Saturday, September 16, 2017

Late August and early September 2017 on SébPhilatélie and in France

Tuesday 22 August: How to inkjet-print cancellations in Malaysia.
Interesting postcard received from Malaysia, sorted 29 June 2017 at the national mail center (Pusat Mel Nasional).

Stamp on fauna of the country and a cancel that be read (thank you Hasbullah and Postcrossing).
The cancel is shaped in the traditional round datestamp and can be read despite behing made of small black inkjet points. A model for British Royal Mail, the United States Postal Service and a few others.

Friday 25 August: Is electronic money the future of India?
After the harsh, surprising and - for many Indians - desperating demonetisation of the two highest banknote denomination last November by Prime Minister Modi. It was followed by weeks of daily problems for consumers, entrepreneurs, rural workers,... facing the lack of currency.
The Reserve Bank of India continues to print notes and issued new ones. Here the new 200 rupee one of late August 2017.
But among solutions found by them and encouraged by the federal government were electronic means of payment, through phones, direct from one bank account to another. To help this transition the governement proposed to use the Aadhaar, equivalent of the national social security number in many countries such as France, unique to a person from his birth onwards.

However the Supreme Court advices against this last point for fear that the right for privacy couldn't be respected: administrations being able to investigate people thank to the Aadhaar.

To be continued...

Saturday 2 September: To pay more to get the actual stamps of France?
After better looking and complete reissue of stamps at Paris-Philex exhibition in May 2016, I think the French philatelic service will again do it on the week-end of the 23rsd of September.
While the educative animated series has a lot of appeal, La Poste chose cinema pre-filming prep... (via
For the 30th anniversary of the TV educative series Il était une fois... la vie (Once upon a time... was life) by Albert Barillé and, in 2018, the 40th of Il était une fois... l'homme, one stamp will be issued... not very connected to the series themselves but for three of their characters.

Entitled Hello Maestro! the stamp is in fact a commercial for the website established a few years ago from these series.

Do you wish to get stamps with the characters in action, explaining how the body works ( vie) or the history of mankind (... l'homme)?

You'd have to buy the 9.80 euro collector (prepersonalised) booklet, meaning 2.50 euro above the postage value of the stamps.

Sunday 10 September: Initiation on recognising fraudulent stamp in Gibbons Stamp Monthly.
The September 2017 issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly proposed three articles on false stamps: from pioneer Edward Loines Pemberton's writings told by Michael Peach to a tsunami of current Machin  definitives by Edward Klempka, through the Empire during King George V's reign with Dickon Pollard from Murray Payne dealership.

Wednesday 13 September: speaking of French reissue policy...
Finally and officially the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2024 Summer Olympic Games to Paris. The French post being a sponsor, a commemorative stamp was already issued last May 2017.

To mark the final honor around a fifth of that stamp printing was overprinted in blue with an Eiffel Tower, the cathedral of Lima (where the IOC Congress too place), the name of Lima and the date.

Hurry and dip deep: these stamps will be sold by complete sheet, only in actual places and for two weeks...

Again a speculation debate to come?

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Weeks #2017.32 and 33 on SébPhilatélie

Monday 7 August: Should a stamp be altered to gain value?
A philatelic philosophic question that encompass traditional to today's commercial philately: should a stamp be altered to gain value?
Uncancelled and unfolded or folded on cover? How would you collect such a stamp? (Correos website).
Thoughts from many examples that make philately more famous than miles of new or cancelled stamp albums: from the alleged burning of the second known One Cent Guyana to the Spanish origami stamp of July 2017, and remembering many flowering-able stamps.

Saturday 12 August: No holidays for the French philatelic service.
Once upon a recent time Phil@poste, the French philatelic service, never issued stamps in August and was light with one or two touristic stamps in July.
The « sweet bitter intensity of chocolate », one of the 12 stamps by Cécile Gambini for The Taste booklet, issued Saturday 5 August 2017 (via
This year a complete illustrated adhesive booklet was issued the first weekend of August and the first day of issue of Le Havre's 500th anniversary stamp happened past Thursday the 31st.

