By Air from Malaya

November 01, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons

Following the end of World War I, there was growing need for fast, regular airmail services from Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies. Michael Waugh introduces us to the first flights to operate to and from the region, in particular those made by two rival airlines, KLM and Imperial Airways.

The need for faster postal services from both Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) after the nadir following the Great War was self-evident. Airmail was developing in Europe and Australia, but it depended on progress in engineering – mechanical for aircraft and civil for suitable sites for aerodromes. The future of airmail also depended on the willingness of civil and military authorities to allow flying across their territories. And in the time of depression, financing was always an issue. [Read more…]

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The Comoro Islands: Part 2

September 26, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons
Continuing on from last month, Michael Round brings the philatelic story of the Comoro Islands up to date. Although seemingly insignificant on the world stage, these small islands have seen numerous changes in government, often through coup d’état, which can be followed on its varied philatelic output. [Read more…]

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The Orchids and Birds Definitives of Malaysia 1965–70

September 25, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons
On 15 November 1965, the seven state values of the new definitive series were issued for each of the 13 Malaysian states. The seven designs, depicting orchids, were identical for each state, apart from the state name, state crest and rulers portrait where applicable. A first day cover for Sarawak is illustrated in Figure 1, they exist for all states. [Read more…]

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The Monarchies of Malaya through their stamps

August 22, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons
Within modern Malaysia, there are nine monarchs at any given time. Eight rule over the individual States. The ninth, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (‘He who is made Lord’) is an elective monarch, chosen from one of the eight by their peers for a period of five years, as Head of State for Malaysia.Malaysian issues of the States’ monarchies are infrequent and, ever since the Malayan ‘small heads’ issue of 1949–51, have mostly followed a common design (e.g. 1957–62 pictorials, 1965 Orchids, 1971 Butterflies, 1985–86 Agri-horticulture and 2007 Garden Flowers). The limited exception to this rule is for the installation (coronation) of a Sultan and Silver Jubilees, etc., of their rule. [Read more…]

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Saint Lucia: The Provisional overprints of 1891 and 1892

by Stanley Gibbons
Following the reduction of the postal rate to the UK and British Empire on 1 January 1891, demand for 1d. and ½d. stamps increased dramatically in the colonies. While waiting for new stocks to arrive from the Crown Agents, Saint Lucia found itself dangerously short of these values and so existing stamps were ordered to be overprinted locally to meet the shortfall. Alister Kinnon, a member of the British West Indies Study Circle, talks us through this provisional issue.

For such a small island there is a lot of interest to be had in Saint Lucia for a philatelist. The first stamps had no values shown, were printed by two different companies and in different colours, and later overprinted with face values before being replaced with the standard De La Rue key type, some of which were modified by overprinting, as outlined here. [Read more…]

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The Comoro Islands: Part 1

August 18, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons
The Comoro Islands have been known of as a group since about the fifth century, but while individual islands had their own stamps for a while, the first combined issue did not appear until 1950, and for 36 years before that they issued no stamps at all. What’s the story? And most importantly, where in the world are they? [Read more…]

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Antigua 1937 – Then and Now

July 24, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons

A former British Crown Colony, at that time Antigua was administered by a Governor supported by a Secretariat. The Governor was responsible to the Colonial Office in London, which was controlled by the Secretary of State for the Colonies on behalf of the British Government. Following the death of King George V on 20 January 1936, and the abdication of his son, Edward, on 10 December 1936, Edward’s brother, Bertie, became King George VI. As the date of Edward’s Coronation had been set for 10 May 1937, there was no opportunity to change this ceremonial timetable for King George VI’s Coronation, which left little time for the preparation and printing of a new set of definitive stamps.

[Read more…]

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2017 World War I commemorations continue

June 19, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons

Australia Post has released the fourth issue in its five-year programme marking Australia’s involvement in the key events of World War I. The five $1 stamps in this lastest set, issued on 18 April, focus on themes from the war in 2017.

[Read more…]

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Phillippe von Ferrary’s Legendary Greece Collection

June 07, 2017 by Stanley Gibbons

Having introduced or re-introduced certain aspects of Philippe von Ferrary’s personality to readers in my article in the March issue of GSM, let’s now turn to a little-known aspect of the collections of the ‘King of Stamps’. It is widely-known that the French authorities sequestrated the collections which were found at Ferrary’s Paris residence – the Hotel Matignon. This huge haul was sold over 14 sales between June 1921 and November 1925, and it featured some of the most famous stamps in the philatelic world.

[Read more…]

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