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Austria Post: certainly not caught with its pants down

In 2004, Austria Post presented something real different: postage stamps that were embellished with real Swarovski crystals, a world premiere. And now there is a sequel to the cooperation between the internationally renowned company Swarovski (producer of high quality crystals in the Tyrolean town of Wattens) and Austria Post. On 24 September of this year the latter issued a special ‘Lederhosen’ stamp (nominal value: 6.30 Euros) made of Alcantara leather (an artificial suede) and adorned with Swarovski crystals. The stamp was issued 24 September of this year, has a circulation of 150,000 copies and was designed and printed by D. Swarovski KG in Wattens (Tyrol). The printing is described by Austria Post as ‘Laser-cut Alcantara, adorned with XILION Flatbacks in Golden Shadow’.

Source: AIJP News

Rare Chinese invert yields 149.500 US$

Last month, Cherrystone held one of its auctions of Rare Stamps and Postal History of the World. Some exceptional Chinese rarities came under the gavel, the most impressive perhaps a 1923 stamp surcharged in red on the first Peking printing: 2 Cts on 3c blue-green, with the surcharge inverted.
The error is a fine example of a very rare variety; it has a deep bright colour with centring to the bottom (which is characteristic for this issue) and came from position 19 of the complete sheet. The invert still has its full original gum, be it that it is partially dried and streaky. The variety has been examined by Holcombe in 1996, who delivered a certificate stating that the stamp is ‘a very rare variety of which under 20 copies are recorded to date’.
The scarcity of the stamp was reflected during the auction, where it fetched no less than 149.500 US$.

Source: AIJP News

NVPH (NL) presents its 75th Specialised Catalogue

On 28 September 2015 the seventy-fifth edition of the specialized catalogue of the postage stamps of the Netherlands and its overseas territories, published by the national stamp dealers’ organisation NVPH, was presented. This happened at the Museum for Communication in The Hague. The catalogue will be on sale from 14 October, together with a free, separately bound copy of the Dutch Plate Flaws Catalogue (2nd edition). As always, the new catalogue contains some one-off chapters, this time dedicated to the so-called kleinrondstempels (a certain type of hand stamps) and the ‘kinderbedankkaarten’ (‘thank-you’ cards for volunteers selling surcharged children’s stamps). The hardback catalogue contains nearly a thousand pages and costs 33.90 euros (Netherlands).

Picture: Rob Smit, chairman of the catalogue committee of the NVPH, presents the new catalogue (photo: René Hillesum).

Source: AIJP News

Spectacular philatelic discovery in Germany

For more than 100 years, philatelists collecting Germany have been looking for it: the ‘Germania’ stamp of 2 Mark with a quatrefoil watermark (Michel Number 152Y). The said watermark is relatively common for a ‘Germania’ stamp with a face value of 1 1/4 Mark, but things are different for a stamp of 2 Mark: so far only three used copies with a quatrefoil watermark have been discovered. In the Germany catalogue of Michel a used copy of a 152Y stamp is valued at an impressive 50.000 euros. Anyone looking for a notation for a unused never hinged 152Y will do so in vain; no price is given by Michel.
It was therefore a true stroke of luck that a collector specialised in German philately, living in North Rhine-Westphalia, browsed his collection and found exactly this stamp. The stamp had been slumbering for many years in one of his albums. Experts have examined it, declared it genuine and authentic and have attested its uniqueness.
The auction house AIX-PHILA in Aachen will have the honour of bringing this rarity under the gavel. It will certainly adorn the title page of the 57th auction, that will be held in November 2015. The starting price is rather modest: 20.000 euros.

Source: AIJP News

Crawford Medal: Nominations Welcome

(London) Every year the Royal Philatelic Society London considers recent publications with a view to awarding one of them the prestigious Crawford Medal. The medal is silver-gilt and is awarded for the most valuable and original contribution to philately published in the form of a book. It is open to both members and non-members of the Society.
To ensure that the widest possible list of titles is considered, the Society is inviting nominations of books that were published in 2014 or 2015 to be considered. If you are aware of any major philatelic books which you believe should be candidates, please send brief details by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by letter to The Royal Philatelic Society London, 41 Devonshire Place, LondonW1G 6JY no later than 10 February 2016.
The Society hopes to have nominations for as wide a selection of books as possible. If a nominated book is not already held in the RPSL Library it may request the nominator to supply a copy for the Committee to consider. The Society would, of course, much appreciate it if this book were donated to the Library.