Monday, October 15, 2018

United States 2018 - Stamp Releases & Designers

Click on the images to and right click to save. Print quantities of 20 million or less are highlighted in yellow.

I've not been able to post much about United States postal stamp this year. It was a busy year with some unplanned travel and work, but given the regular and detailed updates on usps.com, Linn's and APS, collectors are always able to find the relevant information, unlike India Post stamps. I'm posting print quantities and stamp artist details for all stamps issued in 2018 in the table below. I've noticed that over the last few years the number of stamps with less than 20 million print run has increased a lot, likely reflecting reduced use of stamps and mail. Surprisingly there was no postal stationary released and a butterfly stamp that was previewed last year was not issued this year either. Has that series ended? We'll have to wait to hear from the post office for more details. Let me know in the comments below if anything is missing or you'd like to see something else posted on here.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

India Post 2018 - Stamp Releases & Designers

Click on the images below to enlarge and right click to save. Small print quantities are highlighted in yellow.

Update (14 Oct 2018): I've finally managed to get around posting details for commemorative stamps and MyStamps issued by India Post from January until September. India Post's philately department was posting regular updates on social media until March this year and has gone completely missing since then and that has made finding print quantities and stamp artist information much difficult. Information brochures don't reach post offices in time to gather this either. Anyways, the tables below cover most of the year, but I will likely add a couple more updates, depending on the number of stamp issues in the last quarter of this year. Until then, enjoy.

France-India: Joint Stamp Issues

Other than Russia, South Africa and Iran, France is the only other country to have issued two or more joint stamp issues with India.

The joint issue in 2003 (released on 29th November) showed identical designs, one each from India and France. India's national bird peacock and a rooster from France were selected to be shown on the stamps. The stamps were considered to deliver a message of renewal through these significant birds and the artwork in myriad of colors. I've been searching for the source of these designs for a couple of weeks, but I've finally managed to get accurate information for both the stamp images.

The stamp from France depicts a 15th century artwork in the Book of Hours (Heures a l'usage de Rome in French) created in Provence, France. Two artists, Barthelemy d'Eyck (also known as the Master of the Annunciation of Aix-en-Provence) and Enguerrand Quarton (1410-1466) illustrated this book consisting of 225 leaves, 10 large miniatures and 24 calendar illustrations. Book of Hours is Christian prayer book that was particularly popular in the middle ages. This French Book of Hours contains several illustrations showing months and zodiac signs. The rooster depicted on the stamp was likely done by d'Eyck. This book is currently in Morgan Library's collection in New York City. See an image of the page from this book below.

The stamp design from India shows peacock from the back of a 19th century Sarpech jewelry (turban ornament). This handmade sarpech used gold and precious stones done in an intricate art form called Minakari. Minakari was developed and promoted during the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's rule, and used gems and precious stones, and enamels to make jewelry, royal thrones etc. Minakari is still used to make jewelry, especially in Jaipur and uses flowers, plants, and animal forms as the main design elements. The sarpech shown on the stamp is likely a 19th century piece from Rajasthan, which consists of three clusters, a hexagonal center piece and two rectangular pieces, each showing chrysanthemum flowers and a peacock.

Indian stamp was designed by Kamleshwar Singh and was printed in sheetlets of 8 se-tenant pairs along with miniature sheets containing both the stamps. La Poste of France printed individual stamps in sheets of 30 each, which were designed by Claude Jumelet. I've seen the date of issue in France shown as 01st December, but that's the general sale date, and the first day issue date remains the same in both the countries.
France-India joint stamp issue from 2003
After 12 years of the first collaboration, India and France celebrated 50 years of cooperation in space science by issuing another joint stamp. The stamps, again one from each country, showed two satellites - Megha-Tropiques and SARAL, on one stamp each. India's space agency ISRO and France's CNES have cooperated in space research since an early agreement in 1964 to build and launch sounding rockets in India. Increased cooperation eventually led to launch of the Megha-Tropiques satellite in 2011 and SARAL in 2013.

Megha-Tropiques launched in October 2011 was intended to study water cycle and energy exchanges in the tropics. The satellite is expected to provide insight into the contribution of the water cycle to the tropical atmosphere. The main aim appears to be to understand life cycle of convective systems that influence tropical climate and their role in energy and moisture budget of the atmosphere in the tropical regions.

