Friday, May 30, 2008

Jorge Peral, engraver from Mexico to Canada

An extract from the engraving by Jorge Peral for the 400 years of Québec city, joint issue between the French La Poste and Canada Post, earlier this month of May 2008.

The philatelic part of the Library and Archives Canada website helps find back the engraver's biography. Born in 1955 in Mexico, he worked at the advertising business of his father before he graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

His professional migrations began in 1978 thank to scholarship from Mexico's National Bank: banknotes design and engraving at Giori in Lausanne (a former part of De La Rue group) and the Bank of Italy.

Then, he worked for seventeen years for the Bank of Mexico before moving to Canada where he obtained the nationality in 1995. He has been continuing engraving banknotes and postage stamps at the Canadian Bank Note Company.

The stamps he worked on are shown on the same Canadian public website.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Because of a 3 and a half year old nephew being a huge fan of Enid Blyton's character, I made the way from the metro station Sablons in good-looking Neuilly-sur-Seine and the forestial landscape of the Jardin d'acclimation, in the Bois de Boulogne.

Noddy was today one of the four heroes of the first day sale in Paris, co-starring the green picture holiday booklet (cut or podded, green nature from all latitudes, wild or mowed), and two booklets revealing if your relative give birth to a boy or a girl.

Let's compliment Phil@poste - first: it will change my habbits - second: it will rain tomorrow and we save the underground water reserve of the Paris Basin :p

Date was pertinent: a schoolfree wednesday in sunny spring (24 hours before... not so sunny). Place was pertinent: green zooligical park in a good-looking and safe neighbouhood, easily reachable. A usual familial place where visitors could discover that stamps were sold today. Like this mother who was interested in Phil@poste's youth topical "stamped books" exhibited on a large table just at young eyes level. Outside, rest places were decorated with the character, his yellow car and all his friends.

Around 12:30 pm, a dozen usual collectors were buying, sticking and waiting cancelling (Phil@poste must make huge benefits thank to first day cancellations without mail transportation...) their stamps like that or put into albums. More discreetly, an association was selling its souvenirs and exhibits a comics character collection on maximum cards.

If Timbres magazine was enthousiastic last March of the more adult choice for the Stamp Festival stamps with Tex Avery's characters1, I wonder on the choice to limit ro one place in whole France the "Oui-Oui" first day sale while it can attract kids (they choose) and parents (they pay) and while a thousand places were opened for the Stamp Festival.

Note :
1: I quote the new issue flyer: "A good news: the stamp, this year, has, for its festival, turned its back to the childhood world - a world that, we think, it does not belong to - to finally come to the adults' world."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

He liked it

After a post-nightly and marital breakfast in the good town of Rungis, our omnipresident, by the grace of the scoop and the flash light, first of the ministers of France, appreciated the accomplished efforts to fulfill his wishes of states-general of the philately.

He saw that it was good -even if collectors do not know why yet - and that he did not have to be present.

He offers by imposition that these great masses - called "simple conference" by mean people like me - are now to be hold every six months for his good pleasure.

Consequently, in October of the second year of his reign, will take place the "states general of the press", another lucrative corporation of our kingdom who has been weeping more by crisis than by innovative efforts to meet nowadays clients.

Monday, May 26, 2008


In 1984, for the centenary of the Greenwich Meridian as the Prime Meridian (longitude = 0°), the British Post Office issued a four stamp series designed by an agency, Sedley Place.

I find the serie interesting, whereas it is simple reproduction of pre-existing pictures, because of the red line. Readers are taught to localize the meridian on many scales.

More personally, the 28 pence touch me much with touristic memories:

If you travel to London, you will not hesitate to pay a 2-zone ticket, take the Docklands Light Railway, a light most-aerian metro, until the Cutty Sark station. At the exit, you will be in the World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich. The Cutty Sark clipper is worth the paying visit. Free is the general visit of the National Maritime Museum (on the right on the stamp, near the royal effigy).

