Thursday 30 July 2020

1711. 🇳🇬🇧🇩 Joint Nigeria-Bangladesh Issue In Prospect.

🇳🇬🇧🇩 In an extremely helpful comment at the end of Blog 1697, Nejmeddine Boudaren of Aurescollections has very kindly informed us that NIPOST, the postal service of Nigeria, is intending to release a joint stamp issue with the postal service of Bangladesh in August 2020 on the subject of the countries’ bilateral relations. Further details are awaited.
  Nejmeddine also points out that the Senegal COVID-19 issue mentioned in an addendum to Blog 1697 is accompanied by a 5000F miniature sheet and 1000F stamp printed in sheets of 25.
  Very many thanks to Nejmeddine for this helpful and interesting information.

🇮🇪 An Post, the postal service of the Republic Of Ireland, issued a single stamp on 30 July 2020 to commemorate the Centenary of the birth of Liam Cosgrave who was the Irish prime minister from 1973 to 1977. I do not yet have further details about the issue but I suspect that the painting used in the design is that which the artist Edward McGuire painted in 1982. Rating:- ****.

🇻🇨 IGPC has added a pair of miniature sheets (one containing 4 stamps and the other a single stamp) to its internet site with the name of St Vincent And The Grenadines printed on them. These make up the first issue of 2020 for the country with the stated date of issue being 5 March 2020. The species is found in The Caribbean area. Rating:- 0.

A second issue also with a stated date of issue of 5 March 2020 has been announced but without any illustrations. The subject of this second issue is Bromeliads and the issue is made up of 2 parts - 4 stamps ($4, $5, $6 and $7) and 2 x $8 but it is not clear whether these items are issued in miniature sheets as would usually be the case or sold from ordinary sheets.

🇰🇳 The single 30c stamp commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi from St Kitts which was first mentioned by IGPC several months ago has reappeared now in its June 2020 list but still without a stated date of issue.

🇮🇳 A new My Post stamp was released by India Post on 26 July 2020 on the subject of myGov which is described as a “citizen engagement platform founded by the Government of India to promote the active participation of Indian citizens in their country’s governance and development. It is aimed at creating a common platform for Indian citizens to crowdsource governance ideas from citizens”. As usual this stamp is sold at a premium in a sheetlet of 12 stamps with attached labels.


Response to comments below - To Brian Warren. Thank you very much Brian for your helpful information which you’ve kindly submitted in your comment. Best wishes, WK.

     To Aurescollections. Thank you very much, Nejmeddine,  for that piece of information and I and, I’m sure, many other collectors will be very interested in the news about the Nigeria issue and a sight of the scans when they become available. Best wishes, WK.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

1710. 🇺🇸 Items Feature Religious Leader.

  🇺🇸 A number of philatelic products giving publicity to the Chinese-American artist, Buddhist religious leader and self-declared third reincarnation of Dorje Chang (a not uncontested title among many Buddhists) have received publicity in recent months particularly from the New York-based IGPC which in the past has labelled itself  ‘The World’s most respected philatelic agency’. However many of the ‘issues’ have not been illustrated on any sites that I could find.
  I came across an internet site recently, Rare Art Inc., which illustrates a number of artworks by Dorje Chang as well as reporting on previous sales of artworks by another contemporary Chinese artist. In addition the site features the various philatelic products publicising Dorje Chang. The products with the name of Commonwealth countries printed on them are ‘from’ Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Papua New Guinea, GrenadaNew Zealand (!) and Guyana. There are also products from Austria, Liechtenstein, Ukraine, Poland, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Moldova, Israel, Palau, Portugal and the Marshall Islands.
  The illustrations make it clear that these ‘stamps’ from most of the above countries, including New Zealand, are actually ‘Personalised’ stamps and of no greater official status than anyone else could have had produced for themselves. The rest, I suppose, being very much ‘IGPC stamps’ in appearance have probably been sponsored by Dorje Chang or one of his supporters to give him publicity. Some of what look like IGPC products and which appear on IGPC's monthly lists have in recent years sold their philatelic souls to Stamperija (Sierra Leone, Djibouti and Central African Republic) so whether or not there’s been a special deal done between the two highly respected agents or whether the countries have individually chosen to have their names used in this way on this occasion has to remain a matter of speculation. The subject has very little or no relevance to the Commonwealth countries named on the ‘stamps’. Needless to say, none of them will be finding their way into any of my albums.

Sheet of 50 New Zealand personalised stamps

  Some of the non-Commonwealth issues:-


Central African Republic





Booklet from Portugal, personalised I assume.

Addendum:- See p4peter’s comment at the end of Blog 1706 about the items inscribed Liechtenstein which are mentioned above.

Sunday 26 July 2020

1709. 🇱🇰 Sri Lanka Post Commemorates Festival At Kandy.

🇱🇰 Sri Lanka Post issued a set of 3 stamps and 3 miniature sheets on 25 July 2020 on the subject of the Kandy Esala Perahera, a local cultural pageant featuring the Diyawadana Nilame who is the chief lay custodian of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Needless to say elephants feature prominently not only on the pageant but also on the stamps themselves. A fine issue. Rating:- ****.
The issue was lithographed and is said to be perforated 12 x 13.5.

.🇮🇲 Isle Of Man Post Office will issue a set of 12 x 1st Class rate stamps on 29 July 2020 titled ‘O land of Our Birth’ (words taken from a local song) which show attractive though unremarkable photographs of local scenes which were entries in a competition. This is the 10th issue of the year from IOM Post Office which, given that there are still five months of 2020 left to run, is plainly excessive especially as there does not seem to be any particular reason to release such a set at this particular instant. The cost of the set is a not immodest £7.44. Rating, therefore:- *.
  The issue was designed by Isle Of Man Advertising and lithographed by Lowe Martin and perforated 13.

