Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apologies from a water polo afficionado

Philately will come back here soon.

I was occupied at the LEN Trophy's first round which took place in Montpellier ; it is the secondary European water polo cup. The home club won the fourth and last qualifying place for the next stage.

No, I was not in the water. If I had tried that, I would finally have touched the three meter bottom of the Venus olympic-size pool in Antigone... for a long time.

Supporter emotions to ease down, pictures to archive and sleep before stamps again. Sleep because in the middle of all this, I forgot the damned Winter time change and to be up at five sharp is quiet early, even to watch water polo.

To help you wait, you can read this topical humorous note I forgot to translate from my blog in French:

Believing the French stamp catalog website Phil-Ouest search engine, there is no postage stamp of France about water polo despite a gold medal at the 1924 Olympic Games.

And because the team did not qualify, not even the hope of a stamped medal of the exquisite
Helsinki's Games series designed by André Jacquemin. The genesis of this late issuedseries was recently told in Timbres magazine in September 2008.

Here you are when you win before the postal printing plant has not yet been launched at full ramming speed to a wall.

Let's picture it again with the shooter on the left, I am sure that you can do a five to ten stamp minisheet with this picture: shooter, arm up defensor, retropedaling goalkeeper, standing coach, worrying president, substitute, the offensive countdown clock, the advert baloons, spectators, referee in white, federal delegate, ball, etc. And with my pool-o-phobic camera, not a change that someone recognizes a living person.
(licence : Creative Commons by-nc-nd, taken during the fifth place match, Cup of France).



They dit it alREADY!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finnish Braille, a definitive commodity

Already presented here, a good habit of Posti: to issue each year a stamp of Finland which denomination is printed in Braille to help blind people.

Here is the 22 January 2009 one with a morning landscape of Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, in Northern Finland.

Always more useful than a commemorative issue in Braille once every decade.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why Guernsey pictorial cancellations are rare

Guernsey Post is forty years old[1] (thirty-nine when I received this Postcrossing card), but it can commit errors:

There are pictorial cancellations in Guernsey, but very difficult to discern. Empty inker? Air mail label too thick?

[1] : read October 2009 Gibbons Stamp Monthly's four articles on Guernsey postal, marcophilic and philatelic history.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

France like you smell it

In the Summer 2008 issue of Timbres magazine, Socrate, nickmame of a free spirited philatelist, proposed to import in France the Japan's regional issue. One or two stamps per year and per regions, on a purely regional topic, regionally chosen with work from regional artists.

Alas! The French philatelic service, Φl@poste, heard its socratism and three serious and tragic events happened. First, a φl@telic diarrhea of two hundreds and sixty-four photographed copy-paste on adhesive paper. Then, the twenty-three cent cost per already-personalised stamps. Finally, believing some testimonies on a frp forum, the reprint of some of these souvenirs because they were popular enough...

Puig, excellent cheesemaker in Montpellier,
23 Saint-Guilhem Street, in the historical towncenter.
And, in need of bread, you can go to Lo Monaco,
8 Jean-Jacques-Rousseau Street.

To relay Socrate in the idea department and Φl@poste in the search of pigeons, I propose a series entitled France like you smell it: one stamp per cheese of our regions. According to known men's quotations, there would two to three hundreds stamps, enough for a new diarrhea like in Spring 2009.

And if Φl@boulazac, my new way of calling Φl@poste's printing plant, would want to use again the chocalate-smelling micro-bubble technology improved with the ageing of the odor, the issue title would become a commercial promise.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

France 2011 program (first part only... oh my)

The first part of France's philatelic program for 2011 was published on 29 September 2009 by the Ministry of Industry.

My problem is not about the topics ; let see what the artist will do with them.

It is: it is only the first part, when many postal operators would be happy with that: twenty-one issues plus ten message stamps, nicknamed writing stamps at one moment, semi-permanent stamps on the other.

I see that the Minister of the Industry did not use the big-hearted names described into the magnificent Charter of the Φlatélie... Has none of the signatories sent him one copy?