Hopefully other news happened in French Philately outside new stamps: French young philatelists gathered medals at the international exhibition in Bandung, Indonesia.

Tuesday 15 August: French and communists pastimes for British collectors.
Did you know The Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies edits stamp games to discover foreign language vocabulary?

The board of the stamp game in French createed by StampIT of The Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies.
This Summer its Youth Development - Stamp ID section added the French edition, joining Japanese and Spanish. The Language of Stamps board games can be freely downloaded and print-it-yourself on the ASPS website or solid games can be ordered.

In London from 17 October to March 2018 the British Museum will exhibit the communist part of its collection of banknotes. An interesting exercice to see how communist states have illustratede their ideals to the public.

This 1975 banknote of Somalia pictured all the roles a Somali woman should do: exhausting totalitarian multitasking or opening them the world? (British Museum via The Guardian).
The collections of the British Museum are a wonder thank to generations of curators and donators. It even includes postcards sent or bought by them like this Guardian article reminded last year. As for the banknotes the curator explained the differences for historians between the country and population as they are pictured on cards and as they eventually were.

Thursday 17 August: The 2017-2018 RPSL program.
The program of Thurday exhibitions and conferences was published on The Royal Philatelic Society London website.

The touch of the new President Patrick Maselis is quite visible, an interest in Belgium, Africa and Monaco, along established customs to invite other Societies to present their members' collections, from German postal historians to the philatelic academy of Russia.

First event, Thursday 14 September: The West Indies from the Queen's Royal Philatelic Collection, presented by its Keeper Michael Sefi.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Weeks #2017.31 on SébPhilatélie

Monday 31 July: Some news from philatelic societies.
The Royal Hispanic Philatelic Academy is publishing a special issue of his journal to mark its 40th anniversary.

On Thursday 27 July The Royal Philatelic Society London celebrated its library volunteers and employees with a special exhibition from their collections.

On Friday 28 July The Postal Museum finally opened in London, but know that the Mail Rail, the exhibition and travel through the former Post Office underground train will only be opened to the general public in September. Seems reservation for Mail Rail would be prudent.

In the middle of summer the New Zealand post office announced the Children's Health stamp series is discontinued due to sales being insufficient to donate enough to Stand ; 2016 would be the last one of a now complete collection.
The Swiss Postcrossing stamps (Postcrossing blog, 28 July 2017).
On 7 September the Swiss Post will issue three stamps - one per rate - about Postcrossing, the postcard blind exchange postcard website. Max Spring designed the humorous labels.

Friday 4 August: Being postal with Charles Bukowski.
Summer reading: Post Office by United States author Charles Bukowski who wrote quasi autobiography in some of his novels.

As it happened Bukowski, a free spirited man - spirit as the fumes of some beverages... -, was a postman and after a period of successful horse racing betting, a postal clerk sorting envelopes. Despite a reasonable efficiencies he wrote how some of the rules and regulations were alienating the staff.

A reflexion on inhumane modern fordism? Or an ode to laziness and easy pleasures?

Sunday 6 August: "175 proven stamp exhibiting tips" by Steven Zwillinger.
Another summer reading, but incomplete because of the nature of the book, this will guide a potential philatelic exhibitor into the preparation and the competition, hopefully, on "the path to gold".
The cover of The Path to Gold (American Association of Philatelic Exhibition website).
The very interesting and thought-inducing book by Steven Zwillinger was published 2016 by the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and compiled his chronics he wrote for The Stamp Dealer & Collector from 2009 to 2016, and the publications of the AAPE.

From a detailed example of a synopsis (the text provided by the exhibitor to the jury) to etymologicly iconoclast ideas... or simply reminders that one should enjoy oneself's and the public's when exhibiting.

After I wrote my article on SébPhilatélie, I found that Steven Zwillinger was awarded a large silver medal for this book at the international exhibition in Bandung, Indonesia this August and was elected President of the American Philatelic Research Board of Trustess, which pilot the American Philatelic Society's Library in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Weeks #2017.29 and 30 on SébPhilatélie

Tuesday 18 July: Latin America specialist Brian Moorhouse passed away.
On Saturday 15 July Brian Moorhouse died. He was a British dealer, expert and philatelist specialised in the Latin American continent and the Caribbean from the 19th century to the 1940s.

