Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Classical Greece and Antarctica, sidekicks of French philately

During the first 2016 semester, two French keen philatelists proposed conferences at the Collectors Club, the 120 year ols society of New York.


On Wednesday 2 March, Serge Kahn spoke of explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot's first expeditions to the Antarctica at the very beginning of the 20th century. A conference massively illustrated with historic documents, but also mail posted all along the trips at ports of call in the Atlantic, at the countries' post office but British and French abroad offices too.

So a conference that can be of interest for collectors of Spain and Latin America. A question reminded that Britain has centralised archives of Captain Scott's expeditions in Cambridge, that organised philatelic exhibition.


Two weeks later, on Wednesday 16 March, Louis Fanchini made an impressive history and study of the Large Hermes Head stamps, the first of the Kingdom of Greece in October 1861. The French heritage is quite visible and understandable: the Greek order was engraved by the French Désiré-Albert Barre, son of France's first stamp engraver Jacques-Jean Barre, and printed in Paris at first.

It's noteworthy that Fanchini helped make the Wikipedian articles on this series in French and in English as complete as possible for a popular approach.


Both eminent philatelists (both long time elected members of the Académie, Kahn a polar philately judge and stamp show organiser) showed two popular sidekicks of the French philatelists: polar philately and foreign first stamps created in France).

The power point presentations can be read and video accessed from the Conferences page of the Collectors Club's website. Videos can also be found on the Vimeo's Club page: Kahn's here, Fanchini's there.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A trimester commenting Paris-Philex show on SébPhilatélie

Since late May it took place, I wrote and published articles on the collections exhibited at Paris-Philex stamp show, organised as the 2016 French Championship. Here are a short list of topics of these articles in French.

Wednesday 25 May: I'm wrong...
For once, almost without irony... almost, I wondered why philatelic magazines and websites spoke a lot about famous people of the organised philately, scandal of sold out special stamp issues to be speculated now, but not much (never?) about the competition that was the origin of organising the event.
One of the 2016 French national championship's diagonal going to the invasive sponsor and its many special costly issues. Notice the lights on the very high ceiling, please (licence Creative Commons nc-by-sa 3.0 fr).
It seems sadly Paris-Philex follows this trend. So, with my lack of knowledge, modesty of understanding philatelic competition, I tried to comment some collections while still wondering why there aren't much commentary about this sport: how many points? To which categories? Why did the judges underrated this part? etc.

Sunday 12 June: Exhibiting seems so easy.
At first sight, some large gold and gold medal collections are so easy to find during the first walk around the frames. In this first article:
- beautifully presented and smartly written collection on perforated Empire stamps on outgoing mail by Brigitte Abensur;
- the modern philately approach on A3 paper sheet by Marc Gérault who introduced the Marianne by Gandon with vertical pairs out of advertisement booklets;
- or you can force the boundaries of the frame like Laurent Bonnefoy. With a study on a high value definitive stamps of France you may thing it would be sufficient to impress the jury. Non, he found the wrap of a precious parcel between a French bank and the Finnish Revenue in 1907...
A full frame piece of cloth (collection Laurent Bonnefoy) . Underneath another postage for an heavy parcel.
A bad point though: with all the money the French post took out of pigeon pockets, why are the collections not as perfectly illuminated as the traders' booths ?!!

Tuesday 14 June: The award of the best dealer goes to...
Why not awarding traders at a stamp show? Best welcoming and patience (while I really need better knowledge when facing price tags...) AND do not write his prices on the items :)
JF-Stamps of Odense, Denmark (website).

Friday 17 June: looking for exoticism
Let's find new things to impress myself among all these collections.

Four collections about Spain, especially Spanish civil war, from invited Spanish collectors to Juan-José Ara Somohano from Béziers and his two collections, one of whose participated to the Cinderella guest category... In front of it, a philatelic judge was puzzled enough to admit Cinderella study and postal history share a lot in common, just like Cinderella specialist, the late Francis Kiddle advocate these past decades in the United Kingdom.
An example of mixt Daguin in 1934, a good summary of the use of these machines in Chile in my humble opinion (collection Jean-Michel Garaud).
You speak Spanish but Spain's too close? OK, Jean-Michel Garaud proposed Daguin cancellations in Chile.

