Saturday, December 11, 2010

Plastic bag to protect overweighted magazine

Stamp Magazine, whose is now part of another compagny, was overloaded for the January 2011 issue: the magazine of course, a promotional paper, Stanley Gibbons seasonal bag of promotions, another one from another stamp dealer...

... and the plastic bag exploded during the trip.

Here is the yellow bag inside which the magazine and accessories were put by the French post operator.

No datestamp was marked... the magazine was not belated. No reinscribing of the address as it can be read on the initial bag.

On this topic of British magazine sending, I note that, for 2 issues, Gibbons Stamp Monthly arrived one to two later than before... Quelle honte!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Currency exchange in Londonian Monaco

To see, at London 2010, I bought the ASCAT stamp issued by the Monaco Postage Stamp Issues Office.

About the topic of this stamp: William H. Gross, businessman, collector in its own pasttime and generous philanthrop. As soon as he achived a fantasy of having a complete collection, he sold it in the benefit of humanitarian organisations. Last year, the association of philatelic publishing houses, he was honored by their award.

About my curiosity: at the OETP stand, the 1.35 euro stamp was sold 1.35 pound sterling. At an exchange rate of 1 pound for 1.13 to 1.30 euro, a small benefit either for the cost of being at the fair or to avoid huger postage cost to their clients.

The stand was located in a square room that completed the great hall and the catwalks. You could find the second café,
the Post Office counter, Stamp & Coin Mart, Monaco and Australia, and some non European dealers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Philatelic magazines at stamp shows

In Paris, a new "Stamps Planet" show is currently happening without - again - a stand for Timbres magazine. Some years ago, the redaction told the cost of the stand and moved stock was not worth the number of daily visitors during the whole week. Yet there are always present at the Paris Autumn Stamp Show.

Competitors L'Écho, whose website is always in labor, is certainly looking for new subscribers on a more commercial then philatelic stand... or being rattached to Yvert's, its owner.

The Fed Fse Assoc Philat (they signed La Poste's Charter, good call...) missed some letters in its name, but surely distribute its Philatélie française to youngersters and newbies. They will be automaticly subscribers when they participated to an Assoc Philats.

Over the Channel, at the Festival of Stamps 2010, from 8 to 15 May, the three main magazines were present, even on a little corner.

The most simple: Gibbons Stamp Monthly sold inside the Stanley Gibbons stand. Hugh Jefferies, editor- and salesman-in-chief was quite approachable every day all around the show.

Stamp & Coin Mart, Collectors Club of Great Britain's philatelic and numismatic publication, was well represented by a very polite and charming women (not in the Monaco fashion). She was not forcing the subscription, but proposed as a test the last three issues with a discount: 1 pound sterling the issue instead of 3.10.

A draw was proposed too. To win: a day at Bletchey Park, a spy place of World War Two in conjonction with the Britain Alone stamp issue.

A draw again with Stamp Magazine for an unused collection of George V stamps.

Certainly, as Timbres magazine, this company finds the financial cost important, but they were there! Not even a stand, but two lively-and-cheerfully-managed square meters with two chairs, a coffee table, some anniversary issues to be sold, an urn. Little yes, but right at the sole exit :)

I love the British commercial sense.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eurovision topical collection expanding

Tonight, in Norway, the final of the 55th Eurovision Song Contest will take place.

After Finland and its 2007 victory, not very appreciated by French television animators, Norway issued this 18 May a four stamp series about its winners,including the last one: Alexander Rybak.

Eurovision 2009 - Norvège winner (Norway) - Alexander Rybak
envoyé par haribo1912. - Clip, interview et concert.

What is the more laughable in the winner song video is the final comment by French presenter: "he may perhaps finish ahead of Patricia Kass" (the French singering proposed a requiem last year...).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Results of the 2010 London Philatelic Games

I am back from a London week end and a profesional run away to Southern Italy.

Quickly after the doors closed, Saturday 15 May 2010, the palmares of the competitive exhibition of 2010 London stamp show were published. The Grand Prix was incarnated by a reproduction of Arnold Machin's depiction of the Queen's head, offered by the
Royal Philatelic Society London.