Noon, eat on the grass under the sun, down the hill that you will climb next to visit the Observatory. Finally, you will come back with one of the Thames excursion boats. Than to this quiet transport, I discovered the Londonian residential buildings with a new look than the front door.

Four years after, I still remember every moment of this visit to Greenwich. I encourage to do it too.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eurovision and philately

What connection do I make between the Eurovision Song Contest, whose 2008 edition happened this week, and philately? Maybe the gadgets issued with the song :))

The winner's show on Dailymotion.

The Russian winner, Dima Bilan, sang Believe, composed with Jim Beanz, using notes, lyrics, rhymes, instruments. Like Phil@poste or any other philatelic issuing services issue a stamp, with an illustration, a printing process, artists, perforation, adhesive to lick or to press, etc.

But, you already know that, for stamps, collector must choose between the stamp cut out of a full sheet, corner block, the entire sheet, the mini-sheet lightly different in its perforation or adhesive, and the silver version inside a supposed hermetic plastic blister, postal cards and other stationeries, the first day cancellation, the philatelic book with the stamp inside a painted mini-block, etc.

At the Eurovision Song Contest, it is like that: a show around the song. Bilan is one of the examples played yesterday evening: a violonist from Hungary and a figure skating multi-champion on a tiny rink. And add all the typical (useful?) moves that does a singer loved by all girl teens of his country.

To be compared with the television clip:

There is a story beside the song that make the clip useful, like the illustrateed cover to a booklet of stamps, or the philatelic engraved document to the stamp's topic.

Bravo to the winner and to the European Broadcasting Union to perpetuate the sole European popular artistic event of the year.

For collectors of French stamps, I let you sort what you will buy from the lots of issues La Poste will do between late May and young July: more than 80 euros between May 29 and July 1 if you try only one item of each stamp, mini-sheet and booklet (I hope you are not a first day collector too).

For the soccer fans, France's Cup yesterday, at the rate of one goal each 102 minutes, you would better enjoy the Eurovision songs then watch the goal :p

Saturday, May 24, 2008



D'oh!, I told after reading French philatelic monthly L'Écho de la timbrologie editorial for the June 2008 issue.

Not because of the neutrality towards La Poste, its services (here, the museum) or its products, it is the trademark of this monthly editorial, like the love of intaglio printed stamps in its competitor's ones (but, please, do not stay too long in front of the 2007 Pflimlin stamp :( ).

This mark helped me find that the author criticized La Poste when she visibly had enough intels about events to come. In January 2007, Aude Ben-Moha seemed to turn her pen eight lines in her inker before she suggested carefully as a possible description "light illustration for tin can" the one designed by Yann Gafsou for the "Righteous of France"; but, the third first words asked if this stamp earned "a lemon price". Personal blank on my side: would she judge Phil@poste philatelic production after all this time? Whereas her credo is - and it is a good opinion among others: Phil@poste proposes, L'Écho informoses, collector choses. Some days after, I was reassured that my ideologic battleground was still in place: I discovered the non-issuing decisionof the stamp and its replacement by a so-neutral-it-is-blank-of-message illustration. You'ld never imagine what the Righteous did to earn the French Nation's recognition to be - symbolicly - buried in the Panthéon in Paris.

So, what did she do to me, this month, in her editorial, would you inquire? No, not again a full column about "the revival" of the French philately, understand the color change of Yvert et Tellier Frence catalogue. On how to make last or create the will to collect stamps among the young, she wrote: "Some clubs brillantly succeed - I've got names! - but due to the ambiant morosity, it would seem to be isolated cases."

I, then, imagined to read some examples of these successes, to give inspiring ideas, the trailer to a full report about these associations in the June issue, or a next one (September when parents are looking for clubs for their youngs, when members resubscribe would be a good moment, Madam). In a few pages, things far more useful than the states-general for the ones not invited to this philatelic fiesta, readers non members and members of associations and to effectively change things by herself.

