March 14th, 2010


Display images, by request

So, I've been requested to put up a sample from the upcoming stamp display, featuring some of the privately produced stamps that the local post office is happily accepting on mail throughout the country. This isn't an alternative postal service (we have them, too) but what's happened, in practice, is that NZ Post has effectively been outsourcing its stamp design, production and marketing to other companies. (You can still get official NZ Post "New Zealand" stamps and other suchlike paraphernalia, but the ones I've been doing research on are the much less well documented privately produced stamps).

My web site is an attempt, still only partially complete, to list, analyse and catalogue these stamps. The main reason I've been doing it is because nobody else has been mad enough to try. The scope for further study in this area of philately is enormous; I've made a rather perfunctory attempt to catalogue the many varieties of each design, but there's much work yet to be done (preferably by someone with more expertise at this sort of thing than I).

But what I originally set out to do was actually build a collection of the stamps. A catalogue is a fairly necessary accessory to anyone trying to build a decent collection of anything, and without any catalogue other than my own attempt I've been fairly much flying blind and learning as I go. This has, apart from anything else, put all my other philatelic work back by about eighteen months now. But finally, a (fairly basically laid out and written up) display is going to be shown at the Society next month. I've already got about 20 or so pages finished and ready (the only unfinished part being a number of missing stamps I have yet to find), and work has been progressing on the remainder.

The particular sets of stamps to be shown in the display are the "regional" series, as listed on my web site (i.e. each series which publicises a city, town or rural area within New Zealand). There are about 40 such series (the number is variable depending on what one considers constitutes a separate series; but I've got about 40 sub-pages of that part of my site, so I'll use that number for now). Many of these series are produced for local tourist or business organisations, or the local authority (many of which run the local tourist promotional organisation anyway).

Tonight's samples are the two different series issued for Northland. The first series (at the 45c postal rate) covers the whole Northland region, including Whangarei, while the second series (at the 50c postal rate), concentrates on the Bay of Islands.

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And if anyone wants to see more of them... the display is at the Senior Citizens Rooms, corner Forth Street and Nith Street, Invercargill, at 8pm on the 8th of April. There will also be another display, a selection of Items of Interest from the Society members, and a sales table and supper afterwards. Be there, or be somewhere else.