Friday, 29 May 2015

578. Stamperija Features The Sacred and The Profane.

  On 2 June 2015 Australia Post will issue a set of 4 stamps and various other items as detailed in Blog 555 on the subject of "Islands of Australia". The featured sites are Bruny Island in Tasmania, Phillip Island in Victoria, Lady Musgrave Island in Queensland and the Buccaneer Archipelago in Western Australia:-

  The Gibraltar Stamps website has announced that it is now offering Collectors' strips of Post And Go labels for sale at a price of £6.24p and states that it is "now very proud to have joined the Post and  Go family". The website gives the date of issue as being 13 May 2015, the opening day of the Europhilex Stamp Exhibition 2015 in London, where Gibraltar Flag Post And Go labels were dispensed from IAR kiosk GI01 (see Blogs 570 and 574).
  The illustrations of the Collectors' strip show that the labels on sale on the website originate from the back office kiosk B002 which is situated in Bristol in England which is 1599.5 miles (by ferry and road) from Gibraltar. That's an awfully long distance for a Gibraltarian to travel if he or she wants to put a coin in the kiosk and buy a Post And Go label/stamp for use on a letter which of course has to be posted back home in Gibraltar (another journey of 1599.5 miles) and would not be valid for postage in Bristol.
   It really is complete nonsense. This really does seem like an Alice In Wonderland concept at least until a kiosk is established in Gibraltar itself - I have seen nothing to suggest that there is a prospect of that happening in the near future.

  The Cayman Islands postal service has released a set of 4 stamps and 4 accompanying booklets as the second in a series on the subject of local heroes. I do not yet know the precise date of issue:-

   Meanwhile Stamperija carries on regardless and has announced its latest release of philatelic products, this time with the name of Solomon Islands printed on them. There are the usual 10 sheetlets each containing 4 different "stamps" as well as 10 accompanying miniature sheets which feature an eclectic and random list of subjects which may or may not have anything to do with the Solomon Islands. For the record (and no other reason) the subjects featured in this latest outpouring are:- The Vietnam War, the Second World War, Alessandro Volta, the Wright brothers, Singapore 2015 World Stamp Exhibition, the Penny Black (see Blog 572), Taipei 2015 Philatelic Exhibition (wildlife of Taiwan - see Blog 576), Pope Benedict XVI, Mother Theresa and (presumably just to show Stamperija has a sense of humour and features on its products not only the Sacred - Pope and Mother Theresa - but also the Profane) Marilyn Monroe in a scantily clad and provocative state. The "date of issue" of these items is stated to have been 24 May 2015:-

Stamperija's latest offerings...

...the Sacred...

...the Even More Sacred...

...and the Profane...

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

577. Stamperija Takes Over Sierra Leone.

  The Lithuania-based philatelic agency, Stamperija, has taken on the role of official philatelic agent of SALPOST, Sierra Leone Postal Services Ltd. The philatelic agency has announced that "This is the 10th country to which we produce official postage stamps in 2015".

  In fact many of the postal administrations of West Africa have now put their philatelic reputations in the hands of Stamperija - Benin, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cote D'Ivoire, Niger, St. Thomas And Prince and Togo but this is the first Commonwealth territory in the region to fall into its hands. ISIS-like, Stamperija is gradually enlarging its (philatelic) territory and now The Commonwealth has five territories whose philatelic programmes have come under its influence (Mozambique, Maldives, Solomon Islands and Uganda being the other four). Stamperija also acts for Namibia but pleasingly has not so far had any effect on the stamps and number of stamps issued by the former South West Africa. 
  This is all bad news for the New York-based agency, IGPC, which has now lost 3 of its Commonwealth client territories - Maldives, Uganda and Mozambique - to the highly invasive Stamperija. Given that many of the stamps which IGPC produced in the name of Sierra Leone were considered by many to be excessive in nature and frequently were on subjects which had no relevance to Sierra Leone, the change of Sierra Leone's agent may have little impression on collectors who may feel that Sierra Leone is merely exchanging one philatelic agency for another of a similar type. 
  The big question, I suppose, is which impoverished postal administration will be the next to allow Stamperija to print its name on Stamperija's philatelic products?
  Fiji Post has issued a very attractive and interesting set of 4 stamps (date of issue not yet known) on the subject of conservation of the endangered Fiji Flying Fox on Taveuni Island. All 4 stamps bear the logo of Nature Fiji:-

  In Blog 576 I mentioned some items issued by Stamperija with the name of Solomon Islands printed on them which commemorated the Taipei 2015 philatelic exhibiton held from 24 to 28 April 2015. Further such items exist, said to have been released in May 2015, which also commemorate the Taipei 2015 exhibition and with the name of Mozambique inscribed on them. The items as usual take the form of a sheetlet of 4 different "stamps" and an accompanying miniature sheet. Each design depicts a Taiwan blue magpie:-

  Intelligent AR has announced that "Post And Go" kiosk M002 which has been sited in Crewe and gave rise to the short-lived site-identifying inscription will be moved from Crewe on 27 May 2015 and, after an upgrade, will be moved to Mount Pleasant in London:-

Short-lived Crewe "Post And Go" inscription.