You long for exoticism but don't want to go as far from the fridge and the television... No problem, instead of local marcophily to the French traditional end date of 1876, Jean-Claude Ferret went down to today's Nemours and La Poste's anonymous cancellation: no more place of cancel, not even a postcode, but a code that's officially a professional secret...

Thursday 23 June: exoticism outside the stamp show
Often stamp show organisers propose tour for non philatelic spouses forced to follow their philatelist. I take advantage being in Paris to discover the Museum at the Porte Dorée, twenty or so minutes by tramway from Paris-Philex.
The façade of the Palace of the Porte Dorée by Alfred Janniot - 1929-1931 - gloryfying the exploitation of the peoples colonised by France, under the principles "free" and "in peace" deeply engraved around the central allegory (picture under licence Creative Commons cc by-nc-nd 3.0 fr - note Janniot died in 1969).
Built as a permanent monument and museum to the glory of the French colonial empire in the thirties, it now hosts a Museum on Immigration in France... What a change! Begun under President Chirac, the project was so debateful on the right side of French politics that President Sarkozy "forgot" to inaugurate it.

A philatelist, a postcard collector or a fiscal one can really enjoy such a museum and the temporary exhibition on borders proposed at the time: horrible commercial postcards showing French and German policemen posing for the photograph expelling Roms at the border, fiscal stamps on visa card of anonymous or famous refugees (Ruldolf Nureyev).

Even an artwork by Cameroonian Barthélémy Toguo reminding that there actual human being behind papers and stamps.

Saturday 9 July: Everything's collectable
What did I hear about the new competitive classes in talks between serious philatelists at traders booths! And all this for one collectable of one open class collection: the mushrooms by Philippe Nadeau. Judge by yourself:
Ah ! Mould on bread... Who never as a child didn't try this small experiment in a plastic box? Collection awarded a large silver (collection Philippe Nadeau, Paris-Philex, mai 2016).
You also got poo from an elephant (along a thick hair and detached piece of skin - no animal was harmed during the creation of this exhibit) by Danielle Jonquet.

But if you carefully read the key of the elements, you discovered there was a serious competitive aspect presented with the element.

For people who are less odorous and more auditive, I can propose Charles de Gaulle's 18 June 1940 broadcast on vinyl disc by Yves Lehmann, a large look-heavy metal plaque in olympic collection of Daniel Hermann, or simply a anti-British propaganda postcard from Nazi Germany in the collection of Gérard Calvi.

Thursday 14 July: Is philately the history of colonisation and globalisation?
With aerophilatelic collections you can wonder a lot.

On how the European powers conquer Africa and then paved their way inside the continent, competing between each, René Maréchal studied the Imperial Airways routes to South Africa and was confronted by Daniel Blanquerin and Air Afrique routes to Madagascar, both starting in 1925 until the end of the 1930s.
What can be appreciated in a competitive exhibition is the variety of introductive pages and overall presentations (René Maréchal on the left and M. Blanquerin right).
The scramble for Africa and Asia created a global space for communication, with mail and telegrams going up and down between the metropole and its colonies. But collectors can discover unusual directions, like Christian Abravanel and its civilian mail from and to Palestine between 1938 and 1945. The most surprising in my eye was a July 1940 envelope from a bank in Jerusalem under British mandate to the Bank of Indochine in Hanoi under French control.

Sometimes these surprising directions are forced by nature. In a classic "maritime cancels on Semeuse", Alexis Cottineau proposed a stamped letter cancel in 1912 by the French Administrator in Kerguelen, the subantarctic archipelago, forwarded by a Norwegian private boat to British South Africa.

Finally, even if these empires and global economy were under European control, we can encounter the wish of the local populations to become independent.

In Égon Habé's collection of "EA" (État algérien / Algerian State) overprints, he showed as an introduction the reactions by French extremist civilians who overprinted "Algérie française" (French Algeria) Marianne de Decaris stamps at a time they fear the government in Paris may open dialogue with the independence movements.

These empires created to bring "civilisation" and "progress" to non European peoples failed then when the indigenous elites asked politely to be treated as free and equal as their colonisers.

