What is IGPC?
Although this acronym could sound refer to some kind of movement or a political group, that’s not a case. The first letter refers to the name of the organization – Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation. It might sound as it is an international organization, maybe even related to UN or so, but that’s not the case.
They are in fact the company. The core business is helping countries around the world with stamp issues as well with the administration of their post offices.
It all started in 1957 and the cooperation with Ghana. Since then the business has developed and today they work with more than 70 countries worldwide.
That cooperation resulted with many stamp issues with pop-culture motifs, mostly originating from the USA. Maybe the most important motifs for the development of this whole story were those that included Disney characters. Stamps are nicely designed and really eye-catching and that fact attracts collectors from all around the globe. Many such stamps are sold unused with some of them having a few times greater sales for collecting purposes than for regular usage. That fact leads to the profit for both, the company and the country it works with.
As I’ve already mentioned, these stamps and sheets are usually very visually attractive and with well-known motifs from the “western” culture. These motifs range from Disney characters, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, sports icons all the way to Rocky and Donald Trump. Yup, you can find Donald and his whole family on some of these stamps. And that is the main reason why this company is often accused of “cultural imperialism”.
Still, it’s important to mention that not all the stamps that are issued by IGPC are with pop motifs, but I guess they are the ones that are the most profitable.
Today I want to take a look at two interesting sheets. The first one originates from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the second one from the Dominica (Commonwealth of Dominica). Both of these sheets were issued by IGPC for these countries and both of them use Monty Python motifs.
Cooperation between IGPC and St. Vincent and the Grenadines resulted with the sheet of 6 stamps issued in 2000 in order to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Monty Python. All 6 stamps have the denomination of EC $1.40. The $ sign used here represents the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD) that is the official currency in countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the two British overseas territories Anguilla and Montserrat. 1 EC $ = 100 cents.
2000 – St. Vincent & The Grenadines
From left to right
1st row – Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese
2nd row – Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Each stamp is devoted to one member of the crew. You’ll easily notice that 3 stamps are printed “correctly” and the remaining 3 are printed with their motif upside down. I guess that this is here to show that this sheet is as “silly” as they were.
The second very interesting fact about this sheet is located in the upper right corner of the sheet. We can see that another stamp was used as the motif on this sheet. And this is not just any stamp, that is Inverted Jenny. My lucky guess would be that it’s here because of few following reasons:
- This is maybe the most important error ever made on US stamps
- Because of this error, this stamp could value up to $ 1M
- Stamp, as is, looks pretty “silly”
- What could better describe the flying circus and stamps than a motif like this one 😊
The second and the last sheet I’ll mention today is also issued in 2000 but this time it was the cooperation of IGPC and Dominica. They all have the denomination of 90¢ (of course, Eastern Caribbean).
2000 – Dominica
Each of these 6 stamps and the entire sheet shares the motif from the “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. The movie itself is a classic and I won’t spoil it, in case you missed it so far. You have the short synopsis above the stamps. For details, watch the movie.
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