For almost each stamp issued in France, the French postal administration, La Poste, issues also a philatelic document. This is a limited edition item printed on a A4 paper that contains:
- a copy of the stamp, cancelled with the first day cancel
- a recess-printed monochrome version of the stamp
- a text about the stamp and a related illustration
- the dry stamp of the printers to authenticate the document
This is usually a nice item. I think that in the past, collecting such items was rather popular. This is less the case nowadays I think. You can buy these philatelic documents during the first day ceremony or from the website of the French postal administration.
Why do I write about it? Because I received recently from the French post an offer to subscribe to such items so that I receive all of them in 2012 directly in my mail box. And as an appetizer the French post sent me a gift: a sort of mini philatelic document that I wanted to share with you. Here it is:
The document is related to a stamp issued in November 2010 dedicated to Villeneuve-en-Lot a city located in the south west of France.
This mini document is half the size of a normal one but contains all the standard items: a copy of the stamp, stuck on the paper sheet, a copy of the first day cancel (“Timbre à date premier jour”), a engraved monochrome version of the stamp (“Empreinte du poinçon orginal”) . And the empty square is not empty; it contains something that the scanner could not reproduce: the dry stamp of the printer. It gives an embossed drawing that you can only see when moving the paper under the light. I had to play with the contrast setting in Photoshop to make it appear in order to share it with you.
A nice gift. Even if I’m not going to subscribe to such collection which is definitely too expensive for me.
All this documentation was contained in a pre-stamped cover re-using the same design than the Villeneuve-sur-lot stamp.
As you can see on the picture the printed stamp is similar to the real stamp except that it does not contain any face value.
Again you can not see it but the left top corner of the cover also contains the dry stamp of the printer.