Friday, 27 January 2017

909. Philatelic Food Fest Begins In Malaysia.



  πŸ‡²πŸ‡Ύ Pos Malaysia issued the first part of this year's special series of "Festival food" issues on 24 January 2017. The issue on the subject of food for the Lunar new year was made up of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet. The issue was designed by KY Lim of Reign Associates. The miniature sheet depicts a "Tray of Togetherness" and contains a single circular stamp. Rating:- *****.




  πŸ‡§πŸ‡Ό One item I have overlooked up till now is a diamond-shaped miniature sheet issued by Botswana Post along with a set of 5 stamps which were released on 9 October 2016 on the subject of "50 Years of Botswana stamps". The ordinary stamps are depicted in Blog 843. Rating:- *****.


  That noble institution, Stamperija, has announced the release of more of its paraphilatelic products with the name of Commonwealth countries printed on them:-

  πŸ‡²πŸ‡Ώ Mozambique - "issued" 10 August 2016 - 15 sheetlets each containing 4 different "stamps" and 15 miniature sheets featuring The 90th Birth anniversary of Marilyn Monroe, "Stamps on stamps", Centenary of the Salvation Army in Mozambique, World Youth Day, Whales, Turtles, Tigers, Tall ships, Supersonic airlines, "Summer Games",  Prehistoric man, 135th Birth anniversary of Pablo Picasso, Orchids, Owls and Minerals. Rating:- 0.

































  πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡± Sierra Leone - "issued" 29 December 2016 - 10 sheetlets each containing 4 different "stamps" and 10 accompanying miniature sheets featuring Whales, Polar bears, Reef fishes, Corals, "Scouting and mushrooms" (!), Orchids, Butterflies, Endangered species, Dogs and Cats. Rating:- 0.























   *** Bogus stamps *** 

 πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡Ώ ☠️ It's bad enough that philatelic entities such as Royal Mail release a new set of stamps and miniature sheets with a face value of over £50 (see Blog 908) or that Stamperija and IGPC and others continue to peddle their wares on the new issue stamp market but there are also numerous bogus issues being sold on internet auction websites including some which have the names of Commonwealth countries printed on them. I drew attention to these issues and their characteristics in Blog 905 and I return to the subject having found a series of items for sale on the Delcampe auction site. These have the name of Swaziland printed on them and take the form of 5 "miniature sheets" which are imperforate and are on a subject of no direct relevance to Swaziland itself. The product description is in German and so I have no idea if the true bogus nature is mentioned since I have a scanty knowledge of the language. Regardless, the items depicted below are BOGUS and as such are valueless and should be avoided.









13 comments:

  1. White Knight, you have opened my eyes to an aspect of stamp collecting I had never even considered, bogus/fake stamps. I now look at most round stamp issues with scepticism wondering if they are genuine or not. You mentioned IGPC as a source of these bogus stamps, are you saying that the stamps on their website are bogus? Is it possible to identify these bogus stamps from the Stamperija and IGPC websites?

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    1. Hello again John.

      I'm sorry but I do not describe the products put out by Stamperija or IGPC as being bogus. They are produced and sold by those philatelic agencies as agents of the postal services with which they have contracts. The problem with the products of those 2 agencies are that they are frequently excessive in numbers of issues, irrelevant in subject matter and often not sold directly across Post office counters to the Mail sending public for use on non-Philatelic Post. But they are NOT bogus and are produced legally and, theoretically at least, may be used on mail to indicate pre-payment of postage.

      Bogus issues are those products put out without permission of the postal authorities whose countries' name appears on those products such as the example above where the name of Swaziland has been applied to items with a stamp-like appearance which gives the impression that they are postage stamps of the particular territory whose name is inscribed on them. We may not know who is responsible for producing such illegal items and who is responsible for marketing them. What is certain is that they are produced illegally and unless they are sold with the clear explanation that they are not genuine postage stamps then are clearly being sold fraudulently.

      To answer your specific questions - items featured on the IGPC and Stamperija websites are NOT bogus - they may be undesirable but they are not bogus.

      As I wrote there are a number of bogus items on the Delcampe auction site and these are identified by their crudity, irrelevant subject matter and by the imperforate nature of such items.

