Saturday, 31 January 2015

1978 Agriculture - Lincoln College Centenary

         I hesitated on doing this set because of the style of the stamps but then decided that the themes behind the designs are important to Agriculture and New Zealand's primary export industries.

         In 1978 Lincoln College celebrated its centenary. NZ Post marked the event by issuing this six value set. They also wrote on their web site:-
       "The College was founded in 1878 on 100,000 acres of pastoral land that had been set aside for the purpose by the Provincial Council of Canterbury. Mr W E Ivey was appointed the first director of the College.  Grassland farming is New Zealand's most important industry and the source of over 80 percent of the country's exports.  The College continues to develop its resources to meet the challenges of modern agricultural needs - through the application of the findings of research, use of machinery, topdressing of pasture and efficient agricultural management."

         Technology and knowledge are the keys to modern faming in New Zealand. New ways, new systems, new technology is being developed all the time. The problem for the New Zealand farmer is keeping up with it all. Some, like some of the smaller farmers around here, avoid everything new and stick to the ways they have always done it. Others like us, with the support and backing of a corporate investment company, take on and use new technology, new ideas. The result is the small farmer gets the same results he has always got, then can't understand how our average production per head has increased by nearly 20% compared to his.
         This knowledge can be gained from a variety of sources such as Magazines and Books, TV Shows, Field Days and Open Days. It can also be gained through education at farming schools, colleges and universities. Two of the staff who work for me currently attend a school one day a week, plus have assignments to do. As they progress through the various subjects I can see the changes in the way they view farming and go about their daily tasks.  

Thursday, 29 January 2015

2000 Scenic Definitives.

Definitives Tour.

         The second post of our Scenic Definitives will only cover one year, 2000. The six value 2000 issue of Scenic Definitives was designed as an add-on to the previous 1996.97 issue which was still currently on sale. The stamps were issued in two sets, 4 values in March 2000 and the remaining 2 in October. In between, in April, the $1.10 stamp was reproduced in an adhesive format.

6 March 2000.
The Otago Peninsula - $1.00.                           The Kaikoura Coast - $1.10.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

1913 Government Life Insurance (Without 'VR')

       When I came to write about the early lighthouse sets I was under the impression that they were two simple sets, issued in 1891 and 1905. But then a study of the Campbell Patterson Catalogue revealed they were far more complex than I ever imagined. There were the 1891 issue and another in 1913. Between these were two stamps that didn't seem to fit with either group.

        My stamp collection, which was started by my grandfather and continued by my father had these stamps arranged in two groups as most simple catalogues would show them. My father did a major re-arranging and re-mounting of the collection about 40 years ago. This is mostly how the older stamps are today, although I intend to redo them at some point. I still have the much older albums from my grandfather so I had a look in those. Of course, there were no stamps but you could see where he had laid out the stamps by date and his handwritten notes on each one. He had also placed the 1905 & 1906 stamps as a separate group. For the 1905 2d Chestnut there were locations for three examples in my grandfather's album while in my father's album there is only one.
         It was at this point that I made an amazing discovery. I have a copy of the 1905 2d Chestnut. Campbell Patterson values this stamp at $8,750 for unhinged mint and $5,000 for hinged mint. I found I had a hinged mint copy in my album. I went to the set of stock books where a large number of surplus stamps were kept and discovered that I had two more copies of this stamp, one mint and one used. Gently lifting the mint one out revealed it to be fine unhinged mint. Wow, that was amazing.
         So according to his notes, my grandfather considered the 1905 2d chestnut and the 1906 1d blue to be separate from the other groups for two reasons. First, they didn't fit into the 1891 group because they have no 'VR". Secondly, they didn't fit into the 1913 group because they were issued and used before Government Life Insurance stopped using their own stamps for the period 1907 to 1913.  (See below) That is how I have laid them out here. They were at the end of my first post and I have also included them here, at the beginning of this post, but I consider the 1905 - 1906 stamps to be a separate issue.   

Monday, 26 January 2015

1891 Government Life Insurance (With VR)

         The New Zealand Government Life Insurance Department was opened in 1869 and started issuing its own stamps in 1891.  Up until that time The Insurance Office, in common with other Government services, had enjoyed franking privileges, paying an annual amount to the Post and Telegraph Department to cover the cost of postage on its correspondence. 
         The decision to issue the stamps was the result of a dispute between the two Departments regarding the calculation of postage costs. The matter was referred to an arbitrator but the Insurance Department insisted on paying future postage costs by the purchase of postage stamps. 
         To ensure that these stamps were only used for their intended purpose, they had to have a very distinctive design. Since the symbol of the Insurance Department was a lighthouse, all Government Life Insurance Department stamp designs have featured lighthouses. In the rays of the lighthouse are the words "State Security" and the letters "V R" are shown in the background, behind the lighthouse. So actually this was more like a personalised stamp, being issued by the Post Office but only used by the Insurance Office.

