Saturday, May 27, 2017

Week #2017.19 to 21 on SébPhilately and French television

Only five articles in three weeks?!

When we say that French people are lazy with all the May's Banking holidays while the summer sun's arriving too: Labour Day, Victory Day, Ascension, and soon Pentecost... For the latter two: yes, we boast ourselves of being a secular republic.

Thursday 11 May: Micro-Philippinian vs Macro-Russian stamps.
Two postcards, two very different stamps.
A stamp and a cancel very haphazardly made... But efficient and cost saving. Thank you Pascale for the postcard from Bohol island.
Size: 2.5 x 2.2 cm for PhilPost 2015 issue on its Mailing Center picturing the Central Post Office of the capital Manila. Even if the composition is a superposition of... unequal text, picture and logo. The cancel of the Tourist Center is not traditionall round, but very horizontal too.
Large 1997 painting of the "Russian" monastery in Mount Athos, autonomous orthodox enclave in Northern Greece. Thanl you Olga via Postcrossing.
The complete contrary to this large painting, gold shining, round and neatly cancelled 5 cm square stamp from Russia.

Dmitri Anatolyevich Belyukin, one of current institutional painter of the Federation, painted Saint Panteleimon, a monastery founded originally by monks from Russian plains in the 11th century. The printer did a very good job with these bright colors.

Saturday 13 May: Free French postal history in London.
In April the Stuart Rossiter Trust, a British foundation encouraging postal history research, published The Free French in London 1940-1945 by Peter A. Baker.
The announcing flyer.

In a 64 illustrated book, the author studies the mail from the forces, administrations and government gathered around Charles de Gaulle between 1940 and 1945.

9.50 British pounds plus postage.

If you are interested in postal history of the military and French episodes such as the French-Prussian War of 1870-1871, check the publications by or helped by the Trust.

Wednesday 17 May: 4 Android video games for Finlandia 2017.
The main page of the project:
In the months before European philatelic exhibition Finlandia 2017, the museums of Tampere and the Tampere University of Applied Science worked together on a project for business information students: they had to create video games inspired by the museums.

The 25 games created can be downloaded and played on smartphones and tablets running with Android. On Google's Play Store look for the titles and help yourself with the icons.

Four of them are inspired by the Posti Museo, the Finnish postal museum opened Septembre 2014.
The postal and philatelic games' icons (site of the projet).
Two of them are "scrollers": you have to move the main character or boat on the screen to avoid obstacles and retrieve flying letters in Finnish landscapes and coasts (Postal History by NoClueGames) and mail barrels lost at sea (Castaway by North Star).

Again in Stampedu by Placeholdr Software (for stamp stampede), the player must follow the rythm of the game: letters of different rates are descending quicker and quicker. Would you succeed to frank them correctly while avoiding dangerous fuming black ones. Your reward: stamps!!! At least digitised ones by topics.

World of Stamps by Team Vasama will certainly interest elder collectors: quiz on countries and topics of stamps with stamps to collect as prizes.

An interesting initiative.

Monday 22 May: A philatelic counter in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Without being hopeful, a traveller friend of mine discovered that Luang Prabang has a philatelic counter for 55'000 inhabitants!
A philatelic counter in central Laos in French! A little sign in English will help the majority of tourists still writing postcards (with Tomath's autorisation).
Okay, the city and surroundings are touristic, with I am told fabulous falls and river beaches, including places worthy of a former royal capital.

Stamps bought there seem to spread from 2010 to 2015, Buddhist inspired as much as the 40th anniversary of the National Day with all the symbols of a communist people's régime.

Saturday 27 May: "Suomi! Finland in my heart... Forever!"
This week took place Finlandia 2017, an European exhibition, in Tampere where the Finnish postal museum was opened in September 2014 - remember: it opened with a correspondence exhibit that permitted a media frenzy minisheet.

Not able to attend, I summarize what stamp issues marked this event organised along the year of the centenary of Finland's independence.

Saturday 27 May p.m.: The many problems of first and last kilometers of transportation.
On Saturday early afternoon French public channel France 2 proposed an economic weekly magazine, Tout compte fait, on the transportation of food, mail and goods nowadays.

It summarizes with efficience how the city delivery by bike works (or not considering health and working insurance), how La Poste put its postmen at new tasks to find new revenue (delivering medicine, watching on city problems, visiting elderly), and how barges on river can help deliver goods and food in the country and inside the city.

The reports can be watched again at this address for a week after broadcast. But it may appear on the magazine's youTube page afterwards.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Weeks #2017.17-18 on SébPhilatélie

Tuesday 25 April: A philatelist in Hôtel Matignon.
The Hôtel Matignon is the official residence of the French Prime Minister since it was confiscated and then bought to Austria after the First World War. A place in Paris that the Austrian Empire received from the Duchess of Galliera to serve as its embassy in the French capitale.

