Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Buying it directly from the post office that issued it : first I have to check if the concerned post office has a website, and that they do sell stamps on line. But even if both conditions are met, there could be a big obstacle : the shipment cost. Sometimes the cost to get the stamp is much higher that the price of the stamp itself… So I use this solution only if there are a significant amount of stamps in the set, or if there are some very interesting philatelic item (such as FDC, booklet, collector sheet etc) that you can hardly find somewhere else.
Another alternative is to check on Ebay. Usually, very quickly after the stamp has been issued you can already find it on Ebay. But this is not always the cheapest way, far from that…
Another solution (my preferred one, to be honest) is to check my list of philatelic contacts in the world to see if I know someone in this country to propose an exchange. This worked very well at several occasions. This is the advantage of being member of international philatelic associations. This solution is surely the cheapest one but may be not the quickest.
If these solutions did not work, I check the new issues service proposed by some French stamp dealers. Again, not a very cheap solution.
And then, if finally it did not work, I take note of the reference of the stamp in my notebook. I’ll search for it regularly, until I can satisfy my desire!
My last acquisition is this stamp from Slovenia. I found it in one philatelic newspaper (I almost did not see that there was a frog on it the first tile I saw it!) and I could easily get it from a contact in Slovenia.
This stamp was issued the 22nd of September 2006. it belongs to a set of two stamps about Flora. This one pictures floating water moss (Salvinia natans).
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The stamp on the top pictures a stone mound tomb from this period. The stamp on the bottom shows a mural painting from a tomb, picturing the God of Sun and the God of Moon.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
This stamp pictures one of the seal from Stockholm showing Saint Erik’s crowned hear, and dating from 1370. Saint Erik was in fact Erik IX, king of Sweden between 1150 and 1160. Very few historical data is available about the life of Erick IX. According to the legends, he did a lot to consolidate Christianity in his realm and to spread the faith in Finland. He was murdered the 18th of May 1160. He later became a Saint whose feast day in the Catholic Church is the 18th of May, but he was never formally canonized by the Catholic Church. Erik is the patron saint of Stockholm and is depicted in the city coat’s of arms.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The stamps on the left border are definitive stamps from 2002 and 2003. The green one pictures Catherine palace in Tsarkoye Solo, the brown one pictures the great palace of Pedrodvorets and the purple one pictures Kushovo palace.
I don’t have information about the single stamp on the right bottom corner.
Overall it gives a very nice cover, don’t you think ?
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
I show you both sides because the verso is franked with a full sheet of 16 stamps. This stamp sheet is an issue of 2005 about fruits. The stamps picture (from left to right and top to bottom) : Indian Gooseberries, Walnuts, Wood apples and Golden evergreen raspberries. When you think that franking a registered letter in France with stamps instead of ATM is becoming a challenge… I wonder how a French postal clerk would have reacted if I had given him such a cover…
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
First of all, what is a joint issue ? A joint issue can be declared when two (or more) independent postal administrations reach an agreement to create new postage stamps with a common interest and issue them within a pre-defined timeframe.
A more uncommon case is the Unique issue. This is the case when only one stamp is issued, bearing the name of both countries. Here are two examples : one between Switzerland and Liechtenstein (issued in 1995) and one between Switzerland and United nations (issued in 2004).
When both stamps have the same design but have not been issued at the same date (i.e. the dates of issue are separated by more than one week), this is called a Concerted issue. One example is this stamp commemorating the 200th anniversary of Ignacio Domeyko issued by Chile on the 11th of April 2002 and issued by Poland on the 3rd of July 2002.
Friday, December 01, 2006
This is the Austrian part of a joint issue with Hong Kong issued in August this year which pictures fireworks. A subject that is not seen very often on stamps.. In fact, what I’m showing is not actually the souvenir sheet but a presentation pack. It is made of a thick cardboard sheet, containing two square holes that show the stamps. The particularity of the those stamps is that, part of them, are covered with real Swarosky crystals, which gives them an impressive look (this is unfortunately not really visible on the scan...). The presentation pack is sold with a certificate of authenticity to prove that these are real Swarosky crystals. If I’m not wrong this is the second time Austrian post issues a stamp with crystals. Once again, as for the embroidered edelweiss stamp or any other innovative stamps, this is surely a performance, but is it really answering a postal need ?
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The frog pictured on the left stamp of the sheet is a Polypedates leucomystax (!), a frog that can be found in Southern Asia. There are several common names for this frog, due to its highly variable look : you can find it under the name Golden tree frog, or Four-lined tree frog (because of the four dark lines it has on the back), or Asian flying frog, or Banana frog (!) or simply Asian tree frog. It is a rather small frog measuring 3-5cm (for the male) up to 5-7cm (for the female).
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The only French association that I belong to is Association Française de Philatélie thématique (French Topical Philatelic Association, http://perso.orange.fr/afpt.themaphilatelie/). Among various services to its member, the association edits several philatelic publications : a bulletin about topical philately in general and several bulletins dedicated to specific topics such as sports, fauna and flora… In the same type, I am also member of the American Topical Association (http://www.americantopicalassn.org/). This is a much bigger association, also dedicated to topical stamp colleting. The publication of the ATA is called Topical Time and gathers very interesting articles about all sort of subjects that are represented on stamps. The main problem with publications of topical associations is that they can not speak about all topics, so, if you have a specialized topic such as mine (frog) you rarely find article about it on those papers.
A part from topical associations I am member of the well known American Philatelic Society (http://www.stamps.org/). A huge international association which edits the American Philatelist, a very impressive and interesting newspaper. Of course it is very often oriented towards American philately, but not only.
