Wednesday 28 June 2017

1030. 🇬🇧 Post And Go Issuing Frenzy Accompanies Postal Museum Opening.

  🇸🇱 You have to acknowledge that Stamperija - or rather those behind it - is/are rather clever. No matter how much you despise it, some of its products at least are very tempting to those too weak to resist and at times I find myself feeling sorely tempted.
  Take, for instance, its latest products which have the name of Sierra Leone inscribed on them and are on the subject of the lesser flamingo and which, in all honesty, are rather attractively designed stamps. Said to have been "issued" on 30 May 2017, the entire collection is made up of a miniature sheet of 8 stamps (2 x 4), a sheetlet of 16 stamps (4 x 4), a miniature sheet of 4 stamps and the whole lot also issued in imperforate format. The big question is, regardless of how attractive they are, how many of them have found their way to being put on sale at ordinary post office counters in Sierra Leone? They are attractive but look at their pedigree, therefore rating is 0.

  🇬🇧 There are a large number of new Royal Mail Post and Go issues be released in the near future by The Postal Museum which will move from its current location in Freeling House to Phoenix Place on 13 July 2017. Kiosk A001 will not be in use from 13 to 24 July and then on the 25 July exclusive access to the kiosk will be made to collectors so that they can buy labels with an official opening inscription.
  All Post and Go label designs will have a new "The Postal Museum" inscription applied to them from 25 July and the formerly used "envelope" marque will not be included in the new inscription. 
  The new inscription will be applied to :- 
   A. The Machin Head 50th anniversary labels which exist of course in 6 colours (1st Class value only),
   B. The Underground railway labels in 6 different values, 
   C. The Mail coach labels in 6 different values,
   D. Machin Head (old design) (2 x 2nd class only - standard and large),
   E. Union Jack in 6 different values.

  Two types of "Opening" inscriptions will be applied to the labels:-

  a. "Official Opening 2017" - Machin Head 50th Anniversary
                                             Machin Head (old design) 2nd class.

  b. "Official Opening" - Underground railway,
                                     Mail coach,
                                     Union Jack.

  The Postal Museum will be closed on 26 and 27 July and then opened fully on 28 July onwards.

  It is worth noting that the Machin Head 50th Anniversary labels with Postal Museum inscriptions (with "envelope" marque) were only introduced on 5 June 2017 and that they will therefore have a short lifespan of less than 2 months.

  Therefore from 5 June to 25 July 2017 The Postal Museum will have had Kiosk A001 dispensing 32 labels and when the new inscription stamps are released without the "Opening" inscription this number will increase to 57 which seems rather a lot to me.

5 June 2017 label (one of 6)

Tuesday 27 June 2017

1029. 🇸🇨🇫🇯 New Seychelles And Fiji Stamps; Birds To Appear on 2019 Europa Stamps.

  🇸🇨 Seychelles Postal Services issued a single stamp on 30 May 2017 to commemorate the Centenary of Lions Clubs. The stamp was designed by Lions Club of Seychelles and lithographed by Lowe-Martin. I like this stamp in comparison with a lot of the stamps issued to commemorate the Lions Clubs centenary which I have featured in previous blogs. Rating:- ****.

  🇫🇯 Fiji Post has issued an attractive set of 4 stamps on the subject of the "Great Sea Reef". Unfortunately I have not yet seen any details about these stamps including the date of issue. Rating:- ****. 
  Post scriptum - The date of issue was 19 May 2017.

  🇨🇾🇬🇮🇬🇬🇮🇪🇮🇲🇯🇪🇲🇹🇬🇧 At a meeting in Dubrovnik recently the Stamps and Philately Steering Committee of Post Europ agreed that the Europa stamp theme for 2019 will be "National Birds" which should make for a very attractive and interesting series. The themes for the next couple of years are almost ironic for The United Kingdom given that the 2018 Europa theme will be "Bridges" - just when Britain will be taking down its metaphorical bridges with Europe and then in 2019, when Britain leaves the European Union, our colourful and splendidly pugnacious little national bird - the robin - will be taking wing and flying home from Europe.
  In all The Commonwealth territories (plus Ireland and Turkish Cyprus) should have 9 birds depicted in the 2019 series though I haven't found it easy to discover what exactly are the national birds of all the territories.
  Among those featured should be the European robin, national bird of The United Kingdom - it has been depicted on a number of previously issued Royal Mail stamps, especially at Christmas time.

  Gibraltar- The Barbary partridge- 

  Republic Of Ireland - Northern lapwing - 

  Malta - Blue rock thrush - 

  I can not find any reference to the national birds of Cyprus, Turkish Cyprus, Guernsey, Isle Of Man and Jersey and so it will be interesting to discover which birds are eventually depicted on these territories' 2019 Europa stamps. The Manx coat of arms features a peregrine falcon and a raven as supporters and so maybe one of those may be depicted as the Manx national bird but the island is also home to the chough, another member of the crow family, and who could resist having a puffin as its national bird? And there's always the Manx shearwater. We'll see.

