Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Do you know…???

Pre-sale of Commemorative Stamps in Belgium




Recently a Registered Cover from Belgium was received on my address. This Cover is franked with a Souvenir Sheet issued on the subject, ‘Promotion of Philately – The grand-Place of Brugge’ and few ATM stamps. As these stamps and Souvenir Sheet are related to my favourite theme of “UNESCO – World Heritage”, so I was delighted to get such cover. Actually the stamps of this Souvenir sheet depict the World Heritage Monuments in and around the Market Square of Brugge. The historic city centre of Brugge was enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage in 2000. Besides that, this Souvenir Sheet was beautifully designed with the lace work of Bruges in the background. Paper of one corner is so finely cut that it looks just like actual lace work.

Grand Place, Brugge

To get more information on this issue, the official website of the Belgium Post philately was visited. It was surprising to note that the date of issue for this Souvenir Sheet is mentioned at Belgium Post website as 29/10/2012. From the pictorial postmark over this cover it is evident that this cover was mailed on 27.10.2012. For me, it was as like the premature issue used before release date. But when the friend in Belgium who had posted this cover on my address was contacted, I got the information, which is having philatelic importance and I could not resist sharing this information with other friends.

Like, in India, each and every new Bollywood cinema is being released only on Friday, every new commemorative stamp in Belgium is being released on Monday only. It is a tradition in Belgian philately that a pre-sale is being organized on the Saturday before the general date of issue of any new stamp the next Monday, in one city somewhere in the country. In this case the city of pre-sale was, appropriately, Brugge. Philatelists in Belgium, generally, prefer to get the pre-sale for their collection, while the official nationwide First Day of Issue - where pictorial postmark are used in the central post office at Brussels - is not generally attended.

Lastly, I would like to know from any reader of this post that if any such tradition is prevalent in any part of world. If it is so, it will be my pleasure to get any related information either through this blog or through email.

- Pradeep Kumar Mallik – Patna

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