Monday, 26 June 2017

1028. 🇸🇬🇮🇲🇬🇧 Cute Singapore Animals; Manx Sheetlet Shocker.

  🇸🇬 Singapore Post will issue a set of 4 stamps titled "baby animals" on 28 June 2017. It is not clear why this set is to be released with its admittedly cute but strange animals depicted on the stamps including a green and yellow puppy but I suppose the stamps are cheerful and pleasant and will brighten up any item of mail to which they have been applied. Nevertheless it's hard to feel excited by this issue. Rating:- **.

  🇮🇲🇬🇧 The Isle Of Man Post Office will issue a bizarre sheetlet on 31 July 2017 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England (of Freemasonry). The sheet is in the format of a "Smilers" sheetlet - 10 stamps with attached labels - but the stamps are not any issued by the Manx Post Office but are Royal Mail England 1st class definitive stamps which "can be used for mailing in the U.K." (but not of course in The Isle Of Man).
  This is a very strange situation in which one postal administration is producing philatelic items containing postage stamps which are those of another "foreign" postal administration and which can not be used for postage in the territory which is issuing the item. I suppose this is a similar situation to what has been happening in recent years when the postal administrations of various islands have allowed stamps to be dispensed from Post and Go kiosks in exhibitions in mainland Britain whereby the dispensed stamps have no postal validity in the country in which they are sold directly to the public though the effect is the opposite of this Isle Of Man sheet (think about it).
  In recent years the Isle Of Man Post Office was allowed to sell its postally non-valid (in England) "Tour de France" sheetlets at a temporary post office in Yorkshire and I suppose that the actual issuing of sheetlets with Royal Mail stamps contained in them is a further extension of the blurring of Royal Mail-Isle Of Man stamp issues and of co-operation between the two entities.
  Of course Isle Of Man Post Office issued a sheet in stamps in 2015 which was made up of stamps from 27 different Commonwealth postal administrations (only one of the stamps was Manx) but presumably it had some local postal validity because of the presence of the single Manx stamp. One assumes that the "Grand Lodge" sheetlet has no postal validity whatsoever in The Isle Of Man.
  But here's the Real Shocker for "Smilers" sheet collectors - the sheet has a total face value of £6.50p but will be sold by The Isle Of Man Post Office for £45 - in a nut shell then we have an item which is not postally valid in the country which is issuing it but which is being sold at a price 690% greater than face value. I think the Manx Philatelic Bureau is "'Avin a larf" at collectors' expense. Rating:- 0.

  The Isle Of Man Post Office are busy little bees, aren't they? Yes, news of another sheetlet. Another sheetlet of 10 stamps with attached labels will be issued on 5 July 2017 to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the holding of the Tynwald ceremony at St. John's and all stamps contained in the sheet are Manx. The premium attached to the sheet is relatively mild compared with the Freemasonry sheet and the item is being offered for sale at £12.50p. Nevertheless it won't be finding its way into my Manx collection. Rating:- 0.
  The 2 stamps featured in the sheetlet are those which appeared in the miniature sheet issued in 2006 to commemorate the Queen's 80th birthday. The new sheetlet contains five of each design.

Friday, 23 June 2017

1027. 🇭🇰 Hong Kong Commemorates 20 Years Of Chinese Sovereignty.

  Hong Kong Post will issue a set of 4 stamps and I miniature sheet on 1 July 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese sovereignty. The set was designed by Shirman Lai and lithographed by Enschede and perforated 14 x 13.5. Rating:- *****.

     On 1 July 2017 Hong Kong Post will also issue a "mini-pane" of 10 x HK$1.70 stamps as a joint issue with China Post and a souvenir sheet will also be released which contains 1 x HK$1.70 and 3 China stamps (values - RMB1.20, 1.20 and 1.50). The issue commemorates the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty and was designed by Hon Bing-wah and lithographed by the Beijing Postage Stamp Printing House and perforated 13. Rating:- **.

  🇮🇲 The Isle Of Man Post Office issued a set of 6 stamps on 20 June 2017 to commemorate the Platinum wedding anniversary of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The designs feature various photographs of the royal couple at various stages of their marriage. The designs are not very original but are generally bright and colourful. Rating:- ***.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 22 June 2017 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Survey of India which is the country's central engineering company charged with mapping and surveying to consolidate the territories of the British East India Company. The British surveyor, Colonel William Lambton, commenced the Great Trigonometry Survey in 1802 and the project lasted 5 decades being completed by Survey General Lieutenant George Everest in 1852. Radhanath Sikdar measured the height of Mount Everest in 1852.
  For such a significant anniversary this is an incredibly uninteresting set of stamps - dull and drab and unimaginative. Rating:- *.

  On the following day, 23 June 2017, India Post released an equally dull and uninteresting single stamp to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Passport Act by the Indian Parliament. Rating:- *.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

1026. 🇲🇾 Batik And Festive Food From Malaysia.

  🇲🇾  Pos Malaysia issued a set of 6 stamps (3 se-tenant pairs) on 20 July 2017 on the subject of Batik. The very attractive set was designed by Reyzal Jasman and KY Lim. Rating:- ****.

  Previously, Pos Malaysia had issued a set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 2 June 2017 as the third part of its ongoing Festive food series this time depicting Malay food. This is an excellent little series and I very much like the food illustrations used in the series. Rating:- ****.

  🇲🇹 MaltaPost issued a commemorative cover with a special stamp plus label affixed to it which commemorated the 10th anniversary of the canonisation of St. George Preca whom Pope John Paul II had dubbed "the Second Apostle of Malta". He was the founder of the Society of Christian Doctrine and was a Third Order Carmelite, being known locally as "Dun Gorg".
  The stamp is the "Map of Malta" greetings stamp with an attached label depicting St. George Preca. This item appears to only be available attached to the cover and not in unused state but is still worth obtaining particularly in view of the low cost of this commemorative item. Rating:- ***.