This Grand Prix was won by a British indigeneous with a study of the first line engraved stamps. More original would have been the choice of 19th century Korea or San Francisco as a postal hub in the same period.

French speaking philatelists would be please to know that Miss Livie-Laure Tillard (expert's daughter) won the youth prize with her presentation of the Marianne du Bicentenaire overprinted for use in Saint Pierre et Miquelon.

Soon: tales of a stay in London, a little line of the Italian one and too much more on the little stories of the always surprising φrench φlatelic pond (that can not be let alone for a dozen days...).

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Marziano, French dealer and librarian

Pascal Marziano is a French collector, expert, hunter, and consequently, dealer of modern stamps and oddities. He just opens his commercial website.

What could I find while I am not very interested in recent definitive freaks and three-zero philatelic orders?

A bookshop... where the note for each sold book will be kept online to help specialists and curious people know what are the tools of their passion.

A thank to one expert of France's new generation.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Norvic Philatelics finally got a better depiction of the King George V Accession stamp to be issued just before the London Festival of Stamps' exhibition, from 8 to 15 May 2010.

Royal Mail via Norvic Philatelics.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A touch of Braille

It is not because Gibbons Stamp Monthly's editor in chief did not appreciated the boisterous euro coin sale near his stand at MonacoPhil that he kept long grief against Monaco Stamp Issuing Office (OETP).


As soon as the March issue, here is a 2009 stamp of Monaco on the cover to announce Peter Jenning's topical article on the philatelic 200th anniversary of Louis Braille.

The OETP even bought a page of advertisment to announce his stand number at the Festival of Stamps, the international exhibition of London, from 8 to 16 May. And a good page: #6, after the content and before the news section.

And here you can see how the OETP Director changed: no more denuding muse to tease lascive mal...



My apologies: now the lady is almost completely undressed. But the goal is obviously artistic: it is on a stamp reproducing one of the great Monte-Carlo posters.

On the ad, that stamp is surrounded by eleven fake red British phone boxe stamps.

Everything put inside a square.

One message: number of the stamp, no name of the exhibition, and the OETP name and e-mail contacts.

The last campaign from the previous director or an attenuated version of the campaign by his successor?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Contemporary art and best wishes

Frankly, who can think one's receiving best wishes with that stamp on the cover?

I know that I have a profound ununderstanding of contemporary,
but frankly...

Here, yes it is childish, very traditional,
but the message stamp clearly announces the message.

Ascending topical collection followed Abbot Pierre's death

Abbot Pierre (1912-2007) was an important voice in France, having call the need to help the poorest and homeless people. From his death in 2007, he quickly became the subject of topical philately. A fact that certainly origins from his Foundation's need of donation and from La Poste's need to promote its spam-mail and stamp printing expertises.

Detail of the roofs and chimneys under which one is in the warm,
the main goal of Abbot Pierre's fight.
Notice the ondulating stamp separation,
proof that this stamp is autoadhesive and not the gummed version
(design from photograph and engraving: Claude Andréotto).

With the help of Google, I retrieved Dominique's Blog philatélie articles on Abbot Pierre's recent philatelic career.

21 June 2008 : the Foundation ordered MonTimbraMoi stamps, the French personalised stamps. The idea is known of firms, their public relation offices and of La Poste: stamp = human sending = I open the spam that I used to throw directly in the garbage = more receivers are going to answer.

7 October 2008 : same stamp, it seems, but the personalised stamp expert can see an IDtimbre, the personalised service aimed at firms and companies. Here in an offset version for 150000+ stamps. Spring test was efficient.

23 December 2008 : let's try to illustrate a stationery. The stamps are expensive though = back to the less sexy Destineo service markings + illustration à la stamp = same effect than before with some money saved.

17 June 2009 : certainly the Foundation and La Poste noticed that the philatelic pond was eagerly (in all the senses of that word) watching the experiments. Let's be compensationate with the frogs: creation of a IDtimbre collector. A minisheet of four of those personalised stamps to be sold to collectors and donators.