Christopher Colombus, the appropriate logotype of Brian Moorhouse's web shop.

Saturday 22 July: On new stamps of France: sculptures and gastron... Mediterranean nature.
A personal view on two issues - the EuroMed Postal of July and the Auguste Rodin commemorative of September - compared to former issues of France on the same topics or how Jersey Stamps treated nature through the bicentenary of the kaleidoscope.

Monday 24 July: Two articles on the economic margins of France.
Two articles in French were recently published on the web.

On Sunday 23 July, on La Marcophilie navale blogJean-Michel Bergougniou told the two first fishing campaigns (1981-1982) around the Kerguelen Islands, in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, through mail and stamps.

The context was the tensions between French fishing companies, Newfoundland and Norway. The austral summer 1980-1981 campaign studied and experimented the zone. The next one brought back fish. For example the reader can follow Zélande 2 from France to the Austral Ocean via the Suez Canal.
A 25 rouble specimen sold in 2016 on website.

On Numismag, a coin and banknote collection news website, research articles are proposed too. Since Wednesday 19 July you can learn about the unissued Russian rouble banknotes of the Banque de l'Indo-Chine written after the author consulted the bank's archives, now in possession of Crédit agricole SA.

After the First World War Central and Eastern European countries were a geopolitical mess. In Siberia - the Asian parts of Russia - too: the British and French were helping the fight against the Bolcheviks... And it wasn't beautiful: French general Maurice Janin was sent to command the Czeckoslavak Legion that was in Russia at the time... and it seems it ended participating in the demise of a White Russian leader in Omsk.

Money was a problem in Civil War Russia: Imperial roubles still printed by the Bolcheviks were competing in the hands of the people with the Kerenski overturned government new roubles... In Omsk the White Russian authority was considering a sovereign issue of notes.

Like the British in Arkhangelsk, the French government wished to reassure the population with whom their military would have to trade. The Banque de l'Indo-Chine was ordered to open an agency in Vladivostock and issue banknotes in rouble, exchangeable in French francs (1 rouble for 60 centimes).

In 1919 the American Banknote Company was ordered to design and print the notes. But the military and political contingencies in Omsk delayed their issue. In the end they were destroyed in May 1920 in New York... but for specimen series that have been circulating on the market or that are stored in the Banque de l'Indo-Chine archives.

Thursday 27 July: Pre-UPU mail travel with James Van der Linden.
Thank to Vaccari bookshop I succeeded to find Belgian postal historian James Van der Linden's book - or collection - entitled Four Important Exchange Offices, published by La Marque postale in 2016.

The four main centers of the 19th century postal networks progressively established by European posts were, from West to East, Panama, Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), Trieste and Suez.

Collectors will enjoy the 80 letters, postal historians the explanation on rates and marks, the curious one - me - the text putting all this in context.

Thanks to the author to help me on my slow way on 19th century postal history.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Weeks #2017.27 and 28 on SébPhilatélie

Saturday 8 July: Difficulties with fiscal stamps for Malians in Algeria.
On 21 April 2017 news website published a plea from Malian citizens living and working in neighbouring Algeria.
A 500 CFA franc fiscal stamp of Mali (via

The Embassy in Algiers hadn't had stamps for months and its personnel refused to explain the causes, while Algiers and Bamako are weekly connected by flights.

Tuesday 11 July: A philatelic month.
With my recent dive in Tweeter to discover the social network tool, here are some news I gathered there.

In London:
At the general assembly on Thursday 22 June,  members of the Royal Philatelic Society London elected Belgian postal historian Patrick Maselis as its new President. ont élu le Belge Patrick Maselis président de l'association londonienne.

Already President of the Club of Monte Carlo which organised Monacophil and of the Royal Academy of Philately of Belgium, whose website proposed a complete biography.

Collectors of Belgian personalised stamps who are members of the RPSL will be thrilled :)

In Oaxaca, Mexico:
The MUFI (its Twitter account) celebrated its birthday at the same time as the philatelic exhibition on the seas and their fauna. Medias and institutions of Oaxaca broadcasted both events.