To end these tour in the time of empires and globalisation, an encouraging cover who travelled between Rhodes to Tehran in May 1933 between two Jewish men, present in René Maréchal's other collection, Airmail of the Egean Sea in the 1930s. A Jewish Rhodian living under Italian control to a teacher of Alliance Israélite Universelle in Iran, a French educative association who opened schools internationally. It reminds us Jewish (uncomfortably) are a recognised minority in Iran still today, and that airmail companies from three powers carried this letter to destination: Italian to Athens, British to Baghdad via Cairo and Gaza, German to Tehran.

Sunday 14 August: A history of the consequences of war too.
Both World Wars inspired the exhibitors too, especially their philatelic and postal consequences when the fights ended.

In the one-frame class, André Milone circumvented the first four days of the West German currency reform in the French Occupation Zone (Saarland not included, the French franc was in use there, the French governments wishing to annex the industrious region). The Deutsche Mark was established on Sunday 20 June 1948. On Monday morning, new stamps were issued in the regions under French administration.
A 24 June 1948 letter: too late to use these "old pfennig" stamps, hence the postal clerk putting two new stamps (collection Alain Milone, Paris-Philex 2016).
The senders in Bade, Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinat had the possibility to use their remaining Reichsmark stamps for three days at 10% of their face value - the converting rate between RM and DM. Milone's frame chronologically ended with Thursday 24th mail with RM stamps refused as postage, having been demonetised the previous night.

A very colourful collection was Patrice Trzeciak's with covers from West Indies colonies trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean during the Second World War. The study was organised along the routes progressively established as new countries declared war in Europe.

Some collections were about World War One and of interest, especially if confronted with the temporary Borders exhibition at the Porte Dorée Museum. Jean-Luc Flaccus highlighted the city posts in Poland, when some municipalities tried to maintain postal communication while Germany, Austria and Russia were fighting over who got the bigger Empire (perhaps a connection with the size of hands?).

In the fiscal field, Edmond Andrau explained how the parcel paperwork and handstamps became French in a hurry starting December 1918 when the motherland took back Alsace-Lorraine from Germany.

On a side note, I wonder if collectors could improve their collections by adding their bibliography and use sourced maps with key when necessary. Like a student currently working at the National Postal Museum, Washington: "Cite your sources!" like an academic knows how too: it will really help curious readers, fellow researchers and... judges.

Wednesday 17 August: Am I after a stamp show result, a public relation one or is it a question of memory?
Even if there will probably be another article, I try to evaluate Paris-Philex 2016 stamp show. Claude Désarmémien, President of the French Philatelic Associations Federation, is pleased in his editorial of the Summer issue of the FFAP monthly, even if organising a 4 day show in the capital city of the major actors of French organised philately shouldn't have been so difficult.

My main problems were the lack of communication, not the general public at large. Newspaper ads are expensive and the media attention to stamp collecting quite light (the last scandal around a 140-character full of shit or hot air from a politician or a TV-reality star could wipe out any public attention).

I'm wondering why there was only one blog followed almost "live" the stamp show, the professional one of journalist Pierre Jullien on the celebrities and new stamp issues side mainly. Désarménien proposed a picture report some days after the show in the federal website... Report now lost somewhere with no easy to find-it-back link. Not even in a photo galleries section. :(

Almost nothing on the competition and the collections... But one remark on a public usenet forum about Laurent Bonnefoy's frame size entire.

I am not blaming the French philatelists: New York Stamp Show, way bigger in scale, get the same treatment. An Australian example. Shiny rare stamps, meeting friends important to the hobby...

Am I wrong to get interested in the competition backstage? To ask "What's an exhibition?"

But I'm hopeful after my July visit to the Royal Philatelic Society in London: until next 31 October and in conjunction with the First World's Cinderella Congress 16-18 September, the RPSL museum team proposed the late Francis Kiddle collection of British Congress ephemera and his philatelic medals.


Summary of any other Paris-Philex articles on SébPhilatélie will be published in this article. A note in the timely week summary will inform you.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Elizabeth II, Queen of the Netherlands... Yeah, sure.

WTF?!! to summarize my first thought when I saw the last mail from WOPA.

WOPA, the World Online Philatelic Agency, is a Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau's division created 1994 around the British Crown Dependencies and Territory in Europe. Now, 36 postal and philatelic operators sold there at face value their stamps and products to a large international public (website in six languages and apparently 19 currencies accepted).