What a naive, I am...*

To watch one of these activist associations, you have to go to the competition: on TV Timbres (if the report is still on-line), during the Philatelic French Kingdom's States-General (a kingdom whose subjects are - it seems, not me - waiting with impatience that the philapostal sovereign gives decisions and other gadget-stamps that do not support oxygen...), a club's director told how he personally get involve to promote philately: benevolent write of weekly articles to the regional newspaper, lobby France 3 local station to have a reporter before an exhibition, etc.

To equilibrate my humor between the two French magazines, to numistatic collectors who want to complete their euro coins: have critic spirit, read and confront the two magazines, their advertisers and authors! In the end, you will judge yourself if the folded ad in L'Écho seems more / less interesting for your purse than the promotion catalog, that has been send with Timbres magazine since the first part of 2008.

* : yes, I am forcing you to subscribe to this magazine to read the end of this editorial. A teaser: I do not know who is aimed by Aude Ben-Moha's last sentence. If it is to Phil@poste, I fear for the French philatelic issue program in the future and Phil@poste's director who will be speaking on 14 June to tell her ideas after the states-general (announced in Timbres magazine, page 11).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Summer's approaching

The lack of regular sun and calor in Paris is making me look at hot country's stamps.

This Egyptian stationery was sent to Paris in 1904. It is from the first part of the philatelic history of this country: the khedivian rule by Ismail Pacha and his descendants. This régime fell in 1914 when the United Kingdom imposed Pacha's second son, Husayn Kamil, as Sultan.

The most part of the first Egyptian stamps represented, from 1872 to 1913, the same landscape as this stationery: the pyramid of Cheops and the Sphinx.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taiwan, name of country (2)

In the very first post on this blog, I took advantage of the news to write about the change of name on the stamps of the Republic of China, aka Taiwan; a change linked to the independentist politic of President Chen Shui-bian.

Back to where I started because today, 20 March 2008, the new President Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated. He is one of the main member of the nationalist party Kuomintang. The event is marked with a four stamp issue portraying the President and his Vice-President. I show you the more conventional one:

Flag, the island's profile, black suit and tie (Taiwan Post website).

See the bottom left inscription: "REPUBLIC OF CHINA TAIWAN". Is it a change, a reasonable one: keep the new name and resurrect the former one supported by a party which made the island incarnated China versus the People's Republic?

For the moment, mere hours after the new presidency began, this change has no meaning. The precedent and next issues are only saying "TAIWAN" like this 7 dollars "Streptopelia orientalis", an oriental turtle dove to be issued on 5 June.

The history of Cartor

Watched before me by Dominique (I have an excuse: I was at the swimming pool), the interview of Gilles Le Baud, former president of Cartor Security Printing, by Timbres magazine's editor-in-chief, Gauthier Toulemonde.

Le Baud told how Cartor began its stamp adventure with gold (who said "Bhutan" again ?!), with success in 1996 and a stamp for Thailand. Since then, another gadget stamps were printed and some are showed in this video.

This interview has a special meaning in France because French collector often know only Phil@poste Boulazac (formerly ITVF), La Poste's printer. But, British philatelists know Cartor very well because it is now part of a British group including Walsall. It has been printing regularly stamps for Royal Mail for some years now.

Oil in Nigeria

In the 1950s began the oil history of Nigeria, attracting obviously oil companies from the industrialized countries.

For example, an employee of the French Régie autonome des pétroles received this mail posted in Lagos on 20 March 1964. The R.A.P., which dated and registered its incoming mail, was one of the three firms that gave birth in 1966 to what was known as Elf Aquitaine in 1976.

I like these little non-philatelic stories hidden in a cover found by chance in stamp dealers' cour des miracles box.

