Thursday, June 15, 2006

Souvenir sheets


Yesterday was a very busy day at work, so I did not find any time to write something in my blog. A day without stamps, is like… as we would say in French : “un repas sans fromage” (a meal without cheese) ;-)
Hopefully today I have a bit more time, and as announced few days ago I would like to speak about souvenir sheets.

Nowadays, almost all post offices issue stamps in souvenir sheets. This usually gives very nice result and very nice item to add to a collection. But honestly, aren’t they more items to please philatelists (and to make them spend more money) than real postal items ? Who is really using those souvenir sheets for postal service ? Very often they are too big to be used directly on a cover. How many persons really destroy those nice items to take out the stamps ?
I’m even more annoyed when the stamps are issued only in a souvenir sheet and are not available as separated items. This is the case for the stamps I presented in my post about Soccer world cup 2006, and this is the case for the sheet I used to illustrate this post. This one is for me even more extreme.

This souvenir sheet has been issued the 4th of April 2006 and belongs to a set started in 2003 about gardens of France. The sheet pictures two very nice gardens located very near Paris : the “ parc de la Valllée aux Loups” and Albert-Khan gardens. The overall design is quite nice, and the shape of the sheet is also interesting. All souvenir sheets of this set have a similar layout.
I said this is an extreme case, because as you can see, the souvenir sheet is rather big (around 30 cm long), with only two stamps “lost” in the middle. Who is really going to tear off this sheet to get out the stamps ? And the very high face value of the stamps does not help to have them used on mail !
This souvenir sheet bears the indication “Salon du timbre 2006” which is a big stamp fair that will start in Paris this weekend and last for one week. I will try to go there and I will for sure speak about it in my blog. This stamp fair is the occasion for French post to issue a bunch of new stamps…

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