After December 2006, I was thinking a lot about how philatelic services manage the last week's issues of the current year.
Remember, on 1st December 2006, the Monaco Postage Stamp Issue Office (OETP) issued more than half og its 2007 philatelic program. The next year, two 2008 issued appeared in October and December 2007. This year again, two main issues on Arctic explorations and one stamp were issued before their printing date of 2009.
On the French side, generally, it is quiet, almost August-quiet after the Autumn Stampshow in Paris. The French issuer is full of money when its Monegasc neighbout is still hungry?
In December 2006, Monaco had two causes: an international exhibit and, certainly, been taken by surprise by La Poste's changes of rates on last 1st October. Remember the French post is the postal operator in Monaco, even if the country is philatellicly independent. The OETP do not issue small value stamp, but it has almost one per rate (example). We can imagine the annoyance for clients to have a systematic travel to the post counter to obtain small cent machine stamps.
In December 2007 and 2008, the January events can be an excuse : the yearly circus festival and, this year, the Prince Albert II going to Antarctica. But, don't these can be foresee? Even with the delays imposed by the printer, Phil@poste Boulazac, can not OETP issue these stamps in a year printed on the stamp?
My paranoiac mind wondered and wondered. It can not have confidence into philatelic services. One hypothesis emerged: the catalogue value.
Among the many habits circulating between collectors, collection exhibitors and their juries, there is the one of the stamp used during its period of sale. A mode institutionalised in France with the Dallay catalogue that values the stamps cancelled used for a precise rate and during the period of sale.
But, not everybody have his Dallay(-Maury cuckoo) with him to verify dates of sales and value. Certainly, some buyers confront with large scales the stamp printed year with the month and year of cancellation.
In this game, stamps issued late in the year are losing against the others: less chances to be used during the year of issuance and more chances to be believed used outside the dates of sale. And, by inconscious consequences, less bought by collectors and correspondents?
Here is my hypothesis for the French philatelic quiet starting mid-November and ending as soon as the first Janury week-end, and of the Monaco rish to issue its next year stamps.