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From the Archive:
September 2014 Review
Again there has been quite a wide selection of new arrivals since our last review in April, and this time we'll look at them alphabetically. Åland produced in May an amusing single stamp for the annual Europa issue, showing a cartoon cat fishing for his meal and entitled 'Sly Cat on Summer Stamp' (left). Although this 'fun' stamp is inscribed 'Europa', that refers to the postage rate for which it's valid, and has nothing to do with the 2014 Europa-stamp theme of national musical instruments. In April there was a set of five kittens of different breeds, although they aren't named on the stamps, from Azerbaijan. These are quite small stamps by modern standards, but attractive in a 'bijou' sort of way; we picture what looks like a Birman (right), on the highest value.
Next comes a 'first': the first domestic-cat stamp to appear from the southern African country of Botswana (left). It forms one of a set of six domestic animals, including also cattle, dogs, donkeys, goats and chickens. There's a chubby ginger kitten (right) on a single stamp from Brazil possibly personalised? which is marked for first-class business letters. I have not found an issue date for either of the above items.
In April Canada marked the centenary of the Royal Ontario Museum with a souvenir sheet of two stamps; central in the design of one of them is an Egyptian cat mummy dating from around 330 BCE. There's also a booklet. I don't recall many cat mummies on stamps before, although there is one on a 2000 miniature sheet (MS) from Cambodia.
Just too late for inclusion in the last review came a set of six stamps of domestic animals, plus an MS, from Cuba; including the young tabby cat shown (left). This is actually a 2013 set. March 2014 saw a colourful sheetlet of self-adhesive 'Congratulations' stamps from Finland, with one showing a mischievous kitten that's just taken a bite out of a large, decorated cake! (right)
In May there was a booklet of 12 self-adhesives from France entitled 'Vacances' (Holidays); one of them has a rather surprised-looking tabby cat hugging a white cat (left), with a French flag in the background. While Ireland has previously issued a number of stamps with 'incidental' cats, a block of four from September is the first group to portray named breeds of adult cats; it has a Maine Coon (pictured right), a British shorthair of unusual colour, a Burmese and a black Persian.
The former Portuguese territory of Macau, now part of the People's Republic of China, doesn't often issue cat stamps, but in April a set of four pets plus an MS appeared in aid of animal protection. There are two cats and two dogs, and there is a cat silhouette included on the MS.
St Vincent & the Grenadines, on the other hand, has been quite prolific with cat stamps, and in December 2013 released two further blocks of four stamps and two MSs of named breeds. The issue is noteworthy as featuring several breeds that appear on stamps for the first time; one block has an Australian Mist (pictured), a Mekong Bobtail and an Aegean cat, as well as a Brazilian shorthair (pictured once before on a 1998 stamp from its home country), while one of the MSs has a Cyprus shorthair. The other MS and the second block illustrate more conventional breeds.
2014 saw the biennial 'Joy of Europe' gathering of children from many nations in Belgrade, with the aim of promoting friendship and exchanges between different cultures; the occasion was marked by a single stamp from Serbia, issued in September, showing three stylised cats (left). The Solomon Islands issued a cats set just last year, but now (from March 2014) there's a second group of a block of four and an MS, all of named breeds. We picture the stamp from the MS, showing a Korat (right), a breed that hasn't appeared on stamps that often. In the margin of the MS are a Munchkin and an Egyptian Mau.
Jim Davis's anarchic cartoon cat Garfield is known all over the world, and was honoured in September by a pair of stamps from Switzerland. We picture the one of him munching Swiss chocolate against a background of the Alps; the second stamp has him sharing a cheese fondue with his doggie mate Odie.
There's an attractive set from Togo, dating from June this year, with a sheetlet of four and an MS. Depicted are a striking American Shorthair (pictured left), a Bengal, a very large and fluffy white Persian and a Siamese, while the MS has a blue Persian with a couple of Singapuras and an American Curl in the margin. From back in June 2013 comes a sheetlet from Turkey for World Conservation Day; several animals are included, together with a human family, and there is a small cat that looks like a Turkish Van (right).
There have been two recent cat sets from Uganda, both apparently dating from February 2014. One has a block of four and an MS, but is unusual in mixing (in the block) wild and domestic cats; there are a caracal and a bobcat accompanying a Turkish Van and a grey tabby. The MS (pictured left) has a domestic calico (tortie and white). The second issue has a souvenir sheet with four stamps; this is a handsome production with a close-up of a green-eyed tabby in the margin and a text describing the place of cats in human society. We picture the Russian Blue stamp from this sheet (right). There's also an MS, with a reclining cat in the margin and a pair of Egyptian Maus on the stamp.
Note: There are usually various stamps purportedly from African countries such as the Central African Republic, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, but I have stopped buying and/or reviewing these, as I'm unconvinced they're all genuine issues from those countries and, in my opinion, they are usually way too expensive.
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