Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Summer

Sleeping blog for a couple of weeks.

See you soon.

Jonathan Moon and the lenticular stamp

In Gibbons Stamp Monthly July 2008 issue, Peter Jennings presents his conclusions after interviewing Jonathan Moon, director of Outer Aspect, the lenticular stamp company based in New Zealand. This interview was done on 5 May 2008 for the presentation of the Austrian lenticular stamp that broadcast the forty eight pictures of a winning goal, under three different viewpoints (on this stamp, reminders here and there, and general lessons on lenticular, follow the links at the bottom of this page).

Jonathan Moon, born in 1964 in Auckland, was a young stamp collector, heir of the grand-father's collection, before he stopped during adolescence. He discovered the lenticular technology at an art exhibition in San Francisco in 1991. He found there a mean to overreach the limits of laser holograms. The company became serious in 1995 and the development of the motionstamp.

The first lenticular stamp produced by Outer Aspect was issued in 2005 by TNT in the Netherlands: there are the ice speed skaters. Moon recalled the stamps were sold out in two days.

Six postal operators have been using the New Zealander company's services, like shown on its website: sportmen and women in action, but for the juxtaposed pictures of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

In the future of Outer Aspect:
* as soon as the next 8 August 2008, presentation of a new stamp of Austria: a statue in three dimensions;
* around 2010, the possibility to quickly issue a stamp broadcasting the winning goal in a world sport event (Moon told about the market of soccer, rugby and cricket fans).

A philatelic precision at the beginning of the article: the resin used by Outer Aspect accepts lots of postal cancellation inks.

Back to the Austrian lenticular of May: 350 thousands units printed = 1.9 million euros of face value. Believing a research I did, the value of 5.45 euros can frank:
* an economic international letter from 100 to 350 grams,
* an economic European letter from 350 to 500 grams,
* or an interior registered letter from 100 to 350 grams delivered to the adressee.

Finally, Peter Jennings, the reporter, is a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London and of the Royal Geographical Society.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

La Poste's philatelic policy explained

The French Federation of Philatelic Associations (FFAP) website followed the 2008 Salon du timbre news.

Daily photographic reports showed the event with some humor (you can see that the Marianne trophies offered to French celebrities made journalists come at the stamp show... at the inconvenience of the collector public).

The 81st Congress of the FFAP is summarized with the publication in printable versions, photographed or filmed.

The last version is used for Françoise Eslinger's speech in front of the general assembly of the FFAP. She is the director of Phil@poste, La Poste's service for philatelic production and sales. You can watch her favorite gimmick about the high number of stamp issues she organized. No change to expect on this topic.

I will limit my written reflexion there and let you, if you can read and hear French, discover Phil@poste's and the FFAP Stamp Festival's manager's policies.

For better articulated ideas on all this, I send to Claude Jamet's website, section "Généralités".

Note 1: the Fête du timbre is the recent French name for the day of stamp. The first day of issue linked to the event is organized in a hundred or so cities in France. The FFAP hopes to attract young people to stamp collecting thank to this event. The local associations pay for the place and the attractions; the Federation helps them by producting first day souvenirs to be sold by the associations.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Polynesian welcome

Because many are those, me included, who are writing daily about the Salon du timbre 2008, the Paris stamp show at the Floral Park (read here, over there, but dont' forget, and too, always, even more, and this way, for finally), I am going to report about the 2006 stamp show.

In the entrance, Polynesian dancers welcome visitors (photograph under licence Creative Commons by-nc-sa1).

Before the latter be let free on the quest to new issues, good findings, inesperated Chopins2 and others games and quiz (photograph under licence Creative Commons by-nc-sa1).

Because of the issue of a six stamp Known Peoples series [Great People before, now fictionous] about the great characters of circus, a open air scene offers a small circus show at the 2008 Salon du timbre. A show presented to youthful future collectors and wisdomer ones during a well-earned pause (see it, empty, in the background on the inaugural picture on L'Écho website, in the link above).

Note 1 : explication de la licence, me contacter si besoin.
2. "Chopin", in philatelic French, is a very great find by a collector in a sale or an exchange, in which he earns - philatelicly - more than the seller or exhanger.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thank you, merchants!

With the new issue post office crowded and the exhibited collections put in another hall (but some lucky ones near the interview and happening stage) - and I admit a lack of wish to find them -, the Paris Salon du timbre's stamp dealers saw me longer than usual.

