Monday, 23 May 2022

Cats - no, not the musical - set of 8 issued 9 June 2022

For no apparent reason, Royal Mail will issue a set of 8 stamps on 9 June.  

The embargo for this set is the issue date, though doubtless while I am away later this week the Commonwealth Stamps Opinion blog will have the details taken from a cover producer's website, and a few days before the issue date Royal Mail will start putting them on their website*.  Royal Mail's First will probably be issued, and it is quite likely that the Philatelic Bulletin and Postmark Bulletin will appear around the time of issue, but not before.  

* And so it came to pass more quickly that I realised it would with First landing on doormats on 26th May; my complaint to Royal Mail was simply answered by the fact of the (new) publicity date.  So all that I have written below is wrong, as the Postmark Bulletin also appeared by email last week and may have been delivered before everything shut down yesterday evening for the Platinum Holiday Weekend.

[This, of course, means that there is no possibility of putting your order in early, although standing order customers will find out soon enough how much they are being charged and be able to work out what the face values are (easier now that everything is not a multiple of 85p!). And with the Postmark Bulletin arriving similarly late, only dealers will be able to send their covers in early, and they will only be able to use a handstamp that they have sponsored or know the details of.

The consequence is that the Special Handstamp Centre at Tallents House will receive everything at once, including from dealers who haven't made up their minds which handstamps to use, and many collectors and dealers will likely still be waiting for their covers at the end of June.]

The last time we had a set devoted solely to cats was in 1995, but there have been mixed sets of cats and dogs since then.

UPDATE: As you will see from the comments, the May Philatelic Bulletin suggested that this is a set of 6, with two each 2nd class, 1st class, £1.85.  Well there are two £2.55 as well; it's a set of 8

The stamps

2nd class Siamese and Tabby; 1st class Ginger and British Shorthair cats.

£1.85 Maine Coon and Black and White cats; £2.55 Bengal and Tabby and White cats.

A4 self-adhesive collectors sheet of 10 stamps, being the set of 8 and additional 2 x 1st class.

From Royal Mail:

Reason and inspiration

Cats are the most enigmatic of domestic pets. Today there are over 10.2 million cats in the UK with almost one in four UK households owning a cat. Whilst they are now almost entirely kept as pets there was a time that businesses, including The Royal Mail from 1868 - 1984, formally employed cats to keep out mice.

As one of our two favourite pets, Cats are enchanting, independent and fiercely discerning in who they choose to engage with. They do as they please and will not be trained unless it suits them – and while you might think you own your cat, rest assured, your cat owns you!

This special issue features eight beautiful stamps showcasing cats doing what they do best, grooming, stalking (they share 96% of their genes with tigers), playing, sleeping, staring, being on alert, being curious and stretching, these stamps are sure to melt the hearts of stamp and cat enthusiasts everywhere.

Technical Details

The 41 x 30mm stamps were designed by Studio Up and printed by ISP on gummed paper in lithography. The stamps are in vertical se-tenant pairs in sheets of 60.

Acknowledgements: Siamese grooming, Tabby stalking and Tabby-and-white stretching © Warren
Photographic; Ginger cat playing © YAY Media AS/Alamy Stock Photo; British Shorthair sleeping © Michal Bednarek/Getty Images; Maine Coon staring © Life On White/Alamy Stock Photo; Black-and-white cat on alert © Bailey-Cooper Photography/Alamy Stock Photo; Bengal being curious © Juniors Bildarchiv GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo.

Products available from Royal Mail, some also from Post Offices:

First Day Cover, presentation pack, stamp cards, framed set, framed collectors sheet.


28 comments:

  1. You say you don't know why the issue will come out. It is for the same reason as other issues-purely thematic issues for collectors to gain revenue and not be used for postage

    ReplyDelete
  2. According to the May Philatelic Bulletin, the issue has 2x2nd, 2x1st and 2x£1-85, which is modest by RM standards. Hopefully the inclusion of 2nd class stamps will encourage a little more use for postage than usual.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm - I really should know better by now than to believe what I read in the Philatelic Bulletin. It looks like yet another example (of which we've had many in the last few months) of the different parts of RM failing to communicate properly with each other.

      Delete
  3. Ian, commenting as a fellow dealer, your commentary is spot on.
    As a collector/consumer and cat lover, I have to say that in my purely subjective opinion, that the stamps in this issue are lovely and I look forward to them, even though they are too expensive. Six 1st Class would be the ideal set size now perhaps, RM, if any decision makers are reading.
    To answer the "reason for issue" issue, an issue (bzzzz, repitition!) like this doesn't need an excuse or an anniversary, its purely thematic.
    Wait till you all see the issue thats planned after this one......
    Robert

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert the next issue is for Pride so I am expecting a rainbow of colours & some vibrant stamps!

