2020 Europa Theme Features Ancient Postal Routes

Europa stamps are special stamps issued by European postal administrations/enterprises and bear the official EUROPA logo, a registered trademark under the aegis of PostEurop in which Europe is the central theme.  The theme for the 2020 Europa issues is “Ancient Postal Routes” and from the issues released thus far, will prove to be very exciting for cartophilatelists.  From 9 May till 9 September 2020, PostEurop is sponsoring a contest where visitors can vote for the most beautiful 2020 EUROPA stamps entries for the 2020 theme.  While the PostEurop site is the official issue listing, Jurgen Haepers’ long running and well known “europa, cept, norden & sepac stamps information blog” is the go-to destination for large issue images and up-to-date information. Here you will also find a continuously revised post, Europa 2020  “Ancient postal routes” showcasing the this year’s new issues. This year’s issues are shaping up to have some wonderful and diverse cartophilatelic designs.  A few samples are shown below. We will continue to monitor the forth-coming new issues.

Russia, 2020-01-15 Poland, 2020-04-29 Switzerland, 2020-05-07
Turkey, 2020-05-09 Belarus, 2020-05-05
Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2020-05-08
Germany, 2020-05-07
 France, 2020-05-11  Andorra (French Post) 2020-05-12

 

Generalized Outline Map featured in Australia Post’s Disaster Relief Issue

Australia – Disaster Relief – 2020-02-018

Stuart Hamilton, CPS Representative-at-Large, informed us that on February 18, 2020, Australia Post released a set of stamps each cut in the shape of Australia to raise funds for the disaster relief for the devastating bushfires of the previous 2019-2020 season.  The 1.10 AUD denominated die-cut stamps depict an outline of the Australian continent and Tasmania and feature imagery of natural disasters.  Australia Post will donate $2 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund from every stamp pack sold, to go towards the on-the-ground support for communities impacted by the bushfires and other disasters when they happen.  There will be 100,000 Disaster Relief stamp packs produced, each containing five unique stamps. [thanks for the information Stuart, we are all thinking about our friends in Australia during this difficult time! – web admin]

Austria Post Marks Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union

Austria – 2020-01-31

Brexit” – the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) was slated to occur on March 29, 2019. From what we know, Austria Post planned to mark that date with a stamp depicting the EU, post Brexit, as shown in the stamp on the left. However March 29, 2019 came and went and the UK was still part of the EU.  Rather than destroy the current stamps and commission a reprint, Austria Post waited. So when the UK’s withdrawal was ratified in late January 2020, Austria Post overprinted the stock with the “31-1-2020” withdrawal date and issued the stamps on January 31, 2020. News of the issue quickly spread on the Internet and many media outlets reported the stamps. Linn’s reports the stock of 140,000 sold out quickly from the Austria Post online store and demand for the issue resulted in listings of US$10 or higher on online auction sites, such as Ebay.  The  €1.80 denominated issue features a dark blue map of current EU members with the UK being shown in light blue after the withdrawal. A very light yellow color fills the background areas, as well as the lines make up the borders of the member countries and countries who are not EU members, such as Norway, Switzerland, and others are simply depicted as empty space areas in the background color. The word “»Brexit«” and the two dates are shown immediately below the denomination, in the upper left corner, with the 2019 date overprinted by a single horizontal bar. “AUSTRIA” rotated 90 degrees with a left to right reading flow. Above the text is the EU 12 golden star circular logo.  It was noticed in the very lower left corner of the stamp a small blue patch is visible, and present on every stamp. Theories on the CPS members discussion list point to this patch possibly being the Portuguese autonomous island of Madeira. The map depicted on the stamp is quite detailed, with a number of other small islands clearly visible in both the Adriatic and Aegean seas. [ correction to update the sovereignty of Madeira — thanks Pierre! ]

