Wednesday, February 11, 2009

FDC and stamps from France

I rarely show you cover coming from my own country, because I rarely get interesting ones ;-). Today I’m happy to show you a First Day Cover that I received from Eric, a fellow blogger (I know, I know… he has a very nice first name ;-))). Thank you very much Eric!

I’m not going to give you details about the stamp of this cover, because Eric did a very good job describing this stamp issue on his own blog, so I let you read the article he wrote.

I would like to take this opportunity to show you the stamps already issued by French post since the beginning of the year.

The first stamp, issued on the 5th of January, commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille.

Several postal administrations have already issued a stamp at this occasion, they have all followed more or less the same type of design: a portrait and a message in Braille.

On the 12th of January, two sets of stamps have been issued. The first is the Year of the Ox issue, a souvenir sheet of five stamps.

The design of this souvenir sheet is similar to the issue of last year for the year of the rat.

The second set is a booklet of twelve auto-adhesive stamps dedicated to art professions.

Each stamp pictures a different type of work: mosaic, glass, enamel, watch making, earthenware, jewels, weaving, wood, metal, marquetry, leaded-glass, crystal.

One week later, on the 19th of January was issued the now usual Saint-Valentine issue with heart shaped stamps. As usual two stamps have been issued (one for 20g standard letter and one for 50g letter) together with a souvenir sheet of five stamps.

Since 1999, French post issues heart shaped Saint-Valentine heart shaped stamps, and except in 1999 and 2002, the stamps are designed by famous dress designers. This year this is Emanuel Ungaro who has been selected, as you can see on the stamps.

An auto-adhesive version of both stamps has also been issued.

There is an interesting story in France linked to the auto-adhesive version of the heart shaped stamps. In 2004 there was a little scandal in the philatelic world, when stamp collectors discovered that the 2004 heart shaped stamps (the Chanel stamps) been issued also in a auto-adhesive format that was not available to the wide public. These stamps were issued only for the private usage of the Chanel company itself. They could not be bought in a post office or on the website of La Poste. The same happened the year after, with the Cacharel stamps. Philatelists complained that such restricted distribution was a trigger to speculation. Finally, the French postal administration decided to sell those stamps also to the public, but only in the form of sheets of 30 stamps!
It is the same for the 2008 stamps, they are sold by sheets of 30, but there is an innovation this year, one of the stamps is also available in a booklet of 12 stamps.

On the same day another stamp was issued, commemorating the 600th annivearsary of the birth of
René the 1st of Anjou.

The stamp pictures the
castle of Angers and a statue of the king René.

At the end of January, on the 31st a stamp has been issued celebrating the
Sables d’Olonne, a seaside town located by the Atlantic Ocean in the region called Vendée.

On the same day a souvenir sheet of five stamps has been issued to celebrate the World Ski Championship that is currently held in France.

Since the beginning of February, on top of the stamp pictured on the FDC at the beginning of this article, a very nice stamp has been issued dedicated to
Sainte Cecile Cathedral of Albi.

This is the situation today. Already a lot of stamps issued in only one month and a half, don’t you think?

Still to come in February is a stamp dedicated to the city of Menton (on the 21st of February). During the weekend of the 28th of February will be held the annual Fête du Timbre (Stamp feast). At this occasion a souvenir sheet and a booklet of 12 stamps will be issued picturing Looney Tunes characters. But I will show you all this once they are issued.

If you need any further information on stamps issued by France so far, don’t hesitate to drop me a mail.

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