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From the Archive: December 2009 Review
I thought there were rather few new cat stamps this time, but recently some more have come to light.
It's not all that long since Hallowe'en, and I came across this label from Belgium with a Hallowe'en theme (left); it seems to be part of a Duostamp, but I have not been able to find out anything else about it. Another Belgian Duostamp sheet celebrates the 40th anniversary of Glénat, which is a French publisher operating in the Benelux countries and Spain and specialising particularly in comic books. One of the characters on the sheet is a rather lugubrious-looking cat fishing in a goldfish bowl (right). These stamps have the same '1' label attached as the Hallowe'en one.
Also from Belgium and again on the comics theme, there is a miniature sheet (MS) with a stamp issued for the 20th anniversary of the Belgian Centre for Comic-strip Art; in the margins are a collection of Belgian cartoon characters (left), with 'Le Chat' looking down on the scene from the top left corner (see enlargement, right).
Åland has issued the traditional Christmas stamps, this time showing two children. There is no cat on the stamps, but the Christmas cat appears in the gutter of one of the sheets of gutter pairs (left). I don't think you can find it anywhere else, although a different and smaller version is used as the cancellation (right) on the pair of maxicards (and the cat is shown as part of the illustration on one card too).
In January 2009 the Stamp and Coin Agency of San Marino launched a competition entitled 'Take a picture of your pet', which was open to residents of the small republic, and in October the winning entries were featured on postage stamps. The pictures have titles, and the tabby cat's head on the €0,36 value is called 'All eyes on me', which I find quite clever.
The only previous cat on a stamp from the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan was shown as part of a circus act (see our archived review for June 2005), and now the same subject has come up again as one of two stamps on an MS released in September (left). Meanwhile another former communist country, Belarus, has produced a very handsome MS showing a Russian Blue cat and five kittens (right).
The Japanese seem to take their pets very seriously, and 2009 marked the 60th anniversary of 'Animal Loving Week'. Accordingly Japan issued a colourful sheet of ten stamps, five with dogs and five with cats; we chose to illustrate one showing a pretty Scottish Fold kitten (left). We also picture one of the self-adhesive stamps issued in July and mentioned in the last review featuring Hello Kitty and her boyfriend Dear Daniel (right). There are two sheets of ten, one with values of 50 yen and one of 80 yen.
Earlier this year Monaco gave us the first stamp to mark their international cat show (although it was actually the second such show to be held). The next show is scheduled for February 2010, but the stamp to mark the event has been issued already, early in December. This time it shows a named cat, a very handsome Bengal called 'Junglewhisper Elia', who is billed as 'winner of the world championship in 2009' (I'm not quite clear which world championship!).
We're pleased to report that Socks Clinton has posthumously made his second philatelic appearance. That is in the margin of an MS under the name of St Thomas and Prince forming, with the accompanying block of four, a set entitled 'Famous People and their Cats'. He shares the margin with Elizabeth Taylor and 'Jeepers Creepers', while the actual stamp on the MS shows David Bowie and 'Purrie'. The first stamps showing Socks were on a sheet from the Central African Republic in 1996, and they can be seen in our article about Socks in Famous Felines.
'Mailcats' is a company offering a private letter and courier service from the city of Erfurt, in the former East Germany. Last year they produced a series of self-adhesive stamps of various values depicting cat silhouettes, and also a Christmas MS. For Christmas this year they have come up with a similar but larger and quite striking MS, pictured below. The inscription translates as A joyful festive season and a healthy and successful 2010 which seems an excellent sentiment with which to end this review!
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Our featured feline Chico (see head of the page) belonged to a lady in the Swiss village of Chesières who lived near the ground-floor office where I worked in the mid-1980s. Every so often he liked to pass by, spend a little time with us and check we were doing everything properly.
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