Saturday 1st July, Lisbeth Mejla of newspaper El Impartial reported her visit of the museum's library, rich with studies by Mexican philatelists and old editions of famous catalogues.

And since Friday 7, Fundation Alfredo Harp Helú is proposing a video about the museum, its permanent collections, its activities for the children, its library.

In Algeria:
Thursday 6 July, in his weekly philatelic column in El Watan, Arslan Selmane wrote down his questions about the last commemorative minisheet by the Algerian Post. It is issued the same week end alongside its five separate stamps about Algerian battles against the French invasion, occupation and colonisation of the country from 1830 to 1962.
The questionable minisheet, issued Saturday 8 July 2017 (via the forum PhilatélieDz).
To summarize: apart from difficult-to-watch paintings on stamps, how will thematical philatelist exhibit the minisheet whereas there are events of two different periods, a variety of locations and war actors and strategies.

Selmane is continuing his enlighted criticism of Algeria's 2017 stamp program, in which minisheets are numerous.

French medias haven't seemed to notice the issue... Surely a good thing for public appeasement. Not for a serious look on French history, and for philately.

The final part of the article in French are proposition of magazines for the Summer, including for parents (and grand-parents) how to manage video games with their children.

Friday 14 July: a 12th Indonesia birthday for Postcrossing.
Bastille Day is Postcrossing Day too!

The 3 Indonesian stamps: travel through postcards with open computer windows to the world (1) of monuments (2) and cultures (3).
The written postcard exchange website is honored by the Indonesian post with a triptyc because a Postcrossing event will be organised during the international exhibition in Bandung (3-7 August).

Of course The Sebphilately Postcrossing catalogue was updated accordingly.

Saturday 15 July: a new stamp for Liverpool.
In his latest issue on contemporary architecture Royal Mail added one stamp about the city of Liverpool, one of the specialities of Séb.
The new façade of the Everyman Theater in Liverpool... If the picture went more to the left, another architecture marvel would appear, but it was already put on a stamp in 1969 (Royal Mail).

The Everyman Theater, opened 1964, was completely rebuilt between 2011 and 2014. Its new front presents pictures of Liverpuldians.

The theater is located on the northern part of Hope Street, a touristic promenade of Liverpool by itself. You will find the two cathedrals at both ends (the Anglican to the South, the Catholic next to the Everyman), sculptures and many important place of concerts and plays, including musical pubs.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week #2007.26 on SébPhilatélie

Monday 26 June 2017: Jersey adds King George VI to the "Radiowave War" topic.
If you read French historians Alain Croix and Didier Guyvarc'h's research on stamps and the two world wars (here is a summary published on this blog), you know that some topics are philatelically more popular than others.

Concerning the role of media in these wars, they were surprised that the radio broadcasts were very rarely pictured, but for Charles de Gaulle and his Appeal of 18 June 1940.
The £2 minisheet that completes the 6 Jersey stamp series on King George VI, mostly an issue about the King of War.
That's why I consider noteworthy a recent issue of Jersey:  one stamp and the minisheet remind the role of radio broadcast during the reign of King George VI.

The movie The King's Speech popularised the story of the duke who became king against his will and speech handicap, but succeeded to dominate it. One proof was the speech the King gave on September 3rd when Britain entered in the war, whose official picture is reproduced on the minisheet.

La Guerre des ondes - the radiowave war - is the French expression for the propaganda conflict through the radio broadcast. Mainly the BBC-supported shows performed by many governments in exile facing the Nazi German allies' radio. For the French listeners it was between La France aux Français in London versus Radio Paris. A 2014 telefilm by Laurent Jaoui for France 3 told the violent words exchanged by Free French humorist Pierre Dac and Vichy Minister of Information Philippe Henriot.

Wednesday 28 June 2017: commercial designers Pieter Huveneers passed away at 92.
Born in the Netherlands in 1925, living in Australia since the sixties until he died 14 June 2017, Pieter Huveneers was important on postal matters, having worked for the British Post Office promotional campaigns in the fifties.

