Wednesday 27 November 2019

1552. 🇸🇿 Small Mammals Feature On 2018 Eswatini Set.

🇸🇿 Depicted below are 2 sets of stamps with accompanying miniature sheets issued by the postal service of Eswatini during 2018. As yet, there does not appear to have been any new stamps issued by the Eswatini postal service during 2019. 
  The first set is a delightful issue of 4 stamps with an accompanying miniature sheet which includes the 4 stamps on the subject of Small Mammals of Eswatini. The date of issue was 31 August 2018. Rating:- *****.

30 April 2019 - 50th anniversary of Independence and 50th Birthday of King Mswati III. I first mentioned this issue in Blog 1292 and assumed that it was issued in August 2018 but a first day cover is dated 30 April 2018. Additionally I was not aware previously that the set of 4 stamps had been accompanied by a single-stamp miniature sheet. Rating:- *****.

🇫🇯 Fiji Post has released 2 further sets of 4 stamps during 2019. While illustrations of the stamps are shown below I do not yet have many detail# of these issues:- 

20 May 2019 - Centenary of the International Labour Organisation - 4 stamps. Rating:- ***.

2019 (date of issue not yet known) - Grouper fish - 4 stamps  (please note that the garbled inscription on the illustration of the 40c is a problem with the illustration and is not how it appears on the real stamp). Rating:- ****.

🇲🇲 The postal service of Myanmar will issue the final part of its Months of the Myanmar Calendar series on 27 November 2019, this time depicting the Myanmar Literature Festival and the Bulbophyllum auricomum flower. Another excellent stamp. Rating:- *****.

Monday 25 November 2019

1551. 🇳🇿 New Zealand Post Commemorates Royal Visit.

🇮🇳 India Post issued a single stamp on 22 November 2019 to commemorate Mathew M Kuzhiveli, an educator and publisher of children’s books. Rating:- **.

🇳🇿 New Zealand Post issued a large miniature sheet containing 6 different stamps on 22 November 2019 to commemorate the royal visit of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to New Zealand. It’s good to see the Prince’s visits getting some philatelic recognition and to see The Duchess being featured on stamps after so many stamps issued over the last few years which depict the younger members of the royal family. The item was designed by Hannah Fortune and lithographed by the Collectables and Solutions Centre in Whanganui and perforated 14.5.
  I just wish that these sheets were slightly smaller so that they could be fitted on to an ordinary album page. Rating:- ***.
  The quality of the illustrations below is rather poor but it’s the best I can do at the moment.

🇭🇰 Hong Kong Post will issue 8 gummed stamps and 8 self-adhesive stamps with the same designs from coils and 1 miniature sheet on 5 December 2019 featuring the locally popular cartoon character known as Old Master Q. The characters are drawn very much in the style of the old Beano and Dandy British comics. They offer an interesting insight into a part of Hong Kong culture not usually considered worth depicting on stamps. The comic which was created by Alfonso Wong first appeared in Hong Kong newspapers in 1962. Rating:- ***.

Saturday 23 November 2019

1550. 🇵🇬 Bougainville Begins Independence Voting.

🇵🇬 The people of the province of North Solomons - otherwise known as Bougainville - have today begun to vote in a 2 week-long referendum on the future status of the territory within Papua New Guinea and whether or not the province should become an independent state. 
  The island of Bougainville was visited by the French explorer, Louis de Bourgainville, in 1768 who, with an absence of modesty, named the island after himself. The island was subsequently visited by American whaling ships and in 1899 it was claimed by the Germans and incorporated in German New Guinea.
  The Australians occupied Bougainville during the First World War and incorporated it in the mandated territory of New Guinea in 1920.
  After World War 2, in 1949, New Guinea was combined with the territory of Papua to form the United Nations Trust Territory of Papua and New Guinea under Australian administration. 
  Bougainville became part of the newly independent Papua New Guinea in September 1975 but the inhabitants of the island declared the territory to be an independent state on 11 September 1975 as The Republic Of The North Solomons but subsequent negotiations reached a settlement resulting in the full absorption of the territory in Papua New Guinea. This led to a civil war between 1988 and 1998 with an eventual peace settlement resulting in the territory being given an autonomous status.
  If the present referendum results in the local people choosing Independence then the decision must still be agreed by the Papua New Guinea Parliament but if that occurs then we may have a new independent nation in the foreseeable future with the resultant emergence of a new philatelic entity which may well become a member of The Commonwealth.

🇺🇸 Upcoming new products from the US-based agency, IGPC, with the names of Commonwealth philatelic entities printed on them will be:-

🇦🇬 Antigua And Barbuda - The American crocodile - 1 miniature sheet contains 4 different stamps.
                                                Farm animals - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 3 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
                                                The Flamingo - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 4 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
                                                The Turkey vulture - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 4 different stamps and 1 containing a single stamp.
🇬🇲 The Gambia - The Mantis - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 3 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
                               The pangolin - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 4 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
                               Reptiles - 1 miniature sheet containing a single stamp.
🇬🇩 Grenada Carriacou And Petite Martinique - Lizards - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 4 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
                                                                                   Saltwater fish - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 3 different stamps and the other containing a single stamp.
🇬🇾 Guyana -       27 September 2019 - HH Dorje Chang Buddha - 1 miniature sheet containing 4 stamps.
                             1 October 2019 - 150th anniversary of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi - 1 miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps.
                             6 November 2019 - Mega-moths - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 3 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
🇲🇸 Montserrat - 15 August 2019 - The Caribbean flamingo - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 4 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
                             10 October 2019 - 150th anniversary of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 4 different stamps and the other containing a single stamp.
🇰🇳 Nevis - Angelfish - 2 miniature sheets, 1 containing 4 different stamps and the other a single stamp.
🇻🇨 St Vincent And The Grenadines - the Black vulture - 1 miniature sheet containing 4 different stamps.

