Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Singapore '95 Orchids Theme

The theme selected for the World Stamp Exhibition '95 was Orchids. A series of 5 sets of the orchids stamp and miniature sheets was launched. The orchids and background for the sheets are as follow:
  • Vanda Miss Joaquim & Dendrobium - Singapore Botanic Gardens
  • Dendrobium Sharifah Fatimah & Phalaenopsis Shim Beauty - Singapore Skyline
  • Vanda Sumatrana & Phalaenopsis Ambabilis - architectural scene of 1920s
  • Paphiopedilum victoria-regina & Dendrobium smillieae - local fruits
  • Vanda Marlie Dolera & Vanda limbata - illustrated impression of Singapore Zoo

There is another variation of the 5th set with Sentosa attractions as the background. This variant has two more sub-variants, and the sub-variants have serial numbers since they are limited runs.

These stamps and minisature sheets were designed by Mr Chua Ban Har. I have one of the sets (should have another one, but it is somewhere lost in the albums).

Orchids stamps are nothing new to Singapore, since orchids is the national flower (Vanda Miss Joaquim to be exact). At the tourists attraction shops, we could find many of these flowers immortalised in resins. Since 1962, Singapore already has stamps featuring orchids (see below).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Singapore World Stamp Exhibition 1995

Other than the World Stamp Championship 2004, Singapore had also hosted the World Stamp Exhibition 1995. It was a grand event, with the then President of Singapore (Mr Ong Teng Cheong) as the Patron, and supported by Federation of International Philately and Federation of Inter-Asian Philately. International judges (aka jury) were invited, and many outstanding exhibitions (over 3,300 frames) were displayed. Exhibitions included the recorded 'by accident' use of Penny Black prior to 6 May 1840 (David Feldman) and also 'Straits Settlements" Judicial and Revenue stamps (Koh Seow Chuan).

The event was held in Suntec City from 1 to 10 Sep 1995. Other than the exhibitions, there were other interesting events for the visitors, like "Traditional Trade" demonstrations showing works of Chinese Calligrapher, Indian garland maker, and Malay Batik painter. Another interesting event was the stamp perforating demonstrations that were performed hourly. Of course, we had the usual seminars on postal history, youth philately...etc. It was a free event, and well attended by many visitors.

The stamp theme for the event was Orchids and there was a different cancellation for each day of the event. Would cover more of the Orchids theme and other event news later.

Here's the list of the datestamp cancellations, and slogan die cancellations:
  • 1 Sep 05 - Singapore '95 Day
  • 2 Sep 95 - Thematic Philately Day
  • 3 Sep 05 - Stamp Collecting Day
  • 4 Sep 05 - Singapore Post Day
  • 5 Sep 05 - Philatelic Museum Day
  • 6 Sep 05 - Olympic Day - Youth
  • 7 Sep 05 - Letter Writing Day
  • 8 Sep 05 - Awards Day
  • 9 Sep 05 - F.I.A.P. Day
  • 10 Sep 05 - F.I.P. Day

Friday, April 11, 2008

IOC & Singapore Stamps (2004 & 2005)

With all the fervor about coming Olympics in Beijing, I can't help but notice that Singapore stamps too have some parts to play in the IOC history.

In Prix Olympia 2004, SingPost won the award for the most original stamp issued for the Athens 2004 Olympics Summer Games (see page 2 of this document). The stamps are shown below, and there is a short write-up accompanying the stamps in the 2004 yearbook. The award was presented by the IOC to SingPost during the 2005 session.

