On 14 March Royal Mail’s Music Giants series will make an encore with a set of ten stamps honouring one of the most influential music and cultural figures of all time – David Bowie. In July 2016 Royal Mail released a similar set dedicated to the music and live performances of progressive rock legends Pink Floyd. In a similar format to the Pink Floyd issue, the David Bowie release will comprise six sheet stamps depicting some of his most admired and defining albums, along with a four-stamp miniature sheet showing Bowie performing live on stage across four decades.
As 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Machin we can expect to see some big celebrations of the milestone in the philatelic world; however, few will be quite as big as one event taking place in Hampshire in a few weeks’ time. On Thursday 9 March 2017, a very special art project will hopefully make it into the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest mosaic made up of stamps. The mosaic measures a staggering 27m by 9m and is made up of more than half a million Machin stamps. The mammoth mosaic, is the work of Peter Boyd and has been almost a decade in the making.
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).
During World War I, the Post Office was reluctant to use slogan postmarks on its mail in order help with the war effort, despite being in the unique position of being able to get a message to almost every address in the county. It wasn’t until 10 December 1917 that the first ‘War Bonds’ slogans appeared on mail in London, with roll-out across the country coming soon afterwards. We look at the different types of slogans produced and highlight a few rarities to look out for.
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…]
The year 2016 marks the 175th anniversary of the issue of postal stationery embossed with the One Penny Pink stamp. The Penny Black, Two Pence Blue, Mulready stationery, 1d. red and the 1841 Two Pence Blue have all celebrated their 175th anniversary – and fitting tributes were extended to them by the Post Office, philatelists and the philatelic press. Commemorative issues of stamps, postmarks and booklets have been made yet little (or no) reference has been made to the Penny Pink, which was issued to replace the Mulready stationery on 10 February 1841. [Read more…]
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…]
Edward Klempka looks at the stamps issued to mark the Tenth Botanical Congress in 1964. Illustrated with a collection of sketches, essays and finished designs, Edward’s article provides a unique insight into the huge amount of work involved in creating the first day cover, presentation pack and the stamps as issued. [Read more…]