Saturday 25 July 2020

1708. Commonwealth New Issues Now Down By 29.2% Compared With 2019.

In Blog 1694 I showed that the total number of stamp issues released by all the Commonwealth postal administrations or their licensed agencies in the first 6 months of 2020 had been reduced by 22.8% (351 in 2019, 271 in 2020). This fall in new issues has continued in the seventh month of the year with the total number of Commonwealth new issues now having fallen by 29.2% in comparison with 2019’s total number of Commonwealth issues up to the end of July which was 418 compared with 296 in 2020). With 6 days of the month remaining, unless there is the sudden announcement of a flood of issues from one of the less respectable philatelic agencies which have Commonwealth postal service clients, collectors of new issues may feel that something good, at least from the philatelic viewpoint, has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic though, like the lurking background fear of a second wave of Coronavirus, there must be the worry that postal administrations will deluge the market with new issues in the coming months to make up for lost time.

🇮🇪 An Post, the postal service of The Republic Of Ireland, issued the 4th part of its ongoing History of Ireland in 100 Objects definitive series on 23 July 2020. The issue is made up of 2 strips each of 4 different stamps and was designed by Zinc Design Consultants and printed digitally by CCL Label Ireland Ltd.  and perforated 11 x 11.5. Rating:- ****.

      An Post also issued on 23 July 2020 a strip of 4 self-adhesive stamps which reused the designs of recent issues. The production details are the same as that of the above issue. Rating:- **.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

1707. 🇲🇲 Myanmar Features The Art Of The Blacksmith.

🇲🇲 The postal service of Myanmar is to issue a charming single stamp on 24 July 2020 on the subject on Panbe - the Art of the Blacksmith. The publicity for the issue states that it is aimed at raising “awareness among young people (of) the Myanmar cultural arts and crafts as it is one of the 10 Myanmar’s cultural crafts”. I wonder if this is the start of an ongoing series which will introduce the other 9 cultural crafts to the collector.  Rating:- *****. This is the fourth issue of the year from the Myanmar postal service. Myanmar has a population of 54,410,000. 
🇮🇲 Meanwhile the Isle Of Man Post Office plans to issue a set of 6 stamps and 1 Prestige booklet costing £16.16 on 11 August 2020 which will be the 9th issue of the year from that island which has a population of 85,000. The issue is on the subject of ‘Master watchmakers of Isle Of Man’ with 2 stamps each commemorating 3 watchmakers with local ties. There does not seem to be a particular event or anniversary which has lead to the issue of these stamps at this particular time. 
  As well as being interesting, these stamps are nicely designed and could well be the first ever set of 6 stamps in which every person depicted on the stamps is wearing a pair of spectacles! Unfortunately this set is the ninth issue in the first 8 months of this year and without any clear cut reason for its issue at this particular time. This is plainly excessive. Isle Of Man Post Office along with the postal services of the other British offshore islands and Gibraltar issue far too many stamps without good reason. Sadly therefore I rate this issue as * only and I shall not be adding the issue to my collection.
  Finally, I have to ask, is there someone who is choosing the subjects for IOM stamps who has an obsession with clocks as this is the second issue on this subject in 3 years - 6 stamps and a £15.16 Prestige booklet were issued by the Manx postal service on 13 October 2017 on the same subject; on that occasion the issue commemorated the work of the horologist Dr John Taylor though again not on any particular notable anniversary nor coinciding with any particular event relevant to the subject.

🇸🇬 The issue ‘Mascots of Singapore’ from Singapore Post planned originally for issue on 29 April 2020 (see Blog 1663) will be released finally on 3 August 2020. The set of 5 stamps was designed by Lim Wenbin of Pinch Design Pte Ltd and lithographed by Secura and perforated 13. The designs do seem rather inconsequential but perhaps the issue is more meaningful in Singapore than it is abroad. Rating:- **.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

1706. 🇸🇸 South Sudan’s COVID-19 Stamps.

🇸🇸 Now being offered for sale on an internet auction site is the previously reported expected set of stamps with an accompanying miniature sheet on the subject of the Struggle against COVID-19 which has now been released by the postal service of South Sudan on 21 July 2020. The set is made up of 6 stamps similar in design to those reported in Blog 1697 which have been issued by other Non-Commonwealth African postal services such as Senegal, Chad and Djibouti. These are colourful and interesting stamps though expensive (particularly the miniature sheet which seems to have been issued in a limited edition of 300). These are the first postage stamps to have been released by the South Sudan postal service since  2017.

🇮🇪🇬🇧 An Post, the postal service of The Republic of Ireland, and Royal Mail are using a joint commemorative postmark for the first time ever to honour the footballer, the late Jack Charlton, who was a player in the England team in the successful 1966 World Cup final as well as the manager of the Irish football team which during his managership enjoyed considerable international competition success. The postmark reads ‘Jack Charlton 1935 - 2020’ and is in use from 20 July to 9 August 2020. Jack Charlton’s brother, Bobby, was depicted on one of the stamps in the set of ‘Football Heroes’ issued in 2011. The two brothers played alongside each other in the 1966 World Cup Championshios final.

Jack’s brother, Bobby Charlton

🇬🇧 The issue of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to be released by Royal Mail on 30 July 2020 which I mentioned in Blog 1701 has now been added to the Royal Mail Stamps and Collectables site. The issue commemorates the 150th anniversary of the rebuilding of The Palace of Westminster and is in the same format as previous issues in the ongoing ‘Royal Palaces’ series. The issue was designed by Steers McGillan Eves and lithographed by International Security Printers and is perforated 14.5.