On March 20th 2015 Gibraltar has issued a series of stamps and a block for remembrance of the death of Winston Churchill, at January 24th 50 years ago. Neither the 4 stamps nor the block carry an image of a motorcycle, but on the presentation pack we see Churchill during an inspection on the rock. In the foreground is a Matchless G3/L in military version, a 350cc leightweight which explains the L in the typename.

Front remembrance booklet Winston Churchil with Matchless

Perhaps you think "What a familiar image!", that is very well possible. Nico remembered the image from the prestige booklet from Gibraltar, issued May 9th 2000.

Prestige booklet Gibraltar 2000

Contents prestige booklet with the Matchless

Detail of the picture with the Matchless

Choice stamp Austria

Several countries offer their regular customers the possibility to buy special, not generally available stamps or blocks. In the past we already mentioned the special year blocks from New Zealand, special issues that could only be acquired after collecting points by buying stamps.

But also more close to us these practices are used. For instance subscribers to the Austrian quaterly sets get a "Treuer Marke", call it a "regular customers stamp". Up to now these were stamps with flowers. Since a while the mobile shop of the Austrian Post, which travels along stamp events and philatelic days in this mountainous country, gives a Meine-Marke at choice to buyers spending € 20.00 or more on personalized stamp items. The edition is limited, and most stamps can only be chosen at the respective days.
Amongst these stamps is a personalized motorcycle stamp, of which most collectors will say "I already own this one". On the stamp is the Puch 175 SV that we already know from the regular postal stamp, but now the other way round.

Stamp Austria with Puch 175 SV
The choice stamp

Older issue Austria with the Puch 175 SV
The earlier issue with the same Puch motorcycle

This Puch model, of which the 175 stands for the 172 cc twin-piston single cilinder engine, the S for Swingarm and the V for Vollnabenbremse (full hub brake), has been manufactured from 1953 to 1956 in light blue only. All models built in 1957 were green, and after 1957 only black was available. This motorcycle was also built in a sports version (the 175 SVS) which was always in red. In 1967 the manufacturing of the 175 SV(S) was discontinued.

The principe of the Puch twin-piston engine
The principe of the Puch twin-piston engine

Brochure of the Puch 175 SV
Brochure of the Puch 175 SV

This personalized stamp was issued on May 3rd 2015 during a philatelic day on the oldtimer gathering in Ernstbrunn.
We have had a discussion whether this kind of stamps should be regarded as official, semi-official or non-official, as it is questionable whether you should call this stamp "freely available" when you have to buy for 20 euros other items first. But.... anyhow a nice stamp.

During my research I found 2 comparable stamps. The first is from the philatelists day in Stockerau, with an image of a post man on a moped. The second is from the philatelic day on March 1st this year in Weissenbach/Liezen, held during the Grosstauschtag of old cars and motorcycles in that place.

Stamp on the occasion of Philatelistentag in Stockerau Stamp on the occasion of Grosstauschtag Weissenbach/Liezen

I am not sure yet whether these also are part of the personal buying arrangement of the post. I will search further to get this clear.

Chinese Personalized Stamp Sheets

In the last auction were 3 Chinese Personalized Stamp Sheets. I was asked after the dates of issue of these sheets. Unfortunately I could not exactly find them, but I did find the periods in which the various stamps have been used in Personalized Stamp Sheets.

Stamp China with lucky knot Stamp China Gate of Heavenly Peace Stamp China with Harmony sign

The lucky knot stamp (left) has been used from March 3rd til August 5th 2003, the stamp with the image of the Gate of Heavenly Peace (center) has been used from September 10th 2003 til July 31st 2004 and the stamps with the Harmony Sign (right) have only been used between December 3ard and 17th 2008.


Hans de Kloet


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