Tuesday, 17 January 2017

903. Spectacular New Zealand Post Issue Depicts The Southern Lights.

  🇳🇿 New Zealand Post will issue a spectacular set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 8 February 2017 on the subject of the Southern Lights. The miniature sheet is printed on a foil to produce the shimmering effect of the lights and the set has been lithographed by Southern Colour Print and lithographed 14 x 14.5. The impressive issue was designed by Jonathan Gray of New Zealand Post. Rating:- *****.

  🇦🇺 🇳🇫 Australia Post issued a set of 2 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 17 January 2017 with the inscription "Norfolk Island Australia" on the subject of Waterfalls of Norfolk Island. This is Australia Post's 2nd issue for the island and was designed by Simone Sarkinofsky and lithographed by RA Printing and perforated 14.5 x 14. A very attractive and interesting issue. Rating:- ****.

 🇦🇺🇨🇽 Australia Post also issued a number of stamps and related philatelic items on 10 January 2017 with the inscription "Christmas Island Australia" to commemorate the Chinese New Year. The issue includes 2 gummed stamps, a gummed miniature sheet, a "zodiac sheet" containing 12 different stamps and a miniature sheet and $25 pack containing 3 miniature sheets (gummed and perforated and lithographed version, digitally printed "real silk" and gummed version as well as a digitally printed and mesh perforated and self-adhesive version on silk-like rayon paper). There is also a $20.95c "Prestige booklet" for good measure.
  The set was designed by Jo Mure from illustrations by Dani Poon and lithographed by RA Printing and perforated 14.5 x 14. Rating:- **.

   🇬🇬 Guernsey Post will issue 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 15 February 2017 as a World Wide Fund For Nature issue which features the Meadow pipit, now an endangered bird in Guernsey. The lovely set was designed by Andrew Robinson and lithographed by Cartor and perforated 13.5. Rating:- *****.

  Guernsey Post will also issue 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 1 February 2017 with the inscription "Alderney" on the subject "1st edition Alderney and Burhou map" which was "created" by the architect Addison "Roger" Warren. The miniature sheet is die-cut to the shape of the island of Alderney and includes a single £3 stamp. The issue was designed by Two Degrees North and lithographed by BDT International Security Printers and perforated 14. Rating:- ****.

  🇲🇾 Pos Malaysia will release a set of 3 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 9 February 2017 to commemorate the centenary of Chung Ling High School in Penang. Because of a holiday in Penang the issue will not be released there until 10 February 2017. Rating:- ***.

  🇸🇱 Stamperija is selling 3 sets of stamps issued during 2016 which are said to have been produced as "a project in co-operation with National Geographic". The countries whose names appear on these items are Niger, Togo and Sierra Leone. The set from Sierra Leone features various species of apes most of which are not found in that country though the photographs used in the designs are very attractive portraits of the creatures. The set is made up of 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet and the stamps identify the photographs as being by "National Geographic Creative Joel Santori". Rating:- 0.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

902. Isle Of Man SOARS - Doesn't Post And Go.

 🇮🇲🇮🇪 Illustrations of the upcoming "variable value" stamps which will be issued by the Isle Of Man postal service (see Blog 878) show that they are similar to An Post's SOAR (stamps on a roll) labels which have been used since 22 July 2010 when 4 stamps from the Irish wildflowers series were sold in that format.
  An Post issued its Irish animals and marine life series on 8 September 2010 and on that date 8 designs from the series were released followed by another 8 designs on 21 July 2011. This issue gave way to the Easter Rising series of 16 stamps which was issued on 21 January 2016 and these were replaced by the issue of 8 new stamps in the "History of Ireland in 100 objects" series which made its debut on 12 January 2017 (see Blog 897).
  It therefore seems that Isle Of Man Post Office's new Variable Value stamps (perhaps we should call them "V.V.s") have nothing to do with Royal Mail/Intelligent AR's Post and Go stamps but originate from the same source as Ireland's SOAR stamps - they are printed by HP Indigo high resolution digital print in strips of 4 by CCL Label Ltd Ireland on Raflatac Thermal P200 paper.
  The designs are very attractive and depict the Trinacria which is the basis of Isle Of Man's arms and national flag in varying interpretations of the traditional and historic emblem. This is the start of a new era in Isle Of Man stamps. Let us hope we do not see numerous issues with additional inscriptions in the future as we have seen coming out of the philatelic services of Jersey, Guernsey and Gibraltar and, of course, Royal Mail itself with their "Post and Go" labels. The Isle Of Man postal service has been wise to choose Ireland's Variable Value stamp format rather than Royal Mail Post and Go types which have been largely discredited by excessive issues. Rating:- *****.

