“Fall for Topicals” during National Stamp Collecting Month

October is National Stamp Collecting Month, and to celebrate the American Topical Association is offering a month-long series of free online seminars to celebrate. Of special interest for CartoPhilatelists is the October 10 seminar entitled Maps, Politics and Stamps: Some Examples from the Middle East.

Second 2020 MoS Checklist Update Ready for Download

Checklist Editor David Wolfersberger has finalized the second 2020 update of the MoS Checklist (March 2020 to May 2020). These new updates, along with previous updates, are available as Microsoft Excel files to download from “Checklist Updates” section on our MoS Checklist page.

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