In honor of this year’s International Letter Writing Week and World Post Day, I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Muang Phuket Local Post and the issuance of it’s very first local post stamps!
What is a local post, and is this legal?
The definition from Wikipedia explains that,
“A local post is a mail service that operates only within a limited geographical area, typically a city or a single transportation route. Historically, some local posts have been operated by governments, while others, known as private local posts have been for-profit companies. Today, many stamp collectors operate hobbyists’ local posts, issuing their own postal “stamps” for other collectors but rarely carrying any mail.”
It should be obvious that Muang Phuket Local Post will be strictly in the “hobbyist” variety. The “stamps” that I issue are termed as “cinderellas” by collectors. There’s another term for those created by collectors and other like-minded individuals – artiststamps – which:
“…refers to a postage stamp-like art form used to depict or commemorate any subject its creator chooses. Artistamps are a form of Cinderella stamps in that they are not valid for postage, but they differ from forgeries or bogus Illegal stamps in that typically the creator has no intent to defraud postal authorities or stamp collectors.
“Artistamp creators often include their work on legitimate mail, alongside valid postage stamps, in order to decorate the envelope with their art. In many countries this practice is legal, provided the artistamp isn’t passed-off as or likely to be mistaken for a genuine postage stamp. When so combined (and sometimes, less strictly speaking, even when not so) the artistamp may be considered part of the mail art genre.”
Muang Phuket Local Post stamps will be included on the lower left corner of any correspondence I send out by snail mail, and cancelled with one of a variety of postmarks that I have created (do I have too much time on my hands these days, or what?). In addition, there will be occasional other types of markings. Examples include “Carried by Elephant” and “Tuk Tuk Express”.
MPLP stamp number one is a definitive featuring one of the popular Sino-Portuguese buildings of Muang Phuket (which is Thai for the “downtown area”). This is the Thepkassatri Building at the corner of Phang Nga and Phuket Roads, a former Royal Thai Police station which was built in the early twentieth century to protect the Standard Chartered Bank on the opposite side of the road.
This stamp has a purple background and a “face value” of 25 satangs (which is a tiny brass-colored coin which people hate to receive in change and shop owners will rarely accept as payment).
The second stamp issued today, 9 October 2013, is a commemorative marking World Post Day and features one of Thailand’s familiar red post boxes with the WPD logo emblazoned upon it. It, too, carries a value of 25 satangs (the current exchange rate puts that at USD $0.008 so you can wallpaper your room with these without it costing thing!).
As I am a teacher on a severe budget, both of these initial stamps are imperforate (no “holes”, you need to cut them apart with scissors) on ungummed paper. The police station issue is printed in sheets of 36 while the WPD stamps come in a sheet of 15. The printing is rather crude as befits any first issues. Perhaps I’ll produce better quality stamps as time (or success) comes my way. At any rate, it’s something to do…
I even produced a limited number of First Day Covers. I do hope they don’t take forever to arrive to their recipients!
Happy World Post Day!