Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On tracks

In 2008, the rack train between Königswinter and the summit of Drachenfels celebrated its one hundred and twenty-five years.

Stamp created by Lutz Menze.

In Helsinki, since 1999, the tramway network has been using low-floor vehicles like the one pictured on this 2007 stamp.

From a stamp series about public transportation.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Make room

In May, collectors of France will need more room with thirty nine new stamps.

4 May, Europa issue: French Space Agency CNES's illustrator, David Ducros, propose a view of Saturn and one of an exoplanet. He already produced a stamp in 2007 for the fifty years of human conquest of space.

These two 0.70 euro stamps will be the first Europa issue in the 20 gram postal rate to the European Union countries since 2006, when this rate diverged from the national rate.

Wednesday 13 May, first days at the Jardin d'acclimation, typical place now for stamp collecting families with children and sun bathering in green nature. But, this May will see a change in clients: no Happy Birthday issue will a youth literature topic. A new sort of booklet will be issued with eight postcard-like picture stamps with never changing monuments of France. The rate will be "Monde 20 g" (World 20 grams).

The Holidays booklet continues its chromatical journey, but, this year, I will not follow: how RED it is! A little artificially saturated, no? The booklet - unfortunately - goes to fourteen stamps, including six mini-stamps. I will regret the "Blue" and "Green" booklets, where another colors gave a more relaxed atmosphere from pictures more "as it is". Tennis fans will like two of those stamps.

18 May. Let's blink on the service stamps for the Council of Europe whose headquarters are in Strasbourg. They are not supposed to be used on French mail ^^... They will sell easily because one of them has got the logotype of the sixty year old institution.

18 May. The town of Chaumont chose its stamp after a design competition: no monument, no sightseeing. You have to look for the poster printing to understand why Frank Vriens' project was chosen. The stamp will be issued during the first week of the twentieth International Poster and Graphism Festival.

On 25 May, a little tour to the protestants with a five hundred anniversary stamp on Jean Calvin.

The Club philatélique de l'Élysée get two first days of sale and eleven new stamps for its first show at the Pavillon Gabriel, right next to the Élysée Presidential Palace.

First, a-no-ther map of the Mediterranean Sea for the Euromed Postal conference. It is a topical meeting of the Euromediterranean Partnership, boosted last July 2008 into the Union for the Mediterranean (the one with the stamp that makes waters go up). The first conference was organized by La Poste in July 2007 (autopromotion?), the second in Alexandria, Egypt on 24 and 25 May 2009. That is the meaning of the rays of light refering to the lighthouse of Alexandria. This stamp surely pleases people outside the philatelic range, but it made the Black Sea, the Red Sea and the Atlantic Ocean disappeared... Now, this time, the stamp that makes water go down!

The big issue will be a chocolate bar though. It smells like chocolate. Pierre-André Cousin illustrated the ten bits with illustration like sculpted on chocolate bar. But they are ten stamps telling the story of cacao from South America to Bayonne, France in 1609.

Even without the odor, the Chocolate minisheet is to be seen for its design... Let's hope Phil@poste will not begin to sell chocolate bar looking like the stamps in post offices (the price will be awful). On the opposite, I bet that the Club philatélique de l'Élysée will certainly find a Parisian chocolatier to imitate the minisheet and offer a tasting to a Presidential neighbour passing by.

The rest of May issue interest me not, but Chaumont if I was interested in poster art.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What's left?

Nothing? And I am not talking of my mania of the week: floating suits in competitite swimming.

The postal free rate inside Andorra may have disappeared believing Mai 2009 issue of Timbres magazine. To say it, it copied/pasted (red link included on the monthly's website) the introduction of the Wikipedia in French's article. And add the part of the disappearance without giving any references: informations from the two postal operators in the Pyrenean principality (Correos and La Poste) or their agreement with the government?

I tried to explore the website of the latter, in catalan, without any reference on the postal system late 2008, beginning of 2009. Only thing on Spanish press website: Correos employees in Andorra went on strike to be paid like their colleagues in Spain. Was it the cause of the postal rate change? Was this the case of La Poste's employees too?

