Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lenticular stamps from Australia, and prestige booklet

I am a subscriber to new stamp issues from Australia. Even if I’m a bit disappointed by the stamp issuing policy of this country (too many stamps, much more than really needed) I keep my subscription for sentimental reason (I have really felt in love with Australia after being there twice). Yesterday I have received the second sending containing the recent issues of 2007. Among them there was these souvenir sheet and stamps (take care this is not a scan but a picture taken from Australian post website).

This set is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the surf Bathing Association of New South Wales, an organisation that brought standardisation to surf lifesaving instruction, regulations and practice. The stamp set was issued on the 6th of March. The particularity of this souvenir sheet is that it is lenticular : the image is “moving” when you flip the sheet over your eyes. I have already mentioned lenticular stamps from Ireland (I must admit that the stamps from Ireland were better realized than the ones from Australia). Of course the image I show you does not really reflect the “moving” aspect, but if you have the chance to see the real sheet, this is impressive. On the other hand I wonder how many people are going to use such stamps on a cover ?
This souvenir sheet and the other related stamps have also been issued in the form of a prestige booklet.

It seems to be a trend these days to issue prestige booklets, containing stamps and additional information around the topic of the stamps. Australia is not the only country to do that, I have already seen one from Ireland, from Netherlands. Even if these prestige booklets are rather nice items, I always wonder if they are really needed ? They are not really postal items, because nobody is going to destroy those booklets to take out the stamps that are anyway available separately. So they are pure philatelic items. I wonder if they are accepted in a competitive exhibition ? Does anybody know ?
If I was nasty I would say that those prestige booklets are an additional mean from post offices to take out the money of stamp collectors…

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