Wednesday 31 May 2017

1013. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Internet Auction Site Seller Reveals Remaining Canada 150 Designs.

   ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ A dealer on the Delcampe internet auction site has revealed the final 3 designs of Canada Post's Canada 150 set which is due for release on 1 June 2017. The dealer is offering all 10 stamps in the set for sale as well as a sheet which contains one of each stamp design.
  The remaining designs in the set all have a sporting theme and commemorate:-
 1. The Summit Series which was a series of 8 ice hockey games played between teams from Canada and The USSR, then the dominant team in international competitions, in September 1972 which resulted in Canada winning 4 of the games, USSR winning 3 and one game being tied. I presume that this famous victory holds as fond a place in any Canadian's heart as does England's 1966 Football World Cup victory over the West Germans does in any Englishman's heart. Rating:- *** (though if I were Canadian I might well rate the stamp to have even more stars!).
  2. The Olympic Games - the stamp commemorates the3 occasions on which Canada has hosted the Olympic Games - the Summer Games in Montreal in 1976 and the Winter Games in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010. Rating:- ***.

  3. Paralympic Games held in Canada in 1976 (Torontolympiad - 1976 Olympiad for the Physically Disabled) and 2010 X Winter Paralympic Games held in Vancouver and Whistler. Rating:- ****.

  This is a determinedly 21st century set of stamps which passes up the chance to remember the sacrifice of the Canadian people through 2 great wars and numerous international peace-keeping operations as well other great achievements of Canadians in, for instance, the field of Medicine - how many millions of lives have been saved by Banting and Best's discovery of insulin treatment for diabetes?
  The issue is a "looking forward" set rather than retrospective - there is a seam of early 21st century political correctness running through it - it centres on "inclusion" and multiculturalism. I'm not criticising it for that but merely making the observation. Politics shines through glaringly in this issue. I always say you can't separate stamp collecting from politics and I think these 10 stamps make that point very well. This may not be a great set of stamps but it is very worthy.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

1012. ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada's Inuit And Australia's Aborigine Peoples Featured On New Issues.

  ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ The design of Canada Post's 7th stamp of the Canada 150 set of 10 stamps to be issued on 1 June 2017 was revealed by the premier of Nunavut at the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut in Iqaluit on 30 May. The stamp commemorates the creation of Canada's largest territory- Nunavut - on 1 April 1999. Despite its enormous size the territory has only 22000 inhabitants who are mainly Inuits. The design features d'Ejangiaq Kines, photographed by her partner Clare Kines, who live in Arctic Bay in Nunavut. The stamp will be issued in booklets of 10 stamps. Rating:- *****.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia Post's annual "Legends" issue for 2017 was released on 29 May 2017 and is made up of just 3 self-adhesive stamps issued in booklets of 20 and 3 gummed stamps on the subject of Legendary Aboriginal Australians.
  The depicted distinguished people are:- Gallarwuy Yunupingu (politician and land rights campaigner, Lowitja O'Donoghue (public servant) and Professor Thomas Edwin "Tom" Calma (Australian diplomat).
  These are pretty straightforward photographic portrait designs - rating:- ***.

  ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡จ Australia Post will also issue a set of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 30 May 2017 on the subject of "Garden fruits" with the inscription "Cocos (Keeling) Islands Australia". This attractive little set was designed by Anita Xhafer and lithographed by EGO and perforated 14 x 14.5.. Rating:- ***.

  Australia Post also issued a single stamp in a sheetlet of 10 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the national referendum which was held on constitutional questions regarding the status of Aborigine and Torres Straits Islanders Australians as well as the balance of representation in the Senate and The House of Representatives. The issue was designed by Rachael Sarra and lithographed by RA Print and perforated 14.5 x 14. Rating:- **.

Saturday 27 May 2017

1011. ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Guernsey Folklore Stamp Designs Feature Wonderful illustrations.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ  The philatelic bureaux of the Channel Islands, Isle Of Man and Gibraltar now issue so many stamps that a couple of years ago I resolved to add to my collection only those issues which not only have locally relevant subjects but also commemorated events and anniversaries and were not just randomly chosen thematic subjects.
  Sometimes I am quite sorry that my little policy means that I will not be adding some very attractive items to my collection as these territories often issue some very interesting stamps. On the other hand I am usually quite pleased at all the money I have saved as a result of following the plan.
  However, Guernsey Post has just released news of an issue it plans to release on 19 July 2017 which has the most wonderful art work depicted on the stamps which make up the set. The set's subject is "Guernsey Folklore" and the 6 stamps show remarkable paintings by the artist David Wyatt. Fortunately for my stamp collection the issue coincides with an exhibition of Wyatt's art at Guernsey Museum so I can add these wonderful stamps to my collection by writing them up as though they commemorate the exhibition rather than just being simple thematic stamps.

