general mail-sending public, that make it worthwhile collecting new issues. They are truly interesting. It's fascinating that post offices seem to think that collectors will not be interested in them so they are actually quite hard to find and sell for a premium.

      This ECOWAS set is particularly interesting coming as it does from Francophone, Lusaphone and Anglophone countries and though I never have anything good to say about Stamperija it is true that the agency has sold these odd issues from various countries which have not been produced by it. That's why I wonder if Sierra Leone's ECOWAS issue may also appear for sale on Stamperija's website eventually.

      Our other frequent bête noir, IGPC, are currently moving their office so I guess they won't be advertising any more new issues till they're settled in their new home but I would not be surprised if the ECOWAS issue from Ghana eventually turns up on their website.

      I should very much like to know the story behind the "ultra-rare" Gambian issue.

      Modern surcharges are a pain purely because they are produced in small numbers and used on real mail and often not put up for philatelic sale. They seem to be getting increasingly harder for dealers to obtain and hence prices are often very high. But they are very interesting so it's rather nice to have one or two in one's collection as a representative example of the issue. We have to be pragmatic about our collections in this difficult modern age. But it is fun trying to track down some of these "real stamps".

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