Without the proper catalogue, I just say that the stamp was issued after the Nigerian independence of 1960: no more a British royal effigy, insistance on the national territory (to instate its borders is a sign of sovereignty... and, today, those of Nigeria are still disputed: example of the Bakassi peninsula).

The cancellation bear a postal message: "Clear adressing / speeds your mail", that smells a British touch.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Erroneous intel about 400 Years Quebec in France

The French post has been directing collectors to errors these past few days concerning the genesis of the Quebec 400 year stamp, a joint issue with Canada taking place this week-end. It is on Canada Post website that you will have this stamp's story, extract from Canada's Stamps Details, volume 17 #2, April-June 2008.

Above is what the French post's news site, Actu timbrée, is telling: artist would be a « Francis Fugazi ». Intel copied by Timbres magazine and others French philatelic news websites (but with the precision of an engraver: Mexican immigrant Jorge Peral, artist at the Canadian Banknote Company).

Canada Post recalls that this stamp is the last of a five stamp annual serie about the French arrival in Canada. Illustrations are created by Francis Back who conducted the necessary historical studies. A studio is responsible for the creation of the stamps: Fugazi, a Montréal-based agency. It is common in Canada to prepare stamp issue like this; the French post tries it for a little number of issues (recently with M2Baz for the 2008 Europa stamp).

At least, with this error, we, French from the East, know that Canadians prepared this issue printed in intaglio (line-engraving, with a touch of acid etching for the mountain, and of offset-lithography for the "1608" in the sky), very uncommon to Canadian recent philatelic history.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Victoriously cancelled stationery

Here is the stamp part of a British postal stationery, embossed with King George VI profile.

During the year 1945, after Nazi Germany capitulated, post offices of the United Kingdom used this victorious pictorial cancellation.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pine Tower in Montpellier

During the last Four Days of Marigny, I had a short postcard parenthesis, with Elizabeth and Montpellier in Southern France.

Here is the Pine Tower (locally la tour des Pins) and the Henri IV boulevard edited on postcard by Louis Dupont. The tower is one of the last remains of Montpellier medieval fortifications. Around the old center, you can watch the Babote Tower, an old observatory too, near the train station, or on the Northern opposite side the old door through which the University street get out of the center.

The rest of the fortifications let the place to boulevards, even large places on the Southern and Eastern side: the Comédie and the Esplanade, considering sometimes as the largest pedestrian continuous place in Europe, even if both parts do have its own identity (prefer the Esplanade's gardens during Summer than the mineral treefree Comédie).

Let's come back to the Pine Tower. If, today, it is the headquarters to a folkloric association, it was the Municipal Archives from 1886 to 2000. During my master degree year, I worked some half-days in the very old reading rooms whose walls were filled by ancient archives, like the rest of the old tower. Nowadays, the archives are stored in the new shining Émile Zola Central Library, with a luminous working room (at the last floor open with large windows to a Mediterranean Northern sky...).

Why "Pine"? Because of those pine trees planted at the top, of course. The ones about whom Nostradamus (either a great prophet of the misfortunes to come and of an never ending upcoming World War 3 to some people... while others estimate him a poet of the actions of his time) would have prophetized: shall they perish, the city with them (or something like that, you know folkloric and historic sources...).

And, of course, they perished... A recent institutional monthly local magazine reassured the good people of Montpellier: the trees are regularly renewed at the first hints of deperishment. Y ou watch them thank yo Google Maps.

You can read the page on the City of Montpellier's website.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Princess of York

Found during the Four Days of Marigny, this 1934 postcard (source), a portrait of the Princess of York:

(by Marcus Adams, see the Royal Collection ; edited by Tuck's Postcard, card #3960)

Elizabeth is the Duke of York's daughter, the second son of King George V. The Duke became King because of his brother, Edward VIII, in December 1936. Here was the young and future Queen Elizabeth II, before her uncle's abdication.

