Sunday, October 16, 2016

Week #2016.41 on SebPhilately

This week, I began a series of article on what philatelically and numismatically happened during my Welsh, London and Paris holidays late July-early August 2016.

Monday 10 October: coinage as jewels in Cardiff.
On the first day of my Welsh trip late July I discover the Norwegien Church of Cardiff and its craftsmanship sale some Sundays.
A 1939 silverplated farthing mounted as a necklace, a Coinwear creation I bought late July.
My find was Coinwear, a duo who recycled old coins into earrings and necklaces. You can choose among many gold or silver plated British, U.S., Australian, etc. coins. Either plain like my George VI 1939 farthing necklace or ciselled to highlight the illustration: bords, allegories, kangaroos, and so on.

Tuesday 11 October: stamped mail in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
I was suprised twice in the first half of the new Tim Burton's movie inspired by the first novel by Ransom Riggs in his 2011 ongoing series.

Not only were the covers important in the intrigues: how has Miss Peregrine been communicating with the rest of the world? But three characters manipulated the covers enough to be studied by the philatelist.

The first one carries a dark blue Machin from the Royal Mail, cancelled with a round datestamp (where is the dirty unreadable inkjet cancel?). The other was supposedly mailed from the United States, franed with two stamps - one of which I am sure depicted a bird.

Wednesday 12 October: Artist Freddy Ryman celebrated in Gibraltar.
Two articles in The Gibraltar Chronicle on a stamp exhibition, yeepee! To read them: 7th October and 11th.
The first stamp designed by Freddy Ryman, the first of  Gibraltar on a local event (Gibraltar Chronicle).
The stamps presented are all by Freddy Ryman, who worked on many Gibraltar issues since the 1966 European Sea Angling Championships, the first stamp on a local event in the British territory on the doorstep of Spain.

Philatelists Richard Garcia and Stephen Viñales spoke at the inauguration on Monday 10. The event was prepared with the Department of Education so that students will discover part of their philatelic history.

Thursday 13 October: Between postal and fiscal in the British West Indies.
On Thursday, the 5pm conference at the Royal Philatelic Society London introduced the fiscal stamps of the British colonies of the Caribbean, including British Guyana.
Michael Medlicott illustrated the fiscal use of stamps. For example this 1873 gun licence established in Guyana  (Michael Medlicott collection, RPSL conférence, 13 October 2016).
At the head of a massive collection, Michael Medlicott explained, colony by colony, the creation and printing of stamps for fiscal use... while explaining that many of them were first issued for postal reason, or sometimes greatly collected because they had postal validity while collectors would never see them on any mail.

The conference (pdf on the RPSL website, video if you ask their secretary politely) is then a must-see to complete your knwoledge of the British West Indies stamps.

And, by some documents, some anecdotes and Mr Medlicott's conclusion, another hint to think of stamp collecting not just as a quoted valued accumulation, but as the work of historians: these fiscal issues reflect the evolution of the colonial economy after the abolition of slavery.

Friday 14 October: From the life of Phloi to the one of King Bhumibol.
On Thurday, King Bhumibol of Thailand passed way after 70 years of reign. A reign marked by a great number of political-military difficulties for his country, but also by the success of Thailand in the current Globalisation of the economy.
Cover of the English edition, 1998 (Silkworm Books via
A 1953 novel I bought in Bangkok in 2009 and that I began to read this Summer, is of interest to understand Thailand, the people's passion for their King and the monarchy. Four Reigns by actor and writer Kukrit Pramoj (with a very short political career in the mid-1970s).

He told the life of Phloi, who was placed at a young age in the service of King Chulalongkorn's Queen when her mother left her father, being only his minor wife. Years after years, Phloi became a young woman facing the dilemnia of love or arranged marriage, then the different moments of motherhood, while the country under the successive Kings opened itself to the Western culture and new practises. The novel ends the same day King Ananda Mahidol, Bhumidol's brother, was unexplainly killed.

Sure, literarians and historians must have compared how Pramoj's telling warned young King Rama IX of the dangers of forgetting the past too quickly in a fast changing world.

Sunday 16 October: The tourist office of Cardiff and its own stamp.
Second episode of the Sébastien-in-Wales series: do you know that the Cardiff tourist information office at the Wales Millenium Centre sell its own Universal Mail UK stamp but not the complete booklet?
Fifth at the bootom of  UK0055 booklet issued August 2013, this stamp appears third in UK0021.
Universal Mail is a private postal operator who sells its stamps in tourist areas and museums. The service is valid only for international postcard, but one can mail them into any Royal Mail pillar boxes. After sorting, Universal Mail forward them the most profitable way possible (seldom the most speedy one though, would they my mother seeing me back before receiving the card).

What happened to the other four stamps of the UK055 booklets? A complex but efficient cutting and distributing all over tourist facilities all over Wales?

To occupy your week-end, you can discover the Millenium Center and its surroundings - eventually the whole of Cardiff - by watching the tv series Doctor Who (from 2005) and sequel Torchwood, all filmed and produced at the BBC Wales studio nearby.

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