Internal campaign of 1952, encouraging British postmen to urgently deliver telegrams (British Postal Museum & Archive blog, archive POST 110/1611, IRP 056).
Although his posters are renowned, Huveneers thought campaigns as a whole process, encouraging the companies to send one of their employees at his studio, so that the spirit of the campaign be continued after the end of his task.

In Australia he designed the logotype of Australia Post in 1975, still in use today.

Saturday 1 July: Luxembourg forgot its identity between wish to please superpowers.
On Thurday 29 June German monthly Deutsche Briefmarken-Zeitung announced that Post Luxembourg was taking out of sale the Europa two stamps issued on 9 May.
The castle of Dommeldange, seat of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Luxembourg (Post Luxembourg).
The cause: the name of the issuing country was forgotten between designer Ben Carter, an Englishman living in the Grand-Duchy, and the Belgian Post printing plant in Malines, without the Luxembourgian philatelic service noticing...

New stamp design in the age of low mail writing...
The castle of Beggen, seat of the Embassy of the Federation of Russia in Luxembourg, rented in 1956, bought in 1973 (Post Luxembourg).
In the article in French I made fun of the wish of the fiscal paradise made in the European Union to become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China or a subject of the Federation of Russia.

It could make sense in the world policy context of our days and that the only signs of sovereignty on the stamps were the Chinese communist and the Russian flags.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Weeks #2017.25 on SébPhilatélie

What was on this blog in French late June?

Monday 19 June: Satirical responses to Donald Trump Presidency.
How to protest against Donald Trump (and the most conservative members of the Republican Party) and convince opponents to react and GOP supporters to think again?
The label shown as example by its creator (
Three solutions happened late June 2017: TV channel Comedy Central's satirical The Daily Show entertained New Yorkers with a temporary museum between Friday 16 to Sunday 18, just opposite the famous Trump Tower:

that still can be visited on this 3D website.

Even  former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, decided to go satirical and has been filming youTube videos to educate his presidential colleague beyond the wall how to behave as a chief of State: 24 May, 7 June and 28 June. Enjoy.

Finally a simple citizen created a website,, to sell cinderella stamps with the likeness of Trump and classic U.S. stamp ornament, valued "0 cents" that English-speaking members of StampBoards forum read "no sense". The designer tells that his inspiration came from browsing his late father's collection.

Wednesday 21 June: New postage marks and service for periodics in France.
Not very popular among collectors, but still postal marks and services: the postage paid marks directly printed on envelopes or plastic bags wrapping printed newspapers, magazines and other periodicals sent to subscribers.
New (left) and former (right) marks for the press sent through the postal system (screen capture of La Poste's dedicated website).
With a video game bimonthly - and ironical - magazine issue of mid-June, I discover the new marks by the French post. The illustration above present more understantable service mark: P1 for the uurgent press of the day, and so on P2, P4 and P7 depending on the need for the publication to be delivered with haste and depending on the cost.

The four new logotype replaced the three colour former: red, black and green.

The "Publissimo" (Pmo) marks are updated to in the same way and are for periodical publications that are not members of the Press Commission that negociates with State the help of press diffusion.

Thursday 22 June: New definitive series in Ukraine.
Betweenn Saturday 10 and Tuesday 20 June Ukrposhta issued the first eight stamps of Ukraine's ninth definitive series: Arms of municipalities, towns and villages.

I thank the blog Мой почтовый мир / My postal world for his webmaster's work to publish the new issues of Ukraine (among others).

Ukrposhta published an envelope for the new series' first day of use with a map locating the cities/villages and their oblasts (via My postal world, 10 June 2017).
Designed by Natalia Andreichenko following the recommendations of Andrey Grechilo, President of the Ukrainian Heraldry Society, the 8 stamps illustrate the arms of Chop (Zakarpattya), Klesov (Rivne), Nizhyn (Chernigov), Shatsk (Volyn), and villages of Marinin (Rivne) et Parutino (Mykolaiv).