First day of sale for La France comme j'aime (reminder). Suprise for Montpellier on the official website: 8.30am-12pm at the Préfecture post office... No public room... while there are 1'500 people massing from regions of France to Antigone swimming pool for France Swimming Championships : massive business opportunity and many public rooms available all around.

This morning, around 10am, five persons were waiting in line at the office's shop. A little table for the first day cancel. One other for an association proposing their former souvenirs.

Sad first day party. Too much stamps? Not enough time to prepare for the local association? But, what were the motivations of other associations in Languedoc-Roussillon then?

But, some things are still there: touristic souvenirs on stamps. On 14 May 2009, foreign tourists in France will be able to buy a eigh stamp booklet entitled La France en timbres Post Images of France, with a cover in English, Spanish, German and Japanese.

Parisian newspaper and postcard stands will be happy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Are you looking for a new specialised collection?

Are you fed up of your own country's definitive series, classic, contemporary, even the colonial ones? Know that foreign countries can be interesting too.

Adrian proposed a little tour of Europe, with the Flowers of Germany, for example.

The Plate Number Coil Collectors Club (PNC3) listed the different forms of sale of the United States Forever stamp (reminder).

On the side of the inexhaustible Machin, the incredible Douglas Myall informed that the Royal Mail put a tiny difference in the different forms of sale, that is of printing and making, of the new non-denominated stamps with the new security features. A letter changes everything: to your magnifyer! And do not forget the rest.

27 April 2009 : to help you with the new Machins, the MachinManiacals summarized what is known about the stamps from booklets.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

RDP signatories for 2009

The white smoke finally appeared at the top of chimney, in Albion, where the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists Board of Election was meeting. The four chosen will sign the parchment, one of many anglo-saxon philatelic awards at the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain, on 7 July 2009, in Manchester.

All are brilliant philatelists.

British John Sussex participated to the organisation of numerous national and international exhibitions. One of these volunteers, generous of their time, always necessary. He is one sponsor of the Festival of stamps that will take place in London in May 2010.

Australian Geoffrey Neil Kellow is an important author that made Stanley Gibbons updated its catalogues after his publications on the stamps of Australian States. But, he is a biliophile and librarian too. In 2006, when the Australian Philatelic Federation awarded him with the Australian Philatelic Order, he was working on the index numerisation and search engine of important Australian societies' libraries. To bequeathed his books do not suffice: there are to be little hands to make them tools available easily for decades afterwards.

Barbara R. Mueller of the United States has not ceased to write and help publishing philatelic periodicals in her country. To such a state that her pairs were out of personal awards, so that the United States Stamp Society created an award in her name given to the author of the best article published in The American Philatelist, the American Philatelic Society's magazine.

Finally, a British francophile: George Barker. A foreign corresponding member of the Académie de philatélie, he get the pleasure of studying France's 1900 definitive triology (Blanc, Mouchon, Merson series) and of the Sabine. Some French African colonies interest them too. And, patriot (?), even Elizabeth II photographed by Dorothy Wilding attracts his eyes.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Maternity in Spain

Because I seldom follow the social calendar: a subject on maternity, illustrated by J. Carrero (difficult to retrieve his first name on Google).

This stamp of Spain was the non religious Christmas stamp, issued by Correos in 2008. The christian stamp showed three santons from a Nativity scene designed by Naplese artists for two sons of King Charles III.

I have not practice Spanish philately very often, outside a journey to Barcelona. It seems that adhesive issues have expanded: look at the absence of paper threads along the right side stamp.

In Spain, these adhesive stamps are sold in booklet of twenty. But their backing paper is perforated in line so that the stamp can be isolated. It permitted me to buy only one adhesive stamp at the philatelic office in Barcelona. Is this done at regular post office too?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tutti frutti

To read British monthly Stamp Magazine's first pages (news and most expensive advertisment places) is always a pleasure for the curious one. Here is a little part of what I discover with the May 2009 pages.

