Sunday, May 30, 2010

London 2010 (IV)

At last I could find the time to finish this series of posts related to my visit to the London 2010 stamp festival. For this last post I would like to share with you the souvenir I purchased on the booths of New Zealand and Australia posts.

To celebrate the stamp festival, New Zealand has issued a dedicated souvenir sheet. At the show I purchased the FDC of this souvenir sheet. Here it is.
The souvenir sheet contains three stamps issued from the ANZAC series issued on the 25th of April 2010 and that contains originally six stamps. The background of the sheet pictures the very famous Tower Bridge. In the top right corner you can see the logo of the London 2010 Stamp Festival. The souvenir sheet also pictures a stamp from 1915 representing George V and overprinted WAR STAMP.
On its side Australia did issue a presentation pack containing not one but four (!) souvenir sheets.

Here is the cover of the presentation pack and the four souvenir sheets that it contains.

Each souvenir sheet is overprinted in gold with the logo of the London 2010 stamp festival.

Monday, May 24, 2010

London 2010 (III)

I’m very sorry to have been so long to publish this next post about my visit to the Stamp Festival London 2010 but I was waiting for some covers that I sent to myself from there and they took quite a long time to come…

So let’s start by a cover that I addressed to myself to get the official postmark of the stamp exhibition.
The cover is franked with two stamps belonging to the very nice birds series issued on the 4th of September 2007. I got a nice and clean cancel. To be noted that I posted the cover on the 10th of May but it is cancelled on the 11th of May. I took this opportunity to send similar covers to some of my readers.

At another booth from Royal Mail you could also send mail and get it franked with a new type of labels inspired from the famous Machin stamps. I could not miss this opportunity, so here is the cover.

This type of label is called “Gold Horizon Machin Labels” and it has been experimented for the first time in Wales (the first day of usage being 20th of April 2010). This label is a sort of ATM. It has a large size, a golden color and has the Queen’s profile in the background. It is a pity that the clerk did not stick the label straight on the cover (for any reason the clerk did not want that I stick the label myself).
The postmark is quite clean also indicating a temporary post office.
This time the date on the label and the postmark is correct and gives an interesting 10/05/10 !

After my visit to the Royal Mail booth I decided to visit the booths of the foreign postal administrations to see what type of souvenirs they proposed. The first booth I visited was located just behind the one of Royal Mail and was representing the Nordic countries: Aland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden were present on the same booth. Each of then proposed a postal card carrying standard stamps and a postmark commemorating the festival. I selected the Swedish one, you will understand why.
The card carries both stamps issued by the Swedish post on the 28th of January 2010 in the Europa series on the theme of Children’s book. I selected this card because if you look closer to the stamp on the right it pictures frogs… but I will come back on this in a later post.

The next country I “visited” was Hong Kong. The postal administration of Hong Konghas issued a dedicated souvenir sheet for the stamp festival and I purchased the FDC of this issue.

The souvenir sheet contains one stamp. The colors of the souvenir sheet are the one of the Union Jack, the flag of United Kingdom. The souvenir sheet pictures a profile of London (in blue) and Hong Kong (in white). I think that this is a very interesting idea. The first day cancel is also very nice with the Tower Bridge and a bridge of Hong Kong.

Then I visited to booth of German postal administration. You could purchase a commemorative cover franked with a stamp issued on the 6th of May 2010 commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Robert Schumann.
Again a very nice postmark with a rather unusual shape. I must admit that I did not really understood why the cover was also picturing Edward Elgar...

On the booth of Macau postal administration you could purchase a cover with a very nice postmark representing a symbolic view of the Business Design Center, the place where the exhibition was held.

The Japanese postal administration did not issue a stamp and did not propose a dedicated souvenir but you could get a nice postmark representing Mount Fuji and mentioning the festival.

Monaco post is one of the postal administrations that issue a dedicated stamp for the occasion. I purchased the FDC of this stamp.

A nice stamp picturing Tower Bridge, in its open position. The postmark reuses the same design and the cover pictures another famous place of London: London Tower.