SARAL or the Satellite with ARgos and ALtika payloads was launched in February 2013 to study ocean circulation and sea surface elevation. The two main payloads were built by CNES along with one from ISRO. The satellite launched using ISROs' PSLV rocket will help in marine meteorology, climate and environmental monitoring, sea state and seasonal forecasting, oceanography, earth systems and climate research and protection of biodiversity and maritime security.

France's La Poste printed individual stamps in sheets of 42 each. Like most other joint issued in France, La Poste put a presentation pack for sale along with two types of pre-stamped envelopes and a brochure with cancelled stamps from both countries. India Post printed the stamps in individual sheets with 45 stamps in each sheet along with a miniature sheet with both the stamps. Sankha Samanta designed the stamp showing SARAL satellite and David Ducros of France did the artwork for the stamp showing Megha-Tropiques satellite. These stamps were issued at an event on 10th April 2015 when the Prime Minister of India traveled to France for an official visit.

If you found this to be an interesting read, do leave comments or suggestions below.
India-France joint issue (2015) on 50 years of cooperation in space science

Thursday, October 4, 2018

BetterPhilately Wishlist for India Post Stamps

Original Post (04 Oct 2018): This post will be a source to aggregate stamp subject suggestions or ideas that India Post can use to design stamp programs for future years. I have posted some of this information in couple of other posts and on the twitter feed as well. The list is simply organized by year, and separately lists some other personalities, events and themes that I'd like to see being issued as postal stamps. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments section below. When I make modifications, those will all be mentioned at the bottom of this post.

2018
19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche
Acharya Bodhidharma
Air Force Marshal Arjan Singh
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
B. K. S. Iyengar
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (Approved)
Chandrakant T. Patel
Dhanraj Bhagat
Mahamati Prannath
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi
Ramanand Sagar
Sikander Bhakt
Siyaram Sharan Gupt
Srimant Sankardev
Vedanta Desikan
Vinda Karandikar

100 Years of Kheda Movement
100 Years of Sabarmati Ashram
200 Years of Paika Rebellion (Approved)
The Maihar Band (100 Years)
The Yoga Institute, Mumbai (100 Years)

2019
Amrita Pritam
Guru Nanak Dev (550th Parkash Utsav)
I. K. Gujral
Maharani Gayatri Devi
Maniram Dewan
Queen Heo Hwang-ok (Korean queen from Ayodhya)
Raja Todarmal
Rana Kumbha (600th Birth Anniversary)
Shivmangal Singh Suman
Sudhir Phadke

50 Years of Commercial Nuclear Power – Tarapur
50 Years of Rajdhani Express
50th International Film Festival of India
150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-2019)
Auckland House School, Shimla
High Court of Punjab & Haryana Centenary
ISRO - Golden Jubilee (Magalyaan, Chandrayan and Vikram Sarabhai)
International Labor Organization Centenary
Jallianwala Bagh Incident Centenary
La Martiniere Girls’ College, Lucknow (150 Years)
Rajkumar College, Rajkot (150 Years)
Sherwood College, Nainital

2020
Pandurang Shastri Athavle
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
36th International Geological Congress
ASSOCHAM
Modern School, New Delhi

2021
75 Years of India's Independence
India-Bangladesh: Joint Issue (50 & 75 Years of Independence)

Other Events & Organizations
Bishop Cotton School, Bengaluru
Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai
Dayalbagh
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