Six here because the last two are remarkable because of the relations between Ukraine and Russia. But first, here is a list of the letter codes for the postal rates:
From a mail by Ukrposhta (via StampBoards).
The two stamps are from territories currently disputed between Ukraine on one side, Russia or Russian-[choose your opinion]ed independentist groups on the other.
Yalta, first stamp issued in this series, "V" for the interior basic letter (via My postal world, 10 June 2017).
Since the events of early 2014 the "Euromaidan protest"-inspired governments of Ukraine are facing the de facto integration of Crimea and Sebastopol into the Federation of Russia. So the issue of the Yalta stamp... The stamp will appear on many envelopes inside the country, the message is clear: Crimea is Ukrainian.

A traditional role for a stamp: to reinforce sovereignty... as Russia has been doing with stamps about Crimean places since 2014.
Arms of Yenakiieve (via My postal world, 21 June 2017).
The other troublesome stamp was issued Tuesday 20 June bearing the arms of Yenakiieve, in the oblast of Donetsk and the industrial region of Donbass, où deux groupes pro-russes revendiquent l'indépendance et sont en guerre civile contre l'État ukrainien.

Since the first fights in April 2014 this city is under the control of the separatists of the People's Republic of Donetsk while part of its suburbs were retaken by the Ukrainian army.

One question: how is the postal system working in Donbass?

Saturday 24 June: Even video games heroes receive postcards.
Just Cause 3 isn't an intellectual reflective video games - sure those kinds of games exist: read Canard PC - but the Swedish studio Avalanche allows its hero the capacity to read.
Introductive video of the game - the only seconds without gun and cannon shots? - during which the hero reads again his cousin's postcard that decided him to go back to its archipelago country in the Mediterranean Sea (via Fl0GaminG video on youTube, 5 December 2015).
In the Just Cause series the player must violently disrupt a dictatorial régime by killing soldiers, destroying strategic and military assets. When enough "chaos points" have been earned, he/she can perform special missions to advance into the story and towards the dismissal of the leader.

The third episode is special because the Agency accepts to send the hero to his country of birth, a Mediterranean archipelago under a military ruler, inspired by interwar fascism and many regional (both European and Arabic) military dictators.

How did he know he should come back and fight?

His cousin sent him a postcard with the dictator as main illustration of both the card and the postage stamp.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Two French academics study world wars on stamps

Late 2016 two French historians of Rennes, Alain Croix and Didier Guyvarc'h, published a study on the depiction of both world wars on stamps since 1914: Timbres en guerre. Les mémoires des deux conflits mondiaux [Stamps at war. The memories of both world conflicts].

In their introduction and their methodological first chapter, they explained how little historians had used postage stamps to study how governments, postal administrations, and even collectors considering the commercial trend of issues, have commemorated the Great War and World War 2.

Both author are stamp collectors but it's refreshing to read the current issuance policies in simple words and these policies be considered on how they impact war commemorative stamps: to sell collectibles to collectors and no more to sell a postage proof.
The book cover:  (Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016).

Chapters 2 to 4 told the chronological stories of the stamps issued. The stamps from 1914 to 1945 are divided in 3 parts: the time of apprenticeship during the Great War ; the stamps illustrating the past war... or the dreaded war (to come?) after 1918 ; and finally how stamps became fully part of the propaganda machines.

Chapter 3 expands on what the countries and posts wished their national and international public to remember of the two wars during the Cold War. Chapter 4 starting 1989 describes the evolution between pedagogy (the "memory duty" / devoir de mémoire in French) facing misuse of history and stamps in some countries and on some topics.

Chapters 5 and 6 are topical synthesis. Croix and Guyvarc'h summarize the common element and main evolution of their subject, highlighting further some countries and problems of stamp illustrations evoked in the chronological chapters.