I will finish my report of my visit with the next post where I will show you the souvenirs I purchased from New Zealander and Australian posts. To be continued…

Sunday, May 16, 2010

London 2010 (II)

As I explained in my previous post, my first stop at London 2010 Festival of stamps was for the very spacious booth of Royal Mail. To commemorate the event, Royal Mail has issued a very impressive number of items. On the booth you could find a free catalogue of all the items issued at this occasion. Here is the cover of this15 pages catalogue.
One important point to mention is that May 2010 represents the 100th anniversary of the Accession of King George V, therefore a lot of the items produced for the festival were link to the commemoration of this anniversary.

The first item I selected was the first class stamp issued to celebrate the festival and picturing the profiles of Queen Elizabeth II and King George V. Here is the stamp, mentioning the London 2010 festival of stamps.

On Royal Mail booth you could purchase this stamp in various formats: cylinder (a block of six stamps showing cylinder numbers in the sheet margin), traffic lights (a block of six stamps with the famous traffic lights printed in the sheet margin), or gutter pair (a pair of stamps separated by an unprinted gutter). I selected the last format, with a gutter containing the date of issue of the stamps.

This stamp is also part of a souvenir sheet issued for the event.

In addition to the First Class stamp the souvenir sheet contains a 1£stamp picturing two portraits of King George V:
- the “Downey head” (on the left) which was the first definitive stamp picturing the King and which was based on a three-quarters photograph by W & D Downey
- the “Profile head” (on the right) which replaced the previous one in 1912 as it seems nobody liked it (even the King himself was disappointed by the final result)

The design of the border of the souvenir sheet is inspired by a 1928 Bradbury Wilkinson engraving.
To be noted that a version of the souvenir sheet overprinted with the location of the show (Business Design Center) on the top right corner was also available.

Another thing to mention is that non philatelic products picturing those stamps were also available such as a pin badge illustrated with the First Class stamp or this coffee much and coaster that I personally find very British!

Another souvenir sheet was also available on the booth, containing four stamps picturing some of the finest and best known stamps issued during the reign of George V.

The two stamps on the left pictures the stamps issued in 1924 for the British Empire Exhibition. It is to be noticed that these stamps were the first commemorative stamps issued by Royal Mail.
The two others are known as the “seahorse stamps”, they picture Britannia riding the waves in triumph in a chariot pulled by powerful horses.

Both souvenir sheets were sold also in a presentation pack that contains some very informative details about the King George V definitive stamps.

Other items were the London 2010 Exhibition Stamp Sheet containing the lowest value of Machin definitives and a stamp booklet.
A lot of other items were available such as dedicated “smilers” sheets (you could even print your own “smilers” sheet on demand), postcards, first day covers, postal stationery, stamp ingot covers…

I finally purchased a book containing a lot of information about stamps issued during the reign of George V.

In my next post I will share with you the souvenirs that I could buy from the booths of the foreign postal administrations.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

London 2010 (I)

On Monday I spent part of the day at the International Stamp exhibition “London 2010” held at the Business Design Center located in the north of London. I really had a great time visiting an impressive number of booths held by stamp dealers, philatelic associations and postal administrations. This post is only the first episode in a series. I would like to share with you few pictures I took. I will share with you later the philatelic items that I could purchase but for this I need to come back to France and have access to my scanner.
I was really impressed by the size of the place where the stamp festival was held. And I was surprised also that there was very few people on the day I visited it. I guess the place was more crowded over the weekend but on Monday it was really quiet. The entry was free (you had to pay 10 pounds on Saturday!). I spent quite some time at the booth of Royal Mail (an impressive one as you will see) but I also visited the booth of several foreign postal administrations: Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Monaco, Japan, Botswana and others… I could even find some stamps for my frog stamp collection.
If I compare with similar events where I could participate in France I was say that:
- there were much more foreign postal administrations represented (this is probably due to the international dimension of the event)
- there were less “topical stamp dealers”, I mean by that dealers who organize their stamps per topics instead of per countries. There was a lot of dealers proposing postal history items and a lot of philatelic auction houses
But let’s see the pictures.
Here is the entry of the Business Design Center.
Once inside, here is what you could see, indicating that you had to go up to enter the show.
And here is what you could see once inside the place…