      Delete
  4. Reader Pauper - the answer is yes, and you can ask on the swap-out post
    https://blog.norphil.co.uk/2022/03/more-thoughts-on-royal-mails-stamp-swap.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. So we now know the face values, I am guessing the format will be 4 x se-tenant horizontal pairs of 40 x 30 stamps, seems a nice size to display cats.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doug (Enfield) WHAT EMBARGO?!!! Details all on the Royal Mail web site - showing the printing details as well. Celebrate the enduring relationship between cats and humans with this heart-warming collection of stamps: Celebrate the enduring relationship between cats and humans with this heart-warming collection of stamps.
    Each stamp features a different breed, showcasing their unique colours, features, and personalities against a white background for added depth and detail. Two Second Class stamps, two First Class stamps, two £1.85 stamps and two £2.55 stamps presented as four vertical se-tenant pairs.
    Second Class | Siamese grooming Second Class | Tabby stalking First Class | Ginger cat playing First Class | British Shorthair sleeping £1.85 | Maine Coon staring £1.85 | Black-and-white cat on alert £2.55 | Bengal being curious £2.55 | Tabby-and-white stretching
    Stamp format Landscape. Stamp size 41mm x 30mm. Number Per Sheet 30/60. Design Studio Up Printer International Security Printers. Print process Lithography. Perforations 14.5 x 14. Phosphor Bars as appropriate. Gum PVA.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh well I guessed wrongly lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. Royal Mail's First received today.
    Not much different from the 1995 stamps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A cat's a cat - not much room for variability (other than in the choice of breed).

      Delete
  9. Also Collectors Sheet which is Self-Adhesive, containing 2x 2nd, 4x 1st, 2x £1.85 & 2x £2.55.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Doug (Enfield) : yes petemk is correct about the Pride issue on the 1st July. Set of stamps ref: AS8702 and more ...Subscribers advised on their Order Advice Notes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doug my order advice note states the stamps ref is AS8700 am I missing something?

      Delete
  11. Still won't be surprised if Royal Mail suddenly 'realise' that, 40 years after his birth, HRH The Duke of Cambridge is celebrating his 40th birthday next month and rush to cash in (even though if that does happen, on time, the stamps would almost certainly have to be already printed).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and I wouldn't be surprised if Royal Mail suddenly 'realise' at the end of August it's twenty-five years since the death of Princess Diana - maybe just reissuing the early 1998 set of five with "26" amended to "1st" to sell at a modest £4.75, that's if postage rates haven't risen by then.

      Delete
  12. Nothing special on my order advice note for Pride just a set of 'special' stamps whatever that means :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Doug (Enfield). reply to petemk. My order advice for the Pride issue shows ref: AS8702 for the stamp set. This anomaly with part numbers appears reasonably consistent. If you look at the "First" publication for stamp sets the part number always ends '00' - e.g. have look at the Cats part numbers.(First shows AS8600 in the description section and also in the order section but my order advice shows AS8602). Dispatch notes show "02". Nothing to worry about - or hope so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doug thank you very much I should be used to RM anomalies by now!

      Delete
  14. The stamps and the collectors sheet are all displayed on the WOPA order site.

    ReplyDelete
  15. While these are attractive stamps and no doubt cat lovers will be interested in them (though whether they would buy them when they saw the total cost of the set, I don’t know) they are so unnecessary given how busy the annual new year programme is and what the cost of buying even the basic stamps now amounts to, especially with inflation soaring on the price of basic necessities. I will be interested to see if the present economic problems really will have an effect on those who plan the new issue programmes and if we might see a cut back in these unnecessary issues.

    ReplyDelete
  16. As has previously been commented on, why do we need so many stamps in an issue. In the 70's, 80's & 90's most sets consisted of between 4 and 6 stamps and the cost of such an issue was bearable. Now we have reached 95p for a 1st Class stamp, it really is time to limit the number of stamps issued per event being commemorated and to cut out the unnecessary additional Miniature Sheet which appears now with most issues. Otherwise collectors are just going to be switched off by the initial outlay. Come on RM, come to your senses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the RM should include lower values such as 5p or 10p stamps in sets to encourage young collectors. I agree that there are far too many stamps in sets theae days. Unfortunately, as older diehard GB collectors pass away and others give up, Royal Mail's response is just to make more and more stamps at ever-increasing face values so as to raise more money from the dwindling band of collectors.

      Delete
    2. Rob,
      Ian will know better than any of us but I suspect there are very very few "young collectors" now and the vast majority are "diehard" pensioners not far off passing away or giving up !

      Delete
    3. NumisRob, some countries have done this. France issued sheets of stamps where the face value of each stamp was half the regular rate. Likewise Australia has done this for issues aimed at kids or when there were large issues. However, you can't half a 1st class stamp, and I'd suggest that 5p or 10p stamps would potentially cost more to produce and distribute (including printing, sending to post offices, and selling the stamps).

      Delete
  17. I think having eight activities as well as eight breeds makes for a better set of stamps.
    Realistically "killing a garden bird" should be one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  18. ......and leaving their presents all over your garden

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading the blog and commenting: please use an identity (name or pseudonym) rather than being Anonymous; it helps us to know which 'anonymous' comments are from the same person to avoid confusion. Comments are moderated to avoid spam, but will be published as soon as possible.