I try to summarize some of them, that may inspire philatelists in their collection.
Mais, et Hiroshima et Nagasaki ? Pas aux États-Unis pour l'émission du cinquantenaire de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Peut-être aux Marshall... (via
All issuing countries are evoked, at least by groups. Post-independence African countries haven't been interested in these topics. Contrary to Marshall Islands, an associated state of the U.S.. The Marshall issue are one of many commercial opportunities to sell to thematical collectors, but Croix and Guywarc'h compare its issues to the United States Postal Service's. Politically what could the USPS put on its stamps when facing the U.S. politicians, veterans' associations and the public's modesty?
The Weapons of Victory, a long-lived stamp series in Russia. Here the 2009 example.
Eastern European issuing policies were diverse and explain how divided was the Communist Block after the death of Stalin in 1953. The German Democratic Republic illustrated as many Nazi German massacres as possible whereas West Germany's first stamp on WW2 was 1955 to rememorate the exodus of Germans from East European countries. Poland insisted on the population's heroism and martyrdom, trying subtely to distance the country from the Soviet Union. The latter have been insisting on the October Revolution (1917) and the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), putting even weaponry and medals on stamps.

The authors consider the genocide of the Jew to be ill-illustrated since 1945. A first criticism is common to many topic: a stamp can be about this tragedy but the reader of the stamp needs to have culture to understand it. Either the stamp depicts a person without any illustration of its life and death, or the subject is treated with highly allegorical symbolism (the 1995 Europa stamps are quoting as examples of this problem).
One of the book's example of WW2 or not stamp: Honoring the Woman or very discretly celebrating a French communist resistant who died in a concentration camp? (via
Exceptions exist of course: explicit stamps of Israel, stricking Austria's Niemals vergessen [Never forget] series of 1946, and the distance many Anglo-Saxon countries put between the wars and their stamps until recently - but for the Australian and New Zealand exceptions since Gallipoli in 1915-1916.

The two historians are astounished by the 3rd anniversary of the liberation of the Channel Islands: the gathering of vraic... in the same "back to daily life" way as the British 1946 Victory issue. Seems a tradition when Newfoundland marks its soldiers' sacrifice at the Ypres by "The Trail of the caribou" stamp in 1916. To compare with the graph showing the millions of stamps printed by France for Charles de Gaulle, the last four Marshalls (especially Leclerc), numerous members of the Free French and resistant movements, and the symbolic commemoration of war and deportation.
Radio at war issued in Jersey May 2017: finally a stamp to avoid the repetitive issue of the Appeal of 18 June. King George VI after the radiobroadcast speech of 3 September 1939 (read on SébPhilatélie).
Towards the end of the book media are evoked: the actors of those wars created texts, pictures, films, radio shows and stamps. The author studied how, more and more, stamps are reproducing these documents: war posters, Raising of Flag on Iwo Jima and Raising a Flag over the Reichstag photographs for example. Movies seem present, but more difficult to stamped while the role of radio in WW2 is almost invisible but for Charles de Gaulle's Appeal of 18 June 1940 in France and wherever the French stateman is celebrated. [a Jersey 2017 issue helps add a new stamp on this topic]

In conclusion, firstly: this book is fascinating for people used to study traces of the past as documents. Who decided the issue? Why this issue? What artist? What image? How many printed? What postage rate: a common one for every one to remember or a seldom use one...?

Secondly: the author succeeded partly in their global history of World War stamps. Global history is a way to study and compare different points of view of the same events. For example to study 15th century European discoveries from the African, American and Asian peoples' perspectives. Concerning the differences of depth by countries, they admitted the lack of language skills and access to postal archives to perform to every country what they did with the French Heroes of Resistance series.

A must-read that list in the bibliography and notes many philatelic books and articles, and other academics stamp studies all over the world.
The Battle of Verdun, one hundred years later, by Maël and engraved by Elsa Catelin (via
Especially to reflect on the on-going issues: yesterday evening, Thursday 30 June 2017, La Poste presented the best 2016 issues of France after a public survey on the web. In the category of "commemorative single stamp", the centenary of the Battle of Verdun was chosen.

Alain Croix and Didier Guyvarc'h, Timbres en guerre. Les mémoires des deux conflits mondiaux, ed. Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016, 214 pages ; ISBN 978-2-7535-5135-0 ; 29 euros. PUR webpage.