My cover and stamp finds will be showed here from July to September after I finally put my boxes down somewhere and give some fresh air to the collection.

There are yet some things to see while the show is still on. Like at La Poste of Belgium, a book on the colonies and colonial trials by Belgians (or, for some period, Catholic Dutchs) from 1451 to 1916: Patrick Maselis, Des Açores à la Nouvelle-Zélande [From the Azores to New Zealand], published by Roularta Books (with the help of the Stuart Rossiter Trust Fund and Belgian philatelic fund Pro-Post), more than 400 pages, 30 euros, available in an English version and a French version.

Already written, but good things don't hurt when repeated: go read the publications proposed by the Académie de philatélie, at the Salon for its 80th anniversary.

Marvels are shown by prestige auctionners: Behr et Feldman for example.

More surprising, the Northern Korea post is present (with little success this morning).

You touch the bottom of your wallet, don't worry: you can play quiz to learn again your France's stamps and topics of the world. Or walk around the gardens of the Floral Park surrounding the stamp show (with the sun today). The Castle of Vincennes, formerly Royal, can be walked through.

Half full, half empty stamp show

Half full, half empty, or in French, "mi-figue, mi-raisin", like the two fruits.

And fruits were there among vegetables at one of the many animations of the Salon du timbre in Paris. The one, obviously, dedicated to the cooking: exhibited stamps for all to participate a quiz, fruits and vegetables to teach school children and two Nintendo Wii to cook like mummy... even if I don't want anyone throwing eggs like a righ hand puch anywhere near my kitchen :p

Compared to the 2006 Salon, I got the impression there were a great many more school children. From 10am to noon, the noise of activities, laughters and researchs could be hear anywhere in the hall.

Another success: the queue in front the new issue post office did not get shorter for all the morning, even for lunch time, Marianne oblige. Need to know: the other La Poste shop, a little farther, sold postage stamps, even the Salon issued one, the day after the first day of issue (that's how I quickly get my "Stamp substainable ideas!" booklets). Since I do not plan by all means to become a Nicolas' Marianne fan, I quickly went to the stamp and cover dealers...

Hopefully for those standing in line and wishing just to have one stamp per face value, Phil@poste personnel proposed them a table without queuing and offer them a complete pre-personalised minisheet of all the new Marianne values. For 15 euros. 11.12 euros worth stamps sold 15 euros just to have Phil@poste logotype se-tenant... I precise this form of personalised sheet is theorically obsolete with the Montimbràmoi service. I will wait July and my new home to buy the 1.25 euro in a shade of blue I love. My personal stock of Marianne des Français will help me wait a more optimistic allegory.

Photograph under Creative Commons by-nc-sa licence1.

However, the star was this stamp today, and its designer-engraver. 12pm, when youthful crowds were exiting for lunch, I discovered the great silence of this stamp show... Then, I realized how empty were the lobbies between dealers. The profession will certainly not be happy again: too high the numer of stamps issued, too little the money left for another sales, etc.

It is when a new noise came for less than ten minutes: the interview of Yves Beaujard (left, Nicolas' Marianne designer) and Françoise Eslinger (right, Director of Phil@poste). Nothing new was said that was not said and published since January 2008 and the presentation of the stamp. A stamp that even the Salon's animator proclamed "Sarkozy's Marianne"...

Two artistic notes in this interview: on the right of the picture, the wall contained the Marianne stamps design and were progressively painted from the inside by a woman-artist... left alone with ten more to go when interviewers went eating or signing autographs. The deformated blue and red Nicolas' Marianne you see behind them made Eslinger very happy... even if I think that the money bling-bling in the cash machine at the first day post office must have play in this joyful appearance.

Note :
1. licence explained (in French), contact me if needed.

Rejected pretty projects for Marianne

Concerning the art of standing photography, under the lights and with people passing around you, I did little better than Dominique: either it is clean but small, either big but lightening...

At the Salon du timbre in Paris, between the Académie de philatélie's booth and the exhibition proposed by its members, Phil@poste hung the forty-one projects our Omni-president refused last Autumn.

On first sight, I found that the artists had problems or not enough time to beautifully design the allegory of the French Republic and the idea of an European Union... Two projects, if only I knew their authors, pleased me on this first sight:

An institutional Europe yes, but an inspired Marianne looking far forward.
The face looking to the sky reminded me of the pretty and too soon passed away Marianne des Français.