As soon as the second page, the famous commercial, judged as anti-women dignity, from the Monaco Postage Stamp Issuing Office, in its English version: "Our collection, will suit you perfectly" while the French one said: "Soyez affranchis, offrez-vous une nouvelle collection" (Be franked/liberated, offer yourself a new collection). This campaign has a important merit compared to its predecessors: it makes blogging.

Page 7, Prestige Philately of Melbourne used one of its two paid pages to show only one lot of its 13 June 2009 sale: a printed project of the Chalon effigy stamp for Queensland, extracted from Bernie Manning's collection. Beautiful.

Page 9 is more topical... Gibraltar put the faces of Queen Elizabeth II's grand-children on 42 pence stamps while Åland, page 10, asked former President of Finland and Nobel Price of Peace, Martti Ahtisaari, to design a stamp.

But the sensation is printed on page 10. A radioactive cover! Found in the ruins of a bank in Hiroshima in August 1945. Between 6 and 10 May in Essen, it will be exhibited at IBRA'09, the international and national German exhibition, inside its lead and security glass coffer.

Opposite it, page 11, the IBRA'09 official auction house, Felzmann, bought the ad page to show a hand of British Empire lots from its sales.

Page 13 concluded this news part with a second Monaco commercial. No, the model did not finish losing its stamp dress. Here, that is not sale for collector, it is serious thing for philatelist (or princes): to announced with the Club of Monte-Carlo the prestige exhibit Monacophil 2009, between 4 and 6 December 2009. Two advertisments worlds apart for two collections and two publics worlds apart too?

for amateurs of topical, Adrian Keppel told the history of France with 1966-1973 Albert Decaris' stamp series. For amateurs of rarities, Bob Odenweller chose sixteen pieces in William H. Gross' United States collection.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Frenchs' Marianne still useful, not yet withdrawn

If you were in Paris (and unable to visit the Eiffel Tower because of the strike) and wanted to send a postcard or a letter to friends inside the European Union or in Switzerland, you could use Nicolas' Marianne in dark blue (nicknames "Blue Europe" by Phil@poste) or, recently, had been able to lick and stick the Avignon Palace of Popes stamp.

If you search the internet, at the Boutique du timbre of Phil@poste, you can find Marianne des Français stamps at 0.70 euro dark green, issued at a time when this rate was for the 50-100 gram economic nationwide mail (2006-2008, now 0.73 euro).

However, JVC philatélie and Blog philatélie announced the withdrawal of many Marianne des Français value, including this one, on 20 February 2009. My order was sent late March and arrived in the first day of April. Here is a copy of the website screen made today, Thursday 9 April 2009.

Were there understantable difficulties to follow on a daily basis the acts of Phil@poste? Error when consulting the website? Or, not an error, but the stamps reappeared after some days of withdrawal when the stock was better accounted and to important not be transform into good money? [10 April 2009 : Visibly none of the above by an answer of Dominique on the Blog philatélie. An answer that may emphasize on the need for philatelists to be more independent from La Poste to answer the following question: ]

What is now a withdrawal date?
- the one of the general sale: no more this stamp at post offices and Phil@poste shops?
- the one of all possible sales by one of La Poste's constituents?

Already the authors of the Dallay+Rousso=Maury stamp catalogue of France printed this information in tiny characters, if they have to put many dates.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Guernsey stamps on novel cover

The philatelic eye never sleeps in order to catch every perforated piece of paper.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a epistolary novel by Mary Ann Shaffer et Annie Barrows. The title was translated in French as Le Cercle littéraire des amateurs d'épluchures de patates [The Literary Circle of Potato Peelings Amateurs].

Action took place in the Channel island of Guernsey, occupied by the German army, in the first half of the 1940s. Rationing certainly forced the use of potato peelings to make pies.

The paperback edition's cover presented a piece of an enveloppe franked with two stamps issued then to face the lack of postage stamps of the United Kingdom. Figuring the coat of arms of the Duchy of Normandy, they were issued under the authority of the States of Guernsey. Where as the Stanley Gibbons gives them different designers and printers, the first stamps of the States of Jersey were identical, but of course the island's name.

Stamps are the one penny red and the two pence and a half marine blue.

One of page let you zoom on the cover and decipher the cancel date: on 12 April 1944 in Saint Martin, one of the parishes.