         The stamps were designed by WB Hudson (Life Insurance Department) and J F Rogers (Government Printing Office) and engraved by A E Cousins. The plates were then made at the Government Printing Office. The following values were issued: ½d, 1d, 2d, 3d, 6d and 1/- (1s). 
         The first issue was perf 12 x 11½ and was issued on rather poor quality paper in which the watermark has a 4mm gap between the NZ and star. This paper was also used for the Second Side-face Issue and often collectors referrer to it as the insurance paper. You will notice the poor quality of these stamps below with faults like colour variance, poorly centred stamps and ragged perforations.

Friday, 23 January 2015

1995 - 1997 Scenic Definitives

Definitives Tour.
Back to 1994 $20 Mt Cook Definitive.                              Forward to 2000 Scenic Definitives.

        In 1995 New Zealand started issuing a new series of scenic definitives. This series continues until today with some amazing stamps being released over the years. Take that stamp to the right of the mighty kauri tree Tane Mahuta 'Lord of the Forest'. A stunning photograph with so much detail on such a little stamp. Over a period of time, I intend to post all of these stamps on this blog in a series of pages like this one below. 
        Tracking modern Definitive issues has become a lot harder as they are no longer issued in larger sets like they once were. So a collector has the choice of trying to group them over a period of a few years or show them in his collection according to date of issue. In presenting groups of stamps in this blog, we have a similar problem.
        (You may wish to check out our post on 1985 - 1993 Native Bird Definitives to see how much it took to sort that lot out!) 
       This post will cover the Scenic Definitives issued over the period 1995 - 1997. There were other definitives issued during that period but we have chosen to present only the scenic ones. The first stamp in this collection appeared in October 1995 and the last one in February 1997. Not a long period I know - a little over 1 year but there were some great stamps.
       We have also included the three miniature sheets, issued for stamp exhibitions, that also featured these stamps. There are two other items, a special booklet issue and some adhesive stamps too. I also plan to throw in any other items of interest that I might come across as I prepare this post.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

1929 Health Issue.

This issue can be viewed in our Health Stamp Collection

The First Health Stamp.                                        Dr Elizabeth Gunn.
                                                                                 (1969 Health Issue.)

         The story of this issue begins much earlier on the 25th November 1919 when a Wanganui School Medical Officer, Dr Elizabeth Gunn, took 55 children to a farm near Marton, where they camped for three weeks under canvas. The camp was a great success so she continued with these camps each year up until 1930. Others around New Zealand took up the idea as well which became the beginning of Health Camps in New Zealand.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

1936 Chamber of Commerce.

         This post is the first of three I will be doing on New Zealand primary export industries. This issue is the 1936 Chamber of Commerce while the second will be a set of 6 stamps issued in 1968 Trade Definitives. The third will be the 1978 Agriculture / Lincoln College Centenary. All three of these stamp issues are whole devoted to the Agriculture Industries. 

        The five stamps of this issue commemorate the Congress of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire, held at Wellington in October 1936. The Congress, first
convened in London in 1855, was a triennial event and this was the first occasion it had met in New Zealand.

        The stamps show the four main exports from New Zealand in the 1930s. When I was given this stamp issue to write about, Allan said do that thing you do about cows and sheep. Ok then Allan, you want my thing. LOL here goes.

Friday, 16 January 2015

2015 - 175th Anniversary Treaty of Waitangi.

          6 February 2015 marks the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and New Zealand Post marked this significant milestone with a commemorative stamp issue.
          The Treaty of Waitangi is a document in Maori and English that intended to found a nation-state and build a government in New Zealand. It was signed at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands on 6 February 1840 by Captain William Hobson, several English residents and around 45 Maori chiefs. By the time the Treaty had been taken around the country for signing, approximately 540 chiefs from around 39 areas of the country had signed. The Treaty consists of nine documents in all – seven on paper and two on parchment.
          Different understandings of the Treaty have long been a subject of debate. However, today as Maori and the Crown are finalising the settlements of all major claims, the treaty is being seen in a different light, and is beginning to take on a more mediatory role rather than being a point of grievance.