TAAF/FSAT 2020: A Couple of New Issues With Maps

TAAF 2020-01  Station Robert-Guillard

In the January 2020 TAAF (French Southern Antarctic Territory) series from La Poste, a couple of the issues contained maps. In a set of two stamps marking the joint French/Italian Station Robert Guillard near Cap Prud’homme in Adélie Land (Terre-Adelie) one stamp contains a map (right). The  €2.80 stamp depicts the location of Station Robert Guillard which is located nearby the French Dumont d’Urville Station. The location of the stations along the shoreline are marked by points and national flags. A relief shaded map of the ice sheet and Mertz Glacier fills the remaining center portion of the stamp. What appears to be a partial polar-sterographic projection is positioned on the lower right side of the stamp. France’s Terre-Adelie territorial claim is marked in red.  The next TAAF issue containing a map is a mini-sheet of two stamps (below) with the background showing a photograph of the joint French/Italian Concordia Base, located 1,100 km (680 mi) inland from the Dumont d’Urville Station. The main theme of the  mini-sheet appears to be the DHC-6 Twin Otter airplane used for logistics between the bases. The plane is shown in the center of the sheet and in the €1.05 denominated stamp (upper left) which also depicts an aerial view of the base.  A map of Antarctica is depicted in the other stamp (lower right). The €1.05 denominated map stamp shows French, Italian and EU flags along with the geographic location (lon/lat) of the Concordia Base, in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

TAAF 2020-01  Concordia Base

150 Years of Modern Surveying in Japan

Japan 2019-06-03

On June 3, 2019, in honor of the annual Surveying Day, Japan Post issued a sheet of 10 stamps marking 150 years of modern surveying in Japan. The horizontal formatted stamps all have JPY 82 (USD 0.75)  denominations. The images on the stamps depict important surveying instruments, infrastructure, and surveying processes in Japan. Images depicting surveying tasks and historical surveying events during the 150 years are shown in the selvedge.   The sheet marks 150 years since the Meiji Government, in 1869, established a modern surveying institute within the Ministry of Civil Service. The institute was tasked to compile a uniform land survey of Japan that would promote national governance. New offices in the government were setup to augment the family register with map data, collect information on place names, and compile a gazetteer. Teams were sent into the field to carry out comprehensive triangulation and leveling using Western surveying techniques. Work on compiling and maintaining a nation-wide 1:50,000 scale series of topographic maps was also initiated. After World War II and the end of the allied occupation, Japan entered a period of social and economic growth. The need for surveying increased to meet the demand in the areas of road maintenance and construction, housing and urban development, and the enhancement of disaster prevention infrastructure. The Ministry of Construction and the Geographic Survey Institute oversaw these projects and continued development in both technical and legal aspects of surveying. This period also saw the start of the private sector surveying companies in Japan. During the last 20 years significant advances from the field of information and communication technology have been incorporated into the surveying domain and those advances continue today and will for the foreseeable future.

Issue from Norway Post Promotes 2019 World Orienteering Championships

Norway 2019-06-14

Member Tom sends information that on June 14, 2019 Norway Post issued a single stamp marking the upcoming 2019 World Orienteering Championships, taking place from August 12 – 17, 2019 in Østfold, Norway.  Orienteering was invented by the Swedish military at the end of the 1800s. The first civil orienteering race was arranged in Norway in 1897 in Nordmarka, north of Oslo. The vertical formatted issue, designed in a map and compass motif is divided into two sections. The lower section, depicts an orange colored diagonal patch modeled on the international orienteering flag.  The upper section of the stamp shows what appears to be topographic contour lines, shown in blue. Offset from the middle, the magnetic needle of the compass is visible, centered on the boundary between the upper and lower sections. Positioned through the orange patch following a circular path, much like the dial of a compass, is the  Norwegian text “VM I Orientering 2019” meaning “World Championship in Orienteering 2019.” The non-denominated stamp is valid for domestic postage (INNLAND) up to 20 grams and sells for NOK 16.00 (USD 1.84). The stamp is available in booklets of 10. It appears there is no map in the selvedge of the booklet pane.  [ always intricate and colorful, orienteering maps have been featured on a number of issues over the years.  please contact us if you know about any web pages featuring more orienteering issues. – admin ]