December 13, 2013

Look For Two Robins This Christmas

The robins are back once more. Twice more, actually. There is the 'normal' festive stamp using the robin image from Birds I and most have the MA12 code but a few are emerging now with MA13 and are worth looking out for as they're likely to be decidedly scarcer (although we may have to wait until next year to be sure!)

This version has type 2 font.

Apparently there is also a mobile Post Office running around the country for reasons not entirely clear. This serves out Robin Christmas Post And Gos from the Hytech machine producing font type 3a.

The sharp-eyed among you may spot that the latest 2nd and 2nd Large Post And Gos sport synchronised phosphor bands which don't stop short of the edges as the originals did. Something at a reasonable price, at least, to add to your collection.

As 2013 draws to an end it seems odd that there are still MA13 codes appearing which, presumably, cannot have been around long and may not be for much longer either. What some commentators describe as the last of the MA13 codes could be these two 1st Large stamps. One is from a Business sheet with code B and the other a book of four with code F.

Lastly there's a 1st red with very bright fluor, code T from recent Walsall books of 12.

That may well be it for 2013. But you never know. Before we get too excited about MA13 codes on stamps in the last fortnight of the year, however, remember that we are still using MA12s for lots of values and if stocks are large we may well be seeing MA13 until 2015 of some values. That is part of the fun of collecting, isn't it? No matter how many standing orders, friendly counter staff, intensely aware specialists or dealers that we may associate with, anything can happen - and often does - to catch us all unaware and rarities, oddities and the simply bizarre will be greeting us again in 2014.