Thursday, December 29, 2011

Republic of China issues New Years Stamps

To welcome the Chinese New Year of the Dragon, Chunghwa Post is issued a set of two New Year’s Greeting Postage Stamps  and a souvenir sheet on December 1, 2011 featuring the upcoming year’s animal sign. Continuing the pop modern art and traditional Chinese ink-wash styles of the 2010 issue, the vignette of each of the stamps features a dragon or dragons colored with regal purple and nature’s green against an orange background with random yellow splatters. The bright color scheme brings a joyous atmosphere to the Year of the Dragon. The designs are as  follows:

1. NT$3.50 Stamp: Staring into each other’s eyes, this pair of dragons represents the idea of “belonging to each other” and symbolizes that “all one’s wishes will come true.”

2. NT$13.00 Stamp: Holding its head up high and ready to spring into action, the image of this dragon represents “pride” and symbolizes “joy and good health.”

3. NT$12.00 Souvenir Sheet: The image of a proud dragon soaring in the sky conveys the idea of “promotion” and “success.”

To add to collectability and philatelic interest, two press sheets are included in this year’s issue. Each of these uncutsheets is composed of two panes of 20 stamps, with denominations of NT$3.50 and NT$13.00 respectively. Printer’s markings remain on the sheet margin. Also included are a poster tube for storing the press sheets and a certificate of authenticity. Launched in 2009, this series of philatelic items provides a glimpse into the printing process of postage stamps. Produced in limited quantities, the item is very much worth collecting.

The Technical Details of this issue are presented below.

Sheet composition: 20 (5 x 4)

First day cancel
 Paper used: Phosphorescent stamp paper                         

Designer for this issue: Chen Peiyi

Printer used for this issue: China Color Printing Co., Ltd.

The individual stamps have a size of:  34 x 26 (mm)

The multi color stamps were printed by the offset method of printing and have a perforation of 13. the NT3.50 value has a printing total of 4,000,00 while the NT13.00 total was 1,500,000

The size of souvenir sheet  110 x 76 (mm)  while the stamp in the center of the souvenir sheet has a size of  64 x 40 (mm) and has a perforation of  12 ½ . The printing total was 1,400,00.

To go to the Taiwan Postal Museum click here:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Island of Jersey Releases Christmas Stamps

On November 8th 2011, Jersey Post issued six stamps depicting Christmas Tree Decorations. The stamps bear a range of tariffs in order to facilitate posting Christmas cards both locally and internationally. The tradition of decorating trees at Christmas began centuries ago. Decorations which started with sweets, gingerbread, nuts and paper roses, were followed by tinsel and a huge variety of miniature dolls, instruments, glass beads, baubles and so on, remaining to this day an indispensable part of Christmas celebrations.

The Stamps, First Day Cover envelope and Presentation Pack designs are from orignals painted by Colleen Corlett. The stamps were printed by Cartor Security Printing, France in four colour process offset lithography in sheets of ten (2 across x 5 down). The stamps have a size of  40.00mm deep x 30.00mm wide. A complete set of 6 stamps retails for 3.43 pounds while the first day cover will sell for 4.48 pounds. 

First Day cover

To order these stamps and for more information go to

sheet of 10
Their email address is

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Swiss Christmas Stamps feature "Silent Night" Chapel

The following story has been supplied by the Swiss Post Office Philatelic Office

This year, anybody fortunate enough to spend Christmas out in the country or in the mountains nearby will discover his or her very own “Silent Night” chapel”. And even if this haven of peace and tranquility is just a memory of days long past, what remains for all of us is the indescribable experience of an unforgettable winter’s night during Advent. The festivities begin early in the evening amidst those we love and last until late. The sound of bells in the distance is redolent with memories. Every year, we need that little bit of prompting from a loved one to go to the church service. Our heads are heavy with wine, our stomachs over- loaded with sweet things and our ears ringing with children’s giggling and off-key flute music. So we are reluctant to slip on our old winter gear and lace up our new boots. We walk in silence together along the romantic path leading to the ancient chapel, enjoying the crunch of snow under our feet while snowflakes fall silently all around us. Nobody in our merry group regrets making the effort to leave the cozy living room for the still, cold December night. As expected with rueful good humor, our feet are cold and wet, our fingers frozen stiff and the pews hard. But we are richly rewarded, even as we take our leave and look back at the colorful Christmas trees in front of the chapel and the atmospheric play of windows reflected on the snow. We are filled with a sense of peace, happiness and contentment because we have found our “Still the Night” chapel. And this stamp with the chapel motif is an invitation to us all to rediscover this stillness, whether out of Christian conviction or merely because we are looking forward to Christmas.