And here is what you could see once inside the place…

In a next post I will share with you the items that Royal Mail could propose on its booth and what souvenirs I could bring from the other postal administration booths.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Very nice cover from Iceland

I'm writing this post from ondon where I am for few days of vacations. I will take this opportunity to visit London 2010 the international philatelic exhibition which is currently held in the British capital. But for today I have selected a very nice cover to share with you. A cover that I received few days ago from a country that is very present in the news these days: Iceland. Thank you very much Benedikt for this very nice cover!
The souvenir sheet that Benedikt has used to frank this cover has been issued on the 16th of September 2009 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening to the public of the National Center for Cultural Heritage, also known as the Culture House.
The Culture House is a venue for Icelandic national heritage. It holds diverse exhibitions, cultural events and meetings in cooperation with national museums and collections and other institutions. It was built between 1906 and 1908 to house the National Library and National Archives of Iceland and was opened to the public in the spring of 1909. The building was also home to Iceland’s National Museum and Natural History Museum for several decades. The Museum Building, as it soon came to be called, thus housed for a long time all the main treasures of the Icelandic nation under the same roof. On the exterior walls of the building are the names of eight leading figures from Icelandic cultural and religious history and their dates. They are: medieval historians Ari Þorgilsson and Snorri Sturluson, bishop and bible translator Guðbrandur Þorláksson, hymnist Hallgrímur Pétursson, annalist and historian Jón Halldórsson, writer and Enlightenment scholar Eggert Ólafsson, annalist Jón Espólín and literary scholar Sveinbjörn Egilsson. Above the granite door frames of the building is a falcon crest with a crown, the Icelandic coat of arms when the Culture House was built.

On the left side of the cover, two stamps have been used to complete the rate. The stamp on the bottom is part of a set of five stamps issued on the 24th of May 2007 dedicated to the glaciers in Iceland. Glaciers cover nearly 11% of Iceland’s surface. Almost all glaciers in Iceland are of the temperate glacier type. Ice caps are large glacial ice sheets which cover terrain of varying elevation, for the most part covering it. The stamp pictures Breiðamerkurjökull one of the largest of the island. Here is a picture of the full set.

Interesting to see that one of the stamp does not have the same size than the others. This is quite unusual I think.

The last stamp is part of a set of two, issued on the 20th of April 2007 to commemorate 100 years of Forestry in Iceland. Here is the full set.

The set commemorates the publication of the Forestry and Soil conservatory act on the 22nd of November 1907.
I was not able to identify the plants that are pictured on the stamps, but I think those stamps are really nice.

Also to be admired is the very neat cancellation, as on all covers I have received so far from Iceland. On these days when a lot of countries are using mechanical cancellation that spoil the stamps it is good to see a nice and clean postmark! Thank you again Benedikt.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

New stamp picturing a famous Eric

British Indian Ocean Territory postal administration has issued on the 18th of March 2010 a set of seven stamps commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Each stamp pictures a hero from this battle. One of the stamp of this set falls into my collection of stamps picturing people nammed Eric.

The stamp pictures Eric Stanley Lock (1919-1941) a fighter ace of the Royal Air Force during the World War II who was the most successful british born pilot during the Battle of Britain.

The stamps of the set are issued in the form of mini-sheets containing siw stamps.

Slowly, but surely, my collection of "Eric on stamps" is growing...

Answer to the quizz

Mansoor and Eric found the answer to the question of my last post : I was in Chicago. The stamp that I have shown was issued on the 20th of February 1987 by US postal administration in the Black heritage series. It pictures Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable (1745?-1818) who is known as "the father of Chicago". He was a Haitian colonnist and was the first non indigenous settler in what is now Chicago. He was officialy nominated Founder of Chicago in 1968!
So I spent few days in Chicago with no time to deal with stamps unfortunatly. I'm currently writing this post from Ottawa (Canada). I'm going back to France tonight.