  Post scriptum - 17 January 2017. Now published on Isle Of Man Philatelic Bureau site - the stamps were designed by EJC Design with text by Richard West. The printing is in lithography and the printer is CCL Label Ireland which confirms the above suggestion. The stamps are produced in coils of 600 and 2000.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

901. Death Of Lord Snowdon; Jersey Post's Remaining 2017 Programme.

🇬🇧 The death at the age of 86 of the photographer and brother-in-law of The Queen, Lord Snowdon, has been announced. A photograph taken by him of a Dalek from the BBC television series, Dr. Who, provided one of the very few memorable designs to come out of the truly awful Royal Mail "Millenium" series of stamps issued from 1999 to 2000.
  Lord Snowdon's work has appeared on other British stamps over the years. His photograph of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer was used for the design of the pair of stamps, issued on 29 July 
1981, which commemorated their wedding which brought Diana, Princess Of Wales into the royal family:-

  A Snowdon portrait of The Queen was used on one of a set of 5 stamps issued on 6 February 2002 which commemorated the Golden Jubilee of the Queen's accession to the throne:-

  A new Snowdon photograph was also included in the self-adhesive miniature sheet which was issued on 16 October 2007 to commemorate the Diamond wedding anniversary of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh:-

  Lord Snowdon is worthy of being remembered by stamp collectors for his work which has been used on British stamps and his work will be recalled whenever a stamp collector turns to the relevant pages in his or her album on which these stamps are displayed.

  🇯🇪 in Blog 857 I listed the new issues which Jersey Post plans to release in the first half of 2017. The issues planned for the remainder of 2017 are:-

10 July - 200 years of kaleidoscopes
4 August - Centenary of the First World War, part 4 "War in the air"
1 September - Lillie Langtry
22 September - Links with China, Butterflies
3 October - Centenary of the Jersey Beekeepers' Association 
3 November - Platinum wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh 
20 November - "A Traditional Christmas"
13 September - "Post and Go" labels - Fruits and berries.

  Jersey Post is therefore planning to issue 15 new commemorative or definitive sets during 2017 plus 2 "Post and Go" issues plus other as yet undisclosed products such as Post and Go labels with additional inscriptions and "Commemorative sheets". Collectors will draw their own conclusions as to whether this is reasonable or not. Jersey is really quite a small territory to be putting out so many philatelic products in a single year.

Friday, 13 January 2017

899. Bangladesh Commemorates Its 45th Victory Day


  🇧🇩 The Bangladesh postal service issued a single stamp, 4 stamps in a se-tenant block and an imperforate miniature sheet on 16 December 2016 to commemorate the country's 45th National Victory Day which marks the anniversary of Bangladesh's defeat of Pakistani forces to ensure the independence of Bangladesh.
  The single stamp depicts the country's first prime minister and father figure, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, with the country's 2nd national flag in the background while the other stamps and miniature sheet depict scenes of resistance by the people against the Pakistani forces. An excellent set. Rating:- *****.

 🇸🇬 In Blog 808 I mentioned and illustrated the pair of stamps issued by Singapore Post as its half of a joint issue with Pakistan Post. A "Collectors sheet" was also released and this is now depicted here. Even though it is sold at a price above face value I do like the item. The date of issue was 18 October 2016. Rating:- ***.

🇲🇲 The postal administration of Myanmar has issued its first stamp of 2017 to commemorate the country's 69th Independence Day. A local news report announced that the stamp was put on sale at 781 Region and State post offices on 4 January 2017. This is an interesting single stamp. Rating:- *****.

🇦🇺 Four values from Australia Post's Christmas stamps, in self-adhesive format, were also issued with attached labels as depicted below. Clearly there are some members of the public who may have wished to place personalised stamps on their Christmas mail so they are quite interesting. Rating:- ***.

🇸🇱 And so, as inevitably as Day follows Night, we arrive at this week's paraphilatelic products from Stamperija though pleasingly the philatelic reputation of only one Commonwealth country is dragged through the mud this week (the other willing victims being Niger and Central African Republic) - Sierra Leone. It would be fair to say I suppose that its philatelic reputation was sacrificed as long ago as the 1960's and that Stamperija is only the latest of a string of agencies to take advantage of the country's poverty to use its stamps as a way of making money out of the unfortunate country and those interested in its stamps. Sadly over recent decades, Sierra Leone has had rather more to worry about than its philatelic reputation.
  Anyway, there are the usual 10 "sheetlets", each made up of 4 different "stamps", along with 10 miniature sheets. The subjects featured are:- 50th anniversary of the launching of Luna 10, Nobel Prize winners, Concorde, Horse transport, Space tourism, Birth Centenary of Ferruccio Lambhorghini, 510th anniversary of the death of Christopher Columbus, Death Centenary of Max Immelmann, 50th anniversary of the Toyota Corolla and Steam trains. The stated date of issue was 28 November 2016. Rating:- 0.