  The subjects featured on the stamps are:- 60p (above) "The Fairy Invasion of Guernsey", 44p "The De Garis Family and the Pouques" (Pouques lived underground but fraternised with local humans and sometimes borrowed their carts at night), 59p "La Palette es Faies - the Fairies' Bat" in which Le Grand Colin (Colin's are ugly, dwarfish characters with large heads and a sly nature) slams the 'bat' into the ground in a fit of pique, the bat being La Longue Rocque which is the largest standing stone in Guernsey, 73p "Le Gibet des Faies" or the Fairies' Gallows - distressed by the islanders' growing disconnection from nature, the Fairies process to the gallows while one of them carries a noose made from grass, 80p "Pierre Dumont and Le Petit Colin" in which Pierre arrives home in his kitchen and discovers for the first time the small figure whose hand he has held as he has walked home through the dark and stormy night and 90p "Le Pied Du Bouef", the Devil's Hoofprint, which shows the conclusion of a battle between a local saint and The Devil which took place at Guernsey's northern most point and where The Devil in his defeat launches himself in the air leaving a footprint burnt into a solid granite boulder from the heat he generates.
  This is a tremendous set with fabulous illustrations. Well done Guernsey Post! Rating:- ****** (yes, 6 stars).

  Guernsey Post also tweeted on 26 May 2017 that its Post and Go kiosk GG01 situated in Smith Street post office was dispensing "Lighthouses" stamps that day with an added inscription which welcomed passengers from the cruise ship Caribbean Princess to the island. Caribbean Princess had already been named on "visiting cruise ships" Post and Go stamps and indeed it was the very first ship to be so mentioned.

Friday 26 May 2017

1010. Maltese Postmen And Gibraltar Ships.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta Post will issue a set of 4 stamps on the subject of Postal uniforms on 31 May 2017. The uniforms are depicted by the designers, Fabio Agius and Sean Cini, being "modelled" by MaltaPost's corporate mascot, Peppi Pustier, and lithographed by Printex and perforated 14.
  Peppi is depicted wearing the uniforms of Maltese postmen through the ages - the early 1900s, the 1980s, the early 2000s and the present. Rating:- ***.

  For those who cannot resist such a purchase, a soft toy of the Peppi Pustier figure is available to buy at the Malta Postal Museum. Am I the only person who finds Peppi to be that little bit sinister?

  Personally, I prefer Postman Pat and "his black and white cat" who appeared on the "Classic Children's Television" stamps issued by Royal Mail in 2014 and who has been used as a publicity tool for postal services.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฎ The Royal Gibraltar Post Office issued a set of 7 stamps on 25 May 2017 on the subject of HMS Gibraltar and depicting various ships which have had that name. The issue was designed by Stephen Perera from art by John Batchelor and was lithographed by Cartor. The face value of the full set amounts to £6.90p. An interesting and attractive set but why has it been issued at this time? Rating:- **.

  Gibraltar Post Office also attempts to add further income to its balance sheets by commemorating the 70th anniversary of the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh with an enormous set of 8 stamps and 1 miniature sheet issued several months before the actual date of the anniversary. The dull monochrome stamps were, as usual, designed by the somewhat unimaginative Stephen Perera and lithographed by Cartor. Rating:- *.
  The total face value of this issue is £9.76p and its date of issue was also 25 May 2017.

Thursday 25 May 2017

1009. Canada Celebrates The Marathon Of Hope; Anguilla Commemorates Its "Revolution".

  ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada Post has released the 6th design of the set of 10 stamps to be released on 1 June 2017 on the subject of the nation's 150th birthday and this particular design features the "Marathon of Hope" and celebrates the runner Terry Fox who, though suffering from cancer, ran a marathon on 12 April 1980, to raise funds for cancer research. He died at the age of 22 but the race is run annually and those participating in the run have so far raised a grand total of $700 million.
  In this time of awful events it seems appropriate that Canada Post should include a true modern hero in its Canada 150 issue and that the theme should be one of Hope. Rating:- *****.
  ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฎ The postal service of Anguilla issued a set of stamps on 22 May 2017 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of what has now become known as the "Anguilla Revolution" which lead to the island being separated politically from St. Kitts and Nevis. I have not yet seen any details of this issue but the Anguilla Post Office is selling a T shirt which includes illustrations of 4 artistic renditions of scenes from the "revolution" and they look very much like they could form the basis for stamp designs.

