Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week #2017.12 on SébPhilatélie

Friday 24 March: Election of the best musical stamp of 2016.
The International Philatelic Music Study Group, based in Germany, organised every year an election, opened to every one, of the best musical stamp of the previous year.
From ancient instruments in Peru...
The stamps in competition can be watched there and the participation file is over here. Advantages of the membership are explained on this page.
... to the public enjoying festivals on print-on-demand stamps of Faroe Islands.
Sunday 26 March: Philatelic exhibition at the Algerian Cultural Center in Paris.
The French and the Algerian governments seem to wish celebrating quietly, each on its side, the 55th anniversary of the 19 March 1962 ceasefire - or "victory day" for the soon to be independent Algeria.
The French commemorative stamp of March 2017: the monument displaying victims of the Algerian Civil War, Quai Branly, Paris (via
France issued a discreet stamp... so discreet no politicians catched it during a hated and unpredictable presidential campaign. That is surprising because the date to mark the end of the Algerian Independence War is refused by French rapatriates and surviving harkis (the Algerian soldiers of the French army): killings still happened between the many sides of this civil war until the next November.
The 8th anniversary of the beginning of the "Algerian Revolution" - or for the French the "Bloody All Saint's Day" (Memory and History, a final secondary school exam subject in France), is at the beginning of the exhibition proposed by the Algerian Cultural Center in Paris.
On the Algerian philatelic side, apart from stamps on battles against the French colonisation since 1830, Sihem Lakhdari, Director of the postage stamp and philately of Algérie Posteintroduced by a conference at the Algerian Cultural Center, Paris, an exhibition on the philately of Algeria since 1962.

Her speech detailed the history of the first independently created stamp of the Algerian postal administration, nicknamed "1+9" because of his important donation to a benevolent cause. Issued on the 1st of November 1962, it commemorated the first general attacks against French people and interests in Algeria.

And replaced the French metropolitan stamps overprinted "E.A." for "État algérien" (Algerian State) hastily created the previous July for the declaration of independence. You can discover their story in an article by Raoul Michau and Michel Soulie, dowloadable in the special issue of the journal of the Montpellier Philatelic Association, published May 2015.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week #2017.11 on SébPhilatélie

Tuesday 14 March: vaudeville at the French Stamp Festival.
I had a little bit of theatrical fun with the French organised philately this week: the Federation of Associations and the Dealers Union accidentally (?) put events in competition the same week-end on the 11 and 12 March...

Wednesday 15 March: the works of The London Philatelist editors in chief.
Next July the journal of the Royal Philatelic Society London will have a new editor: Finnish lady Seija-Riitta Laakso will succeed Steve Jarvis.

The latter is a specialist of Jamaica who launched with Derek Sutcliffe in the 1990s an Encyclopedia of Jamaican Philately. Four volumes have been published, a website gathers documents and articles.

A research book by Laakso was published by the University of Helsinki in 2006: Across the Oceans. Development of Overseas Business Information Transmission 1815-1875, available in English àon the website of the University. More than 300 pages putting postal history into context.

Saturday 18 March: end-of-catalogues at the Stamp Festival exhibition in Montpellier.
At the first Stamp Festival back in late Winter, the Philatelic Association of Montpellier proposed a level-1 competitive exhibition and fourteen free collections.

I presented a few items that intrigued me along my way through the frames, mostly from stamps and usage found at the end of the French catalogues: fiscally used, service label, French occupation of Germany 1918-1919.
Classical view of Montpellier town center: place of the Comédie 1891, overprinted 1902 (Michel Rettgen collection, Fête du timbre, Montpellier, 11-12 March 2017).
And one commercial postcard of 1890s Montpellier's central place: The Comédie, overprinted a dozen years after to mark a baloon flight in the region.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week #2017.08 to .11 on SébPhilatélie

My apologies after a little - still on - overwhelmed job period doubled with the discovery of Nintendo's new title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild.
The best French stamp ever!!!... Let's quiet down a bit (via
Saturday 25 February: a French-British-Australian salad.
Since 2009 the Greek letter phi has been forced as the official symbol on French program stamps.
Truncated poster of Jean-Luc Mélenchon's campaign, entitled Disobedient/Rebellious Franceffiche. In stickers and posters it can be found on many urban public and private furnitures (campaign material website).
Since Autumn it's the symbol of the far right politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the current presidential election in France...

On the other of the world multimillionaire CEO of the Australia Post decided to leave its office... after years of philatelic and unions outrage concerning his salaries, months of failed Senate inquiries and weeks of suddenly great media attention.

Presented on Norvic Philatelics blog the new postal rates of Royal Mail seem to indicate the operator is following the Brexit tempo: moderate penny increase for interior mail, huge for international... Mail to Europe being the most punished: +10 pennies!

Sunday 26 February: promotion of philately at the Etihad Museum, Dubai.
The first temporary exhibition in the newly opened Etihad Museum of the United Arab Emirates history, in Dubai, is still interesting journalist.

On the 22 February The National presented the activity proposed to visiting children in order for them to discover postal service and stamp creation.

