Saturday, March 17, 2007

Harry Potter on stamps of France

Last week-end, the French post issued a stamp figuring the famous wizzard Harry Potter. The stamp appears on an illustrated mini-sheet and in a 10-stamp booklet alongside two others representing Hermione and Ron.

The booklet and its covert (La Poste's stamp shop).

This issue is linked to the Fête du timbre (known as Journée du timbre - Day of the stamp before) created in 1938. La Poste participed with a stamp since 1944, using postal topics (history, stamps, jobs) until 1999. From 1999, the youth is the main target in order to attract them to stamps collection. Characters known of the children are heroes of the stamps : from Belgian and French comics (1999-2006) and youth novel (2007). Before, the collectors were the main audience because of the stamps' topics and because the First Day of issue is organized throughout the country by local philatelic associations.

With time, products increased in numbers : lonely stamp from 1948 to 1985 ; then stamp and a booklet since 1985 ; mini-sheet between 1999 and 2003, that reappeared with Harry Potter ; three different denominated stamps since 2004... and that is for the products you can buy for the facial value of the stamps. In 2007, to be complete, you must add three mini-sheets of five stamps at 6,50 € each (from 2,25 € to 4,05 € above the facials), but you'll have pictures of the Harry Potter universe se-tenant (about the products and the role of the philatelic associations, you can read a Claude Jamet's article, in French).

Personnaly, I know the Journée du timbre since the mid-1980 and two things have let me souvenirs. First one in 1991, on the enveloppe drew on the stamp about postal sorting, is written the town where I live for 17 years : 34970 LATTES. Then, 1999-2003 mini-sheets were very thoughtful : the subject of the stamp was put into a mini-scene that remembers you the all atmosphere of the comics series. The major one, for me, is the Boule et Bill mini-sheet : you sense all the heroes' family love and strengh in this ball game. Titeuf cleaning his nose with a finger was a good one too.

But, isn't there a risk to loose philately into a costly gadget shop between forgotten postal historic topics, numbers of products and feelings- or humour-empty pictures directly given by movie studios (like Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter issues) ?

To go further:
Claude Jamet published this 1st of April a check up of the 2007 Fête du timbre thank to participants' mail.

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