What is the connection to philately?

Ferrari on a 1968 stamp issued by  Liechtenstein (
She was the mother of Philipp von Ferrary, the famous and excentric rare stamp collector who refused to inherit the title and wealth of his father.

His life and how his family perceived it (not good) is the object of an article by Jeremy Havardi, published in the May issue of Stamp Magazine.

Concerning the name of the first Prime Minister of 39 year old President Emmanuel Macron... Who knows? The answer will be given next Sunday after the presidential investiture.

Sunday 30 April: The little miseries of the British completist collectors.
The life of a British collector who wish to own a most complete collection of new issue from Royal Mail is already expensive. Lastly it's becoming quite awful.

The Guernsey philatelic service has begun to overprint its Post & Go stamps every time a cruise ship enters St. Peter's Port... but accepted with difficulties subscription to these series.

In Stamp Magazine dated May 2017 Richard West complained he received his 50 pounds worth mini-sheet of the last Her Majesty Accession Machin stamp... with two margins removed so that it could fit the Royal Mail order service's protection and envelope.

Finally, the two main blogs to be informed live on new British issues are dubitative in front of the next Mills issue next June. The stamps are focusing on England... South East England... very near London... As a caricature of the conservative don't-care of the country map. Whereas one stamp could have being a hit with Tolkien's fanatics.

English-able readers are invited to read Norvic Philatelics and The Commonwealth Stamp Opinion blogs for more details (precise links in the article in French).

Tuesday 2 May: Quick reading of the French National Exhibition palmares.
During the bank holiday week-end for Labor Day (1 May in France), the French Federation of Philatelic Associations gathered in Cholet, West of France, for Phila-France 2017 and his annual congress.

The palmares of the national exhibition is online over here.

The article in French is full of my curiosity in front of titles and topics in the list, unable I was to attend the show.

But the Grand Prix was awarded Olivier Gervais' collection on Luminescence on French definitive stamps (1959-2009), a major advancement for this speciality. Mr. Gervais is the author of an impressive website and updated blog on the topic. Now he exhibited , may his website be recognised by organised philatelic organisations...

On another philatelic specialist, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon expert Jean-Jacques Tillard got another gold medal... He is on a good way to the 200th gold with the Group series of the French territory near the Canadian coast. Note that Saint-Pierre will host a new international exhibition early June 2017.

Thursday 4 May: May the Stamp be with you.
On the Day of the Force and of Prince Philip's future retirement announcement - and anniversary week of the Penny Black issue in 1840, the Royal Philatelic Society London, the Philatelic Traders Society and many dealers, agencies, collectors join their forces for the first National Stamp Day Celebration of the United Kingdom.
The logo of the movement launched by the PTS and the RPSL (PTS website).
The monthly Stamp & Coin Mart proposed ideas to stamp collectors to get involve in this promoting effort of the hobby.

You can check two hastag words on Twitter to follow happenings and consequences: #stickastamp (thanks to Buckingham Covers' stickers) et #celebratestamps17.

Monday 8 May: French speaking Africa, a philatelic Bermuda Triangle?
On one Saturday, May 6th, three occasions show studying and collecting French speaking African recent stamps and postal history need patience and research.
This stamp of Niger is quoted 125 USD by Scott catalogue who doesn't know it uncancelled... Check low valued auctions for unused ones and your envelope shoebox... Who knows? (unused stamp via Hipstamp).
English speaking readers are invited to check the's threads if they have information on the mysterious Tunisian Klussendorf-type ATM stamp (1999-2000) and Niger's Abdou Moumouni Dioffo stamp (1997) whose catalogue listings are non existent for the former, or seems to imply the greatest of scarcity unused, even rarity cancelled.

Why Ivory Coast issued a minisheet in 2001 for a Universal Postal Union Congress that never took place in Abidjan and two others in August 2015, four months after a UPU meeting in Geneva with an illustration of the post office in Grand Bassam, are the object of an article by Marc Parren in the May 2017 issue of The London Philatelist.

With historic and philatelic research, the author proposed to discover the recent political crisis in Ivory Coast, the military mail sent during the French and United Nations missions (the latter still continuing), and how the country succeeded to get the right to host the 2020 UPU Congress.

A French blog, La Poste aux armées, on military mail helps to complete Mr. Parren's paper: recently, the French field postal service was privatised into the "Service postal international pour la Défense" (SPID, Postal International Service for the Defense) and since 2012 served by a joint operation by the French post and Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company.

La Poste and Sodexo's contract with the Ministry of Defense was extended for 4 years (announced last February).