Monday, January 19, 2009

2002 Malaysia - China Joint Issue

2002 Malaysia-China Joint Issue - Rare Flowers

In the late 1990's, "joint-issue" became a relatively new and "hip" concept in philately through out Asia Countries. Singapore, Thailand and China started the trend to jointly issue stamp with other countries.

But lets get this clear first... what is a "joint issue". A joint issue is the release of stamps or postal stationery by two or more countries to commemorate the same topic, event or person of relevance to both countries. Joint issues typically have the same first day of issue and their design is often similar or identical, except for the identification of country and value.

Pos Malaysia, don't want to fall behind the trend, issued its first joint issue cover and stamps with China in 2002 - Rare Flowers.

"Joint Issue Cover and Stamps - design A"

"Joint Issue Cover and Stamp - design B"

Beside from the normal first day cover, Pos Malaysia had issued the unique "joint-issued FDC". The cover was uniquely designed and are larger than the standard size FDC in Malaysia. It was affixed with both version of the stamps (Malaysia version and China Version) on a single FDC and cancelled with respective cancellation.

As you may notice, both the joint issue stamps (RM1 in se-tenant pair) had the same design with China's 80c setenant pair. The "Golden Camelia" flower design is a flower found in southern Guangxi of China while "Guiana Cannonball Tree Flower" Malaysia native flower. I would suspect that each stamp was design by respective designer in each contry. However, as you can see, the color plant used for printing was not agreed upon and thus caused some differences in the color used.

"Malaysia First-Day Cancellation"

"China Joint Issue Cancellation A"

"China Joint Issue Cancellation B"

There is only 2 version of this joint issue covers that you can find in Malaysia (at least that's what I had found so far). Please see above for design A and B. The different was mainly the stamps attached and cancellation used.

Design A was purchased over-the-counter from Pos Malaysia. Quite a number of this was produced and you still can get these joint issue cover from some selected pos office. Although for this series, Malaysia had issue a 30c stamp and a miniature sheet, only the RM1 setenant pair stamps are affixed together with their China version. From my opinion, this was a more appropriate way of presentation as the RM1 pairs was the "joint issue stamp". All the stamps are nicely cancelled with cancellation from respective country. In some case, special joint-issue cancellation would be introduced for the cover. However, Malaysia had only use its normal first-day cancellation on this.

Design B was purchased from International Stamp and Coint Sdn. Bhd. It includes a 30c stamp (to complete the set of stamps) and a different joint-issue cancellation for the China side. I am not sure how this is done as normally Pos Malaysia would have control over the issue and cancellation of the stamps and thus you can't really change the design. However, for some reason, this stamp dealer had done it. And to be fair, the China's cancellation in design B was actually nicer.

Stamps in Twins?

Since the starting of this issue, I had given myself a new challenge to collect all the Malaysia FDC, its Joint-issue variation, other country joint issue partner joint-issue cover variation, and other joint issue partner FDCs. Believe me, this prove to be very challenging. The hardest part was mainly to get the joint-issue special cover, as the are normally issued in very low quantity. However, it could also be tricky seach and found the joint-issue partner FDCs. For this case, it took me almost 6 years to finally acquired the China FDCs for this issues. But I always think that this is the fun part of stamp collecting, and I like to call it "target and found".

The joy of finding an item to complete your collection is what keep me addicted to this hobby for so long.

"Rare Flower - Cover A: Front"

"Rare Flower - Cover A: Back"

"Rare Flower - Cover A cancellation"

Only at the time I acquired these 2 covers then I realised China's postal service operates in a very different way in term of new stamps / FDC issued.

First of all, there is no "official FDC" as sold by all post office. The FDCs cachet are design by each private and individual companies/corporation as authorised by the China postal services. The company would also design the "first day cancellation" as there is no "official cancellation".

Thus, for a stamp issue, you could have 20 different type of FDCs designed and sold by various parties.

"Rare Flower - Cover B: Front"

"Rare Flower - Cover B: Front"

"Rare Flower - Cover B: Cancellation"

This is the second design for this issue. In China, they normally refer this design as cover B ("B封"). As you can see from the front of the cover, on the left hand side, it is indicated this as "B-FDC".

Most China stamps collectors would regard this 2 disign as the "official FDC" as the entity that issued these covers, China National Philatelic Corporation and Beijing Stamp Company had been in this business for many year and had the reputation of producing the best FDC.

"Cover A - China National Philatelic Corporation (A 封)"

"Cover B - Beijing Stamp Company (B 封)"

I think this is a great phenomena where entities are encourage to compete to disign the best FDC for its customers. However, for cover and cancellation enthutiasts like me, it would cost me a bom just to collect each FDC design from each issue...

If you have seen any variance of this FDC (China/Malaysia version), please let me know or even send me a scan/pic of it. I would very much like to catalouge all FDC for this issue, if possible.


Gulfmann Collection said...

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year.

Syeon said...

Happy Chinese New Year to you too !!

Happy 牛 year !!