Sunday, September 13, 2009

Joyeux anniversaire, Stamp Magazine !

The British monthly Stamp Magazine is celebrating its seventy-five years of activity with the October 2009 issue, available in newstands until the first week of that month (in France, at the WHSmith on Rivoli Street, Paris).

To summarize: pleasant and easy-to-find reading of news and auctions pages, and specialised yet accessible articles of one to five pages.

On the competitive side, articles are more specialised and need a more attentive reading in Gibbons Stamp Monthly, even if the news pages need a serious revamp. GSM has been proposing its services since 1927, or 1890 if you consider the successive publications of Stanley Gibbons.

With this anniversary issue, a fac-similé of the October 1934 number 1 is offered and commented by Richard West. Sixteen of the current editors and writers present seventy-four philatelic events of the United Kingdom and the world from 1934 to 2008. Like often in Stamp Magazine way of writing, the small facts, long forgotten, are retrieved and told to learn again how the postage stamp and postal system evolved since the 1930s. Thank to Adrian Keppel, the European definitives are not forgotten.

An article by John Winchester on Croydon Airport's postal activities in South London echoes the 1934 article by R. Ridgway on the first airmail flights between England and Australia to be officialised in December 1934.

The news pages are catching, readable and wide: from a scandal in Norway where Nobel price of literature, but nazi supporter, Knut Hamsun was commemorated by a stamp, to the closing of a dealer's shop in London, due to high rent and web sales.

So British are, to a French reader of magazines, the auction sales. They are a large part of the advertising and have their own news part. Investphila of Switzerland proposed classical stamps of Uruguay while buyer-auctionist Tony Lancaster studies without excess the question of auction catalogues: illustrated or simple listing, free or sold.

The Monaco Postage Stamp Issuing Office continues to parade its model with stripping stamps. This time, the dress is of one well-affixed stamp. One stamp that aims to Britishmen: a Monaco stamp for the one hundred and fifty years of Big Ben.

Happy birthday, Stamp Magazine! And to read you again next month!

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