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.
In a message to Pacific Study Circle Society members, Bryan Jones, the editor of Pacifica the Society’s journal, has advised that Post Fiji (PF) announced in late September that there would be a “fire sale” of stock from the bird definitive overprints. (Also see: “Perplexed in the Pacific”). He reports that the sale will be made up of forty eight complete sheets of the overprints remaining, and which the Philatelic Bureau had not intended to distribute to Fijian post offices.
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!
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.
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.
In truth, this wee update really ought to be entitled, “Gilly to the Rescue,” because she actually found this material and is the fortunate owner of the Scott catalogue that has helped clarify a little further the mysterious Guyana Lapwing surcharges. But perhaps that would have sounded like the title of one of those gymslip tales by Angela Brazil and terribly fifties; not at all right, so Scott’s it has to be.
And there is no denying that Gilly has worked wonders in unearthing more information here, proving yet again what I always thought, that the philately of the America’s is better handled by Scott’s than Stanley Gibbons as additional commentary to the first Lapwing blog confirmed. Scott’s scores even for a philatelic, “Wallpaper” country like Guyana. So what can we now add to the original piece? Firstly, all the Guyanese 1995 Birds of the World singles can be given Scott numbers in addition to SG ones.
I am greatly indebted to member Ton Plug for bringing these small mysteries to my attention as I had never seen them before. And after a few hours of internet excavation, whilst better informed, I am still a little uncertain about them.
The accompanying images show two Guyana stamps – a pair of a $6 Northern Lapwing (Vanellus Vanellus) (a and b), and then a further pair of the same stamps surcharged and overprinted $20 (c and d). But when were they issued? Which is a pretty a good question, because I am not sure.
You’ll probably recognise the design. Guyana produced two mini-sheets entitled “Birds of the World” for “Philakorea 94” and issued them on 16th August 1994. The sheets, each with twelve designs, depicted a variety of species but only two of which could actually be found in Guyana. Needless to say, the Northern Lapwing was not one of the native birds and it is amazing that they didn’t use the local sub-species of the Southern Lapwing (Vanellus c. cayennensis). The stamps on both sheets included the event logo and had a vertical rectangular format, each with the value of $35.