Saturday, 23 September 2017

1086. 🇬🇮🇨🇭 Swiss Post Starts Postal Service In Gibraltar And Issues Stamps For It.

  🇬🇮 Collectors continue to talk and write about new issues as though they are being released by "countries" ("Great Britain", "Australia", "Solomon Islands", "Ghana" and so on"). But, in many cases they are not. New stamps are more often than not planned, produced and issued by private companies which are recognised by the government of a particular country or territory as the national provider, or one of the providers, of a postal service inside that territory or, additionally or alternatively, as a provider of philatelic services for that territory. More and more, provision of philatelic services is not necessarily the same thing as provision of a postal service. Sometimes, with a government's permission, it is not necessary to provide a postal service in order to have the right to produce and sell "officially recognised" postage stamps principally as philatelic collectables nor is it necessary for such items to actually be sold in post offices with the intention that they be used on mail to indicate the prepayment of postage.
  Nowadays it is far more sensible to think of mail services in The United Kingdom as being provided by the Royal Mail postal service as well as other private companies, including Universal Mail United Kingdom which also produces stamps for use on a specialised mail service (overseas postcards), than to talk about a new "British" issue. Likewise, new postage stamps in Australia are issued by Australia Post and this company also produces and operates the mail service in dependant territories so that Christmas Island stamps are not produced by a Christmas Island postal service nor are Norfolk Island stamps provided any more by a Norfolk Island postal service but they all originate from Australia Post which operates the postal services in these various territories. Hence new Christmas Island stamps are not "Christmas Island stamps" but merely items produced by Australia Post for use on mail in the island and elsewhere in Australia and for sale to stamp collectors.
  The Ghana postal service may produce a small number of new stamps itself for use on local mail but most "stamps" which appear on the philatelic market with the name of Ghana printed on them have little or nothing to do with the Ghana postal service originating as they do with the foreign and distant philatelic agency, IGPC. Likewise few if any new Solomon Islands stamps have anything to do with the Solomon Islands postal service and it seems doubtful that those charged with delivering the Solomon Islands postal service have any involvement whatsoever in choosing subjects and designs of new stamp issues or even putting them on sale at Solomon Islands post offices. Thus we can not talk about "Solomon Islands new issues" but instead more accurately term them as being products of the Stamperija Philatelic agency. We might describe them as being "Stamperija new issues which are inscribed "Solomon Islands".
  This long preamble brings me around finally to events in Gibraltar where The Royal Gibraltar Post Office has always been the provider of postal services in modern times and therefore the sole legal producer of postage stamps recognised by the Gibraltar government. Not any more. I read on the Galeria ATM website that Swiss Post is now operating a service for tourist mail from Gibraltar for international postcards. Ten different stamps in self-adhesive format have been put on sale in sheetlets containing the 10 stamps. Each stamp shows a different view of the territory.
  The launch of the Swiss Post service seems to have taken place on 14 August 2017 and postboxes for the service have been placed at various locations around the territory.
  This is an interesting development in the postal history of Gibraltar and the interesting stamps are, I would have thought, well worth adding to a Gibraltar or Commonwealth collection. Although they are for a specialist service they do fulfill the criteria for being included in Stanley Gibbons Catalogue in that they are issued for the prepayment of postage and appear to be accessible to locals and tourists alike in sufficient numbers for use on mail. I would doubt, however, that they will be catalogued by Gibbons just as the Universal Mail UK stamps have not been and it will take a change in collectors' general thinking about how we judge what do and do not constitute a "country's" postage stamps before they do find their way into the main catalogues. Rating:- *****.
  I never thought that I would be adding some issues of Swiss Post to my Commonwealth collection.

  The Royal Gibraltar Post Office has been keeping Post and Go dealers and collectors busy with a recent outpouring of new issues from its various kiosks. A new inscription has been applied to "Year of the Rooster" stamps sold from kiosks GI01 (Gibraltar House in London), GI02 (GI02 Main post office in Gibraltar) and GO03 (Parcel office in Gibraltar) which reads, "Cancer Research". The items went on sale on 19 September 2017. Rating:- **.

  The new Freemasonry stamps also went on sale at the same locations from 19 September 2017 with each place of sale indicated by the inscriptions on the stamps. I like the stamps actually sold in Gibraltar especially as they commemorate at least one local anniversary but have no intention of collecting any labels sold in London where they have no postal validity. Rating (for items originating in Gibraltar):- ****.

  Meanwhile, Royal Gibraltar Post Office is also planning to issue a set of 7 stamps on an as yet undisclosed date on the subject of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. This issue does not appear to be related to any event or notable anniversary but is a pleasant enough set depicting various scenes though, given that it's a nature reserve, no actual local wildlife. The stamps were designed by Stephen Perera from illustrations by Jonathan Pointer and lithographed by Bpost Security Printers (a new name to me). Rating:- **.

  🇳🇫 I have previously mentioned the pair of stamps and 1 miniature sheet issued on 19 September 2017 by Australia Post which have the additional inscription "Norfolk Island" and which commemorate the "Convict Heritage" of Norfolk Island. I now include better illustrations of the stamps and an illustration of the miniature sheet.
  The issue was designed by Jo Mure and lithographed by RA Printing and perforated 14 x 14.5. An interesting and pleasingly modest issue. Rating:- ***.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

1085. 🇨🇦🇮🇳 Canada-India Joint Issue.