           This over-sized commemorative stamp is a blend of the old and the new, combining a coin design by James Berry with contemporary Maori design.
           The central aspect of the stamp design depicts the figures of Tamati Waka Nene and William Hobson and is based on the Waitangi Crown – a coin minted in 1935. Though the coin was not technically a commemorative coin, it functioned like one and was sold for more than their face value. This coin was struck after the New Zealand Numismatic Society approached the government suggesting a new coin marking the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
On the stamp, Ngapuhi chief Tamati Waka Nene is seen shaking hands with William Hobson, the first governor of New Zealand.
          They are set against a backdrop of sculptural designs executed by Rangi Kipa, based on his development of two Northland designs of Unahi (fish scale) and Kiri Kiore (Pacific rat). The fish scale design references the value of the abundant sea life that formed a staple part of the diet sustaining the many Maori coastal communities and the Kiri kiore design is a visual metaphor that relates the beauty of the Kiore pelt to that of a finely woven cloak which had great value in Maori society.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

An Official Post.

        The first 'OFFICIAL' stamps, stamps designed for use by Government Departments, was issued in 1882. In January 1907, the New Zealand government decided that all public service mail should use these special stamps overprinted with the word Official. It was not until 1913 that mint official stamps could be sold to the public.
         As this post will only show Official Stamps, that appeared in a number issues, particularly definitive issues, we have provided links to take you to full, more detailed posts on each issue.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

1935 Silver Jubilee.

Silver Jubilee of King George V.

Victoria          Edward VII          George V          Edward VIII           George VI           Elizabeth II.

        When doing a post on a 1935 issue, I begin with a 1990 miniature sheet. "Why?" You maybe asking. Well my goal is first to give you the background story of the Royal Family before we focus in the George V Silver Jubilee issue. What better way to do it than this miniature sheet.
        After the very long and successful reign of his mother Queen Victoria, Edward VII came to the throne. Already being an old man, his reign didn't last long before he was succeeded by his son, George V. Three of the George V Definitives can be seen below.
George V Definitives. (Three Examples)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Errors, Flaws and Varieties

         One of the features of this blog are the large number of stamps considered to be Errors, Flaws or Varieties. We have decided to create a page in our index to list these so readers can find them. They will be listed in chronological order with a brief description and link to their location.
       When Allan suggested the idea to me I went searching for what each of the items listed in the heading were. There seems to be a lot of confusion among stamp collectors. We maybe considered wrong here but we have agreed to call them as follows. Please feel free to leave us a comment below regarding this.
       A Error - This is a design error such as a spelling mistake or other such error in the design.
       A Flaw - This is an error made during the printing process, such as:- missing colour, colour or perf shift, ink marks caused during printing.
      A Variety - This is where one stamp in the sheet differs from the others. They include:- plate damage, plate retouches, design differences to the stamps.

Total Listed here:- 630

Friday, 2 January 2015

1935 Pictorials

Definitive Tour.
Back to George V Definitives.                               Forward to George VI Definitives.

The 1935 Pictorial Issue.
         By 1931 several of the plates for the King George V definitive stamps were noticeably worn. Given that the design of the 1926 Admirals issue had been severely criticised, the authorities decided to try the same approach which had worked so well in 1898 - a design competition for a new set of pictorial stamps.

         Entries were divided into New Zealand subject groups: fauna, scenery, Maori art, agricultural, history and sport, then examples were chosen for the stamps being issued. Over 1,500 entries were received and designs from eleven contributors were included in the final set. Some unsuccessful entries can be seen at the bottom of this post.

         The stamps suffered a series of delays though - printing by photogravure was abandoned in favour of line etching with the exception of the ninepenny stamp which was the first New Zealand stamp printed by offset lithography. There were also issues with paper quality and the shilling stamp design was changed again just before issue. Finally, in 1935 the set was ready to be issued.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Millennium Series - The Complete Series.

 First Heritage Series.                    Second Heritage Series.                    Third Heritage Series.

       There were three Heritage Series through the late 1980s and 1990s The First Heritage Series was a set of six issues lead up to the celebrations of New Zealand's 150th Anniversary in 1990. The Second Heritage Series looked at the four decades, the 1920s - 1950s, where New Zealand gained its own identity and emerged as the nation we know today. This is The Third Heritage Series, six issues leading up to the Year 2000. I am going to include the seventh issue in this series as it seems to fit with the basic theme of this heritage series marking the beginning of the century. 
Put together on a page like this they make a great record of New Zealand's Heritage. You can view the entire series on one page, then follow the links to learn more about each issue and the individual stamps.