Sunday, January 22, 2017

Weeks #2017.02 and 03 on SébPhilatélie

Tuesday 10 January: a conference on mail during the conquest of Ethiopia by fascist Italy.
On Sunday 8th at the Montpellier philatelic association, Serge Magallon from the Béziers club proposed a conference on Ethiopia.
One of the military stationery presented: the sender colored the Italian East Africa in red and celebrated the victory... dateed of the 14th year of the Mussolinian régime (collection Serge Magallon, Montpellier, 8  January 2017).
After an introduction on the most famous peoples and facts of the African country, he presented letters and military postcard stationery from May 1936, the month Italian troops sent by Benito Mussolini conquered Ethiopia. Soldiers whose fascist enthusiam is easily found on their postcard to family.

The paper permits to recall the privileged postal and railway link between Ethiopia and Djibouti: mail to the French colonial post were franked as interior mail until the Italian civil post started.

Serge Magallon's one frame collection can be viewed on the Montpellier association website.
The week after, French monthly L'Histoire published a special issue on the history of Ethiopia from the Queen of Sheba to King Haile Selassie, not forgetting the tragic dictatorship after him.

Wednesday 11 January: 2nd cute Postcrossing stamp for Belarus.
The stamp is autoadhesive with straight lined separatione (Postcrossing  website blog).

Monday 16 January: they still stamp their mail!
Two examples of recent mail that show that non-collectors are still using postage stamps and written correspondence.

First a professional sent a colleague a large file franked with four French lottery stamps. Another cover bears a simple red Marianne with the current anonymous cancel of France but it was sent by my nephew during his sky class: teachers bought psotcards, kids wrote messages and all is enclosed in the addressed and stamped covers provided by parents.

There is hope.

Wednesday 18 January: Still a Greek letter as the symbol of the French Republic on stamps...
One of the Friday 20 January issue of Finland with the new postal rate symbol (press release by Posti - direct link to the shop).
... while Finland post office, Posti, decided to put a profile map of the country for interior rate and a euro currency symbol for European rate.

Saturday 21 January: the epidemic of British illustrated machine stamps still growing.
With the December addition of a Canadian test and soon the issue of machine stamp in the Netherlands and the Isle of Man, I summarize what had happened since Royal Mail and Intelligence AR laucnhed Faststamps and Post & Go in Britain in 2008.

Last year the fashion got out of hand: Madrid, Qatar and now privatised Post NL using the British system, perhaps Canada creating its own and Man may use the Irish one (to be confirmed).

... while in France the machine stamp haven't changed since 2000...

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Week #2017.01 on SébPhilatélie

Tuesday 3 January: The usefulness of IT in philately.
On Wednesday 12 October 2016, Mark Bailey and Mark Copley presented how useful information technology can be for philatelist and collectors during the Crawford Seminar at the Royal Philatelic Society London home.

How to perfectly scan, work the image or manage the different color systems depending if you need to publish on a website or to print a book. And how to prepare a conference powerpoint or an e-book. An interesting lesson.

The powerpoint can be dowloaded on the RPSL website.

Saturday 7 December: A site for Soviet postcards.
Nice find: Soviet Postcards by Kathya proposed pictures of postcard, some illustrated stationeries and other little collectibles created during the time of the Soviet Union.
Seasonal postcard between New Year, winter landscape and industrial growth of the Soviet Union. Not very sustainable, but smily (Soviet Postcards).
Sunday 8 December: In Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, the mail will pass "if Canada allows".
Again, part of the Christmas mail and parcels for the French North American oversea collectivity was detained in Toronto, Canada. 2.2 tons this year. And it wasn't "if weather permits".

It all arrived finally on Monday 2 January morning: the last Christmas gifts and the letters for a national professional election. But, now the mail destined to Metropolitan France has to snail through Halifax and Toronto...

Saint-Pierre's postmaster assured the viewers of local channel La 1ère that, this year, the recrimination was sent high enough so that this kind of episode should not happen again in 2017.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Week #2016.51 on SébPhilatélie

Monday 26 December: Spink catalogue, Brun's expertise and U.S. organised philately thinking about the future.
Three December news: Spink launched the 2nd edition of his French stamp catalogue and one of the French philatelist who participated in revamping the modern Marianne definitives wrote about it on his blog: News du Phospho.

Long experienced expert Jean-François Brun published three new papers to explain and warn collectors on falsification and fraudulent stamps and cancellations. A must-read in French. One is a study on how very early the philatelic journals knew of the Sperati family business, way before Jean became famous.

Finally, a summary on the cyclic event many Western countries' organised philatelies experienced every decade? Two decades? To gather and think about to spend savings to ensure the future of philately. The last French let's meet and chat a lot experience was... φ. The current one without publicity seems more probant towards schools and reading collectors.

Let's hope the best for the U.S. 2016-2017 experience.

Saturday 31 December: Benin and Cameroun, two current French-Chinese-British philatelies.
In the January 2017 issue of Timbres magazine a study of a 2003-2008 definitive series of Benin by Nicholas Pertwee is proposed, showing that with curiosity, perseverance and an Evangelist association receiving lots of mail, you can study a current African country series in a very traditional way, including overprints and postal rates.

On the same continent and century, Marc Parren proposed his "observations" on how the Cameroon Postal Services managed their issues from 2009 and 2015 in the 98th issue of Cameo, the journal of the West Africa Study Circle. A very enlighting read to understand how developing countries' post offices are struggling between the cost of printing their philatelic needs in advance of their sales, the temptation to get to the collectors' wallet without having the communication capacity to reach them...

... and the risk of delegating to agencies or a powerful friendly country.

Sunday 1 January: finally the French new international rates are on.
Although less people are sending paper mail these days, every announcement of more expensive postal rates make commenting people angry...

In France, by (commercial or political) precaution, the rates starting this Sunday (technically on all items mailed after Saturday noon) were announced last Summer, but only for the national rates (economic, environmental, priority).

Postcrossers like me had to wait until today to discover how much it will cost the French senders of actual postcards (more than 700,000 since July 2005): +3 eurocents to +5 eurocents on all nationwide and rest of the world letter, but +10 cents to the European Union and Switzerland !

And, there, no journalist to work out why can mail to the neighbouring countries be more expensive to send than to the rest of the world from one year to another.

Postcrossers, the financial director of La Poste thank you very much.