      I hope that this clarifies what I had tried to say.

      Best wishes.

      Best wishes.

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  2. Not really White Knight. If anything it seems a little contradictory. I'm not saying that in a negative way, it's just the way it's coming across. If these stamps being issued by Stamperija and IGPC are genuine stamps being issued as the agents of the respective countries, then why do you use the terms "issued" in quotation marks and "name of Commonwealth countries printed on them"? It intimates that they are not genuine. If these two agencies have the authority to release stamps on behalf of the countries they are working for then that makes the stamps genuine and all the information I have gathered in my database regarding these stamps has been deleted for nothing. I think what the real question is, is if these stamps are genuine postage stamps or just collectables. They say ignorance is bliss. It also certainly makes thinks a lot less complicated.

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    1. Dear John,

      Thank you.

      1. Both of the named agencies say that they issue the items in contract with the countries which are named on the items. The issue of the items as a result of a contract with the postal administrations means that the issue of the items by the agencies is completely legal. The items issued by IGPC and Stamperija are therefore not bogus unlike philatelic items produced and sold by ndividuals who do not have a contract with the countries whose names appear on them.

      2. It is indeed more complicated than that. Stamperija always give a date of issue for the products it releases but the question is where are such items issued on those dates.? Lithuania? The philatelic Bureau in the respective country's capital? Across Post office counters in the respective countries? By internet auction site dealers? Is it enough for an item to be sold from abroad to stamp collectors but not to be freely available to users of the postal service of the country whose name is printed on the items? These items may be "stamps" - sticky-backed labels with pictures printed on the front - but their status as "postage stamps" is dubious to say the least when they are not freely available to serve the role of a postage stamp which is to indicate the pre-payment of postage on an item of mail.

      3. Of course we must recognise, as I've written before, that stamps carry out other reasonable duties - commemoration, projection of a national image, increasing revenue to the issuing postal administration and so on but if they are not freely available for their use on ordinary mail then they are not carrying out their fundamental intended role. You get to the very heart of the problem - "... is if these stamps are genuine postage stamps or just collectibles" but I do not feel that "ignorance is bliss" and though that may make things a lot less complicated ignorance may well lead to disappointment and frustration.

      I do not object to collectors spending their money on whatever they wish to buy but collectors should at least be informed about the items which they are buying and then future disappointment can avoided.

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  3. White Knight, I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my posts, it has been a genuine pleasure to converse with someone with your high level of knowledge on the subject of stamps. Your detailed response has led me to make the decision that my collection will only contain 'postage stamps' and not pretty collectables. The trick now comes in identifying which is which :o) I think my main rule of thumb will be, if the stamp seems to have come out of Africa, avoid it! Just my thoughts. Best regards.

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    1. Dear John,
      Thank you for your series of interesting messages which have highlighted the problems new issue collectors experience nowadays. We all want to buy stamps which give us pleasure but quite naturally we don't want to be preyed upon by producers and sellers of stamps or "stamps" which are abusing the trader/customer relationship and taken advantage of our keenness to add interesting and attractive items to our collections at a reasonable price.
      I think there are many items still issued by some African countries which are a great pleasure to add to one's collection and it seems to be a pity to completely exclude them if they are relevant to one's collection.
      Currently there are several Commonwealth countries which issue excellent stamps not in excessive amounts and sometimes very infrequently. These countries are Swaziland (the bogus products such as those I featured recently are easy to distinguish), Namibia, Botswana, Cameroon, Rwanda (no stamps issued since 2010 but a number of obvious bogus issues have been produced), South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya (has issued a couple of very large issues but all strictly locally relevant and freely available in Kenya post offices), Malawi (4 rather large issues in 2016 but locally relevant and again freely sold locally and Zambia hasn't really gone astray in the last few years.
      Uganda seems to have been behaving well in the last couple of years since it dropped Stamperija but Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania continue to allow foreign agencies to release excessive and irrelevant issues on their behalf and such items may or may not be freely available at post offices in those countries (I suspect not). Mozambique seems to be wholly in the grip of Stamperija and on visiting post offices in that country on 2 visits there in recent years I saw none of the Stamperija products being offered for sale (actually the post offices I visited had NO stamps for sale at all!)
      The Gambia may soon rejoin The Commonwealth now it has a new president but it is closely bonded to IGPC unless the new government ended its contract and chose a less exploitative agency.
      Certainly I would not exclude either Namibia or Botswana from my collections - their new issue programmes are conservative but not excessively so and their stamps are often designed beautifully and always of local relevance.
      Best wishes.