  🇬🇬  In Blog 1021 I mentioned the set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on the subject of 'Coastal eclipses' which Guernsey Post is planning to release on 19 July 2017. This issue is now illustrated below. The publicity calls it "Costal eclipses", which is something to do with ribs, and which may explain why no coastal scenes appear on the stamps.
  Nor do the eclipses have much to do with Alderney whose name appears in the inscription on the stamps - the featured eclipses illustrated are said to be in Vancouver, Miami, Hamilton (Bermuda), Dakar (Senegal), Saint Anne (Alderney) and Anadyr (Russia). This ill-judged issue, designed by The Potting Shed, is more of a vehicle for a philatelic gimmick than for good design since, if heat is applied to the stamps, the eclipse fills out into a complete "moon" as shown in the illustration of the miniature sheet below. The issue was lithographed by Enschede and perforated 13.5 X 14. Rating:- *.

  The Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau "tweeted" on 22 June 2017 that on that day its "Lighthouses" Post and Go stamps were being dispensed from kiosk GG01 in Smith Street post office with an additional inscription applied which welcomed tourists on board the cruise ship Ventura which was in port that day.

   Back to Pos Malaysia which also issued a sheetlet of 8 stamps (2 each of 4) with attached labels on 20 June 2017 to commemorate Father's Day. It's an amusing item which seems to equate fatherhood with silly moustaches and hats dating back to the mid 20th century - oh, and pipe smoking. What else can you say? Rating:- ***.

  🇸🇱 Stamperija is changing the type of products it's issuing which appears to involve more "stamps" or sheetlets per issue and thus larger potential profits if there's anyone around who is prepared to buy the stuff. Thus we now have sets of 4 stamps but not produced as sheetlets of 4 different stamps but as 6 identical stamps printed in 4 sheetlets, hence anyone who has it in mind to buy sheetlets will be buying 24 stamps instead of 4. Now too another new phenonomen - sheetlets of 8 different stamps! Is Stamperija getting desperate?
  The latest products include a sheetlet of 8 stamps which commemorates someone called Billy Karam 
who is, apparently, the Guinness World Record holder for having the largest collection of model cars and dioramas (so he's someone who really deserves to be depicted on a set of stamps then). Mr Karam is also celebrated with an accompanying miniature sheet. Well done Mr. Karam.
  Oh by the way, the name of Sierra Leone is printed on this and the following items:- 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet sets on the following subjects:- 70th death anniversary of Henry Ford, 165th anniversary of the death of Louis Braille, 190th anniversary of the death of Ludwig van Beethoven, 55th birth anniversary of the late Steve Irwin (naturalist), 95th anniversary of the death of Alexander Graham Bell, 50th anniversary of the publication of Mikhail Bulgakov's ""The Master and Margarita", Commemoration of Pope Francis and the 35th Birthday of The Duke of Cambridge.
The stated date of issue is 30 May 2017. Rating:- 0.

   🇸🇧 Stamperija has also released various products with the name of Solomon Islands printed on them. These revert to the format of sheetlets of 4 different stamps and accompanying miniature sheets on the following subjects - "Ships that never sailed", Butterflies, Lighthouses, Turtles, Orchids, Pandas, Polar bears, Whales, Fish, Tigers, Parrots, Cats and 135th Birth Anniversary of US President Franklin D Roosevelt. These items, stated to have been issued on 15 May 2017, are similar in appearance to all other Stamperija products and it is pointless to waste time adding illustrations of them to this Blog. Rating:- 0.

Monday, 19 June 2017

1025. 🇫🇰 Falkland Islands Commemorates Journal Anniversary.

  🇫🇰 The postal service of Falkland Islands is to issue a set of 4 stamps on 5 July 2017 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Falkland Islands Journal. Each stamp, designed by Bee Design, features one of the covers of the journal. The 31p value depicts the 2010 cover which features a painting of "Pale Maidens" by Gerald Roberts which was in memory of Jane Cameron, the Falkland Islands Government archivist.
  The 76p depicts the 2013 cover which features the Jhelum, a Victorian merchant ship, in a painting by Fred McAdam. The £1.01p stamp depicts the 2014 cover which shows a part of a painting of The Battle of the Falkland Islands by JS Abrahams and the £1.22p stamp depicts the 2016 cover on which is shown a section of a painting of Port Stanley by Tommy Thompson, the Journal's first editor.
  The set was lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. Rating:- *****.
  Thanks to Juliet Warner for supplying the information on this issue.

   🇬🇧 The Royal Mail Post and Go stamps dispensed from kiosk A011 at the Royal Signals Museum from 9 June 2017 to October/November 2017 - the now disbanded Royal Signals White Helmets motorcycle display team. See Blog 1015.

  🇮🇳 India Post issued a single stamp on 18 June 2017 to commemorate Jhala Manna who fought in the Battle of Haldi Ghati in 1576, fought between the Rana of Mewar, Maharana Pratap and the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and saved the life of the Pratap by sacrificing his own life. An interesting historical subject - Rating:- ***.

  🇬🇬 Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau tweeted on 19 June 2017 that Post and Go kiosk GG01 in Smith Street post office was dispensing "Lighthouses" stamps with an additional inscription applied to them which welcomed the passengers on board the cruise ship Caribbean Princess which was docked in Guernsey on that day. This is the third time that GG01 has dispensed labels to commemorate a visit by the Caribbean Princess.