Continue reading “The Stamps of 2020: January”

It was a busy week for me so I couldn’t devote as much time to philatelic pursuits I would have liked. I did maintain my daily posts to A Stamp A Day (and topped 100,000 words for this month with Saturday’s blog) ans have been working on my new issues spreadsheet mentioned in last week’s “Phila-Bytes”. I had planned to compile the latter into a series (first monthly, then bi-weekly) of articles listing and illustrating all of the new releases I could find from around the world. I got a late start on it, not anticipating how much time it would actually involve. My revised plan is to publish it as a page which will be a work-in-progress added to and updated throughout the year. I hope to have the January portion finished within the next week or so (I have information and images of more than 150 separate stamp issues for this month alone).

United States - Transcontinental Railroad (2019)
United States – Transcontinental Railroad (2019)

The biggest stamp-related news this week was yesterday’s United States Postal Service announcement of a few additional upcoming stamp issues. There is still no word on the Apollo 11 anniversary but the Transcontinental Railroad is indeed being commemorated with three stamps, two illustrating the locomotives Jupiter and No. 119 with the third showing the Golden Spike driven when the trains met at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869. A set of four stamps will mark “Military Working Dogs”, a very worthy subject. Abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly has ten of his paintings appearing in a pane of twenty stamps while tennis champion Maureen Connolly Brinker, also known as “Little Mo” — gets a stamp of her own. Finally, the “Star Ribbon” stamp will be issued in coil rolls of 10,000 and panes of 20. According to the USPS press release:

The artwork features a digital illustration of a star made of red, white and blue ribbon. The white space in the middle of the ribbon creates a second smaller star. The tri-colored ribbon, folded into a patriotic symbol, is intended to evoke the connectedness of the American people.”

Release dates have yet to be announced for any of these stamps.

Canada - Albert Jackson (January 25, 2019)
Canada – Albert Jackson (January 25, 2019)

I didn’t see any advanced notice for the latest set released by the Netherlands other than a press release on the date of issue, January 24. This is a miniature sheet containing two stamps with slightly different designs commemorating “220 Years of Postal Service.” On the same day, Canada Post announced a stamp to honor Albert Jackson, thought to have been Canada’s first black letter carrier. This was issued on January 25 in booklets of ten.

I am not an error collector but it’s always interesting when a new one is reported in the new, particularly on modern issues that are still available from post offices. Last week, Linn’s Stamp Newsan article ran detailing the discovery of multiple imperforate panes of the John Lennon stamps released by the United States last October (Scott #5312-5315). These are missing the die-cuts used to separate self-adhesives stamps from each other. Thus far, more than twenty sheets with this error have been found in Iowa, Florida, and New York. It is likely there are more to be found.

Philosateleian Post - First Moon Landing (January 28, 2019)
Philosateleian Post – First Moon Landing (January 28, 2019)

The Local Post Collectors Society commemorates “World Local Post Day” on the last Monday of January with the organization’s members “releasing” their own stamps marking a common topic. I created stamps for two of these — the World War I centennial in 2014 and the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black in 2015. Both of these were under the moniker of Muang Phuket Local Post (which became Republica Phuketia this past year). Members of the society chose the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing for the 2019 World Local Post Day theme with stamps being “issued” on January 28. Philosateleian Post‘s design carried an image of Neil Armstrong’s boot in the lunar surface. You can receive a mint single of Philosateleian Post’s First Moon Landing stamp or first day cover by sending either USD $2.00 or a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request to:

Kevin Blackston
Philosateleian Post
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Isle of Man - Manx Buses (January 29, 2019) first day cover
Isle of Man – Manx Buses (January 29, 2019) first day cover

My two favorite new issues of this week are a set of six released by the Isle of Man on January 29 depicting Manx buses and a souvenir sheet containing a single stamp marking the 100th anniversary of the Polish banknote. A promotional image even points out all the various security features of the release by Poland.

Poland - 100th Anniversary of the Polish Banknote (January 25, 2019) security features
Poland – 100th Anniversary of the Polish Banknote (January 25, 2019)

This Friday (February 1) is a particularly heavy day with new stamps scheduled to be released by entities as diverse as Åland, Belarus, Japan, Spain, and the New York office of the United Nations. Next Tuesday (February 5) will also see a number of new issues from Estonia, Jersey, Malawi, and New Zealand. That day is also the start of Chinese New Year so I may be more involved in that than blogging. Time will tell….

I didn’t receive any stamps in the mail this week so all that remains is to list my articles published on A Stamp A Day since the last edition of “Weekly Phila-Bytes”:

  1. January 22, 2019:  “The Pontifical Swiss Guard” (Vatican City Scott #1316, 2005) 4,417 words
  2. January 23, 2019:  “Bathyscaphe USS Trieste’s Record-Breaking Dive” (Switzerland Scott #946, 1994) 2,300 words
  3. January 24, 2019:  “Sutter’s Mill & the California Gold Rush” (United States Scott #954, 1948) 5,933 words
  4. January 25, 2019:  “Thailand’s War Against Britain & the United States” (Phuketia MPLP #Ph48, 2018) 6,181 words
  5. January 26, 2019:  “General Douglas MacArthur” (United States Scott #1424, 1971) 7,572 words
  6. January 27, 2019:  “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” (Germany Scott #1691, 1991) 4,470 words
  7. January 28, 2019:  “King Henry VII of England” (North Korea Scott #2662, 1984) 2,305 words
  8. January 29, 2019:  “Stamford Raffles & the Founding of Modern Singapore” (Singapore Scott #40, 1955) 4,302 words
United States - Star Ribbon (2019)
United States – Star Ribbon (2019)

I still have not decided on a topic for today’s ASAD entry as January 30 is filled with anniversaries of such things as the beheading of King Charles I of England in 1649, the execution of Oliver Cromwell in 1661, the legendary Akō incident during which forty-seven rōnin (leaderless samurai) avenged the death of their master in 1703, the first assassination attempt against a United States President (Andrew Jackson) in 1835, and the successful assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. I do not feel like writing about death this evening. It is also the birth anniversary of German flutist, flute maker and Baroque music composer Johann Joachim Quantz which interests me because of his middle name but I don’t have any stamps picturing him (at least one has been issued by Germany). Thus, it will be a “random stamp day” which means I will search through folders of stamps scanned from my collection until one catches my eye. In these instances, I try to choose something easy (such as an animal or a scenic place) that won’t involve too much research or assembly time. This will be only the second “random stamp day” this month (this year, for that matter); I usually average about 10-12 per month.

Before getting started on that (article #947), it’s time for a trip to the local outdoor market for dinner.

I hope everybody enjoys their weekend.

United States - Ellsworth Kelly (2019)
United States – Ellsworth Kelly (2019)