Wednesday 17 January 2018

1163. ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง From The Postal Museum To The Cautionary Towns.

 ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง The Postal Museum in London will sell the Game Of Thrones Post and Go stamps with the additional The Postal Museum inscription from kiosk A001 from 23 January 2013. The stamps will be available in all denominations. I will buy each stamp with the lowest available denomination applied to each stamp. Rating:- ***.

  ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ The postal service of Myanmar issued 3 new stamps on 4 January 2018 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the country's independence. This is very interesting and attractive set. Rating:- *****.

  ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ The Cautionary Towns.

  You'd think that there were enough stamps around for me to think about without inventing more. But one of my regrets about stamp collecting is that stamps are recently modern items - 1840, when Rowland Hill came up with the idea of the postage stamp and the Penny Black made its appearance, really isn't all that long ago - my great great grandfather was just 14 years old when he could have first sent a letter using the Penny  Post system.
  Just imagine if postage stamps existed in 1066 - what an interesting year of new issues we would have seen. The year began with Edward The Confessor still on the throne of England so the current definitive set would have depicted the dying monarch. The year was still very young when The Confessor died and Harold II was chosen as King of England. A new definitive series would have been required which depicted the new monarch and a set would have been in preparation to commemorate the Coronation of King Harold II which had taken place on 6 January at Westminster Abbey, a day after King Edward's death. Presumably, there would have also been a special Mourning issue to mark the life of The Confessor. No doubt there would have been some 'special issues' in the pipeline if The Kinge's Maile was following the same new issue policies as the current Royal Mail. Perhaps there would have been a series depicting breeds of Hunting dogs or, to please Bird thematic collectors, a set depicting Birds of Prey used in falconry. The Kinge's Maile may have been planning a special series on the subject of the book 'Beowulf' which was intended to be the blockbuster issue of the year or perhaps there was to be a set which was to commemorate the Centenary of the birth of King Aethelred The Unraed along with the 50th anniversary of his death.
  There might have been some emergency provisional surcharges when England was invaded by the Norwegian king, Harold Haadraada, in autumn 1066 and doubtless a 'Victory' overprint to commemorate the defeat of the Norwegians at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. More provisional overprints would have been issued after King Harold's defeat and death at the Battle of Hastings by the Duke of Normandy, William The Bastard, which removed the late king's portrait from the current definitive series and a new definitive series depicting the Norman would no doubt have been rushed out in time for his coronation at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. I suppose there would also have been a set to commemorate that Coronation.

  What a year of new issues that would have been. Who needs 'Game Of Thrones' when you've got the real thing in the form of English history? Of course a numismatist would say that if I collected coins rather than stamps I would be able to go much further back in history than a stamp collection would allow me to do but I've been a stamp collector for more than 50 years so there's no going back now.
  Which brings me, finally, to the point of this section. As well as most enjoying stamps which tell us about a country's history, I also love collecting stamps from territories about which few people are aware.
  I'm reading currently a book about the death of the Elizabethan playwright, poet and spy, Christopher Marlowe, a real bad boy who was said to have been killed in a tavern brawl in 1593, and in the book I came across a chapter where Marlowe is carrying out his espionage-related activities in a town in the Netherlands which the English called Flushing, but which is now known as Vlissingen. The book mentions that Flushing was actually an English possession at that time which is a fact of which I was not aware. Well, of course I rushed to see what Wikipedia had to say about it.
  Flushing was at that time part of what are called The Cautionary Towns. These were territories which had been garrisoned by English troops from 1585 as part of Queen Elizabeth I's support for the Protestant Dutch Republic against the Catholic King Philip of Spain. As well as Flushing the territory also included Briel (now known as Brielle) and Rammekens. With the aim of keeping these towns out of Spanish hands, by the Treaty of Nonsuch, the Dutch Republic handed them over to the English to garrison at their expense and they became English territories. Robert Sidney, the first Earl of Leicester accepted the title of Governor of Flushing from the Dutch in 1588 much to the Queen's chagrin, she having previously declined the title. Thomas Cecil, the first Earl of Exeter was made Governor of Briel and he was succeeded by Edward Conway, 1st Viscount Conway who named his daughter Brilliana in honour of the town.
  When the English and Spanish finally agreed to peace by the Treaty of London of 1604 the Spanish demanded the return of the Cautionary Towns but the English refused and only eventually gave up the territory in 1616 when the Dutch purchased the towns for a sum of £250,000. Thus another English, or by then British, territory disappeared into the lesser known annals of history. English ownership of the territory had lasted just over 30 years which in modern times would have given the towns' postal services plenty of time to release many, many stamps.
  We could conjecture one or perhaps 2 definitive issues for the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and then one or two similar sets featuring King James I. In 1588 we might have had an issue to commemorate the defeat of the Spanish Armada, a set to mourn Elizabeth I on her death in 1603 and a set to commemorate the Coronation of King James I at Westminster Abbey on 25 July 1603. Perhaps we might have had stamps to commemorate the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. There might have been an issue which commemorated Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre - perhaps Shakespeare would have appeared on stamps 350 years ahead of his first actual depiction in 1964.
  It's exciting to think of which subjects would have been commemorated and famous persons featured if an earlier Rowland Hill had come up with his plan for paying for a postal service several centuries before. And what of the territories which would have appeared in a British Empire and Commonwealth stamp catalogue covering that period? - we would have had such interesting names as Willoughbyland, East Florida, Minorca, Calais, Virginia, Mosquito Coast, Hanover, the list goes on ....
  Here's one to add to your collection of The Cautionary Towns:-

  ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Correios de Mocambique has barely issued a stamp at all, as far as is known, for several years. Since it entered into a contract with Stamperija in 2007 which allowed that philatelic agency to issue literally hundreds of 'stamps' per year Mozambique's postal service has shown no sign of taking interest in the sort of products which Stamperija has being unloading on to the philatelic market in its name. However Stamperija currently does not claim to have issued any stamps with the name of Mozambique printed on them since 10 February 2017. I wonder what happened.


  1. Re Stamperija - starting to wonder if it's losing clients due to its overproduction. I've seen new issues from Djibouti, Central African Republic and Togo that do not look at all like Stamperija were involved in their production - they are well designed and relate to local events or themes. Perhaps the days of Stamperija being the biggest philatelic Pimp are drawing to a close.... Gene aka DJCMH

    1. Hello GeneW.
      Yes, I too have noticed these issues for sale on Delcampe. There are also stamps from Solomon Islands and Maldives. All except the Maldives issue seem to have originated from Stamperija and are accompanied by imperforate variants so I think that Stamperija is still pulling the strings with these stamps. See Blog 1164.
      Best wishes. WK.

    2. Hello Gene W. thank you. Yes I too have noticed these stamps as well as some from Solomon Islands. I note that there are imperforate variants of these items being sold and one issue is very questionable, why would CAR want to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the monstrous dictator, Emperor Bokassa I? I think Stamperija is very much behind these local-looking issues. See Blog 1164.
      Best wishes, WK.

  2. WK - actually for many in the CAR Bokassa represents a period that was at least somewhat politically stable, in comparison to what has been happening there in the past few years of civil war. Doesn't mean they are proud of his cruelty, but the society did at least function, so to many tired of war his rule is seen as "better than what we have now".

    As for the Solomon/Maldive issues in 1164, on Stampboards a member from the Netherlands commented that part of the deal that Stamperija is making with these nations is producing a few local-interest issues to be sent to the nation for postal use in exchange for carte-blanche issuing of topical issues for the collector market with the blessing of the postal authorities (ie they won't be named as illegals in UPU circulars) though they will not be delivered for use in the countries they purport to be from. So these for local use "special" issues are noted on Stamperija's website and they are not promoted to new issue dealers in developed countries. To me, this is rather fascinating, and makes me a touch less hostile towards Stamperija, in that at least they are (in theory at least) providing their clients with new issues for local use, with issues that do have local relevance and serve postal needs. Now, it of course would be wonderful if Stamperija's production was all like that and not issuing the tacky wallpaper, but still it is in ways a win-win for both agent and country. I don't know if IGCP or other agents do something similar but Stamperija is basically "subsidizing" their clients postal services in exchange for free reign to print wallpaper (and this may explain why they issue so much, to cover the cost of producing these "special" issues).

    1. Thank you for your very helpful and interesting input.

      However I do feel that the production of thousands of stamps per year which probably never find their way to being available for use as postage - we do collect, after all, 'postage stamps' - is cynical, abusive and exploitative.