There are exceptions, but there is a tendency to sold products that doesn't need separating stamps: minisheets, booklets, yearbooks, or already packaged (British presentation packs, first day covers).
Fifty euros! Fifty! (WOPA).
Yesterday, that's the Dutch part of the webshop that provoked a roaring scream: since Tuesday 2 August 2016, PostNL has been selling a stamp for a registered mail (aangetekend) at the price of 49.95 euros or 43.43 pounds sterling...

The excuse: the stamp is made of silver with a small (tiny?) diamond on it. Okay.

The problem: it reproduced a 1950s picture of Queen Elizabeth II... Let's revise the Dutch monarchy: Wilhelmina (1890-1948), Juliana (1948-1980), Beatrix (1980-2013), Willem-Alexander (since 2013)... No Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, etc.
The pipeau (reed pipe) is a music instrument, mostly used by philatelic bureaus as soon as the creation of stamps, because thought to be more efficient on collectors thant postmen's posthorn (West Germany stamp issued 1978, via commons.wikimedia.org).
Worse: nothing on PostNL philatelic website, the CollectClub... sigh.

When you think French collectors raised an eyebrow facing highly oxydable 5 euro Marianne stamps in 2006 et 2008 (issue at Paris Stamp Shows of June). Sport excesses in 2011 (rugby) et 2012 (handball) seem to have end this finally postally useful (though rusting) practise, useful compared to this Dutch monster.

A coincidence made me and the White Knight of the Commonwealth Stamp Opinion have the same discovery and questions while he was writing the Olympic precious metal issues from New Zealand and Australia. He reminds that 50 euros may be a bargain compared to the 125 pound minisheet of Jersey in 2012 (a special edition of the Queen Elizabeth and King George VI aound imperial crown minisheet).

In the context of the Brexit and a certain displeasure towards the European political project, could this stamp be a sign that the Dutch wish to join the Commonwealth? Or is it just a way to find pigeon money.

Friday, August 05, 2016

France in the next Royal London philatelic season

I'm back from holidays through Wales, London and Paris and pleased to read in the mail the 2016-2017 program of the Royal Philatelic Society London.

On the French philatelic side, the main event will happen on the afternoon of Thursday November 24thAcadémie de philatélie
, whose president Robert Abensur just applied to RPSL membership.
French philately and postal history in the Small Library at RPSL's 41 Devonshire Place: this is the part directly available to members and visitors to study. Other volumes are available on demand and found on the RPSL Catalogue. The current magazines and journals are in the Large Library with tea and cookies (picture under Creative Commons licence by-nc-sa 3.0 fr).
On Thursday September 29, Ron Brown will propose a conference on the Channel Islands and islanders during the German occupation 1940-1945: from the postal service in those isles to the mail to and from deported inhabitants in camps in France and Germany.

Rest of the program in another (long?) article on the blog in French because next year the Society will take again a tour of the whole world and times of the past centuries. First example in the summer issue of The London Philatelist: Markand Dave and P.S. Dixit look at the Indian settlements' archives and mail of the Danish East India Company...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week #2016.28 on SébPhilatelie and in Europe

Monday 11 July: European philatelic and postal news.
From my readings of Google News, StampBoards.com, the Commonwealth Stamp Opinion and Norvics blogs, a handful of philatelic and postal news from Western Europe.
Brexit: The current British Home Guard ready to repel the European invasion! (Lonely Planet via The Daily Mail).
How French postal clercks may have jeopardize the British referendum on the European Union by misunderstanding the British postage already paid envelopes, a possible crime of lèse-Prime Minister in the background picture of a commemorative sheet of Jersey, a second Postcrossing issue for Guernsey, the Swiss Post to make gifts to the Swiss people by January 1st 2017, the comeback of Afinsa catalogues of Portugal and colonies (look for Mundifil now), news on Machin stamps' phosphorescence, and how seagulls are a threat against mail carrying.

The SebPhilately Postcrossing Stamp Catalogue was updated accordingly.