A very unusual pose1, a phrygian hat or just hairs,
but a decided allegory, looking future right in the eyes.
The European stars are moving in a cicular going forward movement.

Concerning the Académie de philatélie's booth, you will met there A-level philatelists and subscribe to their Documents philatéliques publication (25 euros for the first civil year, then 38 euros). Or for 11 euros, the 197 issue of Documents philatéliques will be yours. Inside, the exhibition's catalogue, introduced by the history and an all-member repertory by André Hurtré.

Booth #10 for the exhibition in black (and whose mounting workers discuted the value, hence the carefulness to have with the breakable glass) and #76 for the Académie itself. Marianne projects are on the backwall of booths #76 and 77.

1. But not if you remember the posters showing Ingrid Bétancourt, held hostage in Colombia.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

From Paris to PLM

A pictorial cancellation dated 29 November 1945 adviced senders to add the arrondissement number on adresses to Paris, the twenty parts of the city, so that mail can be sorted quickly. French mailboxes usually are divided in two cases: local mail and far away (other départements or foreign destinations).

The datestamp was used at the P.L.M. railway station's post office, understand the gare de Lyon, the starting station of the former network "from Paris to Lyon and to the Mediterranean Sea". A station I love because it has been the first step to my recurring return to the blue sky of my chilhood.

If you walk in this station, remember to see above the sale counters to watch the fresco depicting monuments and landscapes of cities where the PLM tracks were conducting you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Doctor Who season 4 finale

Because there is not only philately in life and not only the post operators that use inventive means1 , 2 to make you buy stamps,3 let's talk about the grand final of Doctor Who season four4 that announces a great beginning of Summer to British telespectators.

The last meeting between the Doctor and Rose.

To summarize, Russell T. Davies, great television author, succeedes to make each episode of each season a little event going up progressively to the final big boom:
* unsaid love of the Doctor and Rose for the first two season, while initiating new spectators to this universe5 and the break under the Daleks' attack.
* the one-way love of Martha, becoming an allied facing the Master in the third season;
* and Donna's well-branded temper this year.

But, some fans are regretting the good old time6 and, then, the character of Rose Tyler and this great love...

Look for Rose in this fourth season: BBC allowed to let know that Rose will come back in the finale. How to make know it to every one and winning money for the great night? First, the actress on all science-fiction and television series magazines.7 And, let some fuzzy paparazzi-like pictures of the filming slip outside while all episodes are classified, ultra-protected inside the BBC director's office and escorted to the broadcasting studio under heavy guard.

Finally, like Beaujard playing the role of our omni-president's David,8 place Rose in corners of some episodes to tease amateurs: Donna passing in front of Rose in the first episode, Rose shooting silently "Doctor" on a screen at the moment when the Doctor is not watching it.

Rose in the episode broadcasted on 14 June 2008.

The most important, that British philatelists and television channels understood, and that the Académie de philatélie certainly understand too,9 let fans or collectors tell what they want and think of your work. The best advertisment is the one your clients will do for free. To those who need to revise: a fan vid summarizing the three and a half season of Doctor Who:

Notes :
1 : see the Austrian post,
2 : and the Royal Mail.
3 : bloggers and web philatelists won't certainly say it enough: the silver Nicolas' Marianne will be sold to every one ordering it in January 2009. Only if you imagine that two types of this oxydating stamp will be accidentally engraved, do not hurry to the Salon du timbre in Paris just for this thing.
4 : you can perfect your English and the 9th and 10th Doctor season on the Wikipédia in English.
5 : always remember to recruit new members...
6 : even if British Richard West, in July 2008 Stamp Magazine page 37, recalls that in 1908 the philatelic press was complaining about the too numerous stamps issued, on the interest of becoming a philatelic association's member if no member do benevolent activities, of the use of a national federation of philatelic associations and on the ideal subscription cost. If French states-general of the philately happen again (free appetizers have always success): reading of 1908 philatelic bulletins.
7 : or invite celebrities known of elders and youngers to give them a glass block and hope it will make the muggle's world will talk about your stamp show.
8 : 2007-2008, an excellent year for this artist that I found too ill-known before and with whom I have a discussion on one of his stamp at the Autumn Show in 2006... But, I am absolutely not wanting to accept the philosophy that animates the one who order him his Summer 2008 stamps.
9 : but they are only 81 now, too few? Or too ill-known? Go see their work at the Salon du timbre before Sunday 22 June 2008.