  The designs depict:- the "Burning of Government House Lancรดme Estate", "Anguilla men guarding beach", "Rambler landing invasion force" and "Disruption of Statehood Queens Show". I have no idea if these really are the designs of any new stamps and they do seem a little too revolutionary for the designs of stamps of a British overseas territory but Anguilla has very much gone its own way with stamp issue subjects and designs in recent years and so anything is possible. Time will tell.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ Another new stamp has become available as an addition to India Post's current definitive series. The design depicts Gopinath Bardoloi who was the prime minister of Assam prior to Independence and afterwards was the prime minister of Indian Assam. Sadly not a very exciting design, Rating:- **.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Back to Canada Post which issued a single self-adhesive stamp in booklets of 10 on 23 May 2017 to recognise the Moslem festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The stamp was designed by Doreen Colonello and Erin Enns of Entro Communications and lithographed by Colour Innovations.
  Canada Post states that "Together Eid, Diwali and Hannukah stamps build on the tradition of Christmas stamps and depict our pride in Canada being a land of diverse, faiths customs and celebrations."
  Rating:- ***.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

1008. Kenya Features The Big Five; Royal Mail Commemorates Machin Anniversary.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช Kenya Post issued a set of 5 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 10 May 2017 on the subject of the "Big Five" - the five large mammals which tourists on safari in the country are expected to most want to see during their visit. The subject is rather cliched having been featured by various East African and South African postal administrations in the past but the stamps still make an attractive and exciting set - I particularly like the 2 big cats in the issue. Rating:- ****.
  It's worth noting that Kenya Post does not appear to have issued any new stamps during 2016.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The issues to be released by Royal Mail to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the issue of the first "Machin Head" stamps have now appeared on its Stamps, Collectibles and Gifts site. I am not really too keen on them.
  It was already well known that there would be a gold £1 stamp included in the products which make up the set. The £1 stamp is included in one of 2 miniature sheets with 6 other stamps which are the two headed 20p stamp of 1990, the 1st class self-adhesive of 1993, the 1st class Machin Head on a white background of 2000, the 5p of 1971, the 1st class gold of 2006 and the 1st class Red of 2013. The sheet additionally has a depiction of the 4d stamp of 1967. I find the design of the sheet to be very inelegant - in an effort to depict all 8 featured stamps in chronological order of issue the overall design looks very random and unbalanced and not at all attractive.
  The second sheet is a little better and includes various depictions of heads which were stages in arriving at the final design of the Machin Head definitive.
  The products also include a £15.59p Prestige booklet which houses 5 panes, one of which is made up of a block of 4 x £1 gold foil stamps. This booklet is also to be sold in a second version in which the cover is printed in black and white with silver foil lettering and it is accompanied by a sterling silver Machin medallion and has a 4d 1967 stamp contained in the lid of the display case - all for the price of £99.95p. Oh and this second Prestige booklet is only available in a limited edition of 500. It didn't take me long to decide that I would not be spending my money on this second booklet.
  Finally, there will be a counter booklet containing 6 x 1st red Machin Head definitives which will cost £3.90p. The date of issue will be 5 June 2017. Rating:- ***.
  The sheets were designed by Atelier Works and printed in gravure by International Security Printers and perforated 14 (6 stamp sheet) or perforated 15 x 14 and the gold £1 was gravure printed with the use of gold foil.
  A highly detailed analysis of these stamps can be found in the 17 May 2017 piece in Norvic Philatelic Blog by Ian Billings proving yet again what a vital source of information to collectors of new Royal Mail stamps and Machin Head definitives Ian's Blog really is.

  ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh Post has issued a pair of stamps and a miniature sheet to commemorate the Centenary of the Hardinge Bridge. The issue which depicts the railway bridge which crosses the river Padma was released on  27 April 2017. rating:- ***.
  A sheet has been offered for sale on the Delcampe auction site on which there is a paler shade of the river depicted in the edges of the miniature sheet.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ On 23 May 2017 Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau "tweeted" that its Post and Go kiosk GG01 was dispensing "Lighthouses" stamps with an added inscription to welcome cruise passengers from the Norwegian Jade.