Younger she was, when the Newfoundland colony chose her portrait for the 6 cent stamp of 1932, more than her royal grand-father (2 cents), her grand-mother (3 cents) and her Prince of Wales uncle (4 cents). Above her, you see animals and landscapes of the Eastern Canadian colony.

In 1932, like for this card, it is photograph Marcus Adams operating.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm a bad boy

Bof, what was the purpose [of an universitarian-like reunion entitled States-General of the Philately, Paris, 2 April 2008] and finally what's the result for the common collector? Very little and a month later, the official site is resultfree and has disappointed some of his forum's participants.

But, but, but, the omni-President wanted it... for La Poste can do whatever it wants with issuing policy? Like, say, a living sport interviewer on stamp, are printing TV weekly magazines.

And what is one of the organisators saying? This, as a first sentence of his second article on the States General's consequences (in Le Monde newspaper dated 11-12 May 2008, available in Paris since Monday noon and outside France until one or two days more, good reading):

"The States-General of the philately are now far away."

Before the author digress on the fiscal advantages to collect postage stamps and avoid some taxes... Hey! It is published in the "Money" news supplement :p

Friday, May 09, 2008

Europe and elsewhere

Since 1985, the 9th of May is Europe Day in many States of the European Union, commemorating the founding lightning by Robert Schuman.

The States Secretary to European Affairs of France, a country with little Euro-motivation since the 29 May 2005 referendum (Did French electors answer on the future of the Union or on the man who ask them something?), published a website: Fête l'Europe. Its name is a play-on-word: fête l'Europe meaning "let's party about Europe" and faites l'Europe for "make the Europe you want".

La Poste follows by issuing the Europa series stamp just before the 9th of May and a stamp before each popular election of the European Parliament. Even if the last Europa to date is bearing a national face value, nor an European one... (No, I don't say "withdraw into our borders"... I thought it loudly enough:). Happily, our omni-President wil make sure that the France-wants-Europe stamp booklets be issued one with nationwide denominations, the other with Europe Union value.

In the news too, but more preoccupying: Lebanon is falling into civil war's fingers again and the Burma people saw the sky falling on them while the neighbouring States are imploring the Myanmar government to let be helped... To read and understand the Schuman declaration should not be limited by the borders of this European Union.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

World War 2 and philately

Philatelic details of the British and French history, at the beginning of World War 2, ended in Europe sixty-three years ago.

Its construction was at its very beginning. The French Clemenceau battleship would sail only on Albert Decaris' stamp issued on 18 April 1939.

On the British side, the 22 June 1940 armistice ended the unbelievable project of the Anglo-French Union in which the two States would have joined their institutions as long as the war against Nazi Germany would last. A project accepted by the British Parliament on 16 June 1940.

(From The British Postal Museum & Archive website)

In this topic of these two allies united, a stamp project was begun compiling the national symbols of both States. During the first semester of 1939, Henry Cheffer proposed a design corrected for printing adaptation by Edmund Dulac. It was accepted by President Lebrun (on the left side of the stamp) on 8 June... some days before calling for Pétain as Head of the Council of Ministers.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Readings for a bank holiday

Here in France, after the first of May bank holiday (we said bridge - pont - for such long week-ends), comes the 8 May holiday longer of a labourfree Pentecost Monday. Some may want some supplemental readings.

While surfing the web, I recently found:
* by French Max Derouen, a specialized study of the Pétain 1 franc 50 stamp designed by Jean Bercier and issued between 1942 and 1944 ;
* Jeanne257, monography about the stamp of France Joan of Arc issued 1929 (adviced by Timbresphospho) ;
* by Tennessee citizen Tony Servies, the Stamps of Distinction blog which tends to develop some topics along its way: one article per postal issuer, per philatelic word and articles on methods and tools of our passion.

