Tuesday 23 May 2017

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

  πŸ‡°πŸ‡ͺ 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.

  πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ 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.

  πŸ‡§πŸ‡© 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.

  πŸ‡¬πŸ‡¬ 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.


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