  🇨🇦 Canada Post will issue a pair of self-adhesive stamps issued in booklets of 10 on 25 September 2017 as this year's Post Office Community Foundation issue. Each stamp carries a 10c donation for the charity. The issue was designed by Andrew Lewis Design and I think Canada Post rightly says that "they will make you smile and make you wish to donate some joy!". Rating:- ****.
  After some of the stamp issues we've seen recently and some of the events around the world we need something to help to make us smile.

   🇮🇳 In Blog 1083 I featured the 3 stamps issued by India Post on 18 September 2017 on the subject of "Vulnerable Birds" and I now depict below the accompanying miniature sheet:-

  🇨🇦🇮🇳 Canada Post and India Post each released 2 stamps and a miniature sheet on 21 September 2017 as a joint issue on the subject of the religious festival of Diwali.
  The issue from Canada Post took the form of a booklet of 10 x "P" value self-adhesive stamps plus a miniature sheet which included a Canadian $2.50 stamp and an Indian Rs25 stamp. The issue was designed by Doreen Colonello of Entro Communications. Rating:- ***.
  The India Post issue is made up of Rs5 and Rs25 values and a miniature sheet made up of one of each stamp. Rating:- ***.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

1084. 🇳🇿 New Zealand New Issue - Seedy Or Just Plain Daft?

  🇳🇿 New Zealand Post has finally gone too far with its new stamp issue programme. It plans to issue a set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 4 October 2017 on the subject of "Sustainable Food" which is a worthwhile enough subject for a new issue I suppose. But some clever person came up with the idea of attaching seeds to each stamp which could then be planted to grow real food products from them. This isn't a particularly original idea - we've already seen similar stamps being sold by the Trinidad And Tobago postal service.
  However, New Zealand Post has discovered that stamps being sent abroad can not have live seeds attached to them. Much head scratching ensued. Finally someone came up with the idea that there would be 2 versions of the stamps - one type to be sold in New Zealand only with seeds attached and the other type to be sold abroad without any seeds attached to them. Thus collectors in New Zealand will have 12 new stamps and 2 miniature sheets to buy and collectors anywhere else in the world will only be able to obtain 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet. You can not help but think that this is opening the door to stamp smuggling - desperate overseas collectors trying to smuggle a set of stamps with seeds attached out of New Zealand without Customs officers noticing. Anything to declare? Yes, a set of stamps.
  This issue was designed by Hannah Stancliffe-White and lithographed by Southern Colour Print and perforated14.5 while the miniature sheet is perforated 14.5 x 14. Rating:- 0.

  🇬🇬 Guernsey Post has released the design of one of the stamps from an upcoming set of 6 which will be issued on 8 November 2017 to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. The total face value of the set will amount to £4.06p and there will be an accompanying Prestige Booklet which will be sold for £16.24p. I shall add the basic set to my collection but keep the price of the booklet firmly in my wallet. Rating:- ***.

  🇬🇧 Autumn brings the political party Conference season with it here in Britain so Post and Go stamp collectors will need to look out for issues dispensed from kiosks sited at the various conferences as happened in 2016.
  The Liberal Democratic Party met at Bournemouth from 16 to 19 September but I have not yet seen any news that any Post and Go stamps were sold at the Conference just as there were no such items in 2016.
  The Scottish Nationalist Party will meet at Glasgow from 8 to 10 October. Stamps were dispensed at last year's conference so we might expect similar stamps with the additional inscription "Glasgow" again this year.
  The Labour Party will meet at Brighton from 24 to 27 September so look out for Post and Go stamps with additional inscription "Brighton".
  The Conservative Party will meet in Manchester from 1 to 4 October and so one might expect Post and Go stamps with additional inscription "Manchester" being sold there during the Conference.

  🇦🇮🇻🇬🇦🇬🇩🇲🇲🇸 Several Commonwealth territories have suffered terribly from the effects of the various hurricanes which have swept across the Leeward Islands recently. Affected to varying degrees have been Antigua And Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica and Montserrat. There have been a number of deaths and, on some of the islands, an incredibly large amount of destruction and devastation but from a philatelic point of view there has of course been severe postal disruption and probably destruction of post offices and loss of stamp stock. Doubtless stamp collectors will notice philatelic consequences in the coming months.

1083. 🇮🇳🇲🇾 Indian Birds And Malaysian Kings.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued a delightful set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 18 September 2017 on the subject of "Vulnerable Birds". Rating:- ****.

  🇲🇾 Pos Malaysia issued a sheetlet of 15 different stamps on 11 September 2017 which depict the current King of Malaysia - the Yang di Pertuan Agong - and his 14 predecessors The set was issued to coincide with the birthday of the current ruler, Sultan Muhammad V, and was designed by Shahrul Izhar. I have listed the Yang di Pertuan Agongs in a previous Blog. Rating *****.

  Pos Malaysia then issued a set of 4 stamps and an accompanying miniature sheet in 2 different values (Rm3 and Rm6) on 14 September 2017 on the subject of "Negaraku", the Malaysian national anthem, which had been derived from the State Anthem of Perak which had been devised by Sultan Abdullah of Perak during his exile in Seychelles whence he had been sent for abetting murder. The anthem is thought to have been based on a tune he heard in Seychelles and which was popular there and called "La Rosalie" composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Beranger. The stamp designs are based on winning entries in an art competition. Rating:- ***.