This use is historically correct (not judging the color shades and the postal rate): the one penny was circulating since February 1941 and the two pence and a half was issued on 12 April 1944.

Here is the French edition that caught my eye yesterday afternoon. It is common to the English hard cover edition.

Stamps were modified: half penny green and one penny red, cancelled on 16 July 1947.

Guernsey was liberated with the surrender of German soldiers in the morning of the 9 May 1945. How much time were these war occupation stamps used? Decided by the local authority of this Crown Dependencies, they may have lasted, but my current personal ressources prevent me to conclude.

The search begins (9 April 2009) :

Ian Billings, on the Virtual Stamp Club, completes my Commonwealth & British Empire Stamps with another Stanley Gibbons catalogue, the one on the Channel Islands, which indicates a use until 13 April 1946. The stamps could not have been used in 1947.

He expressed doubts on the datestamp too: historically, it was made by a machine in combinaison with a message or wavy lines cancellation, not applied by hand like the cover might suggest. Even like this, he said that would certainly not use with a letter in the bottom part (here a M).

Thank you, Ian.

Anecdote read in the stamp catalogue: printings were done on white paper, but two during Spring 1942 (one for the half penny and one for the one penny). French bank note paper was used.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Turkish stamp cancelled and completed by meter

This letter was sent from Turkey to France on 24 March 2009. It was franked by a stamp about İzmir of sixty kuruş. Over it, a machine stamp was printed as cancellation and as a twenty-five kuruş franking.

Let's remind that, after 1 January 2009, only the new lira and its "yeni kuruş" (nouveaux kuruş) are circulating in Turkey, after a January 2005 to December 2008 transition with the ancient lira. The conversion was a division per one million, i.e. erase six zeros. Before, the franking would have been of 850 000 liras.

On the Turkey's PTT website in English, the postage rate tables indicates the above 85 kuruş for a less 20 gram letter to foreign countries, around 0.40 euro.

Now, was it posted in Çorlu or in Tekirdağ? As the latter gives its name to their common province, the datestamp must mean "Çorlu, in the province of Tekirdağ".

Friday, April 03, 2009

Quiet April in France

After all, once you forget the two hundreds forty "added value stamps" from our regions, the French philatelic April will be very quiet.

French Caribbean writer and policitian Aimé Césaire merited a postage stamp. It will be issued on 21 April 2009 after a first day of sale in Fort-de-France, Martinique and at the Secretary for the Oversea in Paris, on the day he died one year ago.

The copied/pasted photograph shows a man of conviction... but does it invite to discover his convitions, his writings?

The following week-end will be a Stamp Festival bis: around eighty cities are listed as first day of sales in Timbres magazine (the magazine issued its #100 issue, next April will be the tenth birthday).

The map of the eighty cities: would it be a cartography of the philatelic associative activity? of the proximity network of Phil@poste? of the last philatelic counter postmen waiting to be closed? of the regional newspaper journalists waiting for something new to print?

At least, for the two twelve stamp booklets, do they choose Guy Coda. May that excuse some excess?

Oh... my devil's advocate suit is inspiring me again: in fact, the two hundreds and forty stamps at 0.23 euro the right to buy them, it is to pay a good artist for the booklets.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

King George VI and Maitland, South Australia

Neither a maximum card, nor a first day of issue for the stamp. Simply a card inspired by King George VI:

In civil suit wearing the ribbons of his numerous decorations, the white haired King is neigboured by a stamp of Australia figuring his effigy. This 2 pence purple was issued on 4 December 1944 and designed by F.D. Manley from the same effigy in uniform as the first series of the reign in 1937.

Among many homonyms, the Maitland of the 13 August 1948 cancel, is located in South Australia.

The picture reproduced by editor Photochron is one of the many by Dorothy Wilding. It was taken for the Silver Anniversary of King George and Queen Elizabeth in 1948.

Silver anniversary that was the occasion of a stamp issue in the United Kingdom, designed from two photographs in profile of the couple. George VI profile reminds the Australia seven and a half pence issued in 1951.

To launch a study about British royal effigies on stamps...