Monday 26 June 2017

1028. 🇸🇬🇮🇲🇬🇧 Cute Singapore Animals; Manx Sheetlet Shocker.

  🇸🇬 Singapore Post will issue a set of 4 stamps titled "baby animals" on 28 June 2017. It is not clear why this set is to be released with its admittedly cute but strange animals depicted on the stamps including a green and yellow puppy but I suppose the stamps are cheerful and pleasant and will brighten up any item of mail to which they have been applied. Nevertheless it's hard to feel excited by this issue. Rating:- **.

  🇮🇲🇬🇧 The Isle Of Man Post Office will issue a bizarre sheetlet on 31 July 2017 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England (of Freemasonry). The sheet is in the format of a "Smilers" sheetlet - 10 stamps with attached labels - but the stamps are not any issued by the Manx Post Office but are Royal Mail England 1st class definitive stamps which "can be used for mailing in the U.K." (but not of course in The Isle Of Man).
  This is a very strange situation in which one postal administration is producing philatelic items containing postage stamps which are those of another "foreign" postal administration and which can not be used for postage in the territory which is issuing the item. I suppose this is a similar situation to what has been happening in recent years when the postal administrations of various islands have allowed stamps to be dispensed from Post and Go kiosks in exhibitions in mainland Britain whereby the dispensed stamps have no postal validity in the country in which they are sold directly to the public though the effect is the opposite of this Isle Of Man sheet (think about it).
  In recent years the Isle Of Man Post Office was allowed to sell its postally non-valid (in England) "Tour de France" sheetlets at a temporary post office in Yorkshire and I suppose that the actual issuing of sheetlets with Royal Mail stamps contained in them is a further extension of the blurring of Royal Mail-Isle Of Man stamp issues and of co-operation between the two entities.
  Of course Isle Of Man Post Office issued a sheet in stamps in 2015 which was made up of stamps from 27 different Commonwealth postal administrations (only one of the stamps was Manx) but presumably it had some local postal validity because of the presence of the single Manx stamp. One assumes that the "Grand Lodge" sheetlet has no postal validity whatsoever in The Isle Of Man.
  But here's the Real Shocker for "Smilers" sheet collectors - the sheet has a total face value of £6.50p but will be sold by The Isle Of Man Post Office for £45 - in a nut shell then we have an item which is not postally valid in the country which is issuing it but which is being sold at a price 690% greater than face value. I think the Manx Philatelic Bureau is "'Avin a larf" at collectors' expense. Rating:- 0.

  The Isle Of Man Post Office are busy little bees, aren't they? Yes, news of another sheetlet. Another sheetlet of 10 stamps with attached labels will be issued on 5 July 2017 to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the holding of the Tynwald ceremony at St. John's and all stamps contained in the sheet are Manx. The premium attached to the sheet is relatively mild compared with the Freemasonry sheet and the item is being offered for sale at £12.50p. Nevertheless it won't be finding its way into my Manx collection. Rating:- 0.
  The 2 stamps featured in the sheetlet are those which appeared in the miniature sheet issued in 2006 to commemorate the Queen's 80th birthday. The new sheetlet contains five of each design.

Friday 23 June 2017

1027. 🇭🇰 Hong Kong Commemorates 20 Years Of Chinese Sovereignty.

  Hong Kong Post will issue a set of 4 stamps and I miniature sheet on 1 July 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese sovereignty. The set was designed by Shirman Lai and lithographed by Enschede and perforated 14 x 13.5. Rating:- *****.

     On 1 July 2017 Hong Kong Post will also issue a "mini-pane" of 10 x HK$1.70 stamps as a joint issue with China Post and a souvenir sheet will also be released which contains 1 x HK$1.70 and 3 China stamps (values - RMB1.20, 1.20 and 1.50). The issue commemorates the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty and was designed by Hon Bing-wah and lithographed by the Beijing Postage Stamp Printing House and perforated 13. Rating:- **.

  🇮🇲 The Isle Of Man Post Office issued a set of 6 stamps on 20 June 2017 to commemorate the Platinum wedding anniversary of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The designs feature various photographs of the royal couple at various stages of their marriage. The designs are not very original but are generally bright and colourful. Rating:- ***.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 22 June 2017 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Survey of India which is the country's central engineering company charged with mapping and surveying to consolidate the territories of the British East India Company. The British surveyor, Colonel William Lambton, commenced the Great Trigonometry Survey in 1802 and the project lasted 5 decades being completed by Survey General Lieutenant George Everest in 1852. Radhanath Sikdar measured the height of Mount Everest in 1852.
  For such a significant anniversary this is an incredibly uninteresting set of stamps - dull and drab and unimaginative. Rating:- *.

  On the following day, 23 June 2017, India Post released an equally dull and uninteresting single stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Passport Act by the Indian Parliament. Rating:- *.