The ATA and the APS contains a lot of chapters, affiliates and units which gather philatelists specialized in a specific area. For instance, I am a member of the International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors (http://www.iswsc.org/) which promotes worldwide stamp collecting. Yes, some people still collect worldwide stamps, and not only topical collectors (that are, by definition, worldwide collectors). Even more specialized, I’m a member of the China stamp society (http://www.chinastampsociety.org/index.html), since I collect Chinese stamps.
To finish, the last but not the least, I’m member of the Cover Circuit Collectors Club (http://www.geocities.com/coverccc/) an affiliate of the APS which gives you the opportunity to receive nice covers from all over the world. A lot of the covers I show here on my blog come from members of the CCCC.
Generally speaking, what I have learned from all these associations is that their main richness is their members ! Belonging to an association gives you the opportunity to meet very interesting people who can teach you a lot.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Interesting also is the cancel : the stamp is cancelled with the name of the town from where the letter was sent (hardly readable) and the date. And on the left there is a slogan : use speed service couriers for international delivery.The letter was containing a lot of interesting stamps that I’ll surely have the opportunity to show here on my blog.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Not bad, isn’t it ? In the set, there is a sixth stamp for international mail picturing a close up of the Lion/Santa Claus.
I think that the stamps issuing policy of South Africa is rather interesting. They issue a low number of stamps (if I compare to our situation in France) and the stamps have always a relation to the country or the local culture. If the stamp does not picture a subject directly linked to Africa, they always try to give an African look, as for this Christmas issue. I think this is rare enough to be mentioned.
Friday, November 24, 2006
The stamps are from 1994 and belong to a set of two picturing traditional potteries. This one pictures a bird shaped pottery.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Why do I speak about rugby, you may wonder ? Out of the fact that I collect stamps about rugby. Well I just read an article on a French newspaper explaining that Daniel Carter, the fly half of the All Blacks (the number 10 for people who’re not familiar with rugby), the one who is considered by a lot of journalists as the current “best player of the world”, is a stamp collector ! He explains in the article how collecting stamps brings him the serenity he needs to bear the pressure that surrounds him.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I spent some time over the weekend browsing my Scott catalog and also some various websites and I came to the conclusion that, at least three countries has issued their first stamp in 1966, the year of my birth.Botswana, the former Bechuanaland Protectorate, has reached independence the 30th of September 1966. A set of four stamps has been issued to commemorate this event. Here is the lowest face value, therefore the “number 1” of Botswana.
Guyana, the former Crown Colony of British Guiana, has become independent on the 26th of May 1966. A set of six stamps has been issued, re-using the stamps of the former colony, overprinted “GUYANA INDEPENDENCE 1966”.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Then the three red cancels used on the stamps are also very impressive. This is not the first time I see such cancel on Japanese stamps but I wonder what they are : they are surely not first day of issue cancel. Are they cancels from a philatelic office ? Does anybody know where I could get some info on them ?
I got this very nice cover through the Asian Cover Collector Club, which is a very good covers exchange club if you are interested to get mail from Asian countries (mainly Japan, I have to admit).
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
From left to right and top to bottom the stamps picture the following species :
- Edwards’s pheasant (Lophura edwardsi). It can be found in central Vietnam. This species was believed extinct in Wild for several decades until some were rediscovered in the forests of central Vietnam. The species was named for the French zoologist Alphonse Milne-Edwards.
- Orange-necked partridge (Arborophila davidi) that can be found in the southern Vietnam and eastern Cambodia
- Vietnames pheasant (Lophura hatinhensis) : this species is sometimes considered as a sub-species of the Edwards’s pheasant. Only small differences may be noticed between both species
- Germain’s peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron germaini) that can be found in southern Vietnam
- Crested argus (Rheinardia ocellata) which is endemic to south-east Asia
The stamps also contain the emblem of BirdLife international organization that works for the protection of endangered birds.
What is also interesting to notice on those stamps is the security perforation that takes the shape of a small bracket which is quite unusual. I already showed one stamp from Argentina with such perforation (see http://my-philately.blogspot.com/2006/09/another-large-postmark-this-time-from.html) , and I think Adrian also mentioned this type of security perforation on his blog (see Akphilately in my links section).
Monday, November 13, 2006
On Thursday last week I have spent few hours attending to the Salon d’Automne, the stamp show I was mentioning last week. This stamp show was the occasion for the French post to issue new stamps. In fact we had much less new issues than last year. Only three new issues : a booklet to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the “Marianne de Gandon”, a souvenir sheet about flying machines, and a stamp commemorating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Rembrandt (see the scans below). I took benefit of this new issues to post some FDC to some of you, so check your mail box and tell me if you receive something from me… I was also able to buy some LISA (the French ATM), I’ll show you it to you in a next post.
Several foreign post offices were represented at this stamp show and a lot of stamp dealers. I took a lot of time to browse the display of the topical stamp dealers in order to find some interesting frog stamps. I did not have much success. My collection is now so big that it’s hard for me to find items that I do not have already. I was surprised and a bit saddened to see how many topical stamp dealers actually propose speculative issues to their customers. I bought also some nice stamps that I will show later on this blog. Globally I had a good time, even if there was not much surprise in this stamp show. It was very similar to the one of last year.
So here are the pictures of the new issues.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
On Friday I’ll leave for a long weekend in Lyon, to attend to the rugby test match between France and New Zealand ! So I’ll be back on my blog only next Monday, and I’ll try to tell you everything I saw during the stamp fair…. See you then.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
From top to bottom, the stamps are from the prefecture of Toyana (Owara Dance issued in August 2004), Tokyo (issued in June 2005) and Aichi (issued in October 2006).
If you are interested in Japanese stamps, here is a very useful website : http://yushu.or.jp/english/e_sdate/index.html