Blog while moving

I want you to know that, until the end of July, this blog will be half sleeping because of my moving. In consequence, now my philately is in boxes, soon it and me will temporarily be "elsewhere" until we'll be again "at home".

For at least, one and a half week, there will be messages before a pause with some notes from time to time.

Have a nice Northern hemisphere temperate Summer and a good Southern hemisphere temperate Winter, and live well under your quasi-permanent climate in the tropics and near the equator.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Save money at the office

Firms can save money on their office needs thank to meter machine:

At the Football Association regional ligue of Paris - Île-de-France, covers are still pre-printed while the postal adress appears on the postage meter. Useless personalisation that certainly has a cost.

A good Soccer European Championship 2008 to those who are following it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Scott corrects a 60 year old error

A little more than sixty years after its writing in 194, Scott corrected the France's stamp list in its world stamp catalogue, tome 2 (C to F countries), 2009 edition. The news was printed and explained in July 2008 Scott Stamp Monthly.

The two Arc de triomphe series (1 and 2) were until the 2008 edition listed and numbered into the stamps issued in France by a foreign country, because they were produced by the Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories. The United States created these institutions for States freed in 1944-1945 from Nazi German occupation and considered without a legal government.

In the case of France, the AMGOT prepared stocks of banknotes, postage stamps (which were the sole stamps in France to have the Republican "liberté, égalité, fraternité" motto printed until the 14 July Marianne of 1997), administrative documents and adequate personnel.

However, long before Liberation, General Charles de Gaulle refused any idea of another government ruling French liberated territories than a French managed one. On philatelic matter, the United Kingdom helped him produced a Marianne series by Edmund Dulac. In Algiers, the French Committee for National Liberation - to become the Provisional Government of French Republic - ordered a second series by Louis Fernez.

The AMGOT stamps were finally accepted and issued by the French posts in September 1944 for the first series and in February 1945 for the second one. They were not widely used because of frequent rate changes.

In the 2009 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, these stamps are finally recognized as issued by the local postal authority and included - with the help of letters - inside the number list of stamps of France.

Now, book's prices:

If a strong euro againt United States dollar provoked a - perhaps exagerated - rise in the catalogue prices of stamps, it permits European readers to order with more ease books to the other side of the Atlantic. One tome of the Scott Catalogue cost around 70 dollars in print and 65 on DVD. On this 10 June 2008 believing the XE convertor: 45 and 42 euros. The whole world catalogue (six books) will cost around 270 euros... 315 if you add the United States Specialized to be published in October 2008.

For a French known reference, if you want Yvert et Tellier world catalogue, you need the 17 tomes, yearly updates for French-centered countries, less for non-European non-French colonial countries, let's say... 450 euros! (without the France catalogue, prices read on Yvert website). I hope that world specialized collectors compared printed details before buying.

To enlarge the market, Stanley Gibbons published a French-centered catalogue at 35 pounds sterling (around 45 euros), including stamps of: France, official services, some end-of-catalogue, French post offices abroad, former colonies and protectorates, nowadays oversea territories and collectivities, Andorra (French and Spanish posts) and Monaco. Check the details you need.

When a French stamp dealer will import and promote English-printed catalogues in France, it will shake the world catalogue market a little.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The French Post in Capital magazine

Capital, a French monthly magazine, has some pages about La Poste in its June 2008 issue.

On pages 44 and 46, a summary of express delivery service, Chronopost, recalled the difficulties of years 2005-2007. La Poste asked too much too quickly to its daughter-firm while the big heads were fighting each other... In the meantime, Netherland-based competitor TNT adapted quickly and efficiently in France to the European Union new speed limit for trucks (in January 2007 on the continent). For Chronopost, all this is told to be past time: clients and cash are coming back.

Two ads pages (73 and 75) try to catch entrepeunarial attention to the "ad mail" with psychedelic scenes. Slogans are "the real victory is when you are invaded by your clients" and "it is by far the best solution to precisely target [clients]". The serious part (white background, readable non contractual text and telephone number) shows with icons the six main services proposed by La Poste : to manage clients' data, conceive documents, fabrication, sending, reception and managing returning mail, archiving. Paper spam has a long life ahead of it...

