Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Going to Australia

I’m happy ! I have just settled my plan for my next (long) holidays : I’m going to Sydney in January 2009, for a bit more than two weeks. I’m so glad. I have fallen in love with Sydney in 2003 when I first went there. So I’m thrilled even if this trip is planned in 9 months from now. I have been there twice already.
This is why I have decided to collect some Australian stamps and why I have a subscription to new issues from Australia. I wonder if I will keep this subscription because it starts to cost me too much money. Australia issues a LOT of stamps...

So today, you can imagine, I’m going to speak about some new issues from Australia that I received last week. The first one is a souvenir sheet entitled Love blossoms.

The stamp was issued on the 15th of January and pictures a rose to illustrate Love. The souvenir sheet contains ten stamps of the self-adhesive version, the stamp being also issued as a standard auto-adhesive version. The particularity of the self-adhesive version is that it is foiled and perfumed. If you rub your finger on it, you can smell the nice perfume of the rose. This is why the souvenir sheet also contains ten labels written “rub and smell”. You can stick them on your love letter to indicate to the addressee what she/he should do to enjoy the perfume.
Scented stamps are not a revolution, they start to be rather common now. I think this is the first time that Australian post issues a scented stamp, but I’m not completely sure.
When I got this souvenir sheet I immediately thought that putting ten stamps was a bit too much for such special occasion stamps. A sheet with three or five would have been enough. But even worse, the stamp is available (on top of the standard version and the souvenir sheet) in a stamp sheetlet pack and in a special occasion booklet ! Without mentioning the maximum card and the first day cover. Ouf ! So many ways to drain money from collectors.

The second issue I selected is very different but is also a very good example of the abuse of Australian post. On the 24th of March a set of 16 stamps (!) was issued to commemorate to centenary of the rugby league in Australia. Those stamps have been issued as gummed stamps, but again, also as self-adhesive stamps sold in booklet. Here is a copy of the booklet pane.
Each stamp pictures one of the 16 Rugby league teams that currently exist in Australia : Broncos, Bulldogs, Cowboys, Dragons, Eels, Knights, Panthers, Rappbitohs, Raiders, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Sharks, Storm, Titans, West Tigers and Warriors.
On top of this, Australian post issued a “De luxe” stamp pack, a prestige coin and stamp booklet and a booklet collection containing (I hope you are seated) 16 self-adhesive booklets, containing each of them 10 stamps of one team. And again maximum cards and first day covers…

When you know that French philatelists complain about the (too) high number of stamps issued by France, I wonder what Australian philatelists think…


nnnnnn said...

Hi.. Hope I am in Australia when you visit. would like to meet you and maybe show you around Sydney, delears which you might .

Too many stamp issues... yes... and I stopped trying to collect them :-)

Best wishes.. Michael

Sébastien said...

French Complaining philatelists may not imagine that:
* in the United Kingdom, special stamp series are sold as a whole... hence the difficulties to use the six to ten stamps, each bearing a different value. Nowadays in France, the large part of the commemorative stamps can be bought one by one.
* in Germany, some post offices only have the previous year's stamps... in November (case reported by a friend travelling and trying to find stamps for me).
* lots of country have abandonned the idea of artistic creativity for a growing part of their philatelic program... I'm depressed when I see U.S., Spanish or Italian stamps for example flatly printed in offset and heliogravure while all the artistic process seemed to conduct to intaglio or some sort of relief. When their picture was created for the stamp! And not copy/paste from a photographic database...