Or, if his services did receive it, it seems they decided to do it simple and efficient: like before.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Back to optimism and futility: be philatelist

And hop, to be light again and let's sail to Bermuda... (stereotyped music of the Pacific isles) Isles with an encharming name in the Northern Atlantic when Autumn is planting tent in the Southern of France... And one of the British overseas tax havens.

In March 2009, the Bermuda Monetary Authority introduced new banknotes for the four hundreds years of the long last installation of Britishmen and slaves on the site. Yes, a sort of definitive note series with a commemorative first day of issue.

How to use these notes has got many likenesses with all the overwhelming issuance policy of many philatelic services and agencies in the world. To make it simple, one dollar of Bermuda plus cost is worth around one dollar of the United States of America, near-by provider of green notes which usuaully migrate with businessmen, their lawyers, their bankers or people on vacation. The United States dollar is accepted everywhere, but the problem begins if the change is given to you in the local currency. The latter can be used or changed only in the archipelago. Either you spend them or you make a changing office happy.

The Nature and Machin side of a new twenty dollar note
(blog Banknote News, 28 March 2009).

Why am I, right now, interesting in these far away notes?

No, not because of the frog (one of the human-brought-them species). You are confusing with Eric's blog.

Look weel... yes, there!

Below the ocean, the islands-profile hologram, the frog!!

Left bottom!!!

YESSSSSSSSSS: the magnificent effigy of Her Majesty by Arnold Machin.

The new set of banknote is more modern in design and the queen's portrait was disminished to the cameo size it has on the commemorative stamps of the United Kingdom. And the Machin effigy can do that very well without hurting the Monarchy.

The Architecture without Machin side
(blog Banknote News, 28 mars 2009).

On the other side, a little more of fauna and flora, and an historical architectural element of the territory.

Thanks to the Banknote News blog that illustrated with specimen images when the official issuer shows nothing.

Be pessimistic

On the second thought, even British collectors are old disgusting men for the Monaco Postage Stamp Issue Office. In the all new November 2009 Stamp Magazine, the famous model loses her stamps to attract Britishmen to the prestigious exhibition Monacophil, on 4 to 6 December 2009. Yet, on the Côte d'Azur, at worst, she will end clothed with a swimming suit.

In Metropolitain France, the Charter of the Φlately let the French Φlatelic service do whatever he wants. Now, it is the French Southern and Antarctic Territories' Service of Posts and Telecommunications (SPT of the TAAF) that plays the same game. And hop, a highly speculative product non perforated is given to five hundreds happy few (too chics to queue at the next Paris Autumn Stampshow?). And hip, the happy few is happy of the pretty gift, but sad to see the SPT is going back to unperforated bad demons of its Metropolitan older brother. The happy few asks : "So, scandal or no scandal to come?" Then, hypocrites or no hypocrites, the five hundreds future speculators?

Finally, in today's mail, the trimestrial bulletin of the actions of Doctors Without Borders. Little summaries on how received gifts are used to help people around the world, including the nine millions United States dollars from collector (who do not need unperforate pseudo-issues...) Bill Gross. In March 2009, inhabitants of Mayotte chose to make it a French département. The French philatelic pond wondered if it can still issue postage stamps after the process being complete. There may be more urgent tasks: Doctors Without Borders are operating free clinics in the nowadays slums of the future One Hundred and One Département of France.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

October in France: Hell! Three more months!

Sorry for the rudeness, but it is what I thought when I began to prepare this article about France's issue in October 2009... the first time since last January when I decided to follow a whole year.

I flush at once the dolls on 19 October. Advantage: some of the minoritary first day of sales outside Paris. The topic is of no interest to my personal self. It merits a little note though: thank to the people in charge that make engraver Elsa Catelin perform intaglio printing on offset picturing. The result is far from Martin Mörck's sport cars for Danmark, but Phil@poste is trying something...

I go past Hansi's artwork, pseudonym of Jean-Jacques Walz, an Alsatian illustrator known for his pro-French positions at a time when Alsace was a German Empire territory between 1870 and 1918. It will surely please Alsatians, especially with the chosen traditional costume topic. Perhaps something more "Résistant" would have better put its artwork in context, but I will not here replace art politic history specialists.

Resistant during the 1870 War (in preparation of the one hundred and thiry years anniversary of that war and its Third Republican consequences?), Juliette Dodu.