In 2005 we have the stamps series on the 117th IOC (International Olympic Committee) itself. Personally I prefer the 2004 design to the 2005 ones. The 2005 ones look a bit commercial somehow. Well, wonder if there will be stamps design for the 2008 Olympics, and also the Youth Olympics in 2010? Should have I would think. Let's hope the designs are good.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Holographic Rat Issue 2008 from New Chinese Zodiac Series

This set of Chinese Zodiac Stamp series starting from 'Rat' was released by SingPost earlier this year on 18 Jan 2008. This set is special cos' the printing uses an unique printing technique on stamps – offset lithography with high reflective index transparent hologram with morphing effect. I got two pictures of the stamps, and you can see the holographic effect in the second one.
Since this is the beginning of a new set, that means all other 11 of the series will also be holographic!

Here's some of the other details I got from SingPost's press release:

First Day Cover (without stamps) S$0.25. Complete set of stamps (1st Local, 65¢, $1.10) S$2.01

Pre-cancelled First-Day Cover affixed with complete set of stamps S$2.75. Presentation Pack S$3.75

Collectors’ Sheet (comprising of $5 and $10 stamps) S$16.80

Technical Details
Date of Issue : 18 January 2008
Denominations : 1st Local, 65¢, S$1.10
Stamp Size : 40mm x 30mm (1st Local & 65¢), 35mm x 44.8mm ($1.10)
Collectors’ sheet : 105mm x 65mm ($5 & $10)
Perforation : 14 x 14 (1st Local & 65¢), 14.25 x 14.25 ($1.10)

Paper : Unwatermarked (will be interesting to see how stamps with holographic effects can have watermarks)
Printing Process: : Offset Lithography (Stamps), with High Reflective Index transparent hologram with morphing effect (Collectors’ Sheet)
Designer : Leo Teck Chong

Friday, April 4, 2008

Postbox Public Art Competition 2007

This sounded a bit late, but nonetheless the event was an interesting postal related development in Singapore. There was a "Nation-wide Postbox Public Art Competition" held in 2007, organised by an online web and design group, FARM and jointly presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore Post, Singapore Totalisator Board and Singapore Turf Club. About 40 postboxes around the city area got a new layer of artistic paint, which added some local flavour according to the locations of the postboxes.

I was around Bugis area when I saw this group of people painting these postbox and thought it as a cool thing. Took the picture of the Bugis cat postbox. There used to be a big fat black cat at the Bugis Village, wonder if the artists were inspired by that particular cat. <I lost that picture of the Bugis postbox. Sigh sometimes blogspot just loses picture and I can never figure out why. Below is the new picture I've taken of the final product recently>

Subsequently I took pictures of other postboxes, and here's some of them. Two of the pics are pixelated because my phone camera doesn't work that well at night. Here's the one at Fortune Centre. The design sort of accurately portrayed the 'fortune' aspects, i.e. see the 3 green 'Fa' in the centre of the jackpot design?

This is the one at Millenia Walk, which sort of looks normal, i.e. nothing special about it.

The one at Shaw Tower (Beach Road) looks like a cereal box, heh, and has the recipe for a Great Nation.

The one at Tekka Market features bamboo (of course). Tekka means 'bamboo feet' in hokkien.

Now, in case you wonder how does the normal postbox looks like, here's a picture of it. There are also metallic postboxes around, but I don't have a picture of them.

Two winners emerged from the competition, one of them is a professional illustrator while the other is a primary 4 kid. You could look at their postbox design at the FARM website. Quite cool right? Wonder if there will be another Postbox Competition this year or 2009. Maybe they can extend the competition to other postboxes around the island.

Afternote: here's two more postboxes.

Penisular Plaza Postbox:

SMU Postbox:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More recent Singapore Postmarks

Singapore postmarks have changed quite significantly since the 1970s and here's some of the more recent updates. We still have the traditional round postmarks:

Here's a round postmark, with different designs from those 'C' series:

Other than round types, we have the octagonal types as well:

There are also postmarks on 'strips' for bigger mail items:

Postmarks also contain more messages, sometimes for nation building purposes:

One of the latest innovation is the use of 2D barcodes as postmarks! Not sure why is there a need for such complex postmarks, and what data is captured inside the barcode. Hmm.

Popular Posts