26 September 2009 : the Foundation being such a good client (and to be more profitable), let's make a personalised stamp in a unexpected rate (Destineo 35 grams) printed in only one step against two for the other personalisations (the legal mentions, then the picture ordered).

12 December 2009 : there must be a philatelist at the Foundation. Cinderellas on covers were created to distribute the pamphlet in streets, mail boxes and car windows.

Fondation Abbé Pierre used every stamp it can
to promote its goals
(thank you Laurence for your garbage).

26 January 2010 : no more order (or offering) of personalised stamps because the State and Phil@poste issued a φ-stamp - or "gummed commemorative" in old-philatelic language. But the client is King: autoadhesive being more useful for the Foundation's volunteers.

And there are the covers before 2008 with their illustrations and mottos, the stationery-for-answer, etc.

And as every collection must have its precursors, here, look for a 1994 Uruguay stamp.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Major philatelic association quits French Federation

In the French philatelic pond, there is some turmoil whereas every one thought that the Great Charter of the Philately and the appearance of the golden cypher on the commemorative stamps were announcing great times of happiness.

The Union marcophile, one of French main topical associations (contrary to the numerous geographical ones), is going to resign the French Philatelic Associations Federation. The conflict began with a confidence problem on where the UM could be host. It finished in a mail consultation last January: 80% of the members who answered agreed with leaving.

It restarts, here and there, once again, the unending debate on the role of the Federation when La Poste controlled all main philatelic debate, especially when selling stamps is the topic.

Which consequences of UM leaving FFAP?

A thousand of members times some euros of federal stamps... the Federal treasurer will announced at the next Congress in June 2010 how many stamp souvenirs the federated associations must sell to compensate.

Little effects for the UM members individually: they are members of other associations and will have a federal stamp to participate in official exhibition. That seems to be the main motivation to keep in an association.

Maybe Marcophilex, UM annual exhibition, will be more difficult to organise without the financial and jury help of the Federation and its postal partners?

I stand very far of these association topics, but it seems to me that the relations between individual members, federated associations and the national federation are not conflictuous in the United Kingdom or the United States (and in the latter case, money use is very surveyed by members).

Another country, another more understood and useful role for the federation?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Everything must be sold: stamps, coins and director!

Last 27 January, many intelligence collided on my desk: Gibbons Stamp Monthly's editor-in-chief losing his composure for one sentence (February 2010, page 94), French journalist Pierre Jullien amusing himself with an administrative note and Dominique proposing a numismatic link.

Common point: beside Guy-Michel Crozet, recently former Director of Monaco Office for Postage Stamps Issues (OETP), many philatelic operators and agents are angels of compassion with their prodigous philatelists.

Another common point: how you can create in Monaco one of the rare scene of violence since the Cunning by selling coins.

Because I did not want to run from train to train for only one day on the French Riviera and want to recover from Autumnal leisure expenses, I renounced to discover MonacoPhil, Monaco's prestige exhibition on Saturday 5 December 2010.

Anyway, the event took place on the opening day: Friday 4, 10am: clients rioting. Quite seldom in French philately... yes, some quick paces, but just to avoid waiting for too long at Phil@poste's queue.

Here, the monegasque police was forced to intervene... Damned! And I believed its only role was to protect the five kilometers of borders from rusty cars and ill-fashioned tourists.

Many witnesses are available: Gibbons Stamp Monthly's editor-in-chief and coin collectors in Bulletin numismatique of the Comptoir général financier, a coin dealer.

Very early crowds in front of the Canton Room. Some coin collectors, many coin dealers and much more coin dealers' unofficial employees. Not many stamp collectors, it seems or that fact was not of merit for the coin witnesses. The room was one of the three places of MonacoPhil: the one dedicated to stamp dealers and postal administrations.

Crowds because three thousands uncirculated Monaco euro coins boxes were going to be sold, one thousand per day during MonacoPhil for those who missed them in Spring and not wanting to wait the three thousands more in January 2010.

Rules were announced: you could buy no more than three boxes at 50 euros each (for 3.88 of face value... sigh). But, to do that, you must before have bought 80 euros worth of Monaco postage stamps (or 160 or 240).