Thursday 14 July: Paris-Philex and how philately is the history of Empires and Globalisation.
The seventh article about France Philately Championship at Paris-Philex with some covers illustrating how philately and postal history are linked to the history of colonial empires and the rise of globalisation.
Lettre de Rhodes italienne pour Téhéran en mai 1933 (collection René Maréchal, Paris-Philex 2016).
But, between the conquest of people and their exploitation by big companies, there lies hope of human and sustainable development. And there are old proofs of that: aerophilatelist René Maréchal proposed a collection on the airmail of the Aegean See between 1929 and 1947, when Italy possessed Rhodes and the Dodecane islands.

The cover pictured here was sent from Rhodes on May 1933 to a relative living in Tehran, Persia and working at a school of the Alliance israélite universelle. Four airmail companies of four different countries, allies and ennemies two by two, forwarded the cover to a country where the jewish community is still a recognised minority - despite the difficulties of geopolicy.

Sunday 17 July: Fed up with French politicians.
Again a terrorist attack in France, again a French politician manage to say something... surprising ?
The only stamp I found on this topic: a rocket launcher as one of the weapons of the Cuban Revolution (1965 stamp, series for the Museum of the Révolution., colnet.com).
Henri Guaino regrets that no French soldier with a rocket launcher on his shoulder was present in Nice on the 14th evening... Yes! With a well aimed rocket, the lorry wouldn't have continued his murderous way any longer... And how he dismiss the civilian casualties around the explosion...

I think I begin to be aware of how some people lived the 1930s in France and Britain, watching the dangers growing while their national politicians dismissed them.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Week... A month on SébPhilatélie: mid-June to early July 2016

Job and the traditional arrival of heat on Southern France make writing a tiresome activity. But the blog in French has continued, especially summaries of Paris-Philex stamp show of last May.

Friday 17 June: exoticism at Paris-Philex.
20th century history of Spain inspires French collectors, not always those of Spanish descent, and the invited Spanish collectors, while Jean-Michel Garaud proposed a collection on Daguin cancellations in Chile.

Exotism can happen in the philatelic rule: surprisingly, Jean-Claude Ferret studied the postal history and cancellations of Nemours, France until today... while generally such monographies stopped at 1876 and the third definitive stamp series of France.

Thursday 23 June: museum on the side of Paris-Philex.
As I was in Paris for Paris-Philex, I visited the Museum at the Golden Door (Porte dorée) a dozen tramway stops from the stamp show.
The façade of the Palace of the Porte Dorée by Alfred Janniot - 1929-1931 - illustrated an exploited imperial workforce and the imperial importations, with the fantasy of "Liberty" and "Peace" for all in the central allegory (picture under Creative Commons licence cc by-nc-nd 3.0 fr - reminder: Janniot died 1969).
Originally built and decorated in the 1930s for a colonial pride exhibition, the place between Paris and the Vincennes Forest and lakes continues to house an aquarium and is upstairs dedicated to the history of immigration in France... Yes, a difficult topic nowadays.

And through the main exhibits and the Borders special one, the philatelic visitor can find a lot of stamps, both postal and fiscal, postcards, etc.

Friday 24 June: a late London Olympic stamp in Australia.
Australia Post issued a stamp celebrating walker Jarred Walker's gold meal at London 2012 Olympics. Why so late? Because he was awarded it last March when the winner was convinced of doping.
The Jared Tallent "instant stamp" (Australia Post shop).
Saturday 25 June: French history and exotism in Gibbons Stamp Monthly this summer.
Starting with issue dated July 2016, the British magazine started a French summer with an article on the Battle of the Somme through British military mail and an other one on the stamps of French Congo in the 1900s.

The latter marks the publication of the French colonies catalogue of Stanley Gibbons, now that France and its colonies/overseas are separated.

In August it is promised an article on Tromelin Island, one of the tony Scattered Islands of France around Madagascar, named after the captain who saved a few surviving of the slaves abandoned there by a French crew after their ship sunk there.

Tuesday 28 June: The London Philatelist read as a good old movies night.
The June 2016 issue of the Royal Philatelic Society London's publication reminded me of a classic movie night on 1980s French television.
The post box Main Street of Gibraltar created thank to information given by Richard Garcia (Google Maps, text added with free software Paint.NET).
It opens with a documentary by Richard Garcia on historic post boxes on Main Street, Gibraltar, followed by a teaser for Stockholmia 2019, an exhibition for the 150th birthday of the Society.

