Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week #2016.43 on SébPhilatélie and the newsstands

Wednesday 26 October: Stamp artists and philatelic design in Stamp Magazine.
In the British monthly a piece of news, a letter from a reader and two articles encourage the readers to reflect on the role of stamp artists and designers.

In the news: in September PostNord, Danmark and Swede's postal operators, announced its whole philatelic programs will be printed by Cartor, the French subsidiaries of International Security Printers (Walsall a reincarnation ago). The fear is about both countries' tradition of philatelic engraved printing while Cartor doesn't have the equipment... Future will tell.
« Absolute purity of function and form » for Blair Thomson and the end of many debate to the number of stamp issues in the world (British training stamp used before the 1971 decimalisation ; from
In the mail a reader reminds Royal Mail and Stamp Magazine that the credits of current British stamps are too often given only to the graphic agency, and not enough to the eventual artist chosen by this agency. He gives the example of the striking Great Fire of London stamps and presentation packs, dranw by Liverpool-born comics artist John Higgins.

Two articles rewarded creators for their part of the work. Peter Marren told the genesis of the 1966 Battle of Hastings issue and how Harrison and Sons printers and David Gentleman transposed the Tapistry of Bayeux into stamps.

Then, along the publication of their book, Graphic Stamps, by Unit Editions, designers and stamp collectors Iain Follett and Blair Thomson picked the ten best and effective stamp designs from the 1960s to the 1980s. You can learn more on Thomson by this interview for the Australia Post philatelic service and Graphilately, his Instagram picture account of his collection.

Wednesday 26 October: New Timbres Magazine 2016 formula sailing full ahead.
In France, after a first new setting in September 2015, monthly Timbres Magazine is now sailing full ahead to a course wished by the majority of its readers, hence the new motto "New formula / more current".

The collectors of France and its colonies are sure to find organised philatelic news, many articles, end-of-the-mag chronicles on all specialities and times of French philately. The rest of the world and topical philately are not forgotten while fitting a different number of articles and spaces (partly in the chronicles and sent questions on mysterious foreign stamps).

A final note on the diversity of writers and chroniclers, that allows every reader find interest in something unexpected. For a personal example, most technical articles on classical traditional philately elude me completely. But a new series of chronicles caught me off guard with philatelists explaining how they research into a mystery whereas making sure the traditional collectors get the knowledge they wish for to look for the possible rarity in their stamps. 

To worldwide collectors of France and colonial empire, why not learn French reading this monthly? Subscriptions are available on the editor's webshop.

Tables of content of past issues can be browse through this private website managed by a philatelic bibliophile (Timbropresse edited three indexes every fifty issues too).

Thursday 27 October: numismatic souvenirs in the museum shops of London.
In the shops of the Imperial War Museum (near Waterloo station) and the British Museum of London, I found souvenirs from Westair, a company who produced reproduction of ancient artefact or souvenirs around actual coins.
A symbolic front to catch the consumer's attention (Westair).
By visiting many museums I think you can recreate a complete World War 2 coin set. Each coin paired with a square of hardback paper describing one aspect of the British daily life during the war.

At the British Museum shop two larget set were available. A five penny collection, one per monarch since Queen Victoria. And the one pictured above: a predecimal set under Queen Elizabeth II with a decimal Crown (normally the 1977 Silver Jubilee one, but I got the 1972 Silver Wedding and that's fine too).

Of course, at the reasonable price proposed, the coins are used, down to smoothed out Queen Victoria penny. Though when you didn't plan to make a tour of high street coin dealers, it's part of the trip fun :)

Saturday 29 October: television fun with the British Royal Family (alleged) life.
A non philatelic article on two television series setting in the life of either the actual Queen Elizabeth, or a very fictional, tv reality style, Hamlet murderously inspired British monarchy.
Will the heroin succeed in her hereditary role? Will her people know six decades of happiness? Will we see Tony Benn displaying David Gentleman headless stamp projects at the feet of the Queen? Don't know what I am dreaming about: read this book by Douglas Muir urgently (Netflix, screen capture from Behind Closed Doors video, posted 11 April 2016 on youTube).
On Friday November 4th, watch when you want Netflix will issue the ten one-hour episodes of the first season of The Crown, the first part of its biography of the current British monarch. All teasers are depicting many conflicts:  loss of the fatherduty and an embarrassing uncle, the Crown versus the Government, an old style husband facing a new position, a sister in love, and anything that can help Peter Morgan and his team create suspense and force you into binge watching.

The next month, December 4th, will start in the United States on E! the third season of The Royals by Mark Schwahn, a quite different animal. Imagine Shakespeare's Hamlet be played with the will to launch a civil war between a young unprepared heir, a power hungry queen mother and a treacherous uncle... while the sister of the heir and the daughters of uncle are... doing what some stars do that they ought not to do when your life is followed by an hungry crowd of paparazzi.
The royal couple in front of the 90th birthday stamp issue at Windsor's Queen Elizabeth mail centre, on Wednesday 20 April 2016 (picture published in South African newspaper The Citizen).
In comparison the current state of the Windsors and their problems (Does William work enough? Shouldn't Charles stop writing to the government? What other places could be named "Queen Elizabeth"?) and even the past ones are quite uneventful.

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