The amateurs of banknotes and security printing will look at the picture report photographed at La Banque de France's euro banknote printing plant in Vic-le-Comte.

Capital is available in international press bookshop in Europe and Frenchspeaking Africa.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Summer soon

Touristic pictorial cancellation of Monaco,
French PTT-held post office in Monte-Carlo,
15 March 1961.

The definitive stamp, picturing Rainier III, philatelist prince,
by Henry Cheffer.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Colombia and the future of postage stamps?

Read on the Virtual Stamp Club, a news from Colombia puzzled me. Then, with added comments, it made questions appear.

The Colombian postal operator, Servicios Postales Nacionales, become 4-72, La Red Postal de Colombia (4-72, the postal network of Colombia), understand 4° North, 72° West, approximatively, the geographic coordinates of the country:

Agrandir le plan

Besides the change of brand, a new service will be created: postage stamps will be expected to re-appear in post offices (or agencies part-something part-post offices). Until now, only one philatelic shop, at the minister of Communications, in Bogota, sold stamps to the public!

The post offices existed, but they franked with postage meters. Stamps were available only if the agent (or the client) bought them in Bogota.

On the forum, a United States unhabitant told, but past British and French messages on many forums and magazines concurred: the dream of some postal clercks would be quick and easy postage meter printing machine in post offices, clients ordering postage stamps directly to the postal operator philatelic service, or clients printing their own stamps at home with a web subscription.

Colombian post did it and seemed to be coming back... My hypothesis: the printed meter stamp, a weak ambassador of the country in political difficulties towards its citizens and to the rest of the world?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Michèle Chauvet and French America

Since Monday, June 1st 2008, the new postal history book by Michèle Chauvet is published by Brun & Fils editions.

The French specialist already composed books about France's classical postal history and about postal relations between France and Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. She earned her philatelic titles: elected member of the Académie de philatélie and of the equivalent academies in Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. In 2006, she signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists.

In these around four hundreds pages, she told, with official texts and covers, the history of postal services (and rates) of the French American territory at the age of postage stamps: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.

If 130 euros seem a round sum, watch Jean-François Brun's firm website: the book was at one hundred euros by subscription. Better than money, Brun pointed in his presentation of the book that French-speaking philately wrote little about French colonial postal history after all. Compared to the English-speaking philatelists and the former British Empire postal history.

Bonne lecture.

Reminder : Jean-François Brun and Michèle Chauvet (2007). Introduction à l'histoire postale [de France].

Monday, June 02, 2008

Simply Austria

Now that Bhutan's philatelic reputation is saved: read Graham Knight (in Stamp Magazine of April 2008, pages 68-70) who go see for himself, and watch the covers reproduced in L'Écho de la timbrologie of June 2008, pages 62-65,...

let's save our own European Bhutan: Austria.

For some years now, this country has been postage-stamping celebrities (the Governor of California, Michael Schumacher), spicing stamps with shiny bits (soccer cup), stamp in full soccer ball marketed plastic, etc.

Either the Austrian post is the victim of the same jealous persecution as Bhutan, or it possesses the best advertisment agency ever. Persecuted, yes! Because at the corner of a Postcrossing postcard I received, you can that still issues simple, quiet, motionless stamps, in one word : postage.

Gewöhnlicher Schneeball designed by Rudolf Galler or, scientific named Viburnum opulus.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Surviving flames

Found in the mail of a school, is this cover of 23 May 2008 wearing one of the last pictorial cancellations of France?

And an old one... the five-digit postal code "password of your mail" (said the pictorial) was introduced at the beginning of the 1970s in France, hence the educative cancellations.

In Massy, south of Paris region, an old cancelling machine is continuing its decorative job, before certainly to let room to a secretly coded cancelling machine. I hope that, in Massy, the situation will last, whatever the reason.

A detail: it is one of the rare time I can find a 2000s Marianne so out of its center. It reminds me one of the good title in Timbroloisirs (one of the magazine gathered into Timbres magazine): « la frontière mal définie qui sépare les méprisables "très mal centrés" des très respectables "piqués à cheval" » = the ill-defined border between the despicable "very out-centered" form the very respectable "cut in the middle".

Grand-Mère, Québec

Always surprising are some toponyms, as Grand-Mère, since 2002 part of Shawinigan municipality, Québec.