The first movie then plays: an Australian western with mail robbery by Brian Peace.

At the entr'acte, Richard Wheatley proposed a 1970 cover from Britain to passengers on a ship at its stop in Chile. The five stamps all bear a catalogued variety!!!

After the announced of a Guide to Postal Stationery in Iraq, let's go to British occupied then administrated Mesopotamia for a detective story by Barry Scott: what are those red markings on early 1920s mail coming from there?

Thursday 30 June: 1000 articles in 9½ year.
A long personal memory on one thousand articles on SébPhilatélie.

Sunday 3 July: By Mörck, a butterfly artist from Sweden to China through Greenland.
This Spring, author and editor Jon Nordstrøm published a rough interview book with engraver Martin Mörck, surely the second most prolific after Czesław Słania.
Why is there a Chinese engraved soldier on the cover? Because philately and Mörck are "in" in the People's Republic (Nordstroms editions via Nordfrim).
The book is heavily illustrated with lots of stamps of course and engraved plates, but with the collections of Mörck! From the first stamp of Norway on maritime covers that circulated between Norwegian ports to Greenlandish local artwork.

A very interesting read, even if the interview could have been put in writing shape, where you understand that the growth of philatelic interest in China is more profound that just bubble market.

Tuesday 5 July: Stampex 1963 Annigoni Hong Kong souvenir.
Found after browsing some boxes at Paris-Philex, this souvenir from the famous London stamp show. It's the second one I got presenting how the colors are printing on a Honk Kong Queen Elizabeth II stamp.
The souvenir distributed at the 10th Stampex London.
The collections by effigy of Queen Elizabeth II are numerous: Wilding, Machin,... and Annigoni from the larger than life royal painting by Pietro Annigoni in 1956 that ended on many stamps and banknotes as collected by StampBoards.com members.


Wednesday 6 July: journalism and La Poste in Brittany.
A very small scandal in the far western region of France: a regional newspaper and a national radio reported the anger of a client of the postal operator. She sent flyers to schools to promote the activities of her theater in Breton association.

But, with the schoolyear end coming quickly, she was asked to translate the flyer because it may be "propaganda"...

If you read a more local newspaper, you discover La Poste's point of view: to have the best postal rate possible, the association was proposed a sending in bulk, more than 400 identical piece of mail towards numerous départements. But to apply, the content should not be illegal or political propaganda.

Much ado about nothing.

Saturday 9 July: open class exibition at Paris-Philex.
At first thought, I don't like to watch thematic, postcard, open class exhibitions... but of course I found some interest in some of those collections at Paris-Philex last May.
The most debated item of the show in Philippe Nadeau's encyclopedic collection on mushrooms: large silver (collection Philippe Nadeau, Paris-Philex, May 2016).
From mould on bread to hair/sking and poo of an elephant (No animal were harmed during the exhibition), the open class collections continued to make many "serious philatelists" grind their teeth when discussing about the little one of the exhibit classes and the most cherished one by the French Federation to catch the attention of new publics.

If the complete collection is read, the whole world is discovered, both on the topic and its philately/postal history. Next to the famous mould on bread, was printed the legend on how the roquefort cheese was accidentally discovered.

Still more useful than some contemporary art I have to watch at the Centre Pompidou, later than Saturday Night of Museum.

Other collectibles used in open class were a vinyle disc, a large Olympic plate, etc.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Week #2016.23 and 24½ on SébPhilatelie: Paris-Philex (2)

After a first glimpse of Paris-Philex (on 25 May), the new French Federation's Parisian show (shorter, cost-effective, better placed), I continue my summaries going to topics seldom written about in the French philatelic publications: the competitive exhibitions.

But there are other topics too.

Monday 6 June: a first day of omelette issue for French Minister of Economy.
In communist stronghold town of Montreuil, East of Paris, French Minister of the Economy Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the 80th anniversary issue of the Front Populaire, the political alliance of 1936 that fought against a rise of fascism in France and helped established social rights at work.
The three first women ministers of France by Ernest Pignon-Ernest (phil-ouest.com).
The problem: Mr. Macron, a young unelected banker by profession and economically very liberal, faced a demonstration by left organisations. A confrontation that ended with an egg on the minister's hair. As reported by journalists, for once present at a first day of issue.