A master subject to attract collector's money: a French resistant to a German invasion, a heroin of the Posts and Telegraphs administration - PTT nostalgia... when a French newsweekly is putting a mediatic final to a popular referendum against the privatisation of La Poste.

Pierre Jullien already wrote what he is thinking of this stamp and I largely second his motion: why the Irish colour in the background? And you really need a pre-mobile phone historic culture to understand that Juliette spied on German telegraphic messages.

Plus an historiographic problem (even if the French Wikipedia's references came from a television-linked author: for Guy Breton, the decorated resistant might not have resist at all. He said it doesn't exist archives of our verdict to the death penalty, nor of the Prussian hereditary Prince, later Emperor Friedrich III's grace.

All this (design and historic): the fault of the designer Claude Perchat and the engraver Marie-Noëlle Goffin? Of Phil@poste pleased to have an easy subject to sell to old collectors? Of the Minister in charge of the philatelic program and of the polician from La Réunion or the Loiret who lobbied for the stamp?

Let be the 12 October stamp for the centenary of the monument put in front the Universal Postal Union's headquarters in Bern. A France-Switzerland joint issue honoring its sculptor: René de Saint-Marceaux (1845-1915).

There, my opinion diverged greatly from Pierre Jullien's point of view.

A topic that goes outside the habits despite the UPU for all season topical diarrhea. That may be because of the Swiss touch (thanks to Silvia Brüllhardt): the artwork and the artist are both represented on the stamp, very rare on French stamps.

Secondly, with September stamp about Eugène Vaillé - an important unknown person before the efficient noisy lobby done by La Poste's Museum Friends Society, philatelists have finally "their stamps", about their passion. Even if the Vaillé stamp design is closer to the desperating classicism of a Juliette Dodu.

Finally, it is not because nineteenth century "official" artists were quickly forgotten by the masses that they are to be forgotten for all. Personally, I would like that some contemporary artists avoid posterity.

Enfin, ce n'est pas parce que les artistes « officiels » sont vite oubliés par la masse qu'il faut les oublier complètement. Personnellement, je souhaiterais bien que certains artistes contemporains évitent la postérité. Outre-noir...

And for that stamp, Phil@poste goes with the violins again to be sure the collectors came to buy: one intaglio printed portrait one! There are not resting, Boulazac's in house engravers.

Yet, on this joint issue, it is the Swiss Post that is considering its collector's money:

Screen capture of the news page in French, Swiss Post's website (initial address, 2 October 2009).

The Swiss gemini will a service stamp, only usable on mail posted at the Uuniversal Postal Union headquarters...

So, only one stamp is of my interest and will relay the Avignon one on my cards to Switzerland and European Union postcrossers.

Already, on a commercial page for the Paris Autumn Stampshow, a catastroph is announced for November: an infamous two stamp minisheet with two different rates, with the vice to choose an expensive and less common one...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Are French collectors old disgusting persons?

It is the question I am asking myself when I read commercial pages in philatelic magazines, and not when I see French philatelic service's director Eslinger putting a Greek sign to warn parents of stamps issued for a population that may, during a symposium, propose to their innocent collecting children unimaginable « têtes-bêches à gros cachet 69. »

Today, it is the Monaco Postage Stamp Issue Office (OETP) that has a very stereotyped communication.

You certainly recall that, since Spring 2009, the Prince's Office has been using the back charms of a model walking to promote the Mediterranean principality's commemorative stamps. One day she is schocking by losing stamped parts of her dress... The other she wears with style a one-stamp dress. Like all good model, she is travelling a lot: from Monte Carlo to London through Paris.

But, when comparing October 2009 magazines from both sides of the Channel...

In the United Kingdom, in Stamp Magazine, she is proudly wearing a Big Ben stamp dress in the eve of the 2010 Festival of Stamp, marked by a great exhibition next May. The British man knows how to appreciate a beautiful woman, and a dress too.

In France, in Timbres magazine, she is again indecent under the graphic tools of a sex addicted illustrator. The message: "Meet me in Paris" at the Autum Stamp Show in November... to see the bottom or the upper ungummed? Makes me believe that only the hope of fresh female bodies can attract Frog collectors.