FALKLAND ISLANDS - FLOWERS
The Falkland Islands and Dependencies stamp catalogue (by Stefan Heijtz) is a great read! I'm of course especially interested in the Flowers definitives (1968-78). Just read that the designs are based on drawings by Sylvia Goaman. Beautifully done! They remind me of her artwork for the GB issue in 1964, for the International Botanical Congress in Edinburgh. Her artwork was so much more beautiful than the designs finally chosen for that set, I think. Am still not too sure about the Queen's head though!
Anyway, not only is it a proper catalogue in that it lists all stamps and varieties, etc. but there's lots of extra information as well, such as postal rates, cancellations & when they were in use, etc. When I set up a definitive collection, I like to show what a certain stamp was issued for (single franking covers, I believe they're called), so knowledge of postal rates is a must! Sometimes special cancellations can be a bonus too.
I love the Falkland Islands Company handstamps. Apparently, post office stocks of the 1p value had become alarmingly low in 1972, so the FIC, being the principal user of 1p stamps on the Falkland Islands, had to return their stock of 1p stamps, and were allowed to use their office handstamps as means of franking. There are two different handstamps, a rectangle and an oval, and those covers also received an ordinary datestamp. So, even though there are no flowers definitives on these covers, they are very much part of the story of those series and make for an interesting page! They're not the cheapest though, and I've never come across them, but here's to hoping!
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