Walking up Drouot Street, Paris' stamp dealer street, I saw that there is a Vickrey auction month happening (certainly the last task to finance a well-earned Summer holiday). Among the dealers having a website, you can visit auctions of:
* Roumet with beautiful stamp boxes and a wall stamp vending machine of the United States (lot #1401 of the 512th auction starting at 300 euros for an original interior decoration);
* Behr with British colonial stamps to make the beginner I am dream (Elizabeth II on horse);
* or Straphil (to represent France outside Paris) that is preparing its auction for June.

To remind you of the history of the Vickery auctions (vente sur offres in French), read Dominique's article in French, but its sources are in English.

Read well during a sunny Spring.

Update on 8 May 2008: Joan of Arc.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Belgium and Antarctica

Belgium is one of the countries participating to the scientific adventure in Antarctica since the very end of the 19th century, under the initial command of Adrien de Gerlache.

A base was opened between 1958 and 1968, named Roi-Baudouin, and did certainly inspire a three stamp and a minisheet semipostal series. Here is one of these stamps about the weather balloon.

Stamps that were issued in October 1966, just two years before the base was abandoned.

For the International Polar Year 2007-2008, Belgium decided to open a new base, Princesse-Élisabeth, for which a minisheet was issued, picturing the de Gerlage's ship, the Belgica.

I did not succeed to find which Princess Élisabeth was honored. Probably, the daughter of Prince Philippe, the eldest son of King Albert II.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Intaglio pleasure in British lithographic kingdom

These recent years, Royal Mail tends to play it easy by copy/paste picture database on offset lithography stamps. There may be some graphic inspiration (watch the next 13 May Cathedral series), but reflexion seems to lack some issues (James Bond in January).

But, some topics requires effort: Rowland Hill birth's bicentenary for example.

Is he to be presented, the one who successfully convince the British Government to develop the post paid by expeditors and to decrease rates, provoking the need of postage stamps?

How can a philatelic office be original when large numbers of postal administrations did reproduce the Penny Black and the sideburn portrait of Hill under all kind of forms, prints, contexts, etc. It has yet to be done, because every collector is waiting for the classical picture, see the 25 pence stamp.

To propose a younger portrait and a poster reminding all the postal reform, that is the role of the unexpected 19 pence.

Printing now: a mix of intaglio for portraits, offset for backgrounds. Rare enough in British philately to be told. And to do things correctly, don't go half way, let's get a great engraver: Czesław Słania !

Saturday, May 03, 2008

How new stamps enter catalog?

Like sausages or laws, we may not want to know how is produced a stamp catalog. However, on June 2008 Scott Stamp Monthly's two and a half pages, Martin J. Frankevicz reports his sisyphian daily task as Scott catalog new issues editor.

With his assistant, he must file, study, scan all incoming postage stamps ordered to postal administrations, philatelic agencies, new stamp dealers or even discovering by readers wondering why this one is not in the catalog yet. For some less communicating administrations (problems of time, knowdlege, material or not caring), Frankevicz has to find the hard way intelligence, proof of effective issue, etc.

This work is done with two main types of commitments:
#1: the yearly publication of the world Scott catalog's six tomes between April and September [#1 of 2008 just appear: United States and A-B countries] that suppose the most complete updates of the concerned countries as humanly possible;
#2: the monthly list of new issues published in Scott Stamp Monthly with stamps from regular issuing countries and episodic arrival. And, when the annual catalog is finished, he concentrated (among all the other tasks I write about before) on the most problematic countries: the less information givers, the one victims of illegal issues. The monthly list is important because, well done, it served as a database easily merged in the following annual catalog.

Some context about the United States reference philatelic editor:

Amos (link to Amos Advantage) is the mother firm, specialised in press since its foundation in 1876, and that diversified its publications to recreational activities and collections since the 1960s. Amos Press is responsible of the publications.

