Vist us on Facebook                                       Join the ASSS Click here for more info
Philatelic Snippets The Great Montserrat Halley’s Comet Rip Off Harvey Duncan gives substance to a suspicion we all have had about the exploitation of stamp collectors purchasing issues of doubtful integrity..... We all know that present day issues contain items aimed at the collector and not for postal purposes such as imperforate stamps, mini-sheets but it was not until recently when I bought some mini-sheets from a dealer that I appreciated what the extent of the problem might be. Montserrat is not a territory I would have associated with this problem but they issued eight stamps for Halley’s Comet (in 1986) along with the usual imperf. set all of which you can also obtain overprinted "Specimen". The eight stamps where issued in minisheet format with four stamps per sheet but with different values from the original set just to entice you to purchase them. (See WEEBAU pages 714/715 for full illustration). Each sheet was also printed imperf. with either a blue or pink hue in the border giving four different sheets altogether. These were also overprinted "Specimen" making eight different sheets to buy if you so desired - a lot for one issue, to be sure. However, there’s more! The sheets I purchased were overprinted for CAPEX the following year as following: Printed in black with "CAPEX" and the exhibition logo in red, then the same in black. Not content with this some were then overprinted upside down and some twice to produce a double overprint!! Therefore, if one was keen to obtain everything that was produced you could end up with with four sets of stamps to start with and eight minisheets. I have not heard of the overprints being printed "Specimen" so leaving out that possibility we have a grad total of FORTY sheets, discounting any varieties that might have occurred in all these printings. A Rare Cancel for Nimbus By Bert van Eijck You have no doubt all heard of Nimbus, the series of meteorological satellites which the USA launched between 1964 and 1978/9. There exist launch covers for each of the seven Nimbus satellites that orbited the Earth. Around ten countries issued stamps for Nimbus, from Dominica through to Zambia. There are also some postal cancels for Nimbus. One of them is a rare as illustrated. I bought the cover with the cancel some years ago in an auction but I did not know either what Nimbus had to do with a French ship, for the cancel reads "Bureau Naval’ over a French stamp. So I wrote to one of the world’s greatest naval philately experts, Mr Detlev Mehlis of Berlin, Germany, who told me that the ship is the French cruiser Colbert which was in the South Pacific in the summer of 1970 as France was testing atomic bombs on its colonial atolls. Nimbus 4 was launched in April 1970 and had new equipment for radiation on board. The Colbert has a satellite receiver on board — as seen in the cancel — and probably could get data from Nimbus. The picture of Nimbus is now understood in this ship’s cancel, but what about the picture at the other side of the cancel. Mr Detlev Mehlis had the answer too. It is a "Tiki", a deity from the Polynesian Islands, carved in wood. And to complete the picture "Bureau Naval 64" is the ship’s identify cancel for the ship Colbert. Interesting, n'est ce pas? Whoever has this cancel in their collection and would care to tell me how they came to acquire, I would be very pleased to hear from them. (If you would like to get in-touch with Bert, please e-mail ASSS for the address).
(C) The Astro Space Stamp Society.           All rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the Author and the Society is prohibited. The ASSS does not endorse any of the dealer sites nor does the ASSS accept any liability for any of the products sold by the dealers.
Home About us Contact Membership Orbit Magazine ASSS News Noticeboard Spaceflight Articles Stamp Profile Rocket Mail Stamp Collector My Favourite Philatelic Snippets Philatelic Errors Links