Monday, 31 May 2021
Sunday, 30 May 2021
🇭🇰 Hong Kong Post continues to issue very attractive stamps. It’s new issue programme is clearly excessive but the stamp designs are generally excellent and tell Hong Kong’s story beautifully as its approaches its end of days as an international political entity and, one assumes, also as a philatelic entity (The People’s Republic of China, daily tightening its grip on political freedoms inside the former British colony, must surely suppress it entirely over the next five to ten years). So let us make the most of Hong Kong new issues while we still have them.
A beautiful set of 6 stamps and 3 miniature sheets (2 containing a single stamp and the other a ‘mini-pane containing 2 of each stamp) was issued on 25 May 2021 as part of the ongoing ‘Hong Kong Museums Collection’ (an annual issue), this time depicting 19th century ‘China Trade’ paintings. The issue was designed by Shirman Lai and lithographed by Cartor, the $20 miniature sheet also having ‘3D embossing’. The stamps are perforated 14 x 13.5 with the $10 and $20 miniature sheets being perforated 14.5 x 14. Rating:- *****.
🇲🇹 MaltaPost issued a set of 4 stamps on 28 May 2021 on the subject of Old maps. The 50c value also includes the inscription ‘sepac’ as its contribution to this year’s mini-omnibus series. Generally I think maps as subjects for stamp designs do not work well especially if the maps have a lot of detail on them. This is the case with this issue, designed by MaltaPost plc using images supplied by the Malta Map Society. The stamps were lithographed by Printex and are perforated 14. Rating:- **.
As May draws to a close we return to the list of Commonwealth philatelic entities which have not so far issued, or are not known to have issued, or not have issued on their behalf, any new postage stamps during 2021:-
Aitutaki Cook Islands
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Papua New Guinea
Penrhyn Cook Islands
Rarotonga Cook Islands
Trinidad And Tobago
Turks And Caicos Islands
That is a total of 39 philatelic entities, down from 41 at the end of April and 54 at the end of March. I include a total of 88 territories in my list of Commonwealth philatelic entities and so 49 of these have now issued stamps in 2021.
Thursday, 27 May 2021
🇺🇸 The New York-based purveyor of philatelic items, IGPC, has released details of its latest products some of which have the names of Commonwealth philatelic entities printed on them. There is issues relating to the 95th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II who is the Head of State of some of these countries as well as products noting the recent death of The Queen’s late husband, Prince Phillip The Duke of Edinburgh. Other items note subjects of lesser importance to them such as the installation of the latest US President. All issues are rated 0.
The products are -
🇦🇬 Antigua And Barbuda - No stated date of issue - Inauguration of the 46th US President (2 miniature sheets), 95th Birthday of Elizabeth II, Queen of Antigua And Barbuda (2 miniature sheets).
🇬🇩 Grenada - 30 April 2021 - 3rd Wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (2 miniature sheets), 26 May 2021 - Dorje Chang Buddha III (1 miniature sheet containing 6 identical stamps).
🇬🇩 Grenada Carriacou And Petite Martinique - 17 May 2021 - Dorje Chang Buddha III (1 miniature sheet containing 8 identical stamps).
🇬🇾 Guyana - 30 April 2021 - 3rd Wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (2 miniature sheets); 7 June 2021 - Death of The Duke of Edinburgh (2 miniature sheets).
🇰🇳 Nevis - 9 April 2021 - Death of the Duke of Edinburgh (2 miniature sheets). The date of issue is the date of the Duke’s death and quite miraculously the designs incorporate scenes from the Duke’s funeral which took place several days after the stated day of issue!), 15 March 2021 - 95th Birthday of Elizabeth II, Queen of St Kitts and Nevis (2 miniature sheets).
🇹🇻 Tuvalu - 7 May 2021 - 150th anniversary of Yellowstone Park in USA (2 miniature sheets), 17 May 2021 - Birds of Tuvalu (2 miniature sheets), 17 May 2021 - Grasshoppers (2 miniature sheets), 17 May 2021 - Hibiscus (2 miniature sheets), 9 April 2021 (the stated date of issue is suspect for the same reason as that of the Nevis products above) - Death of the Duke of Edinburgh (2 miniature sheets).
🇸🇬 The joint issue with Portugal set of 2 stamps released by Singapore Post on 28 May 2021 was accompanied by a miniature sheet containing the two stamps. The issue was designed by João Machado of Portugal and lithographed by Secura and is perforated 13.
