Category Archives: Stamps

Liechtenstein – Bird Definitive Overprint

Citril Finch (Carduelis citrinella)

On 3 January 2022, Liechtenstein Post re-issued the 1.00 CHF Citril Finch stamp with a “90” overprint in black ink. The Citril Finch was one of four bird stamps that Lichtenstein Post issued in 2021.
As indicated in its first philatelic newsletter of 2022, it is some 10 years since Liechtenstein Post has used the overprinting method for revaluing its definitive stamps. The postal authority also revalued the 2.20 CHF Peacock Butterfly stamp originally issued in 2011; the Butterfly is overprinted “110”.
The two new overprinted values reflect increased prices for postage of “A” mail letters (from 1.00 to 1.10) and “B” mail letters (from 0.85 to 0.90). This is apparently the first price increase in 17 years for these letter mail categories.
Liechtenstein Post have described these stamps as “Provisional”, so presumably they will be replaced later this year with more permanent definitive stamps at 0.90 and 1.10 CHF.
The Liechtenstein Post philatelic website has made available both first day covers and maximum cards featuring the two new overprinted stamps (https://shop.philatelie.li). The overprints were also available in sheets of 20, but Lichtenstein Post has now sold out of these offerings, though you can still obtain them in single sets and in blocks of four stamps.
Liechtenstein Post describes the two stamps on the philatelic website as “self-adhesive”. I think that this is incorrect: in our parlance, the stamps are gummed. The details in the bulletin also use “selfadhesive” to mean gummed. This terminology is repeated in the French version too.
The designer of the four bird stamps was Christine Böhmwalder, about which I have not been able to learn very much, other than that she has contributed other (none bird) designs to Lichtenstein stamps.

Technical details: Width: 32mm x 38mm Height. Perforations: 12.75 x 12.75. Printer: CMYK Gutenberg AG, Schaan. Designer: Christine Böhmwalder.

National Colours In Nature

I thought that this issue from Belgium was interesting in that it is features two birds that were not designed by André Buzin:

This sheet of five stamps is designed to illustrate the colours of the national flag: Black, Red and Yellow (hence the reference to “La Nature Tricolore” in the French title for this issue).

The Miniature Sheet of five stamps is on sale at €10.70, with each stamp valued at €2.14 for non-priority domestic postage up to 100g (i.e., equivalent to second class postage here).

Technical details: Sheet dimensions: Width 165mm x 220mm Height.  Perforations: 11.5.  Printing: Offset. Printer: bpost Philately and Stamps Printing.  Designer: Marijke Meersman.

The two birds featured show:

  • Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) [Width 40mm x 50mm Height]
  • Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) [Width 30mm x 50mm Height]

The Red Junglefowl is the bird that appears on the flag of Wallonia:

This design is based upon one developed by Pierre Paulus (1913) for the region of Wallonia.

In its federal structure, Belgium has three geographical regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels Capital City Region.  The Belgian Constitution also provides for three linguistic communities: the French speaking Community, the Flemish speaking Community and a German speaking Community.

Acknowledgements: bpost for the technical details and Kjell Scharning for the Latin names. Also the Belgian Senate website for the Belgian Constitution; and the official Wallonia information site.

Estonia – 100th Anniversary of the Ornithological Society

Introduction

On 29 April 2021, Eesti Post commemorated 100th anniversary of the Estonian Ornithological Society.  According to the information on the Eesti Post Website[1]:

“The Estonian Ornithological Society was established on 1 May 1921. For over one hundred years, the society has contributed to the research, protection and introduction of our bird species. With more than 600 members, the ornithological society is currently one of the largest nature protection societies in Estonia and it is also a partner of the international bird protection organisation BirdLife International. We continue to stand for the wellbeing of Estonian wild birds.”

The stamp issue includes a sheetlet of two colourful stamps, both at €1.90 (the letter rate for postage outside of Europe, up to 250g), with the left-hand stamp featuring the Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and the right-hand stamp illustrating a pair of binoculars and the logo of the Ornithological society, plus a Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus).


[1] 100th Anniversary of the Estonian Ornithological Society (omniva.ee)

Isle of Man

Europa 2021 Endangered National Species
The Calf of Man and 70th Anniversary of the Manx National Trust

Introduction

On 12 April 2021, the Isle of Man Post Office issued a set of 10 stamps which simultaneously commemorate:

  • The Europa 2021 “Endangered National Species” stamp theme, with one stamp (NVI “EU”), illustrating a Manx Sheerwater (Puffinus puffinus) chick;
  • The 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Manx National Trust (MNT); and
  • The Calf of Man nature and conservation reserve, which is managed by the MNT. 

Five of the stamps have a 1st NVI, for use on postage within the Isle of Man and valid for post to the UK; and five stamps with the “EU” NVI. 

There is an additional stamp featuring a bird; and this is the EU stamp illustrating the Calf of Man Bird Observatory and the Common Whitethroat: more of which below. 

The consultancy EJC Design developed the stamp illustrations, each stamp being available in sheets of 20.  The printing is in offset lithography and each stamp measures 40.00 x 31.66mm in portrait format.  The set is available in a presentation pack (limited to 1,500), and the usual First Day Cover (FDC) is available (limited to 2,250).  The Europa 2021 stamp also has its own FDC and miniature sheet (see below).  Isle of Man Post Office has also issued a set of postcards to accompany the stamp issue, which carry enlarged illustrations of each stamp.

The Manx Shearwater

Fiji Definitive Overprints – New finds!

Further to my original piece on the Fiji overprints of some months ago, The Pacific Islands Study Circle (PISC) have now reported two new additions to the already large list of overprinted bird definitives. The original definitives were issued in 1995 but due to a severe shortage of postage stamps to cover their postal rates in early 2006, Fiji resorted to overprinting with new denominations the large stocks of these definitives with redundant values. As my article hopefully showed, the overprintings have resulted in a huge number of overprints with new values while at the same time producing a stunningly complex array of varieties and errors. Frankly, they have become a collector’s paradise!

6c/44c “xxx” overprint

In the latest edition of Pacifica magazine, PISC have announced that two new overprints have been found on the original 44c Purple Swamphen. In January this year they reported that a 6c with lower case triple “x” obliterating the 44c (“xxx”) had been found with an overprinted line measuring 11mm. This combination has not been seen before. More recently a 23c new value, also with triple lower case “x” obliterations appeared. It is thought that this was issued in either March or April. There are currently no further details on the crucial overprinting measurements for this 23c/44c arrangement. Only one other version of this overprint combination – appearing in late 2016 – is known.

23c/44c “xxx” Overprint

As can be imagined, COVID has had a substantial impact on tourism for the Pacific island nations and this has contributed to severe economic difficulties, leading to substantial cutbacks in their issuing of new stamps. It is possible – perhaps probable – that Fiji has responded by further plundering of its old stocks. Some of the original values were never used for the overprintings, perhaps because of insufficient numbers, but I now wonder if more examples might emerge.