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Monday, 25 May 2015

576. Maltese Stamp Spelling Error.

  I have noticed an error in the design of one of the stamps issued by Malta Post on 21 April 2015 which I have not seen reported previously though I suspect it must have been recognised locally in Malta itself. The error appears in the inscription of the €1.55 value of the Aqueducts set which commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Wignacourt Water Tower in Floriana but the stamp inscription incorrectly names the building to be the Wingacourt Water Tower. Since I have not seen any reports of this spelling mistake I have naturally not seen any report that Malta Post intends to issue a corrected version:-

  Hong Kong Post issued a set of 6 stamps, a $50 3 pane prestige booklet, a $55.80c "mini-pane" containing 3 sets of stamps in se-tenant blocks of 6 and 1 miniature sheet on 21 May 2015 on the subject of government local vessels. The issue was designed by Chun-hong Wong and lithographed by Enschede:-

Miniature sheet.


  As mentioned in Blog 567the US-based philatelic agency, IGPC, released a sheetlet and accompanying miniature sheet inscribed "Tuvalu" with a stated date of issue of 13 April 2015 on the subject of Europhilex Stamp Exhibition 2015. The theme of the philatelic product was "Sites and Scenes of London" and the sheetlet is now depicted below (the miniature sheet was shown in Blog 567):-

  Another much-loved philatelic agency, Stamperija, has released a sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate another philatelic exhibition, this time the one held in Taiwan from 24 to 28 April 2015, Taipei 2015. The circular designs depict Taiwanese wildlife. For the record, the name of Solomon Islands is inscribed on these items:-

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Friday, 22 May 2015

575. Attractive British Postal Museum Souvenirs From Europhilex.

 My favourite souvenirs of Europhilex Stamp Exhibition 2015 are the 2 covers sold at the stand of the  British Postal  Museum and Archive (BPMA) with their souvenir "Post And Go" labels applied to them which had been released at the museum on 6 May 2015 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the  world's first postage stamp, the Penny Black. Although I do not usually buy the "Post And Go" souvenir labels produced at an increasing number of museums I thought that these 2 covers made attractive and interesting souvenirs of a visit to Europhilex and provided an apt way of including examples of the museum's labels in my collection.
  I particularly liked the cover postmarked 13 May 2015 which commemorated Europhilex and which depicted a cover addressed to Malta with 5 Twopenny Blues attached to it. The two European rate labels were used appropriately on this cover and the cover demonstrated what a better use of one's cash it would be to save up to obtain some glorious old classic item for one's own collection than to constantly squander it on items churned out by certain notorious modern philatelic agencies or from machines situated at foreign philatelic exhibitions in countries where those items have no postal validity.

  The second of the covers commemorates the Penny Black's 175th anniversary and is illustrated with a portrait of Rowland Hill. The cover has an example of the museum's 1st class rate Penny Black Post And Go label and an example of the second class rate label with a 6 May 2015 cancellation. Again it is an interesting cover and a pleasing souvenir:-

  As mentioned in Blog 531, some Intelligent A R "Post And Go" kiosks (A006 and GG01) turned up at the Essen Stamp Fair  in Germany from 7 to 9 May 2015 prior to their appearance at the Europhilex Stamp Exhibition 2015 in London. Long suffering completist collectors of these exhibition souvenir labels (they of course had no postal validity in Germany) found themselves faced with the need to buy 3 Collectors' strips - 2 produced in the name of Royal Mail (the Machin Head labels with code MA13 and the Union Jack labels) and the third produced in the name of Guernsey Post (the Guernsey Flag labels). Ho hum:-

  Botswana Post issued a set of stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 24 February 2015 to commemorate the Okavanga's status as a World Heritage Site:-

  Australia Post's next issue will be released on 26 May 2015 on the subject of "Colours of the Australian Antarctic Territory". The issue of 4 gummed stamps and 1 miniature sheet is inscribed "Australian Antarctic Territory" and was designed by Jo Mure and lithographed by RA Printing:-

  Bhutan Post released an interesting issue on 29 April 2015 which was made up of 1 sheetlet of 8 different stamps and 1 accompanying miniature sheet on the subject of the remarkable polymath, Drubthop Thangtong Gyalpo, who, among other achievements, was a builder of iron chain bridges in Tibet and Bhutan as well as being a notable physician. Bhutan Post co-operated with the German Bhutan Himalaya Society and Permemed Switzerland:-

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