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
🇯🇪 Jersey Post will issue a set of 6 stamps and 2 miniature sheets, one containing all 6 stamps and the other a single stamp, on 14 July on the subject of 1990s Culture, an ongoing series stamps of looking at local culture over recent decades. This issue seems to emphasise the extraordinarily superficial nature of recent western culture finding little more to feature than confectionery and boy bands. It is also emphasises the triviality of so many subjects featured on recent stamp issues from postal services such as Jersey Post. The designs are by various artists - 54p by Mark Ward, 74p by Laura Callaghan, 88p by David Downton, £1 by eBoy, £1.25 by Serge Sedlitz and £1.30 by Joshua Budich. The designs confirm that the 1990s was a decade well worth remembering (possibly) by the inhabitants of Jersey.
Sadly this is yet just another forgettable set that Jersey Post has managed to secrete to add to its enormous list of philatelic secretions of recent years. Rating:- 0.
🇵🇰 Meanwhile, an altogether different kettle of fish from the postal service of Pakistan, with the issue on 21 May 2021 of a se-tenant pair of hexagonal stamps which commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of its diplomatic relations with The People’s Republic Of China. These designs by Mughiz Khan must be some of the least interesting of the year depicting as they do views of two sea ports. The issue was lithographed by National Security Printing Company Karachi and the stamps are perforated 13. Rating:- *.
🇮🇳 India Post is expected to release a single stamp on 10 June 2021 as a joint issue with the German postal service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The design depicts German and Indian dancers as well as important monuments in the two countries. Rating:- ***.
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
🇳🇿 New Zealand Post will issue 5 new ‘Scenery’ definitive stamps on 2 June 2021 in the form of 3 designs all issued as gummed stamps and the 2 lower values also being issued in self-adhesive format in booklets of five. An attractive issue. Rating:- ***.
🇨🇰 There appear to have been 3 new surcharges from the postal service of the Cook Islands which I do not think I have seen reported before. The surcharges have been carried out on three values of WWF Bristle-thighed curlew issue originally issued on 31 October 2017. I do not presently know the date of issue of the surcharges. Rating:- ***.
🇸🇬 Singapore Post will issue 2 stamps on 28 May 2021 as part of a joint issue with the postal service of Portugal. The designs are best described as abstract and also somewhat psychedelic and I personally feel very little enthusiasm for them. Rating:- *.
Friday, 14 May 2021
🇲🇺 Mauritius Post is planning to release the following new issues during 2021:-
August - ‘Science’ - the launch of the first Mauritian satellite (MIR - SAT1) 1 stamp.
September - 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Ferney Hydroelectric power station - 1 stamp.
October - Birth centenary of Sir Edouard Lim Fat who played an important role in the establishment of the Export Processing Zone in Mauritius - 1 stamp.
December - International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December) - 1 stamp.
🇸🇬 In Blog 1872 I mentioned a miniature sheet from Singapore Post which contained 2 tête-beche pairs of the 2020 Year of The Rat stamps and it now appears that a similar item but for The Year of The Ox has also been issued as depicted below, I assume that the item was released on 8 January 2021 along with all the other 2021 Chinese New Year philatelic products.
🇬🇧 The Postal Museum in London will reopen on 20 May 2021 and its Post and Go vending machine will be dispensing Machin Head design strips of 1st Class rate and 2nd Class rate stamps with new inscriptions which read “Wish You Were Here” with an additional postcard symbol to commemorate the museum’s new exhibition which notes the 151st anniversary of the first British postcard. Illustrations are awaited.
🇬🇧 The theme of gastronomy and food has made a fairly regular appearance on stamps in recent years but it is unusual to find the reverse - the illustration of stamps on food. However in a recent BBC television programme, The Great British Menu - a competition between established British chefs to provide dishes for a sumptuous banquet based on a given theme (a sort of gastronomic thematic collection which one eats rather than preserves in an an album) - this year’s theme being British Innovators, one enterprising young chef, Elly Wentworth, chose to celebrate Rowland Hill’s invention of the postage stamp as the subject of her dessert course. And what a triumph it was - she received from the food critic judges a perfect score of 10 out of 10 but unfortunately her dish did not make it to the final banquet because the dishes she produced for the other courses were less well received. She also revealed that as a child she had been a stamp collector (though was no more, sadly, and the presenter of the programme, Andi Oliver said that she too had collected stamps at a younger age but no longer did so - a story we all hear much too often) but it was still pleasing to see stamp collecting getting a mention under unusual circumstances, perhaps there’s life in the old dog yet.
The dessert itself was a layered chocolate marquise with an edible Penny Black chocolate on top and with a banana sesame sorbet and banana sesame sandwich and it was served alongside a post box which when opened contained a letter to the diner informing them about the invention of the postage stamp. It all looked too good to eat but clearly was a triumph.