Monday 27 February: Royal Mail asks internauts their wish for the 2019 program.
The British operator is proposing a survey to the public to get opinions for the 2019 stamp program.
Introduction and first questio of the survey (Royal Mail website).
The ideas are proposed into three domains ; the visitor can tick three boxes per domain. A fourth part allows to add other proposals.

Concerning philatelic philately the 150th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society London is among the historic commemorations.

Tuesday 28 February: Continental exhibition in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon next June.
From Thursday the first to Sunday fourth of June 2017, the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon will host a continental interamerican exhibition after the successful 2014 edition.
Logotype of SPM Expo 2017 (official website).
The website permits to read the list of the jury and watch the trophies offered by the insitutions and national federations.

Thursday 2 March: alternate history philately on the BBC.
Imagined in the 1940s, SS-GB, the alternate history serial of the BBC, shows many envelopes during the policeman hero's investigations in a Britain occupied by the nazi forces... if they had successfully landed in 1940.
An occupation stamp, very badly perforated, stuck on an envelope during the first episode (BBC One, Sunday 19 February 2017).
Adapted from the spy novel by Len Deighton, published in 1978: Douglas Archer, one of the best inspectors of Scotland Yard, is forced to make his service works, hoping for a better future, while under the scrutiny of the SS ; the dreadful organisation having begun the census of jews.
The cover of the novel already used alternate philately to strike the potential reader (
An investigation into a murder by gun shot imposes Archer to work for a German military intelligence officer, sent in urgency by Berlin... Who was the victim? What is he so important? At the same time, London is preparing to host a visit of Soviet dignitaries: what will become of Operation Barbarossa in this timeline?

Sunday 5 March: museums and their mail: the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool.
Many museums exhibit postal history items because they fit the topic of the place. For exemple, this 1941 postcard in the Battle of the Atlantic Gallery in the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool, England.
The reproduced two sides of a Christmas card sent by a prisoner of war to Liverpool in December 1941.
The illustration gave the place of origin: Stalag X-B near Bremen, north west Germany. The article of the Wikipedia in English helped discover this prison camp: Marlag und Milag Nord.

Marlag stands for Marinelager, a camp for all kind of seamen, both Royal Navy captured and merchant marine civilians, hold because they could help the war effort by manning ships sailing to North America to get supplies.

But the civilians got their own camp, Milag for Marineinterniertenlager, after members of the United States and Switzerland's Red Cross Committees visited Marlag.

Tuesday 7 March: Netherlands philately summarised on one postcard.
Thank to philatelist Postcrosser, I received a card franked with three kinds of stamps that NL Post is proposing these past years.
Thank you Shelly!
On the left side, make-up stamps in the design approach the Netherlands are famous for now. In the center the lower stamp of a 2006 illustrated minisheet on Schoonhoven, a historic center of silver craftmanship.
An inspired card printed by editor Greetz, the same as the personalised stamp on the other side of the card. Liverpool and Beatles lover will notice...
Finally, on the right side, a personalised stamp promoting stamp collecting, mimicking the unused war moral poster of Britain: Keep calm and collect stamps.

Saturday 11 March: French colonies' challenges to postal historians.
Two British publications proposed ideas that could motivate collectors to search the French colonies again. First, in the January issue of Gibbons Stamp Monthly, Michael Round ended his stamp studies of the French Territory of the Afars and Issas (1967-1977) with the goal to find cancelled items from all five post offices of the country to become independent Djibouti, including illustrated "flammes" of Djibouti.

Five in a desertic rocky region: too easy?
HMS Vanadis by Jacob Hägg, around 1900s (via Commons by Wikimedia).
In the February issue of The London Philatelist, Staffan Ferdén studied three covers to a Swedish naval officer cancelled in Stockholm and who found him in Tahiti, in the Society Islands, during the 1883-1885 world tour of the HMS Vanadis.

The author is known for his classic Swedish maritime mail collection and studies (to became a book in 2019 - a summary of a recent presentation is available on the Stockholmia 2019 exhibition website: click "Read more" on the 17 December 2016 article).

Why those Tahiti cover among all mail received and sent by the crew, including Prince Oscar Bernadotte? Because Papeete was, with Egyptian Port Said at the entrance of the Suez canal, the only places where there was no Swedish consulate to take care of the mail.

The article is dense, but succeeds to give information on the cruise, the geopolitial situation of this part of Polynesia under French rule since 1880 (after a protectorate period), and all the maritime routes that existed in the 1880s in order to guess which ones the three letters had taken to find Lieutenant Fredrik Peyron.

Still looking for a challenge?

Let's try genealogy: Peyron as in Loïck Peyron, the French sailing champion? Is there a cousin connection is one could climb their respective trees up until the first French Bernadotte King of Sweden?

Conclusion for the week end.
The author of a Sower specialised blog proposed yesterday something surprising and a personal rendition of what may have happened to a countess living in Lorraine when she sent a registered postcard to a friend in Edinburgh, Scotland. Étiquette.