Final little criticism: an index by country would have been a very practical idea. Readers, prepare your bookmarks.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Week #2017.24 on SébPhilatélie

That week between 12 and 18 June 2017, nobody on the old continent can keep his eyes shut: Summer was here. And Winter was but a long-forgotten legend only the eldest spoke with glee to sceptical children who preferred to break open the fire hydrant in the burning streets of the capital...

Yes, I shouldn't bingewatch Game of Thrones during heatwave episodes :)

Monday 12 June: What's this stamp's message?!
Considering my two decade long career as French voter, I am still puzzled by the message of this stamp designed by Louis Briat in 1995.
Louis Briat's National Assembly stamp, issued 15 May 1995 (via
It commemorated the bicentenary of the Directoire decree that decided the Council of Five-Hundred, the new lower chamber of the First Republic, be hosted in the Bourbon Palace, where the National Assembly sit to this day. Another stamp in 1998 marks the effective installation in the building in 1798.

But the meaning of the symbols... decided by the artist... ordered or accepted by the political and postal authorities...?

After two decades of political despair in front of my democracy, I concluded that the nightly blue palace kept Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People prisoner of the political elite.

Now, under the current Macronmania, I'm thinking that the People entered the sleepy palace to set the old political world ablaze... Not very Emmanuel Macron that idea... Is it a premonition of what would happen if he failed considering some of the new deputies: Le Pen and Mélenchon.

Tuesday 13 June: No stamp at the Oaxaca post office. What of the Museum?
I receive a holiday postcard from Oaxaca, Mexico. The sender was sad that no postage stamp was available at the post office of this city, famous for precolombian archeological settlements.
A Mexican counter label, 12 April 2017. The postcode 68001 corresponds to the current set of codes for Oaxaca city and state (thank you Sophie).
At least, it makes me get interested in the MUFI, the Museum of Philately, located in Oaxaca. Its website and Twitter account are quiet interesting to browse and follow.
Will this little fish stand still in his stamp? (MUFI's Twitter page, June 2017).
For example, yesterday Friday 23, the MUFI opened an exhibition on water and the sealife, displaying stamps of fishes like in an aquarium. And collectors of missing colors would like the little animation the MUFI team published with a Singapore 1960s error.

Wednesday 14 June: Uninspired stamps of France...
The article in French is the evil kin of the one published the same day in English.

While touristic stamps of France are often wonderful, inspired and sometimes looks innovative in treatment, commemorative anniversary are sometimes dull.

Why engraved a phi letter in the hand of a Queen of France? Fun with or against collectors? Or, I wish, an angry gesture by an engraver fed up by adding this stupid symbol on all commemorative stamps of France since 2010? I'm afraid the answer will be the former.

The main part of the article are about the centenary of the Lions Club. Too many postal operators just copy-paste the anniversary's or the organisation's logo. And have the gods of philately and good taste mercy for Monaco...
Simple designs yes, but useful design for the Lions Club (Jersey Stamps webshop).
Praise by Jersey Stamps! At least, this often accused of issuing too costly and useless stamps issued a six stamp series that explains what is a Lions Club for.

Thursday 15 June: Universal Mail stamp puzzled a French Muggle family.
A family from Nantes received a postcard from the son's friend visiting London.
The postcard and its many labels (Presse Océan).
The local newspaper Presse Ocean showed the card on 15 June explaining the problem and even that the French post couldn't explain it.

Philatelists will recognize a Universal Mail UK stamp, the private post that aimed at tourists' international postcards.

The sending family bought a booklet at any commodities in central London, but not a post office. Universal Mail franked card can be dropped in a Royal Mail box. At the sorting center, these cards are gathered and given back to Universal Mail that forwards them by anyway at the lower cost possible.

In this case, early April, the chosen route was lenghthy in distance and time: through Praha, Czech Republic. Hence the postage paid label with the Czech Post's logo.

Saturday 17 June: Royal June of travels.
Is it the Royal Philatelic Society London's June activities? Or my Summer-is-coming state of mind? For the second year in a row, I got travel inspired by the June articles and displays at 41 Devonshire, London.

I could only invite you to check the summary of the June issue of The London Philatelist, the last edited by Steve Jarvis, and the collection and talk by Frank Walton, his last as President of the society.