Conclusion: don't forget your eggs the next time you go to a stamp show with too many special costly issues :)

Saturday 11 June: French media in the Pacific Ocean speak about philately.
While Saint-Pierre and Miquelon public radio and television are always evoking philately, early June saw movements in the Pacific French overseas collectivies.
The street art / New York 2016 stamp from French Polynesia (via Tahiti infos).
Polynésie 1ère reported the presence of the French Polynesian philatelic service at World Stamp Show New York, with a commemorative stamps on street art in Tahiti.

In New Caledonia, private television NCI, on June 7th, let Jean-Pierre Bressler from Le Cagou philatelic association present the annual collections show of Noumea. For stamp collectors, the club organised in May-early June a competition to find the new definitive stamp design of the archipelago, figuring the eponym emblem bird.

Sunday 12 June: stricking collections at Paris-Philex.
To try commenting a competition of exhibitions, let's begin with a first article on the most stricking classical collections.

Brigitte Abensur's very classical approach to postal history (Napoléon III stamp on worldwide mail) yet highly accessible to amateurs, the wife of a philatelist and even a moron like me. Gold medal, 91 points and a special prize.

Modern style was Marc Gérault's approach of the 15 francs Marianne by Gandon stamps with A3 sheets and the introduction of the stamps in pairs from advertisment booklets... Nice. Large Vermeil, 87 points, ten points gained in 3 participations.
THE item of Paris-Philex 2016 (collection Laurent Bonnefoy).
Laurent Bonnefoy's full window 1907 letter from a French bank to Finland's Revenue... Window as in philatelic English: one letter = one full frame franked with more than twenty 5 francs Merson stamps.

Gold medal, 90 points... But no special prize. Hopefully it's philately and not football where supporters can confront the referees.

To be continued with other collections put together through my personal points of view.

Tuesday 14 June: Why not a prize for the best dealer at a stamp show?
Why not celebrate the dealers who make efforts to please their clients while taking their money?
Logotype of the Danish merchant (website).
My Paris-Philex 2016 best dealer is JF-Stamps from Odense, Denmark!

First because they know there are other countries in the philatelic world than France and its colonies.

Second and mainly because they DO NOT WRITE the price on the covers!!! But on the protective plastic envelope.

Should the other dealers of the show from France, Germany and other places learn from example, please.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Week #2016.22 on SébPhilatélie

Tuesday 31 May: King George VI and the Battle of Jutland.
The centenary of the 1916 naval battle betweek British and German navies reminded that a young Prince Albert, to become King George VI, participated and saw the battle from afar.
Prince Albert, beginning of the Great War (Royal Archives via the British Royal Family's Facebook page).
From there, I wonder why this monarch has only been a guest in some Royal Mail's stamp issues and hasn't got a huge commemorative.

Wednesday 1st June: the Crawford Library's online!!!
Announced last March by retired British Library curator David Beech, large parts of the Library of James Ludovic Lindsay, Earl of Crawford, can, since last Monday 30 May, be searched and read online through the Global Philatelic Library.

The catalogue of the Library bequeathed to the Nation virtually list all philatelic literature, pamphlet, sales catalogues ever published until 1911. On that 95% are in the Crawford Library at the British Library. From there, 80% were microfilmed in the 1980s-1990s and then digitised these part years.
The catalogue page that shouldn't be missed (screen captude, 1st of June 2016).
Don't forget to check the catalogue page to know what's in there and because there are free bonuses: two supplements of The London Philatelist on the life of Crawford and the conservation of his Library.



The passage from film to digital was possible by a grant of the British Philatelic Fund, the volunteering and the server storage capacity of the Royal Philatelic Society London, that now proposed an introductive video to present itself.

Saturday 4 June: the Palmares of New York 2016.
Today's final day of the World Stamp Show New York 2016 and the palmares was published - but for the Champions Class.
The medal with the show logotype by Niko Courtelis.
Not being able to visit it, I cherry picked into the palmares to create the article:
- How philatelists of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon succeeded (third Large Gold for Jean-Jacques Tillard).
- How does the-postal-history-meets-societies-history class succeeded. Quite well with a Grand Prix International thank you.
- What's at the bottom of the list: certainly not failures!
- From hints by Australian dealer Glen Stephens on StampBoards.com, some collections to check: a Tre Skilling Banco yellow here, a King Edward VIII stamp project there...

