Monday, 29 October 2012

2012 The Hobbit I - An Unexpected Journey

         To mark the release of the first movie of J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' NZ Post issued a set of six stamps depicting six of the characters from the movie. The set was accompanied by a set of six miniature sheets including one of the stamps. Below I have included both the miniature sheets and the separate stamps. The stamps, issued on November 1st, also included the usual first day covers and presentation packs.
         See my Lord of the Rings stamp collection.

For a collection of all the miniature sheets released with these issues,

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

2012 Blenpex

        Blenpex, Marlborough's first National Stamp Exhibition which was held in Blenheim from the 12 -14 October. To mark this event, on 12th October, New Zealand Post issued a special miniature sheet and souvenir cover.

         The design of the miniature sheet depicts the 2,885m high, Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku, a well known peak seen from all over the Marlborough District. The three stamps included in the design came from New Zealand's 'Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee' which were issued earlier this year at the time of the jubilee.

         Personally I don't particularly like miniature sheets as I believe they do not reflect the original purpose of stamps as a means of pre-paying postage. Miniature sheets are mainly designed for the collector market. Putting a miniature sheet on a normal sized envelope would in many cases be totally impractical if not impossible.
        As miniature sheets go this one is among some of the better ones. It is colourful with an attractive appearance. Including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee stamps will of course make it attractive for collectors of stamps depicting the royal family too.

Technical information

Date of issue:
12 October 2012
Miniature sheet and souvenir cover designed by:
Stamps Business, New Zealand Post, Wellington
Printer and process:
Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours:
Four process colours plus PMS 877 silver and silver foil
Paper type:
Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Period of sale:
These stamps remained on sale until 11 October 2013.

Monday, 15 October 2012

2012 Christmas Issue

        On October 3rd New Zealand issued the Christmas set of postage stamps for 2012. Since 1960 there has been a Christmas issue every year. Very attractive stamps, I am particularly pleased with them.
        This year there are five stamps and three adhesives, each depicting a scene from the story of the birth of Christ. I like the design of these stamps. They have "Merry Christmas" with the name "New Zealand" at the top. Then down each side of the centre picture are leaves and flowers from the native tree, the pohutukawa, New Zealand's Christmas Tree, which produces bright scarlet flowers at Christmas time. Below the picture is the value and a silver fern. A very New Zealand stamp! I like that.

70c - Mary and Joseph with Jesus.                         $1.40 - The Shepherds.                         $1.90 - The Angel of the Lord.     

Sunday, 14 October 2012

What I Like in a Stamp

         What do I like in a postage stamp design? This was an interesting question which a friend asked me today when I told him I was working on a blog about postage stamps. So I decided to answer that question with a post on stamp designs I like and dislike.

First which stamps do I like?        
          I like a stamp to either tell a story or depict a person, object or scene clearly by using a drawing or photograph. To explain this I have decided to use the 1967 - 68 definitive issue, often known as the new decimals.
        First the "Primary Industry" set of 1968.

        Fishing Industry                                      Fruit Growing Industry.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

1855 The Full-Face Queens - Part One

Definitives Tour.  

Links:- Full-Faced Queens.
          1855 Full-Faced Queens - Part One.
                    A basic introduction to the Full Faced Queens issues. 
          1855 Full-Faced Queens - Part Two.
                    Looking at factors affecting the condition and value of Classic Stamps. 
          1855 Full-Faced Queens - Part Three.
                    A collection of covers from before and using Full Faced Queen stamps. 
          1855 Full-Faced Queens - Part Four.
                    Modern use of the Full Faced Queen design.

       What better way to start this blog again than to feature New Zealand's first issue of postage stamps, The Full-face Queens. This post is only an introduction to this set. I plan to do a page or some further posts on the Full-face Queens at a later date. (Links to these pages have now been added above.)


        Following the example of Great Britain, which first introduced postage stamps in 1840, New Zealand decided to introduce a system of pre-payment of postage using similar stamps in 1850. It would take another five years before these new stamps were finally issued. 
        The set originally comprised only three stamps - 1d (penny), 2d (penny) and 1s (shilling). These were printed in England by Perkins, Bacon. Other values were added later. The 6d appeared in 1859, the 3d in 1863 and the 4d in 1865. These additional values, together with all reprints of the original three denominations, were printed in New Zealand from printing plates prepared in England. Colour changes were made to three of the values in 1871. The 1d changed from red to brown, the 2d from blue to orange and the 6d from brown to blue. I have also seen examples of the 1s which appear bluer than the usual green. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

What is this blog about?

        In this post, I want to tell you what this blog is about and how you can navigate around it.

This Blog
       Originally this blog had been based on my Malaysian stamp collection but I was having trouble finding background information about these stamps and their history. So in October 2012 the decision was made to switch to New Zealand stamps where a lot more information was available about the stamps and their designs, particularly new issues. I know the stamps here are images from my virtual collection but I also have a large collection of New Zealand stamps too.
        My plan is to publish at least one post per week featuring a stamp or set of stamps from my collection. While the subject of the stamps will be my major theme, I will also talk about other topics such as flaws, printing of stamps or thematic sets. As New Zealand issues new stamps I will feature them but this blog but it is not going to become just a record of new issues. I am more interested in exploring the beauty and design of stamps rather than just displaying a complete collection. 

Other Pages
        On other pages of this site, I will be displaying larger groups and collections of stamps such as Health Stamps and Christmas Stamps. You can see these pages listed in the tabs bar at the top of this blog.

Main Index.
        Over time others have joined me in this project. You will notice the various writers at the bottom of each post. We also have Asami who has constructed an index listing every stamp issued by New Zealand. As we complete each post, this index is updated with links being added etc.
         Currently, we are working on a series of sub-indexes that will list posts by subjects etc. These index pages will be very useful in searching for particular issues, subjects, and errors.

        On the right-hand side of this blog, you will find some labels giving a selection of posts on various themes. As posts were added these labels were supposed to have been updated but this has not always happened. We are working on updating and correcting these labels but this could take some time since this blog now have over 300 posts.   

Important Note:-
 This site will be changing regularly so please call back often.