A very rare FDC from Ecuador
In the last auction was an FDC with the subject: 50 Years of Ecuadorian Army Communications Corps. I got some questions about it and like to answer them here. Although I thought that we already paid some attention to this stamp in the past, I could not find this back. We have mentioned this stamp as novelty in December 2013 and showed a bit more about it on the website, but not really treated it extensively.
It concerns item number 22: an FDC with 4 stamps, issued on November 14th 2012 on the occasion of 50 Years
Ecuadorian Army Signals, the communication service of the army.
The stamps have been printed together in strips of 4, in sheets of 80 stamps, see the following detail of a sheet:
On the stamps are different kinds of message transport. On the 3rd stamp a platoon bicycle and motorcycle couriers:
The picture used is one in the category "small, smaller, smallest", thus again onto the World Wide Web to search for the original picture. After some surfing I found the desired info/picture.
In the chronological book about the Signals is the picture with the description:
1932 Peloton de mensajeros ciclistos y motociclistos. The picture is not very clear, but it is well visible that there are a few motorcyclists standing between the cyclists. Amongst them even a motorcycle with sidecar combination, that as one of the first had been equipped with a radio transmitter.
All stamps have a postal value of $ 0.25 and 50.000 sets have been printed.
But: collecting of FDC's does not have a high priority in the Mid- and South-American region and FDC's are only produced on order. But this is accurately registered and every FDC gets a serial number.
Sobre de Primar Dia only 295 pieces have been made. For sure a rare item thus. The FDC in our auction has not been sold.
Postmark on the FDC's
The Polícia de Segurança Pública (abbreviated to PSP) is, say, the Portugese Public Safety Police. On July 2nd 1867 King Luis the 1st established a civil police force in Lisbon, Porto and some other regional capitals. Thus now this service exists 150 years. This memorable fact has been celebrated by the Post with the issue on July 13th of 1 stamp (€ 0.50) and a block with 2 stamps of € 0.70 in it. The loose stamp and the block margin are not interesting for us, but the 2 stamps of 70 cents both show a motorcycle.
The block with the stamps that are interesting for us
The left stamp, photographed on the square of Marquis de Pombal (Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo), shows a motorcycle agent in the 60-ies before the momument in honour of the Marquis.
The brand? As far as I could check the 3 Portugese motorcycle brands from that era, SIS, Casal and Famel, have never built heavy motorcycles. It could be a Sanglas special from neighbour country Spain but.....
The motorcycle on the right stamp is much easier: that is without doubt a BMW R1200 GS from 2013.
The police unit on this motorcycle is a fast intervention unit to combat terrorism. By motorcycle they can rapidly move through traffic and over difficult roads and through narrow alleys, and intervene.
Of the block of our interest 40.000 pieces have been issued, and the FDC's could be offered for cancellation in Lisbon, Porto, Funchal (Madeira) and Ponto Delgado (Azores).
FDC postmark Lisbon
An FDC from Lisbon
Well, also about the last motorcycle issue from Hongkong I got remarks that this one is really very small.... but still. It concerns the stamp of $ 1.70 drawn by Kong Kai Ming, a pen-drawing from 1989, showing the entrance of the Kai Tak Tunnel in To Kwa Wan, Kowloon (where at that time still the airport was).
Kong, an inhabitant of Hongkong born in 1932, represented already from his youth the developments in the view of Hongkong in, amongst others, water-colour, oil-colour, pencil and pen-drawings. He was an autodidact who learned himself all the techniques, and became one of the prominent artists of his city.
This stamp set is the fourth in the series "Museum Collections" (2009, 2011, 2014 and thus now 2017).
Off course our motorcycle is very small, but naturally the original painting is much larger and if you watch it, you will clearly recognise its outlines. Even on the Maximum card you can clearly recognise the little scooter. Here the card with the postmark from the Post Office To Kwa Wan.
Detail with the scooter
In Hongkong there are a few post offices that use First Day postmarks. The main office uses for FDC's the standard # 1 GPO postmark, and the other offices use a letter postmark. The Kong drawings are hanging in the Hongkong Museum of Arts, and the FDC's that have been cancelled there, have been provided with the stamp below. All other FDC's bear the GPO postmark.
Simoncelli also honoured on a coin
The Azienda, say the Dutch Mint from San Marino, has, next to the remembrance stamp, also issued a coin with the portrait of Marco Simoncelli, the motorcycle racer from San Marino who perished in Sepang. On August 31st 2017 a remembrance surplus-coin of € 5.00 was issued.
The coin is no European coin and, just like the Dutch surplus-coins, can only be used in San Marino as legal currency. If you want to purchase such a soin, you can do this at the Dutch Mint.
Postman Peppi is the mascotte of the Maltese Post Service.
On the series of May 31st 2017 the stamp designer has fitted out Peppi with different post uniform throughout time.
On the cheapest stamp (€ 0.26) Peppi is wearing a fleece jacket in the present colour combination of the Post. He is standing in front of a modern packet cabinet. The second value (€ 0.59) shows him in the first modern costume, already provided with the new logo and a baseball cap.
On the most expensive stamp (€ 2.00) Peppi is wearing a uniform of felt with (police) cap and is he standing next to his bicycle. On the stamp that is interesting for us, he is standing still with his motorcycle before the General Post Office in Valetta.
He is wearing the so-called Eisenhower Twill Zipp-Up jacket with wristband.
The stamps have been printed in 4 sheets with each 10 stamps of 1 value. In the motorcycle sheet we just see Peppi in his moped outfit, but not the moped itself, on the sheet margin.
The motorcycle could very well be the Honda Super Cub. By the way, the Honda Super Cub is celebrating in 2018 its 60th anniversary, and recently the 100 millionth specimen of this type came from the Honda production lines. This could very well be subject for a stamp.
Many of us will have heard about ISO-norm 9001 (ISO = International Organization for Standardization). This is a quality mark for companies and organizations.
When the Iranian Post Service in 2004 met these requirements and received the desired certificate, they celebrated this with the issue of a stamp showing a post delivery man who, still wearing his helmet, delivers an expresse letter. Date of issue: February 29th 2004.
Hans de Kloet
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