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Austria Post got Postcrossing... Warum?!!

Saturday May 21st, the Austrian Postcrossers celebrated the issue of the 24th stamp about the postcard exchange website.
A wall of bricks? (Austrian Post via the Postcrossing blog).
Artist Robert Sabolovic proposed a blurred wall of postcards. Ach! Contemporary art...

#24 (AUT #1) : issuedmis 21 March 2016 by Österreichische Post (Austria), value 0.80 euro. Design by Robert Sabolovic. Printed in offset by Joh. Enschedé Stamps B.V., run of 250 thousands stamps.

The SebPhilately's Postcrossing stamp catalogue always available on the 24 December 2015 up to date post.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week #2016.21 on SébPhilatélie and on the web

Monday 23 May: Frank Walton presents... Sierra Leone.
A huge collection was exhibited by Frank Walton, President of the Royal Philatelic Society London, on Thursday May 19th: non-members of the RPSL are introduced to it through a pdf file ; members can watch the collector filmed the stamp frames' presentations and enjoy the 578 frame ebook online!

Note that the pdf introduction includes a bibliography to help all collectors began the path to West Africa.

Monday again: cancel at the mail centre experimentation in Switzerland.
German speaking newspaper Blick wrote on the postmark collectors' worry of an experimentation by Swiss Post in the Canton of Solothurn. To be sure all mail is cancelled and to save clerck's time, all mail will be cancelled at the mail sorting centres - a method applied in France and the United Kingdom.

The worry is, like in France with the complete disappearance of illustrated flammes, that the illustrated datestamps of many Swiss post offices would no more be available on the demand of senders.

Tuesday 24 May: again a philatelist on Saint Pierre and Miquelon radio station!!!
Who is addicted to the other: the philatelists or the public TV/Radio channels of the French archipelago? Anyway, in Brumes de Capelans, Fabrice Fouchard, current President of the Club philatélique de Saint-Pierre, was invited to speak of his club's activities and projects of all scales and dimensions.
Poster promoting SPM presence at New York Stamp Show (Jean-Jacques Oliviéro for the Club philatélique de Saint-Pierre).
From the slow but decisive growth of the Club on the international philatelic scene to how its members wish to introduce the hobby to any inhabitants of the islands ; or to buy exhibit frames to, perhaps one day, own a Club house open to all.

Wednesday 25 May: First step in my Paris-Philex summary.
I spent a dozen hours or so at Paris-Philex in the scope of three days, adding some Parisian touristicallities outside philately. From my wrongs, I began a summary of this show because many comment on the speculative issues of the French philatelic service, some are completely happy with the shorter and more intimate version of the Federation's Paris show...

But no one comment publicly at lenghth on the philatelic competition, the most interesting part of the show and... the cause of it. I hope to succeed writing at least two articles on the exhibition soon.

Thursday 26 May: introduction to a definitive series of Algeria.
In Algerian newspaper El Watan's weekly chronicle - yes Algerian collectors still enjoy a weekly column in a national newspaper, Arslan Selmane continues to write on the stamps of Algeria since 1962. This week, the Views of Algeria before 1830 series issued 1982 and 1984 can entertain a specialist collector for a long time.

Thursday again: Paris-Philex, Federation President satisfied = Stamp Director must be VERY HAPPY!!!
The President of the French Philatelic Associations Federation posted a first illustrated summary of Paris-Philex : « in the opinion of all, it was a success »... I may not read the same websites or listened to the same people at the show... There were some defaults, perhaps with special unprogrammed speculative costly stamp issues?

But because our national patron and sponsor, the Director of the French philatelic service fulled his coffers: "it was a success" because there will be a Paris-Philex 2018.

If you go read the philatelic program of late May-June 2016, you could be mistaken and believe there are enough stamps to entertain the former 10 day Paris Stamp Show...

Friday 27 May: What am I missing in New York?
A little ballad on the New York 2016 Stamp Show website, particularly the pages listing the exhibited collections. Guests of this article: the five philatelists from Saint Pierre and Miquelon.