By acquisitions, the group owned two philatelic titles which philosophies and goals are now different:
- Linn's Stamp News, a news weekly bought in 1969.
- Scott Stamp Monthly, a monthly linked to Scott Publishing Company bought in 1984, which owns the catalog created by John Walter Scott in 1868. First a news oriented like Linn's, it became a magazine in 2004. It serves to tease the readers' passion (prices of classics, philatelic history, etc.) and to present modern and news stamps in advance of their appearance in the annual standard catalog (six tomes, April to September), plus the United States specialized (October) and the classical specialized (1840-1940 stamps, November).

Scott Stamp Monthly is available by subscription to the paper version (100 pages, circa 26x19.5 cm, around ten articles and the new listings) or on line in a numeric version. I recall to non Anglo-Saxons that, there, magazines are dated on the month following the issue (in France, they are sold mainly during the month printed on cover).

Sometimes a little short (but commercials is a necessity for publications with a limited public), the magazine helps the French I am to exit well-known paths of the French philatelic universe. Touch after touch, I have been discovering the Canadian and United States philately since the July 2007 issue, and articles on modern and nowadays philately clearly directed to the knowledge that an editor must have to write the catalog. For examples, read a previous article on today Afghanistan or in July 2007 issue how the article on the philatelic aspect of Indonesian independence introduced and justified the change of the Indonesian part in the Scott catalogue.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Paper waste in French Atlantic archipelago

At the Montpellier philately counter - whose employees are as polite and efficient as in a Londonian store, I have the occasion to buy some corner blocks of Monaco and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, whose stamps' beauty caught my eyes. Such blocks available because the employee had to cut new sheets of these stamps.

With Patrick Derible's stamp about French soldier René Autin, I saw that paper waste is not a problem for the oversea collectivity and its périgourdine printer (Phil@poste Boulazac, La Poste's own printer):

Like some Southern and Antarctic French Territories stamps, one label to make pretty guillochis, another to date the margin (18 December 2007 for an issue on 16 January 2008, see And a third label with... nothing. By symetry, you have the three same labels (without the date) on the upper left lane.

Twenty-five stamps per sheet, five horizontal times five vertical, you count: twenty labels with half a guillochis on each other, and ten blank labels ready to be used by forgers. Guillochis are supposed to avoid that on stamp paper left unprinted because of printing purpose.

The French Metropolitan printer, the oversea ordering body and its local post office may think together on how to print stamps without wasting so much paper... moreover if the paper is paid by the oversea client. Monaco Postage Stamps Issuing Office received ten stamp sheets it orders. If Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon philatelic office wants sheets of twenty-five, shouldn't the printer adapt its modern machinery to do so?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Austrian post tackles lenticular competitors

The Austrian post likes to multiply gadgets in its philatelic program, sometimes accidentally. Now, for the European soccer championship, organized by Austria and Switzerland, it issued a lenticular stamp, that beats previous lenticular issues... technically and financially!

Here the beast reproduced on the Virtual Stamp Club: 5,35 €, with three moving pictures extract from a television broadcast. The three views show Andreas Herzog's goal that qualified the Austrian team to World Cup 1998.

Beside, the 2007 rugby lenticular stamp of France (3 euros value) is pale.

My personal podium of the European lenticular stamps that I saw:
#1: without discussion, the Swiss "Museum of communication", because it's the most useful use of this printing technology on stamp.
#2: the Finnish sky minisheet is over the Austrian and the French because of many good points. Four stamps employing lenticular views for different graphic purposes and a price that makes them largely usable by anyone on letters.
[... a large gap to be filled in quality ...]
#3: the French competitor win the race by a thin hair because he is cheaper (3 € cough cough...) than the Austrian, and the sole designed by an illustrator.
#3 1/2: the Austrian imitating television in an expensive way, like we don't watch it too much.

Have a nice sport season for those who likes to watch sport.

Same night's update:
* go read Dominique's Blog philatélie, you will be helped to reconstitute the philatelic lenticular jigsaw;
* including the hall of fame of one of these "champions"' breader, the Outer Aspect company.