Thematic Issues
Ancient Universities - Nalanda, Vikramshila, Taxila
Architecture
Art & Culture
Caves - Ajanta, Borra, Ellora, Elephanta, Kanheri, Badami, Bhimbhetka, Kandagiri, Undavalli, Udayagiri
Dams and Reservoirs
Famous Libraries - Allahabad Public, Saraswathi Mahal, Amar Mahal, Asiatic Society Mumbai; Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana State Central libraries
Festivals - Kullu Dussehra, Holi, Chhath Festival, Janmashtami (Krishna Jayanti), Baisakhi, Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Utsav, Eid Mubarak
Horses - Spiti and Kati
Iconic Railway Bridges
Indian Lakes - Bhoj Tal, Chilika, Dal Lake, Damdama, Hussain Sagar, Loktak, Naini Tal, Nal Sarovar, Pichola, Pushkar Lake, Sambhar, Suraj Tal, Vembanad, Wular
Indian Traditions
Joint Stamp Issues with Australia, Bhutan, Germany, Nigeria, Oman, Switzerland, UK, UAE, USA
Jyotirlinga Temples (12 designs)
Landmark Bridges
Luxury Trains - Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey, Golden Chariot, Maharajas Express
Museums of India
Natural Heritage - National Parks and Tiger Reserves
Post Office Heritage Buildings
Railway Station Buildings
Social Causes - Blood donation, Organ donation, Heart health, Child safety, Prevent child mortality, Epilepsy awareness
Textiles - Chanderi, Maheshwari, Paithani, Jamdani, Kota, Sambalpuri, Angami Weaves, Tat
Toy Trains - Neral Matheran Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Other Personalities
Ashok Singhal
Babasaheb Apte
Banda Singh Bahadur
B. D. Jatti
Balasaheb Thackarey
Balasheb Deoras
Balraj Madhok
Chinmayananda Saraswati
Dattopant Thengadi
Dadu Dayal
Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy
Dayanand Saraswati
Eknath Ranade
Gopal Swarup Pathak
J. Jayalalithaa
Kaka Hathrasi
Kesahavdas
K. R. Narayanan
Khushabhau Thakre
Madhukar Rao Bhagwat
Madhvacharya
Marnopant Pingley
Mohammad Hidayatullah
M. S. Golwalkar
Nimbakacharya
N. Sanjeeva Reddy
P. V. Narasimha Rao
Rajendra Singh
Ramchandra Das Paramhans
Raskhan
Satguru Ram Singh
Shivmangal Singh Suman
Sita Ram Goel
Siyaram Sharan Gupt
Swami Abhedananda
Swaraj P. Gupta
V. P. Singh
Jnanpith Award Winners
Cartoonists - Sudhir Pillai, Abu Abhraham, Mario Miranda
Musicians/Singers - G. M. Durrani, Mahendra Kapoor, P. B. Sreenivas

Issued by India Post
150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (02 Oct 2018)

India Post Pending Stamp Proposals

I will post details for stamp subjects and proposals that have been submitted to India Post over the last decade. This can be used as a source to track approved stamp subjects and dead issues.

Stamp Issues Approved, but Not Released
2001
Set of 4 stamps on Greetings
Set of 4 stamps on Dances of India
Set of 4 stamps on Hitopadesha and Jataka Tales (Approved)

2005
India-Oman Joint Issue
SAARC Charter Day

2006
Himalayan Lakes – Loktak, Suraj Tal, Naini Tal
Landmark Bridges – Coronation Bridge, Kandrour Bridge, Laxman Jhula, Godavari Bridge
Pramathesh Barua

2007
Battaqh Ali Ansari

2008
Festivals of India – Kulu Dussehra
Infantry Soldier – Year of Infantry
Jammu & Kashmir Light Regiment
Maulana Atikur Rehman Alvi
Mahanamrata Brahmachari

2009
Architectural Splendor – Ujjayanta Palace, Patwon ki Haveli, Mattancherry Palace
Buddha Jayanti
Caves (Tracing Civilizations) – Bhimbetka, Barabar, Udaigiri, Nagarjuna
Children’s Fables – Vikram & Betal, Mogli, Tenali Rama, Birbal
Hill Stations (Colonial Heritage) – Gulmarg, Darjeeling, Ooty, Shimla
Endangered Species – Ganges River Dolphin, Nilgiri Tahr, Lion Tailed Macaque, Himalayan Musk Deer
Greetings – Christmas, New Year
House Boats – Kerala, Kashmir
National Gallery of Modern Art
Seasons of India
Shakti Temples – Kalighat, Meenakshi, Vaishno Devi, Kamakhya (Approved)
Unique Villages of India – Toda, Kutch
UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities

2012
Asiatic Black Bear and other wild animals (Set of 4 stamps)
Boats of India (Set of 4 stamps)
Flowers of India (Set of 2 stamps)
Government College, Ajmer
Railway Bridges of India (Set of 4 stamps)
Traditional Embroideries of India - Chikankari, Kutchi, Kashmiri, Phulkari, Kantha
Tribal Dwellings (Set of 4 stamps)

2013
Dr. Nilratan Sircar
India-Peru Joint Issue
South Asian Postal Union

2014
Machali, The Tigress

2016
Gaurishankar Govardhan Joshi 'Dhumketu' (Approved)
Raja Todarmal
Sant Pipaji Maharaj
Swami Karpatri Ji

Pending Stamp Proposals
To be added

Dead Stamp Issues
O. P. Jindal
Devaraj Urs
Jyoti Basu
Bhupesh Gupta