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    2. Dear Rob K, Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that the Salvation Army items are relevant to Mozambique but it's difficult to comment favourably on any of these Stamperija-produced products when you consider that this Salvation Army issue is just 4 stamps and 1 min. sheet out of a total of 342 stamps and 107 min sheets which Stamperija says it has issued so far for 2016 in the name of Mozambique and doubtless there are more to come.
      Then there is the question of whether sets with relevant themes will ever actually get put on sale at ordinary post offices in Mozambique for use on mail by the general public.
      I am very interested in your comment about the Mozambique post office authorising the Salvation Army items - theoretically all issues released by Stamperija are authorised by the Mozambique P.O. by virtue of the contract that exists between the P.O. and Stamperija.
      Stamperija does throw in stamps with locally relevant themes from time to time along with issues featuring polar bears, penguins, high speed trains, the exploration of Mars etc etc, none of which seem reasonable subjects to be featured on stamps from Mozambique or The Maldives or The Solomons or Sierra Leone and so on.
      If the Salvation Army set had been one of, say, 6 issues from Mozambique during 2016 I would have been very enthusiastic about it but as 1 of 88 issues so far I am as contemptuous of it as the rest of the stuff that continues to flood on to the market.
      Once more, thank you for your comment.

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    3. White Knight, I take it you specialise in stamps from SA. I wonder if I may trouble you once more. In 2010 a gold foil sheet was issued to commemorate the Joint 2010 SAPOA & FIFA World Cup which was held in SA. The sheet seems to have been issued by FIFA and there is an identical sheet issued for all nine participating SA States. Same stamps, different name imprinted on them. Can you tell me if these are genuine postage stamps or just collectables? And, just to respond to you valid comments on SA stamp issues, you are quite correct and I won't exclude all stamps issued, but will certainly cast a cautionary on them before I buy! Its lucky I only collect round stamps, limits my exposure to pretty collectables masquerading as postage stamps.

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    4. Hello John,
      The sheets issued by some of the territories of SAPOA consisting of 9 stamps on the subject of the hosting of the World Cup in South Africa are entirely genuine. Some are rarer than others. The participating territories - each issued their own sheet and one or two issued additional stamps - were South Africa, Namibia, Mauritius, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Lesotho. It appears that this sheet was the last issue to have been released by Lesotho to date.
      A sheet was also issued which included one stamp from each country. I'm not really clear about the status of this item. It had a limited availabilty at the time the series was issued at a rather high price and, if I remember correctly, I saw it being offered for sale by a very respected British new issue dealer about a year ago along with some items from Mauritius. My memory may not be correct but I seem to recall that it's price was in excess of £100 which I'm sure was perfectly justified.
      So, in summary, each sheetlet is genuine and issued by each respective postal administration. Together they form the Third SAPOA joint issue (with national birds and animals being the previous subjects - not round stamps!) There have been no SAPOA joint issues since.
      Best wishes.

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    5. £100? It's a real shame then that I managed to acquire one of the nine sheets for £10 off eBay. The only problem was the seller decided to save money on the postage and FOLDED the sheet in half!! This, of course, creased the sheet and caused some of the gold leaf to stick together. I had to return it for a refund.

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    6. I think I may not have been quite clear - It was the combined sheet with a stamp from each country included in it which was being offered for sale for more than £100 (if my failing memory recalls correctly) - the sheets from each country are considerably less with some being scarcer than others. I would have to do some homework to be able to say precisely the going price for each one.

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  4. Regarding the recent releases from Mozambique ... I would have thought that you would have commented favourable on the Salvation Army centenary issue, since this at least is very relevant to Mozambique, and I have evidence that the Mozambique post office authorised this issue. I admit the majority of Stamperija output is not relevant, but that issue should stand out, even to someone getting fed up with Stamperija.

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