Spring Stampex 2017 featured a special display devoted to the stamps of the Ottoman Empire and the countries emerging from it after the end of World War I. The display had a special emphasis on Iraq to mark the centenary of country’s first stamps, which were issued in Baghdad in September 1917, following the occupation of the region by British and Indian troops in March of that year.
2017 brings with it two very notable and celebratory occasions and with them are bound to be some stamp issues of interest to readers of this column. The first of the two is imminent, and is the 65th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Princess Elizabeth (which occurred when His Majesty King George VI died unexpectedly on 6 February 1952).
There may come a time when dwindling finances, leisure, enthusiasm or even health bring our main collections to a halt, even if only temporarily. We may then look around for something simple to collect by way of light relief.
Might the French Territory of the Afars and Issas, whose issues spanned only around ten years and whose catalogue listings seem to pose no difficulties, fill the bill?
Guernsey Post’s first stamp issue for the year, issued on 18 January, draws inspiration from the animals of the Chinese zodiac, an ancient system based on the Chinese Lunar calendar which dates back almost 4000 years. Today, Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations including Hong Kong, Indonesia and Mainland China.
We begin with the 1881 key-type issue (SG 11/15). The 1pi. and 2pi. (12, 13) have never really been considered scarce stamps in used condition, but I feel that really fine examples are just as scarce as the ½pi. (11) and should be a lot closer in value to that stamp. New printings of the 1881 set took place on Crown CA and, along with two new values, form the 1882–86 set (16a/22). [Read more…]
The fact that there are no less than four contenders for the title of Gibraltar’s first stamps gives a clue to the complex postal arrangements that existed in Gibraltar in the Victorian era. Two of them are in respect of the first adhesive stamps to bear the name ‘Gibraltar’, the other two are earlier still. Richard Garcia talks us through this complex period and puts forward the case for each of the contenders vying for the title. [Read more…]
With the Rio Olympics well under way, we can expect to see further stunning athletic achievement in terms of Citius – Altius – Fortius (Faster – Higher – Stronger) after the excitement of London 2012. Some Olympic champions become millionaires following their successes whilst most retire to relative obscurity. Some become household names for a generation or more whilst others enjoy fame for a few days and then, outside their own specialist sporting bubble, once again become anonymous. More than that, every generation seems to indulge in the arrogance of the present, proclaiming that their sporting heroes or heroines are the greatest ever, forgetting about the amazing achievements of athletes of previous eras. [Read more…]
John Holman returns with more collecting ideas for new and seasoned collectors. This month he looks at what the stamps of Belize, formerly the colony of British Honduras, has to offer.
As a schoolboy collector I was always rather fascinated by the stamps of British Guiana, principally, I suppose, as the world’s rarest stamp was from that country and British Guiana was the only British colony on the South American mainland. Similarly, I was intrigued by British Honduras, the one British colony in Central America. British Guiana and British Honduras are now the independent Commonwealth countries of Guyana and Belize. Guyana has become a prolific issuer of stamps (nearly 7000 stamps and miniature sheets catalogue listed), whereas Belize has maintained a fairly modest and respectable number of new issues (1390 listed).
Most collectors are well aware of first day covers, and indeed for some collectors they have greater appeal than mint or used stamps. Less collected, but not necessarily less collectable, are commemorative covers, produced for an event or anniversary rather than for the first day of issue of new stamps. Commemorative covers are produced by postal authorities, also by philatelic and other societies, event organisers, commercial firms, charities and other organisations. The article explores some of the many commemorative covers produced by the British Post Office and, later in the year, at those produced by stamp exhibition organisers and others. [Read more…]