Singapore Post issued a new set of 8 stamps on 3 October 2014 on the subject of myths and legends of Singapore. This excellent, imaginative and interesting set was designed by Lim An ling and printed in lithography by Secura:-
The postal administrations of a number of Commonwealth territories have had stamps produced on their behalf by the US-based philatelic agents, the IGPC:-
19 March 2014 - African elephants - 2 different stamps in 1 sheetlet of 4 and 1 miniature sheet containing 2 different stamps:-
19 March 2014 - Breeds of domestic dog - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s. containing a single stamp:-
19 March 2014 - Flowers of Africa - 2 sheetlets, one of 5 different stamps and 1 of 7 different stamps:-
19 March 2014 - Orchids of Africa - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 single stamp m.s.:-
1 July 2014 - Monarch Butterfly (part 2) - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s. of 2 different stamps:-
22 December 2014 - "Tropical fish" - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s. containing a single stamp:-
4 December 2014 - "World Famous Figures" (none of the featured portraits is of anyone with links to Montserrat) - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 single stamp m.s.:-
7 July 2014 - Orchids of the Caribbean region (Part 2) - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s. containing 2 different stamps:-
14 October 2014 - Visit of Pope Francis to Israel - 1 sheetlet and 1 m.s.;
14 October 2014 - World Famous paintings - 1 sheetlet and 1 m.s.
St. Vincent And The Grenadines -
1 July 2014 - Orchids of The Caribbean region (Part 2) - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 m.s. containing 2 different stamps:-
20 October 2014 - Commemoration of Pope Benedict XVI - 1 sheetlet of 4 different stamps and 1 single stamp m.s.:-
The stamps were printed in photogravure by De La Rue while the booklet stamps were printed in photogravure by International Security Printers who also printed the generic sheet but used lithography for the latter. The stamps were designed by True North from art by the American, Andrew Bannecker.
The date of issue of the stamps and accompanying gummed miniature sheet will be 4 November 2014. The face value of the set is £7.71p with the miniature sheet also sold at the same price. There will also be 2 accompanying booklets - 12 x 2nd class postage and 12 x 1st class postage - at prices of £6.36 and £7.74 respectively so that collectors of a "mint example of everything" face a total bill of £29.52p if the stamps are bought at face value.
I really do not think that I am prepared to spend so much money on these items and so for the first time I will not buy the Christmas booklets (instantly saving £14.10p) and merely mention them in my collection as a footnote. The designs are so underwhelming that I feel disinclined to encourage Royal Mail to continue to churn out these products by handing over my money for them.
In Blog 469 I mentioned that Royal Mail will issue a "Commemorative Sheet" (price £14.95 although the face value of the 10 stamps in the sheet is only £6.20p)) on the subject of the Christmas Truce of 1914. Would this not have made a meaningful, joyous and moving subject for the Christmas stamps themselves rather than the insipid products which will actually appear on the British mail-senders' Christmas post?
Collectors also have to contend with a 20 stamp Smilers "Generic" sheet at a cost of £15.20p:-