Friday 30 September 2016

833. Creative Direction Delivers Another Excellent Set From Ascension.

  The Ascension Island postal service will issue a set of 4 stamps depicting fish endemic to the island's waters on 17 October 2016. The issue was designed by Andrew Robinson and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. Rating:- *****.
  This is yet another highly attractive and interesting set from Creative Direction which is responsible for the largest part of the jobs involved in producing the new stamps which are eventually marketed and distributed by Pobjoy Stamps. Tim Underwood, who established Creative Direction, is frequently responsible for, along with the client territories, and occasionally Pobjoy, the choice of the subjects featured on these marvellous stamps. In addition Tim chooses and commissions the artists used in preparing the designs of the stamps and obtains and chooses the images used and may often decide upon the precise content and appearance of the set. Sometimes experts in particular fields advise him on areas where his knowledge is less extensive.
  Tim Underwood also obtains all approval for the stamp designs including, when necessary, royal approval and he is responsible for placing contracts with printers and approving proofs and the printing. He writes the texts for the first day covers.
  Therefore we may be very grateful that in these present times there is someone like Tim Underwood who still appreciates that collectors and client territories want postage stamps of the highest quality, the greatest interest and imagination and of reasonable price which celebrate subjects of local relevance.  
  The collecting of modern postage stamps may not seem like the most important human activity here in the 21st century but it is still a relaxing pastime which brings pleasure to many people and Creative Direction devotes so much effort to the bringing to the market some of the very best of modern stamps with the result that the collecting of new stamps remains a very enjoyable part of stamp collecting. Let's hope that some other territories which seem to be badly served by their current philatelic agents will decide to allow Creative Direction help them deliver some of the very best new stamps on a regular basis to the collectors waiting out there to add them to their collections.

  Zimpost, the postal service of Zimbabwe, ed a set of 6 stamps on 30 August 2016 on the subject of environmental polllution. This is an interesting set very much in the local Zimbabwean stamp style. Rating:- ****.

  Sri Lanka Post issued a single stamp on 1 October 2016 to commemorate World Children's Day. The stamp was designed by Ms. Samanthi Meeriyagalla. Rating:- ***.

832. Malta Post Shares Joint Issue With San Marino.

  MaltaPost will release a miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps as part of a joint issue with the  postal administration of San Marino on 18 October 2016. The sheet, designed by Cedric Galea Pirotta Design and Sean Cini, depicts aerial views of the Prima Tore in San Marino and The Gozo which overlooks the city of Victoria on Gozo. The sheet is perforated 14. Rating:- *****.

  Three days earlier, on 15 October 2016, MaltaPost will also issue a set of 3 stamps on the subject of "Balconies", important features of the Maltese urban landscapes. It is an attractive little set and anyone who has visited Malta will recognise the significance of their philatelic depiction. The issue was designed by Cedric Galea Pirotta and perforated 14. Rating:- *****.

  Hong Kong Post will issue a set of 12 gummed stamps, a self-adhesive booklet containing 1 each of the same 12 stamps as well as a gummed miniature sheet also containing the same 12 stamps on 13 October 2016 on the subject of Hong Kong hiking trails. This first issue in a series features the Lantau Trail. The issue was designed by Eric Chan and lithographed by Cartor with additional silver hot foil stamping applied to the miniature sheet. The issue is perforated 13.5. A total of 24 new stamps and 1 miniature sheet seems somewhat excessive to me. Rating:- ***.

  Pakistan Post issued a single stamp on 23 September 2016 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Habib Bank Ltd. the design was "supplied by the customer" - by which I take it that the Habib Bank paid Pakistan to issue this stamp and it was lithographed by Pakistan Printing Security Corporation and perforated 13.

  More philatelic products from Stamperija with the names of Commonwealth countries printed on them. This time Sierra Leone and Maldives have allowed their names to be used in such a way:-

  From Sierra Leone, there are the usual 10 "sheetlets", each consisting of 4 different "stamps" and 10 accompanying "miniature sheets". Also, as usual, the subjects of the products are largely, if not completely, irrelevant to Sierra Leone and commemorate frequently insignificant anniversaries - 230th Birth anniversary of Wilhelm Carl Grimm, 85th birth anniversary of James Dean, 175th birth anniversary of Berthe Morisot, 110th anniversary of the death of Paul Cezanne, Centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli, 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, 110th anniversary of the death of Queen Victoria, 30th anniversary of the Musee D'Orsay in Paris, 70th Birthday of Stephen Spielberg and Philataipei 2016 Philatelic Exhibition. The stated "date of issue" was 29 July 2016. Rating:-  0.

  The name of Maldives is inscribed on another 10 "sheetlets", each also made of 4 different "stamps", with the usual 10 accompanying "miniature sheets". The subjects of this lot are:- The Presidential elections in The United States, Judo, "Winners of the Sochi Winter Games", 90th birth anniversary of Alfredo Stefano (footballer), 75th birth anniversary of Pete Rose (baseball player), 50th birthday of Wasim Akram (footballer), Rugby football, Ice hockey, Chess masters and "Towards Russia 2018" (printed with 3-D effect and sold with 3-D glasses!). The stated "date of issue" was 4 July 2016. Rating:- 0.