You’d have to be really hard-boiled to be able to be totally immune to the mood that reins in the run-up to the festive season. Rilke’s lines invite us to immerse ourselves in this atmosphere. Is this a harking back to better days? why not? Such thoughts are a welcome refuge, especially nowadays. why not let ourselves be carried away by the sight of that beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the midst of a snow-covered city park? The starry sky over the roofs provides the ideal glittering framework for drifting up and away. The gifts piled on the old-fashioned sledge, just waiting to be unpacked, appeal to the child in us, and there’s that practical lantern to light the way (perhaps Christmas with a big bushy beard). Admittedly, the intrusive glitter that pervades every corner of supermarkets crammed with people and merchandise from early November can also get on one’s nerves. Let’s be honest. Advent must have been pretty cozy back in Rilke’s day. But why not revive the run-up to Christmas as a quiet time made for contemplation. It’s a time of breathing in air so cold that it makes your nose run, of blinking your eyes until all the lights begin to dance on the glistening snow. Then we return home to a warm living room and the tin of Christmas biscuits. There’s definitely something to be said for living in modern times, like the many treats from all over the globe that actual festivities, we relish the good life in homes with efficient, reliable heating, with gentle music sounding in our thawing ears or a romantic Christmas-soap DVD flickering before our reddened and runny eyes. But harking back to the age of Rilke should — and must — have its place, for instance sitting right down and writing of romantic letters and cards to our friends and loved ones using Swiss Post’s extra-colorful 2011 Christmas stamps as a counterpoint to all the shopping going on around us.

Once in a lifetime: this is just bow it should be. Waiting for the right house takes patience, and the thought of spending a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones in the chalet of your dreams is enough to warm the cockles of your heart, though hopefully not to melt all that lovely snow. When the time comes round at long last, the snow gods and weather forecasters haven’t got it wrong. It’s a white Christmas for 2011 — brilliant! The chalet next to the dark forest of fir trees, one in the mountains, slightly hidden in a fold of the slope. First impressions — the smell of resin inside, the crackling fire of glowing branches in the open fireplace and the wisps of smoke hanging over the snow-covered roof — add up to a picture like the one on the calendar in granny’s parlor This postcard idyll is for sale in the little village shop down in the valley, complete with glitter or perhaps just with a baby deer in the snow? For once kitsch is OK for sending these special chalet holiday greetings to all your design-conscious friends back home. These ageless chalets come in a wide variety of looks and are found mainly in alpine countries. They are reality and therefore also a matter of taste. It goes without saying that the most attractive ones are to be found in the mountains of Switzerland ... But let’s not get carried away. Our dream chalet must beat least as attractive as the one depicted on the new Christmas stamp designed by illustrator Raphael Volery with its exquisite adornments in the foreground, the splendidly decorated Christmas tree and the brightly burning colored candles! A Swiss Post exclusive that’s easy to find at anytime, at any post office. So you too can dream.

All three stamps were issued November 24th. They were printed by the four color offset method by Cartor Security Printing of La Loupe, France. The stamps measure 33 X 28 mm and have a perforation of 13 ¼ by 13 ½. Raphael Volery is the designer of the stamps and lives in Zurich. To accompany the stamps Swiss Post is producing two sets 4 Christmas card packs. One set is based on the .85CHF stamp and the other is based on the 1.00CHF Stamp. They will sell for 9.20CHF and 9.80CHF and include the matching set of stamps. First Day covers, First Day Folders and First Day Collection sheets will also be available.

To order these stamps and other items

For  Raphael Volery's site

Xmas card and matching stamp

Block with First day cancel

Monday, December 5, 2011

Australia Post Releases stamp for Obama Vist

To mark the official Australian visit of the Honourable Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, Australia Post has released a domestic rate (60c) stamp, representing the longstanding Australia-United States Alliance under the ANZUS treaty.

During President Obama's visit, he was presented with the framed souvenir stamp by Australian Prime Minister, the Honourable Julia Gillard.

"Australia Post is delighted to commemorate President Obama's visit to Australia and recognise our ongoing alliance with this special stamp issue. We trust this issue provides collectors and the public with a memento to mark this important and historic event," said Australia Post Managing Director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Australia-United States Alliance under the ANZUS Treaty which was signed by Australia, New Zealand and the United States in San Francisco in 1951 and entered into force in 1952.This is a time of great strength and growth in the Alliance, which rests on a broad and enduring community of interests and values.

Presentation Pack with sheetlet of 10 stamps

Australia and the United States enjoy a strong partnership in many areas including trade and investment, science and technology collaboration and security cooperation.

Maximum Card

The stamp shows the military representatives of the ANZUS countries gathered in Honolulu for the first meeting in 1952: Lieutenant General SF (Sydney) Rowell (left), Australian Chief of General Staff, is greeted on his arrival at the airfield by Admiral Arthur Radford, US Commander in Chief Pacific (right), and Major-General Gentry, New Zealand Chief of General Staff.

This stamp issue was designed by Jo Muré of the Australia Post Design Studio. Jo's recent stamp designs include the Royal Wedding and Golf (2011). As well as the stamps Australa Post has produced First Day Covers, Maximun Cards and Presentation Packs for this issue

My Thanks to the Australian Post Office for the information on this issue.

Interesting Links  for more information about President Obama's Visit  To Australia.

ABC News Coverage

Sydney morning Herald

whitehouse Press Photos