Thursday, April 17, 2014

Apologies and coming backs: Hitler on cups and stock photography in philately

Because workaholism can be a strong disease and philately not the sole purpose of my leisure times, my philatelic blogs are slow for sometimes now, and the translation into English of the articles in French stopped three and a half years ago.

Let's get back on tracks.

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All new issued stamp collectors know, with more or less pleasure, that stock photography has become the main sources of illustration for philatelic services and newspapers alike all around the world. In France, even some engraved stamps are inspired by stock pictures...

There are sometimes accidents or adaptations with reality: Dominique Stéphan in 2008 discovered, with publication in Timbres magazine, that the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean stamp put the sea very near an olive tree standing near the Pont du Gard.

[Political digression: the Summit was a wish of President tSarkozy to create an European Union/Mediterranean countries Union that is now a ghost secretary sitting in Barcelona, at the Royal Palace of Pedralbes (enjoy the gardens and museums there). And one of the worst 14 of July France has known: dictators enjoying our National Celebrations...]

It's by a more than a thousand floral cups made in the People's Republic of China that a house decorating shop in Bielefeld, Germany, gained free publicity on April 10th, 2014.

In the background of the flowers, light aged envelopes are evoking old memories... of Third Reich Führer stamps and svastika cancellations... The lot is no more on sale of course.

In official philately like in in-house decoration, we ought to come back to Made by an artist and forget the easy way of cut/paste and cut/engrave stock finds. Stock photography is a good tool, but to start an intellectual research, not the end of it.

For a recent example of a good picture creating a striking set of stamp and labels, see Gibraltar Post's hommage to a former governor.

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