February 2021 – Australian´s Finches

We are feeling it again right now. Spring is coming and so is the chirping of birds in the morning. Which is why I went in search of bird stamps. In this search for unusual bird-themed stamps (actually, I was looking for a feathered stamp and didn’t find it), I came across this set of 2018 blocks from Australia. Australia Post issued these blocks at the 2018 World Stamp Exhibition. A special souvenir sheet was issued on each of the six days of the exhibition. Each souvenir sheet features one of the six finch species featured in Part 1 and Part 2 of the 2018 Finches of Australia stamp series, illustrated by artist Kevin Stead.

Minisheets of australian finchesAnd now what makes this series so extraordinary. Not only that only one block was issued on each day of the fair, but also that each of these blocks was produced using a special technique.

Day 1 – Laser-cut block with green foil print, motif: star finch

Day 2 – Embossed block with clear foil print, motif: double bar finch

Day 3 – Multi-level embossed souvenir sheet, motif: Blue-green Parrot Finch

Day 4 – Block with laser-cut perforation, motif: Fire-tailed Parrot Finch

Day 5 – Transparent block, motif: zebra finch

Day 6 – Block with holographic foil printing, motif: rainbow finch

minisheets of australian finches - cancelledDuring the World’s Fair, the miniature sheets were cancelled on the respective day and then applied to official covers with a gold foil pictorial stamp. The first stamp had a koala bear as motif, the second one made of gold foil then a bird. Small sheets cancelled like this are rare and probably only about 20 complete sets exist cancelled like this.

The illustration of the special features of the blocks were taken from the website https://philaquelymoi.blogspot.com/search/label/3D%20-%20Holographic%20Stamps.