Friday 22 November 2019

1549. 🇲🇹 Holy Figurines Depicted On Maltese Christmas Stamps.

🇲🇹 MaltaPost will issue a set of 3 Christmas stamps featuring figurines of the Baby Jesus located in Maltese churches on 29 November 2019. The issue was designed using photographs taken by Mark Micallef Perconte and lithographed by Printex. Rating:- ****.

🇸🇱 A single stamp and a miniature sheet inscribed with the name of Sierra Leone are being offered on an internet auction site. They commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Express Mail Service (EMS) and the stamp depicts the design common to that used on the stamps of other postal administrations. A ‘first day cover’ is dated 30 October 2019. The face value of the stamp is equivalent to exactly £1 but the seller is asking the price of £6.77p (a mark-up of 677%) and the miniature sheet’s face value is equal to £4 but the seller is asking the price of £17.04 p (426%). 
  A worthwhile issue if obtainable from a seller who is asking a reasonable price but otherwise the Rating is 0.

🇬🇧 All the new issues of British Antarctic Territory mentioned in Blog 1525 were released on 18 November 2019.

🇧🇹 Bhutan Post issued an interesting miniature sheet containing 6 different stamps on 17 August 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Indonesia-Bhutanese co-operation in hydro-power. Rating:- ****.

🇬🇧 Depicted below are the 2 pairs of ‘Winter Greenery’ Post and Go stamps, first issued in 2014,  reissued by Royal Mail for this year’s Christmas season now with code CL19S (2nd class rate) or R19Y (1st class rate) dispensed by a NCR kiosk situated in the main post office in Pinfold Street in the centre of Birmingham. This issue is said to have been first put on sale on 5 November 2018. Rating:- ***.
  The IAR version of these stamps will be dispensed from the Mail Rail kiosk A005 in London from 2 December 2019. 

🇬🇮 Below are depicted previously mentioned Post and Go stamps from the Royal Gibraltar Post Office which have been issued recently. The extremely belated Year Of The Pig stamps were issued on 13 November 2019 and come in 2 forms - those dispensed from kiosk GI04 with no added inscription and those dispensed from kiosk GI05 with the additional inscription ‘Gibraltar/Philatelic HQ’. This additional inscription was also printed on the 6 stamps included in the strip which was released on 2 November 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing as depicted below.
  There seems to be very little connection between Gibraltar and both the lunar landing and Chinese New Year and therefore very little reason for the Royal Gibraltar Post Office to issue these items. Rating:- 0.

Sunday 17 November 2019

1548. 🇸🇭 Ascension Reissues Turtle Stamps.

🇬🇧 I have now had chance to drop in to the gift shop of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford upon Avon and purchased the new varieties of the Royal Mail Post and Go stamps dispensed by kiosk A009 which were reported in Blog 1539. The issue is made up of a strip the 6 ‘Symbolic flowers’ stamps and the ‘Machin Head’ 1st Class stamp which, by now, are excruciatingly familiar to everyone. The first day of issue was 4 November 2019.
  For no obvious reason other than to boost sales to stamp collectors the Flowers stamps have had the inscription ‘Shakespeare 1564’ added to them and the Machin Head stamp now has the added inscription ‘Shakespeare 1616’. These are the years of the birth and death of Shakespeare. There seems to be no reason whatsoever to apply the inscriptions at this time of the year though it would be more understandable if the inscriptions were used around the 23 April which may or may not be the anniversary date of both Shakespeare’s birth and death. 
  I have visited this particular kiosk many times since it was installed and I have never once seen a real tourist buy a single stamp from it and usually the gift shop is full of tourists looking for souvenirs of their visit to Stratford. The kiosk is stuck up a corner of the shop and it isn’t really obvious what it’s there for and there are no notices in the shop telling people to buy stamps for their postcards from it. Perhaps people just don’t send postcards anymore.
The codes on my stamps are MA17 (Flowers) and MA14 (Machin Head). Rating:- 0.

🇸🇭 The postal service of Ascension Island will reissue its 6 ‘Green Turtles’ postcard rate stamps on 12 December 2019 in slightly altered form and with a ‘2019’ imprint. The issue was designed by Bee Design using photographs by Sam Weber, Glenn Yon and Johnny Hobson and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. Rating:- ***.
  Thanks to Juliet Warner of Pobjoy Stamps for information about this issue.

🇬🇭 Three years after it was first issued, I have finally found illustrations of unused examples of the 2016 Election stamps released by the Ghana postal administration. The stamps are being offered for sale by an Internet auction site dealer which is the first time I have seen this set being sold by anyone. Rating:- *****.