A difficult case: "The MOST BEAUTIFUL of 2009" from New Zealand (2)
The motorcycle stamp in the MOST BEAUTIFUL block differs from the stamp issued earlier by a different perforation. The normally issued series and block stamps have perforation 14 and the ones in the MOST BEAUTIFUL blocks 13¼:13 ½.
But what is the dilemma for us as collectors? The FIP regulations that form the guidelines for what is a worth collecting (it would be better to say: what may be included in an exhibition collection) talk about stamps that are freely available, or have been available, through the postal offices in the land of issue. And these blocks clearly have not been generally available (A).
On the other hand they talk about allowing philatelic elements that have been made with the purpose to issue them, or are suitable for stamping post to be sent. And the stamps in these blocks may be used for sending post (B).
So.... What to advise in this case? Perhaps our FIP-regulations expert and leading exhibitor, the MFN secretary, can give his opinion.
The text above appeared in Newsletter 95, March 2011, and the writer asked me to give my comments on the collectability. In fact it is quite easy for me, as he has already formulated the answer himself. The sheet has not been generally available, and therefore it is not advisable to include it in an exhibition collection. When the members of the jury are aware of this fact, and the text on the "Most Beautiful..." sheet already shows it, it will negatively influence the score on the criterion philatelic knowledge. Regarding argument (A) inclusion in an exhibition collection must thus be dissuaded.
Regarding argument (B) it is indeed allowed to include material that has been used to come to the issue and sale of stamps in a collection. One must think of: designs, print and colour proofs, perforation proofs etcetera. This philatelic material has been made before the issue of the final stamp(s) or block. The New Zealand block with motorcycle stamp under discussion here has been issued after the date of issue of the series "car and motorcycle champions" of February 2009. To my opinion it does therefore not fit in the catagory "made to come to issue of a stamp" and is thus not allowed.
The idea behind a thematic collection is to elaborate a story, idea or thesis by means of text and philatelic material. For this purpose text and shown material must be in agreement (show what is told and tell what is shown).
The stamp with image of Hugh Anderson can very well be used in a chapter about sports, or more specific road racing. Inclusion of the block instead of the loose stamp would not show anything more that is relevant for the story. This fact on itself would be a good reason to use the stamp only, and not the block.
Off course the New Zealand Post has been so clever to use a different perforation for the sheet and the stamps from the series. This makes the blocks, apart from the fact that they have only been available for users of the collector saving accounts, extra interesting for collectors. Not only our chairman, but also I myself, regularly browse through the various websites and auction sites, and I already saw 'our' sheet offered for more than 60 US$. That is a very high price. Especially for an item that is not appreciated in an exhibition collection.
Where the 'Most beautiful....' is not wanted in exhibition collections, postal stationary are in turn appreciated. And luckily there is such an issue with the stamp of Hugh Anderson! Carefully read advertisements, because they are often described as maximum cards. On the backside is written that the postage is already paid, and this makes it postal stationary.
The frontside of the postal stationary
The postage on the backside of the postal stationay, another motorcycle stamp from the same series
Remarkable is that a stamp with FDC stamp is placed on the frontside, while on the backside an image of the stamp is printed.
Although it is very nice and educational to participate in exhibitions, most MFN members only collect for their own album. And not the FIP, but their own rules determine what is and is not included in the collection. Because the MFN exists for the benefit of all collectors and not only for exhibit participants, we use the rule that we include all items in out catalogue that are included in the Michel catalogue. This makes that both issues will be included. The stamp and block of the normal issue are in the Michel as number 2573A and Bl 238, the MOST BEAUTIFUL block as Bl 255 and the stamp out of it as 2573C.
I wish you a lot of collecting pleasure, and for MFN members that are willing to pay for it: feel free to buy the 'Most beautiful of 2009' block.
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