Doors were opened and the drama began: the collective or massively speculative wave went through... submerge... may have destroyed... the room to reach OETP-stamps at the furthest corner possible of the room. There, hostesses provided already-packed-80-euro-stamps bags... When these were paid and proofs of purchase given, the first rewent through... fight against... could have beaten... the belated rest of the mass. Their new goal: came back to the entrance where OETP-coin was selling the coin boxes.

Three top... in theory :)

Against a OETP-stamp proof of purchase... in theroy :))

Facing that, the second thousand of boxes were put on sale, perhaps the third one despite they were reserved for the two next days.

Things were not going better: innocent stamp or coin curious children and parents are fighting for their life and breath capability against speculative vampires (I know I should stop reading Twilight) and coin collectors in the terror of discovering they were not alone to have thought of...

The better story, the shorter ones: while mass hysteria was zeroing on OETP-stamps, police forces blocked the entrance. No one can enter, even the Prince. People trying to approach OETP-coin must show proofs of purchase, etc. Outside in the streets, transactions began: Hugh Jefferies of Gibbons testimonied of sums up to 650 euros in the same evening!

Members-readers of the Bulletin numismatique expressed their bad feelings against everyone (OETP, speculators, immigrant workers,...). Yeah, but when you accept to pay 13!!! times more than the face value for, sometimes, speculate yourself with it...

Mass buyers connected with their employees-for-a-day are happy: buy and sale at high prices in a few hours of hundreds of boxes that the Saturday and Sunday visitors would not see.

Certainly, satisfaction of OETP's chief-accountant: forced sale of thousands of euros of unused postage stamps and of thousands of euros in little money change, bearely sufficient to pay a drink in a Monaco café.

Problems rised quickly.

If he may prefer Polar exploration than the daily managing of the fatherly compagny, Prince Albert II (and its Manager of State) certainly had not appreciated this kind of advertissment.

Then, we all know that the vast majority of philatelic magazines rarely express grave negative opinions. It is so shocking to read Hugh Jefferies concluded its report by a suggestion dressed like an order. The Gibbons' booth was next to OETP-coin... "If other show organisers plan a similar promotion in order to bring extra visitors to a philatelic event - they do it away from the main part of the exhibition!" :(

French coin collectors long term solution: more boxes without stamps!

Short term solution: fire someone. As soon as 17 December, following a governmental deliberation on the 9th, replaced recent OETP Director Guy-Michel Crozet by Magali Martini. Certainly, he will keep a low profile somewhere in the Monaco government the time coin collectors forget things.

Shame there seems to be not video footage of these events :'(

Sunday, February 14, 2010

From the bad survey to the successful sales

Happy Tigger Year. A complex topic for Canada Post.
Nothing better under my nose (

In its winter catalog Collections, Canada Post released the results of the annual 2008 stamp survey. Three thousands and three hundreds answers who put the shame on the Chinese New Year issue (the Rat that year).

13.5% found the Rat stamps one the least beautiful (they were severe compared to the new ones) and 36.8% thought it was one of the least relevant to be issued by the Canadian postal company after the Francophony Summit...

Consequently, Canada Post stopped... ???... continued the issue with this year's Tiger.

Consequently, I was thinking that they were issuing those stamps by simple charity for Asian Canadians wanting to send their wish with a special stamp.

My bad: the Spring Collection announced that the Tiger Year corner blocks are already reaching the sold out.

Question 1: who answer the annual survey? Question 2: are they consistent the year after?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finally, got some!

A little less than one year and a half after their introduction, some British labels arrived to me thank to Julia Lee of Stamp Magazine.

5,5 per 2,5 centimeters of Royal grace... thank you, mister Machin.

With the code (and Brian Sinnott), I could retrieve where this stamp was bought.

High Street Post Office, Croydon (Google Street View).

009013 designated the three Wincor-Nixdorf machines of High Street Post Office branch in Croydon, southern London. Very logical because Stamp Magazine's editorial offices are located on the 233, five hundreds meters further on the same street.

These three machines have been in service since November 10th, 2009. For this stamp, machine #3 served for its first service provided to its 5662th client session.